I wanted a picture of Anthony Davis shooting a free throw, but seeing MKG run to pick Davis up was the coolest part of the game so we’ll use this one. (UK Athletics)
That’s the only explanation I can come up with to justify his significant improvement at the free throw line. Eric Lindsey of CoachCal.com has post outlining Cal’s recent punishment for missed free throws in games: sprints in practice. The team runs one 33 second suicide for every free throw that they miss in a game. Over the last four games, the Cats have hit 98 of 127 from the charity stripe, a rate of 77.2 percent. That upped their season average from 67.8 percent to 71 percent, a jump good enough to move them from the bottom half of the nation in free throw percentage to 92nd in the country. The player who seems to be leading the charge is Anthony Davis.
Davis has hit his free throws at an astounding 90 percent clip over the last four games, connecting on 19 of 21 shots with an impressive 12 of 13 in the game against Louisville. Davis said that his problem was letting one miss affect his next shot. It’s easy to see that he has a smooth stroke fostered in his days as a 6-3 high school guard, but he wasn’t connecting like he knew he could. Now with a little more confidence in his system, Davis continues his amazing growth as a basketball player.
His free throw shooting resurgence especially surprised Rick Pitino, who admitted to trying to send Davis to the line instead of letting him get easy buckets around the rim, “It looked like he was a shaky free-throw shooter and suddenly looked like Jerry West out there,” Pitino said. “I don’t know what happened there.” Hopefully the Jerry West version of Anthony Davis sticks around for a while, because it looks like teams are content to let UK beat them from the foul line. In the past three games, the Cats have shot 37.7 free throws per contest.
I’ll be honest, I’d prefer the Cats never run a sprint in practice again. Let’s keep hitting those freebies.