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Cats continue to struggle from the line down the stretch

Willie-Cauley-Stein free throw from blacksportsonline

Big Blue Nation has lamented over the free throw struggles from John Calipari teams, especially at the end of games.  After some misses at the line late in the game against Louisville, it has become the biggest complaint from the fan base.  Throughout ‘Camp Cal’ during Christmas Break, Matt has often explained to us just how much practice time they have dedicated to shooting free throws (it’s a lot).

Yesterday they were once again not the best from the free throw line, finishing 13-22 (59.1%).  It isn’t the worst ever but it certainly isn’t good.  If you want to blame it on anything, blame it on the situation: the Cats made their first 7 free throws before going 6-15 to close the game.  When Dakari starts the game off hitting two in a row, all signs pointed to a great game from the free throw line, but for whatever reason the Cats could not remain consistent.

With a rowdy crowd in Fayetteville up next, finishing strong from the line will be more important than ever.  Do you think the Cats can turn it around late in the game?

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

26 Comments for Cats continue to struggle from the line down the stretch

  1. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    11:42 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

    I have always been a fan of Cal–going back to his UMass days. This is typical of Cal coached teams. Lost to Tenn and the title game because of it (just to name a couple). You have to accept that this is the way it will be. Wish it weren’t but it is what it is.

  2. bedford big blue
    11:43 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

    actually NO i dont think they can turn it around….bad free throw shooting teams do not just become good free throw shooting teams..this has nothing to do with practicing them or repetition.. it is what it is… we may have nights where we shoot 80-80% from the line but 60% is our norm.. and we will live and die with that and most likely it will kill us come tournament time or like it has in several games already… dont kill the messenger guys..just telling it like it is

  3. bedford big blue
    11:44 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

    should have said 80-85%..sorry coffee hasnt kicked in yet

  4. Basketball Bennie
    11:45 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

    If they make them in practice, but miss them in games , it must be a lack of focus.

  5. ChicagoCat
    11:48 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

    It just amazes me how many our guards miss. I can take WCS and Dakari missing, that is typical of big men. It’s just incredible how many Aaron Harrison and James Young miss, consistently.

    • ETownCat
      11:53 am January 12, 2014 Permalink


  6. LA
    11:58 am January 12, 2014 Permalink

    if they shoot bad from the line and start slow at arkansas they are going to get smoked. you gotta kick the hogs in the teeth early and tell the crowd to go to hell.

  7. Mark Liptak
    12:24 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    You have almost a half season of evidence telling you they won’t (or can’t) turn free throw shooting around.It’s going to cost them dearly at some point in late March.

    But remember Cal says, “don’t worry about it…” OooooooooKay. (And I’m a Cal fan)

  8. Johnny Basketball
    12:37 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Maybe they should make a tape for each player showing them making free throws in different games,(it will take some editing) as positive reinforcement. This works with other sports, it could not hurt to try.

  9. R L Day
    12:43 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    But remember Cal says, “don’t worry about it…” More of Cal’s snake oil! 60% free throw shooting is lack of form combined with lack of practice. But no need to practice if form is bad…need a coach to correct form. Then practice. practice, practice. I wonder what he thought when he lost a NC because of it????

  10. Mac
    12:50 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    No. The best indicator of future performance is past performance.

  11. Mean Randy
    1:01 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    I highly doubt it.

  12. mashburnfan1
    1:13 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    staying after practice and shooting 100 or whatever free throws is not the answer.
    They MUST be practiced in game like situations and the player must do the same routine they do before each and every free throw. Practice them during scrimmage, game like feel to them. Scrimmage hard a few minutes and stop and have them go to different baskets and shoot 5 free throws but they have to shoot them like they would in a game. For the worst shooters, most of the team I guess, have coaches line up on line to make it as close to game like as possible. Do this during entire practice at all practices.

  13. Hendo Blue
    1:28 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Past Cal team’s performances have absolutely no relevance to this team’s performance at the line. None. It is simply a matter of focus and a lack of confidence, especially with our young guards. They have the stroke. It’s a mental thing, a matter of confidence and focus. I think they’ll get better as we go.

  14. Green River
    2:19 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Do they ever practice shooting throws at Rupp ?

  15. Knows better
    3:03 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    I went to WKU -Georga State game Thursday night. Georga State shot 100% from the free throw line made 22 out of 22. After the the game I congratulated the coach on the free throw shooting. He said it is so important that he teaches it himself.

  16. Kyle Macy
    3:08 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    This picture illustrates why Willie can’t shoot free throws. Notice how the ball is all the way back into his palm. From this grip he just slings it up there like a jai-alai shot. Best shooters shoot the ball from the finger tips with the index finger directly in the back of the ball – then follow through with the index finger drawing the arc of the ball through the hoop.

  17. Paul in Fern Creek
    3:24 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Surely they dont just go through the free throw drills with out coaching. It seems to me a repetitive stroke with focus is the answer. Each player is different but each must repeat his own motion and concentrate. Our players dont seem to do either.

  18. hoss
    3:26 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Is it my imagination or did Billy G’s teams shoot freethrows pretty well, they must have been mentally tough. Thats all it is form and mental toughness

  19. KG
    3:28 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    The story line should have read: Two Cats struggle at the FT line. WCS 1-4, AP 1-3. Everyone else miss one apiece. In my opinion they are improving.

  20. Rick Berry
    4:03 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Practice does not help if you continue bad habits. At times Young just takes the ball and shoots it without a dribble. It is not a case of form as much as it is concentration. You can see the anxiousness in the shots. They are not comfortable. They should take their time and relax at the line. Instead of rushing up and standing at the line, they should back off the line and take a breath before each shot.

  21. KG
    6:15 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    Good points on J.Young #20. I think,also,his FT shooting might improve with a little more arc on his shots.

  22. Issel's two front teeth
    6:59 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

    When I heard Cal trying to explain how he handles players who struggle from the line. It is no wonder the team doesn’t improve! He said he tries to have them shoot a 1940’s set shoot from their chest! What? Get Kyle Macey in the gym and let him improve your team’s free throw percentage, because it is painfully obvious that he can’t teach free throw shooting.

    • Issel's two front teeth
      7:02 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

      ^the team’s free throw shooting

    • Issel's two front teeth
      7:03 pm January 12, 2014 Permalink

      ^Cal can’t teach