A great golfer can tell you every shot struck on every hole during a round: what club was used, how the player was trying to work the ball. Obviously, because the player is responsible for his or her score, that number also can be recalled immediately.Howard, though, said he is unaware of how many points he has rung up when he is playing the game. He obviously recognizes whether the shots are going in, but this is as far as it goes. Even when he scored 53 in an overtime victory against Creighton — and even though he acknowledged that “when you get that feeling, you don’t want to stop” — he was surprised by the “crazy” number in the box score.“I don’t really like shoot for anything in particular. I just do what in the game presents itself and I just find out after the fact what happened,” he said. “I just try to be as aggressive as I can when I’m playing. It’s just a matter of continuing to be aggressive, no matter what, and not really accepting trying to be stopped. That’s kind of just my thing.” In 2019, however, there’s a delicate balance at work in circumstances such as Wright-Foreman’s, or Markus Howard’s at Marquette, or Antoine Davis’ at Detroit Mercy. Each of them averages better than 24 points and 16 shots per game. It can be a challenge to convince every other player — or every other players’ parents, or every other players’ high school coaches, or every other players’ friends — that allowing a star scorer such freedom can help everyone involved.SCONZO: Point-scoring machine Chris Clemons forging unforgettable legacy at CampbellThere are 11 players in Division I who, entering Wednesday’s action, had appeared in at least 20 games and attempted 350 or more shots. That’s out of at least 3,000 rotation players, which means it’s less than 1 percent of those getting consistent game time. That’s how uncommon players like Howard and Davis are, and thus how challenging it can be for a team to function when one emerges.We all learned that last year watching Trae Young at Oklahoma.“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced one of my teammates complaining about me shooting the basketball,” Wright-Foreman told Sporting News. “My teammates just believe in me. They get mad if I have an open shot and pass it up, and I think that’s encouraging, when people are behind you and have so much confidence in you. I worry sometimes that I may take too many shots, but they never say that to me. They encourage me.”Hofstra is riding the nation’s longest winning streak, a 16-game rampage that includes seven road games and a 9-0 start in the Colonial Athletic Association. Wright-Foreman has delivered performances during this surge of 28 points, 30, 29, 34, 37 and a career-best 42 against Northeastern. He is averaging 26 points and shooting .512 from the field.The Pride, now 19-3, needed every one of those points to earn a 73-70 victory over NU’s Huskies. The final three were almost super-heroic. After Northeastern’s Vasa Pusica tried a top-of-the key jumper to break a tie score in the final 10 seconds, the rebound was tipped out to Wright-Foreman. He dribbled forward and recognized his time to fire was limited. He let go of the ball while on a dead sprint and twisted to the left to avoid a defender; he launched from 40 feet with .2 seconds left. The ball flew directly through the goal.“The dynamic of your team is always so important. So when you have a guy like Justin, who is going to take a lot of shots — hey, we’re having success this year because these guys really and truly like each other,” Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich told SN. “They’re always together. They have fun together. They hang out in the locker room. The other 22 hours of the day, these guys are together and happy.“I had a guy who scored a lot once and was talking with one of the managers and I asked if the other guys on the team liked him. And he said: ‘Like or respect?’ And I thought, ‘Wow, what a great response.’ It’s so crucial to player relationships. You can be liked and not respected. You can be respected and not liked. And in Justin’s case — thankfully, and obviously it’s why we’re successful — the guys respect him because he’s unbelievable. I mean, he proves it every day. Now, why do they respect him? It’s not just his talent. It’s not just that he can score on anybody at any time. It’s because he works so hard.—In the 2½ years they have been teammates, Sam Hauser has seen Howard launch 1,157 shots. That is 365 more than Hauser has attempted, if you’re counting, which Hauser insists he is not.“He’s a really good scorer, and he makes a lot of those difficult shots that other people would think are bad shots,” Hauser told SN. “At times when he shoots it, it’s like, ‘Oh, whoa.’ And then it’ll go in and you’ll be like, ‘Alright.’ When he’s hot, and he keeps making it, you’ve just kinda got to let him do his own thing.”Howard operates like a typical point guard, in many ways. He advances the ball after his team gains control, he examines the opposing defense to discover the best scoring options on that particular possession, he attempts to seize upon whatever chance develops. It just happens that far more frequently than with other playmakers, the best option is him.MORE: SN midseason All-AmericansDuring Marquette’s Wednesday visit to Butler, the frigid air outside Hinkle Fieldhouse seemed to infect every shooter in the gym — except the one who seems almost immune to cold spells. The other 17 players Steve Wojciechowski deployed for for the Golden Eagles and LaVall Jordan sent in for the Bulldogs shot a combined 15-of-39. Howard seized the opportunity to fire 17 times in the first 20 minutes, only four of those from long range, and his 19 points helped stake Marquette to a nine-point halftime advantage the opposition never threatened in the second half.A 5-11 junior from Chandler, Ariz., Howard finished with 32 points. It was the sixth time this season he crossed the 30-point mark. He showed off his gift for getting to the foul line only once, when he noticed himself matched against the Bulldogs’ 6-11 Nate Fowler and immediately drove the ball into the big man’s body. He averages seven free throws per game and converts 91 percent; Wright-Foreman is at six per game and 88 percent, and Davis at four per game and 85.Howard’s scoring average rose after the visit to Butler to 25.0 points per game, although it would be more than a full point higher — he would rank No. 3 among Division I players in scoring, up from No. 5 — had he not left his team’s win at Georgetown just three minutes into the game with no points.Howard is not out chasing numbers, though. He has been a major part of No. 10 Marquette’s 19-3 record, including an 8-1 mark in Big East games that places the Golden Eagles a half-game behind league leader Villanova.“Me being my size, I don’t really get that many easy shots,” Howard told SN. “So I practice a lot of shots that are unorthodox, very uncommon to people in the game. That’s stuff that I have, and I practice it a lot, so when I use it in a game it’s not something I haven’t done before.“It definitely took some time to gain Coach’s trust with that, but as time went on and Coach saw the type of player that I was, he started to allow me to do a lot of things knowing how I shoot everything. A lot of what I do on the court is just a credit to Coach giving me supreme confidence and great freedom.”And a fair amount of it is having teammates who are willing to lay down the bass track while Howard is standing atop the speakers, jamming on lead guitar.Hauser, a 6-8 junior forward, is averaging 15.4 points and seven rebounds and shooting .404 from 3-point range. His brother Joey Hauser, a 6-9 freshman, contributes 11 points per game and is at .493 from deep.“With all the attention he draws, it does open up a lot for others,” Sam Hauser said. “I think with his play-making ability, I think I play off it really well. I just try to find my spots here and there where I can get open, where I can have my time to go one-on-one, stuff like that. I think it really helps my brother and I play more efficient, take good looks. We’ve built a pretty good chemistry with each other. If I get involved in ball screens, it opens up things for either him or I. We find that very effective, so we try to get to that as much as possible.”—Trae Young’s story was entirely a happy one through his first 17 games as a college basketball player. He signed at Oklahoma, in the same town where he’d played high school ball. He’d been highly regarded as a prospect, McDonald’s All-American and all that, but there were few expecting him to become an immediate sensation.After he scored 43 points in his fifth game against an Oregon team that finished the previous season in the Final Four, he suddenly was as hot as Kendrick Lamar and drew comparisons to Steph Curry. He didn’t score fewer than 26 points for the next 11 games. His scoring average led the nation, and, to make it even more delicious, he led in assists as well.And Oklahoma’s record was 14-3, though the Sooners had been picked to finish directly in the middle of the Big 12.What could go wrong? Well, 39 shots.