"He drove me nuts for a year and a half, and then the last half of the year, all of a sudden the lights came on," Olson said. "I think that's been very true with Salim also."
Stoudamire said his relationship with Olson "is the best it's ever been."
"You can ask my teammates. They all think he's always been the hardest on me," Stoudamire said, "but I guess that's because he expects so much of me and wants so much of me. I credit him for pushing me to this day."
Stoudamire's latest benching came against Marquette on Dec. 18, because Olson didn't like the player's attitude after he was held to one shot in the previous game by Utah's box-and-one defense.
"It wasn't good at the time, because I felt bad," Stoudamire said of the benching, "but as far as the long haul, I think it was good because it made me think about things a little deeper."
Stoudamire comes from one of Oregon's best-known basketball families. Cousin Damon was a star at Arizona and plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. His father, Charlie, and uncles, Willie and Tony, played for Portland State. His brother, Antoine, played at Georgetown and Oregon.
Stoudamire acknowledges that he was spoiled growing and has even called himself "kind of a brat."
And he was always his own worst enemy and his severest critic.
Midway through this season, Olson told him and the team that Stoudamire is the best shooter in the country, so he needs to shoot.
"I'm being myself," he said. "I'm not worrying about things, looking to score, not being passive, and not deferring to anyone else."
When fellow senior and friend Channing Frye was asked about Stoudamire's range, he just laughed.
"Range? What range?" Frye said. "His range is forever."
Asked the same question, Stoudamire shrugs.
"I don't look where I am on the court," he said. "I just let it go."
Olson said Stoudamire and Steve Kerr are the best long-range shooters he's coached.
Going into this week's games at Washington State and Washington, Stoudamire has 311 career 3-pointers, seven shy of Jason Gardner's school record of 318 and 12 fewer than the Pac-10 mark of 323 held by Stevin Smith of Arizona State.
Stoudamire is a 47 percent career shooter from 3-point range, tied for second in Division I history. And he's not just a scorer. He can pass, and is perhaps the team's best defender.
But asked how he wants to be remembered, Stoudamire said "as a good person."
"He's a good guy. He's been a good guy all along," Olson said. "He's just been reluctant to show that."