Nankivil thrives on right mentality

first_imgSenior forward Keaton Nankivil has been a steady source of points for UW, averaging 11.7 ppg in conference play on .488 shooting.[/media-credit]Fans have always wanted big things from Keaton Nankivil.The senior forward for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team has the size, standing 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, the mobility and the perimeter marksmanship.As a native of Madison and a former prep star at Madison Memorial High School, he’s even got the background too.But over the course of his first two years as a starter for the Badgers, consistency issues arose for Nankivil, now in his third and final year in the cardinal and red’s starting five.Many people saw big scoring potential in Nankivil, but during the 2009-10 season, his shots from the field soared (.493 percent) while his three-point shooting slipped (.316).But this year, it would take quite a picky fan to have qualms with Nankivil’s play.He’s improved in nearly every statistical category. His dead-eye shooting clip (.508 from the field, .479 from the arc) has forced opponents and fans alike to recognize him as one of the most reliable shooters in the conference and the nation.Through 28 games, he’s already registered nine more blocks than he did in 33 regular season games last year. His free throw shooting has increased about 12 percentage points to .862 and he averages just under 10 points per game.How did he manage the improvement? For a guy who studies kinesiology, it didn’t have much to do with the body’s mechanics. To Nankivil, it was all about his mentality.“He’s playing at a pretty confident level,” assistant coach Gary Close said. “For the most part I think one of the reasons he’s such a good shooter is because he’s a pretty even-keeled type of person so he doesn’t get real excited when he makes a bunch or get real disappointed when he misses, but he’s worked real hard on his shot.”2010-11 hasn’t necessarily been a dream season for Nankivil though. Shooting the ball well is a difficult thing for anyone to maintain every single day, but over a recent three-game stretch, a dip in Nankivil’s shooting began to emerge.Against Iowa, Ohio State and Purdue, the senior collectively hit nine of 41 shots and just four of 20 three-pointers.Nankivil, confident yet ever so humble, reminded himself before the third game against Purdue that trends only come in threes.But after another frustrating game against the Boilermakers, Nankivil slowly admitted to himself that he was, indeed, slipping into the doldrums. But his honesty with himself still didn’t cause his poise to burst.When Penn State visited the Kohl Center on Feb. 20, something clicked. Nankivil hit three treys in the game’s first six minutes. He suffered a minor ankle injury on the third bucket, but he still finished the game by going 8-9 from the field and 5-5 from the arc, good for 22 points.“It’s always nice [to hit that first three],” Nankivil said. “Right when I was willing to admit that it was starting to become a trend, finally something got me off that track.”But with Nankivil, he never quite leaves the track, never derails. His confidence may bend, but it doesn’t break.“He’s got a good ability to move on to the next play and that’s the way that this game’s got to be played, because it’s so fast you can’t dwell too long or one mistake’s going to compound into three or four,” Close said.“His ability to move on and his ability to stay even-keeled is a big part of why he plays so consistently well.”A principal example of that notion came against UW-Green Bay in mid-December. About a minute and a half into the contest, Nankivil received the ball at the top of the key but had it stolen from him by forward Daniel Turner.As Turner raced down the court for the go-ahead layup, Nankivil chased him down and returned the favor, swatting the ball away as it headed toward the rim.To Nankivil, it’s not a matter of diagnosing yourself with a “short-term memory” – pretending the mistake never happened. He acknowledges the occurrence and takes it from there.“I think it’s usually better to think ‘I gotta make the next [shot]’,” he said. “Always try to move forward.”Nankivil, who enjoys tutoring students at Madison West High School when he can, always likes to be straightforward about his success and give credit where credit is due.If you asked him why his three-point shooting percentage has improved so much, he’d tell you it’s from his confidence and his teammates, specifically senior forward Jon Leuer and junior point guard Jordan Taylor, who demand extra attention from opponents.And if you try to call Nankivil, Leuer and Taylor “the big three,” he’ll try to correct you.“It is ‘the big two’,” Nankivil said. “They work so hard for every shot. I’m a beneficiary of those two working hard 90 percent of the time that I score.”But his teammates know how hard he works too.“He just goes about his business and doesn’t let anything faze him,” Leuer said. “There’s not a better teammate, or just a better person out there. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and when he’s on the court he’s a warrior and he’s fun to have on your side.”last_img read more

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Lockyer joins suit on field-lab cleanup

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Department of Energy project manager Mike Lopez said he couldn’t comment because of the ongoing lawsuit. In the past, DOE officials have said they are following all state and federal safety laws and have rejected charges that the site will be dangerous. Also, the agency was concerned that the lawsuit would slow down the lab cleanup. Lockyer joins the Natural Resources Defense Council, the city of Los Angeles and longtime lab watchdog group Committee to Bridge the Gap, which sued the DOE in 2004 over the lab decontamination. “The California Attorney General’s Office understands this is an issue of statewide importance,” said James Birkelund, senior project attorney at the NRDC. “If the Bush administration can ignore the law here then they can get away with it at other sites across the country.” The 2,800-acre field lab sits in the Simi Hills in Ventura County, near the Los Angeles city line. From the 1940s through 1988, the federal government conducted nuclear energy testing on a 90-acre section of the lab called the Energy Technology Engineering Center. Concerned that too much radioactive and toxic contamination could be left in the Simi Hills, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed a legal brief in support of a lawsuit challenging the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Lab’s former nuclear research area. Lockyer’s involvement pressures the U.S. Department of Energy to re-evaluate its plan to decontaminate the site. Critics charge that the DOE has broken promises to thoroughly clean the site and say the federal agency’s plan would leave 99 percent of the tainted soil on hilltop property. Lockyer spokeswoman Teresa Schilling said the attorney general decided to get involved and push for a more thorough environmental study because the DOE plans to release the site for unrestricted use, which could include building houses on the land. “If ever there was a case to push for a full environmental analysis, this is one,” Schilling said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know you have to do a full environmental analysis on a site that has had nuclear activity before you turn it over to another use.” ETEC was home to 10 nuclear reactors, one of which experienced a partial meltdown in 1959. Nuclear research ended and the Energy Department began its self-regulated decontamination in 1988. Kerry Cavanaugh, (818) 713-3746 kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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