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Free throws are still a work in progress

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.29.42 AM

The image above was a familiar sight last night. Kentucky went to the line a whopping 46 times against Illinois State, converting on only 29 shots for 63%. That’s obviously not ideal, and, as you might imagine, John Calipari was not pleased, calling UK’s misses “demoralizing.”

“See, it is demoralizing when guys go up and miss four front-end one-and-ones in the first half and we miss 10 free throws,” Cal said. “Four of them front-end one-and-ones. That’s like missing 14 free throws. It is demoralizing. Now you can miss a couple, but you can’t miss them all and expect to be on that court. You just can’t. So, again, self-evaluate, I’m going to get to that line, I’m going to want to be at that line, I’m not going to shoot air balls from the foul line. It’s not going to be who I am.”

Jamal Murray went to the line more than anyone, hitting 9-13 free throws on his way to 16 points. Yesterday, @KentuckyMBB posted this mesmerizing video of Murray practicing free throws at practice:

Knowing Murray, that’s probably a form of meditation.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

9 Comments for Free throws are still a work in progress



  1. Realme
    12:50 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    Don’t we have this extensive conversation about free throw woes early in every season?



  2. Rajonrondo9
    12:59 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    Remember 2014 conversation about free throws? lol



  3. Leuther
    1:10 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    Yes, Cal coached teams have lost at least 2 National Championships due to poor FT shooting – 1 at Memphis and 1 at Ky. It’s a sad matter of public record.

    This team will lose games for that reason also…



  4. kentuckyrld
    1:15 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    At this point it would appear that this years team is better at free throws than last year’s team was at this time.



  5. inside info2
    1:23 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    Our high school coach wouldn’t let us out of practice if each of us didn’t hit at least 7 out of 10. If it took someone more than twice we all had to run. The guys on the team made sure that the poorer shooters practiced and practiced. We didn’t like to run.



  6. BookerK
    1:31 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    After listening to Cal last night contrast free-throw performance in practice and in the games, I think it is largely a mental thing. As noted by TT, Jamal apparently has been a long-time practitioner of Kung-Fu and meditation, and I think that gives him a level of mental toughness and focus that maybe translates to his game performances better. Perhaps Cal should encourage Jamal to help train the other players in some of his basic routines? That seems like it might accomplish two things at once, being brothers keeper and also helping the team to be more focused at the line and able to screen out the circumstances.



  7. Sentient Third Eye
    1:50 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    The best method I’ve ever seen to guarantee improvement in free throw shooting is this simple rule: anyone who has missed two in a row has to shoot them granny-style the rest of the game. Guys will just about kill themselves to avoid having to shoot granny shots.



  8. hal9944
    2:22 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

    wow another negative post by ms tyler thompson! you can be a glass half empty or a glass half full, and it seems she like the half empty glass! BE A POSITIVE WRITER JEEZ!!!



    • Sentient Third Eye
      2:55 pm December 1, 2015 Permalink

      I think you’re off base. This post was legit because clearly the free throw issue is something team and coaches are focusing on. Coach Cal has addressed it several times recently. Murray self-criticized last night after the game on the radio because of his misses. If KSR is trying to get us close to what the team is focusing on, then they are doing a fine job with pieces like this.