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Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: Where going to the line for one-and-one is a turnover

Before Kentucky and Vanderbilt tip off tomorrow night in the conference opener for the two teams, fans from both sides will look to the sky and ask the Gods of Basketball to answer one prayer: “Please, in the sacred name of James Naismith, don’t send us to the free throw line.”

Kentucky fans know all about the importance of free throw shooting.  (See Louisville game.)  We let out a collective groan every time Willie Cauley-Stein gets fouled on a dunk attempt or when Nerlens Noel steps to the line for a one-and-one.  I love those guys, I really do, but I have more confidence in BTI losing his virginity backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, to a girl, than I do either of those guys hitting two free throws.  That confidence isn’t any better when Ryan Harrow is at the line, either.  Harrow has only made half of his free throw attempts this season, which is the second-lowest percentage on the team behind Nerlens’ 54.2%.  Kentucky ranks 290th in the nation from behind the stripe.

And then there is Vanderbilt, the Ben Wallace of college basketball.  The Commodores couldn’t be any worse from the foul line if you blindfolded them, spun them in circles for 30 seconds, and raised the rim to 15 feet before each shot attempt.  To see where Vandy ranks nationally, grab a pencil and write down the names of all 345 college basketball teams in Division 1 basketball, erase UC Riverside, and then you have a list of teams with a better free throw percentage on the season.  Vanderbilt is second to last, No. 344 of 345, with an embarrassing 57.9%.

Time and time again, games are won or lost at the free throw line.  If that’s the case tomorrow night, we could be in for the John Isner-Nicholas Mahut showdown of college basketball.  Like Syracuse and Connecticut in ’09 but without the excitement, just uncontested bricks from 15 feet.

With that said, I hope to see Kentucky utilize the Hack-A-‘Dore if things are too close for comfort in the second half.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

19 Comments for Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: Where going to the line for one-and-one is a turnover



  1. RUPPS.rhetoric
    12:44 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    “I love those guys, I really do, but I have more confidence in BTI losing his virginity backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, to a girl, than I do either of those guys hitting two free throws.”

    Gold Drew, solid gold…

  2. maybe Kyle Macy should give thema lesson in how to rub your socks before each free throw!!



  3. random goober
    12:48 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Well the fouls will be called against us, so they’ll get plenty of FT practice tomorrow. Vanderblunder Gym has historically been the road venue having the most ridiculous number of shitty calls on us. I remember a game we lost back in the 90’s where Vandy shot 45 free throws making around 40 of them.



  4. struggler
    12:49 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Have a ticket to the game – looking forward to seeing the Cats live – very excited. I have been to several Vandy games this season (live in Nashville and seeing as how Vandy isn’t very good this year – tickets are easy to come by). Vandy is by far the worst team I have seen here in the years I have attended games. I always fear this foul/free throw strategy by the other team – but if you are playing the 5 – you better learn to hit FT’s (this level or the next). Honestly – Vandy only has one true 5 player – very soft – and should be dominated all night by NN and WCS. Their guard play (and a freakish John Jenkins from 3 percentage) seems their only hope, and that is often disappointing and out of control. Anything can happen – but the Cats should roll. Butler just embarassed Vandy (R Clarke did have a big night), a very disciplined team that makes few mistakes. Go Cats!



  5. sup
    1:15 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Someone’s probably already pointed this out, but according to Jason King at the worldwide leader.com, we’re playing the Volunteers in Knoxville. Hope Cal has them reading the right scouting report and watching the right film.



  6. Where
    1:36 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t you mean we’re???



  7. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    1:42 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    #7 – Nope, I don’t believe he does.

    Great post, Drew!



  8. a victim of charity
    1:48 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Guarantee you Vandy hits at least 10 threes and shoots at least 75% from the FT line.

    .

  9. WOO-HOO! WE’RE NOT LAST!!!

  10. Oh, and thanks for stealing my screen name (sorta) #2!



  11. R U SURE?
    2:38 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    You say Ryan Harrow only makes 1/2 of his ft’s? I thought I heard he was a 90%+ ft shooter!



  12. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    3:01 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    #12 – He’s 8 – 16. I’ll let you do the math.



  13. goldfinger
    3:23 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    If we are to advance in the ncaa’s we must improve our free throw percentage, and for Harrow our point guard to shoot at 50 percent is unbelievable. He needs to be at least in the low 70’s minimal. Free throw percentage is the most crucial area for improvement on our team now, and just demonstrates how today’s players comming out of high school focus on fancy dunks, (which give no more points) and then they forget about fundamentals. I still remember N.C State beating Phi Slamma Jamma for the championship, by fouling with 5 minutes to go, and Houston probably shot free throws better than U.K.



  14. struggler
    3:25 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Vandy will def shoot the 3 ball… hot and cold with that this year statistically (.355 on the year) – but there is no John Jenkins type shooter. Young team – If UK comes in confident and pounding inside – I see no answer Vandy has. Very slow at the 4 and 5 especially. Never know if the refs will insert themselves into the game (recall D. Cousins getting whistled on the first Vandy posession when he played here) – but this really should not be close.



  15. jaws2
    3:41 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    If this game is close, our guys have not improved or learned anything in the past three weeks. No excuses.



  16. duh
    8:02 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    oldschool=old fool



  17. Flippy23
    9:05 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Drew…..that’s funny shit



  18. Chuckles
    9:24 pm January 9, 2013 Permalink

    Yo this is a test.