Iowa's Melsahn Basabe plans return to the basics this offseason

After earning Big Ten All-Freshman honors, talented forward has hit a sophomore slump

Published: February 14 2012 | 5:17 pm - Updated: 3 April 2014 | 12:25 pm in

IOWA CITY ó Iowa sophomore forward Melsahn Basabe has disappointed many with his inconsistent play this season, but he says no one has taken it harder than himself.

After an impressive first season than landed him on the Big Ten's all-freshman team, Basabe has struggled more often than not this year. He averages 8.2 points, which is down from 11 points a game last year. He's scored in double figures just four times during the Big Ten season. Last year he did that 12 times.

"I havenít given up on this season because thereís a lot of games left," Basabe said. "I donít want to pack it in because itís never too late to start something. But Iím definitely taking notes from this. This is something thatís going to be in my mind and motivating me, but I donít want to get too much into that. Iíll just let the results prove themselves.

"I think I re-address my game, really find out what I need to work on. From the mental side, I think I need to watch a lot more film and really understand the game next year. I need to really start understanding the game and not just try to play off ability."

Basabe, a Glen Cove, N.Y., native,†started the first 52 games of his college career but was benched after posting two or fewer points four times in a six-game span.†He since has come off the bench and provided a spark, averaging more than 8.25 points in the last four games.

In the offseason Basabe bulked up by 25 pounds and worked extensively on his mid-range jump shot. In hindsight, he said he should have continued to focus on his post game.

"I think sometimes you get away from doing what you do best," Basabe said. "I may have done that at times. Iím kind of trying to get back to doing what I do best and sometimes you add stuff youíre so excited about what you added but you canít forget what the foundation is."

He said he needs to play with energy, whether or not he's getting the ball.

"Your game opens up and you start off with the things that youíre really good at," he said. "Like I said, thereís still time left in this season, so everything Iím learning now Iím trying to apply as we speak."

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