Shooters know shooters.
Former IU basketball star Christian Watford made 42.3 percent of his 3-point shots at Indiana on 388 attempts for his career.
He was undeniably a good shooter.
And in Anthony Leal, Watford sees another shooter.
On his Ball from Assembly Hall podcast with co-host and fellow former Hoosier Derek Elston, Watford has been saying Indiana should play Leal more often.
On a team that struggles to make perimeter shots, Watford has believed for a while Leal can be the cure for what has been ailing Indiana.
After Leal scored 13 points Tuesday on 3-of-4 shooting from long range in the win over Iowa, Elston suggested Watford should have a role on the IU staff because of his eye for talent.
What does he see in Leal?
“I can just tell a shooter,” Watford said. “You can tell by his misses. And I’ve seen the kid workout, I’ve seen him shoot. He can really shoot the basketball.”
Watford has a relationship with IU assistant coach Yasir Rosemond. He comes up to Bloomington on occasion, and each time ends up landing on the same question.
“Every year I ask, why doesn’t he play? I ask the coaches, and they tell me this and that. But I’m like there ain’t nobody else doing it (making shots),” Watford said.
Watford played with Jordan Hulls at Indiana. Like Hulls, Leal is from Bloomington and attended South High School.
His experience playing with Hulls and observing Leal leads Watford to believe Indiana can rely on more than just shot-making from the senior guard.
“I know one thing for sure. A kid that’s from Bloomington, a kid that played at Bloomington South, they’re going to give you everything they can give,” Watford said. “They’re going to give it all to you. This kid, every time he plays, whether it’s two minutes, 10 minutes, whether he plays a lot, his effort, you ain’t never gotta question it. And that’s all we want. … You gotta play those kind of guys. They’re gonna give it all they got.”
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