“I probably could look at that as a little bit of a turning point,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger told Sporting News. “After that game, we came back and beat Kansas here, and he actually played very well. But really from that Oklahoma State game on, we didn’t ever quite seem to have the same pop, the same level of confidence.”MORE: Young’s draft entry shows absurdity of baseball model for college hoopsKruger had coached great players and great scorers before. He’d had the Sporting News Player of the Year only two seasons earlier (guard Buddy Hield), who averaged 25 points on 16 shots a game. Young was different, though, because he was a point guard who had the ball in his hands at the start of most possessions and because he sometimes was inspired to fire 3-pointers over unsuspecting defenders from well beyond the line.“Early in the year, we were making shots and winning games, and everything was fine. Later in the year, we weren’t making shots and weren’t winning as many games, it felt like we crossed the line,” Kruger said. “We were kind of looking for that balance. When you have a player who can make shots, whether it be Buddy Hield or Trae, you want to take advantage of that but still find some form of balance.”In his second and final opportunity to participate in the Bedlam Series rivalry, Young did not start well and neither did the Sooners. They trailed by a dozen at halftime, but the second half began with a surge that included a layup, a jumper, two 3-pointers and an assist from Young. When he passed to Kameron McGusty for a layup just before the penultimate media timeout, the score was tied. Young scored 18 points in the final 7:50 and staked OU to a 3-point lead with 11 seconds left in regulation. But the Sooners gave up a 3-pointer to force OT.He’d been incredible, and he eventually would finish with 48 points. But the extra five minutes did not go well — 1 of 7 from the field — and the storm of criticism began about the time the final buzzer sounded.He was ripped by television analysts for trying to do too much, for not making pristine decisions: essentially, for not playing like a conventional point guard. Young was not a conventional point guard, though. He never really played like one in the two months that remained of his freshman year, either, but worse is that he rarely played like Trae Young. He attempted fewer than 20 shots in half of the final 14 games. He scored fewer than 20 points six times. OU won only four times after Bedlam.“When you’re winning, making shots, everybody feels pretty good about it,” Kruger said. “When you’re not making shots, you probably get a little bit more tension, if that’s the right word for it.“I didn’t really expect it to be that extreme in October, but then when he got off to such an unbelievable start — those first 13-14 games had never been done before. So I think it kind of grew, and he was having such great success early. And then when it turned, we kind of couldn’t get back in the bottle, if you will.”—No one in Division I has taken more shots this season than Antoine Davis, a 6-1 guard for the Detroit Mercy Titans whose hometown is listed as Birmingham, Ala., but who actually was born in Bloomington, Ind., and who spent his high school years in the Houston area.His movements as a child are identical to the coaching path taken by Detroit coach Mike Davis, who was an assistant at Indiana and became the head coach when Bob Knight was fired, driving the Hoosiers to the 2002 Final Four before resigning under pressure in 2006. He got the job at UAB and was fired after recording four 20-win seasons in six years, then went to Texas Southern and won the regular season or league tournament in each of his six years there. That got him a promotion of sorts to UDM. His first big recruit for the Titans was the homeschooled kid from Houston who’d been rated a three-star prospect because of his success on the summer circuit with the Houston Hoops.So, yeah, the guy shooting more than anyone in the nation not only is a freshman, but also the coach’s son.That is one tricky arrangement, similar to what was in place with Maravich and his father, Press.“All my best shooters have always had the green light. He just happens to have my last name,” Mike Davis told SN. “I have two other guys on the team who can shoot basically when they feel like shooting it. I want my shooters shooting. And my best shooters shooting free throws. I always tell ‘Toine, it’s not about you making or missing the shot: It’s about knowing you did it right. That’s the mindset of the shooter.”Mike Davis said he believes any potential envy over Antoine’s role in the Titans’ offense was eradicated by results from the shooting drills the team did in preseason practice.In one, a player must make 10 shots in a row from seven spots on the court. He cannot move to the next station until he has made 10 without a miss. “When we first did that, Antoine did 10 shots in a row from all the spots. Then he did five spots more from 25 feet,” Mike said. “Some guys never got past the first spot.