"I've just been good at throwing things since I've been young. It's not a lack of confidence. It's not a lack of preparation or anything like that. It's just a matter of getting back to feeling comfortable and feeling like the ball's coming out the way it should."
What, specifically, isn't right? It was a question Stave had a difficult time addressing but one, he said, that seemed to boil down to this basic concept: He is inside his own head, a perfectionist who begins to overthink one bad throw, which leads to more bad throws. Before he knows it, he can't complete simple tosses that he has spent years perfecting.
"I'll be throwing it good, throwing it good and then all of a sudden I feel like I hang on to it too long," Stave said. "One will sail, one will slip and then you start thinking, 'Oh I've got to hang on to it longer.' That's what happens when you start thinking too much."
Andersen said earlier Tuesday during the Big Ten coaches teleconference that he noticed Stave's troubles around the time of the team's second scrimmage on Aug. 18, which was largely closed to the media. Stave was poised to be named the team's starter later that week until the issues surfaced, according to a source close to the situation.
Even during warmups before the season opener, Stave's throws were landing well off target -- a remark that television broadcasters noted on the air.