As a sophomore two years ago, Burlingame's Connor Haupt was little more than a sharpshooter off the bench. He appeared in 30 of the Panthers' 32 games that year and made a total of 28 3-pointers.
Daily Journal Sports File
Burlingame's Connor Haupt, right, averaged 25.5 points and six 3-pointers in a pair of Panther wins last week. For the season, Haupt is averaging 17 points and three 3-pointers made.
This year as a senior, Haupt has nearly doubled that output in roughly half as many games. Haupt has been on a tear this year from behind the 3-point line, having hit 44 3s in 14 games. In games against Sequoia and Capuchino last week, he combined to drain 12 3s in a pair of wins — he had seven while scoring 25 points in a 72-46 win over the Cherokees Wednesday and then hit five more in a 26-point effort during a 63-18 win over the Mustangs Friday.
For his efforts, Haupt is the Daily Journal's Athlete of the Week.
"I love to shoot,” Haupt said. "It gives me energy (to knock down 3-pointers). It's kind of a rush. When you hit four or five in a game, I get in that zone. Any shot you put up you feel like it's going in. It's an unmatched feeling for me.”
As good as Haupt's outside game has been, it's been his inside game that has made things a bit easier for him on the perimeter. Strictly a spot-up shooter in the past, Haupt has learned to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket.
"His all-around game has been outstanding,” said Burlingame coach Pete Harames. "He's rounded out his game.”
That was the one aspect missing from Haupt's game and he has spent a lot of time honing his dribble penetration and getting to the rim and the foul line. He understands the benefits of having an all-around game on which to depend, instead of just leaning on one skill.
"My first two years on varsity, I was more of a spot-up shooter. This season, I've been trying to get to the rim hard and get to the foul line. I knew that would open up my outside game,” Haupt said. "The past two years, if I wasn't shooting hot from the outside, I would have a quiet game. Now, (developing an inside game) helps me keep a consistent point flow.
"Now, I don't have to have a good outside game to have a good game,” Haupt said.
Haupt is averaging 17 points per game for the season and is making an average of just over three 3-pointers a game. He's been in the zone the last couple of weeks, averaging 24 points and five 3s a game over his last five games.
He has also taken on more of a leadership role this season as the Panthers have gone through a bit of an upheaval since last season with a number of key players graduating, another transferring and a new coach taking over the program. Haupt, who said he is a pretty quiet person normally, has worked on becoming more vocal during practice, while letting his play do his talking during the game.
"I knew I had to step up into a leadership role,” Haupt said. "It's a different thing for me. I'm still trying to learn it. It's a work in progress, but it's coming along.”