“It’s never easy, because it’s human nature. But it’s easier when your own peers and your own teammates not only hear about you putting the work in but actually see you hitting the shots.”MORE: Recapping Year 10 of Ryan Fagan’s college hoops road tripAntoine left no doubt how he was going to function as a freshman when he walked onto the court against Western Michigan in Kalamazoo and put up 26 shots, a “career-high” that still stands after he has played another 18 times. He was 6-of-14 on 3-pointers in that game and scored 32 points, an impressive number he has matched or exceeded five times since. His biggest haul was a 48-pointer in a Horizon League victory over Wright State. He is averaging 27.3 points, No. 2 in Division I behind Chris Clemons of Campbell, and shooting .422 from the field.What has all this produced for the Titans? Having begun the season with only one of last season’s four double-figure scorers left from a team that finished 8-24 and 4-14 in the Horizon, they stand fourth in the conference at 5-4 and already have matched last season’s win total.Listed at 6-1, 170 pounds — his father confessed he is closer to 150 at this point — Antoine said he worried a bit at the start of the season whether shooting this often would become problematic with his teammates. “But they were like, ‘Just shoot because we trust you. We know you can play,” he said. “They gave me more confidence to shoot those shots.”He has noticed more opponents attempting to double-team him but doesn’t believe it works — “I guess they didn’t know I could pass like that.” He had seven assists in a win against Milwaukee, six in beating Cleveland State and leads the team with 3.5 per game. As a teenager in Houston, Antoine trained with former NBA star and San Antonio Spurs coach John Lucas.“It was the best thing that ever happened when I got fired at UAB, because we moved to Houston and I could put him with John Lucas,” Mike Davis said. “It was six hours a day, two or three times a week for about four years. His mindset and training have been totally different. It would be like a quarterback getting to be around Tom Brady.”Except Lucas averaged seven assists in his NBA career and only 10.7 points. To help Antoine understand the mentality of a shooter, Mike had him work some with former LSU All-American Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who averaged 30.2 points as a freshman at LSU in 1988-89.“I asked him: Tell me what goes through your mind as a shooter when you miss 4-5 in a row,” Mike Davis said. “He said it never bothered him because he knew he could make 10 shots in a row by the way he trained in practice. So many players get up and down emotionally because they miss a shot. It’s a matter of focusing on the next one.”—Every skilled basketball player understands that passing up an open shot that develops out of properly executed offense can be detrimental to the team’s attack. When this occurs too frequently with a capable scorer, it’s not uncommon to hear a television announcer or even a coach say, “He’s got to be more selfish.”Wright-Foreman is having none of this.“I don’t get selfish. I just get more aggressive,” Wright-Foreman said. “I wouldn’t call it selfish. I definitely wouldn’t call it selfish, because that’s not what it is.”This is the scorer’s burden. It helps explain how Trae Young’s season at Oklahoma ended so painfully. It helps explain all the jokes we hear now about James Harden, and used to hear about Kobe Bryant. “It’s called shooting guard, not passing guard” was one they told about Kobe when he played for the Lakers.This is something a running back in football never encounters: No one calls him selfish for trying to gain more yards when he is handed the football.It’s a confusing use of the language. “Selfish” is inherently a pejorative term. When it is presented as something to which one should aspire — but never too intensely — it confuses both the player and those in the audience.When Young was being excoriated for how he ran the Oklahoma offense, he was averaging 9.7 assists. That included an astonishing 22 in a game against Northwestern State and eight in the game against OK State remembered only for those 39 shots. Eight young men play a lot for the hottest team in Division I basketball, but only one can be said to shoot a ton. Justin Wright-Foreman takes almost twice as many shots in an average game as Hofstra’s second-leading scorer. JWF cuts loose from either the field or the foul line roughly once for every 90 seconds he spends on the floor.If this were 1970, it might not seem unusual for a 6-2 senior guard from Queens to rack up huge shooting and scoring numbers on a wildly successful college team. In that era, Pete Maravich averaged 44.5 points in his final season at LSU and shot 38 times a game. A year later at Notre Dame, Austin Carr fired 29 times a game and averaged 38 points and wasn’t even the nation’s top scorer.