Oskey looking to regain shooting touch
By Greg Bates
Hailey Oskey has always been a good shooter, but she’s trying to regain her touch.
But her junior season hasn’t gone quite the way she had hoped.
“It’s been frustrating, but if my shot isn’t going, I’m still going to shoot,” she said. “If my shot isn’t falling, I’m looking for other people and trying to get assists.”
Oskey – who primarily plays point guard but can play off guard and forward as well – has had a few rough stretches.
During a four-game stretch at the end of January, she shot 25% (7-for-28) from the field.
In the 15 games she’s played this season, Oskey is shooting 28.6% (12-for-42) on 3-pointers.
In her first two seasons, she shot 36.6% from beyond the arc.
Despite her rough shooting, Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth is still giving Oskey the green light.
“If we’re getting open shots, he says ‘keep shooting,’” Oskey said. “He can’t help us if we’re not making shots.”
Oskey said she can’t quite pinpoint why her shot has been off.
However, a combination of erratic opportunities to practice, a different game schedule this season and health issues haven’t helped.
Oskey suffered a right hamstring injury a few months before the season started this fall, and she missed the first three games.
She started against Milwaukee Dec. 12 after getting about a week of practice.
With the hamstring injury lingering, she had a bigger setback when she suffered a concussion in that Milwaukee contest.
She missed the next three weeks – which Green Bay only played one game due to COVID-19 – but has come back stronger.
“It was an up and down couple of months,” Oskey said.
Oskey thinks her hamstring injury could be the result of a stress fracture she sustained – both injuries were in her right leg – about a year ago.
The hamstring injury still bothers her, but physical therapy and rehabilitation have helped.
Her past injuries while at Green Bay also include a partially torn labrum in her hip.
“Now we’re doing pretty well, so I’m glad about that,” Oskey said.
Her season hasn’t been entirely rough.
In her first two games back the first two days of January, Oskey scored 14 points the first day and a career-high 24 points the following game.
In her breakout performance against Detroit Mercy, she was 9-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
“It felt good to get something like that,” Oskey said. “I’ve been struggling with my shooting percentage ever since that game, but I’m still going to shoot.”
Taking on a different role
Oskey is coming off a sophomore season in which she started all 21 games she played in.
She was the team’s third-leading scorer at 9.7 points per game.
This season, she’s averaging 7.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest in 15 games.
“I want to keep getting assists,” Oskey said. “If you’re not scoring, assists count as something toward that, because you’re getting someone else open and you’re sharing the ball.”
As an upperclassman, she said she’s trying to be more of a vocal leader and be influential in other parts of her game.
“I see my role as a big part defensively,” Oskey said. “Last year, I made big steps on the defensive end, so I take pride in making sure my defense stays where I want it to be.”
After starting the season 1-4, Green Bay has won 14 of its last 16 regular-season games.
The Horizon League Tournament starts March 2, and the Phoenix earned a No. 3 seed and will host a first-round game.
“At the beginning, we were struggling,” Oskey said. “We had no flow, but we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, which is great to see.”
Oskey said she’s pleasantly surprised the Phoenix have gotten in as many games as they have because of COVID-19.
“I didn’t think we’d make it this far,” she said. “I thought lots of teams would be shut down, and some of them were. I thought our season was going to get canceled.”
A communications major, she’d like to coach for a couple of seasons after graduation and then go to the police academy to become an officer.
Because of COVID-19, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility for all athletes, so Oskey has a shot to play with Green Bay for two more seasons after this year.
“I plan on taking the extra year right now, so far,” Oskey said.