Two Questions

First, are we back to the key problem being no point guard to control the show? I know it is an old story, but this team was playing well when Macon was dishing the ball off. The whole idea of bringing him in off the bench totally derails his leadership role. Barford and Beard are not close to being point guards nor are any of the other guards.

Second, did I really read that CMA said foul shooting should a special mission by each individual to get better? If so that does not seem to working coach. It appears they need to be practicing those an hour a day. I assume it is a skill that in most cases can be learned if prioritized? Does anyone that goes to practice know how much they practice free throws each day?

Are you saying they should use an hour of the team practice to shoot free throws?

I"ve been harping on this for a while. While better FT shooting would not have won the game last night, 40% on 15 attempts is unacceptable.

That’s how I read it as well.

The coaches only have so much time they can spend with the players each week installing a game plan, going over scouting reports, etc. Mike is right about this, in my opinion. If you want to be a better free throw shooter, you have to put in the work on your own time.

Exactly. The allowed NCAA practice time allowed per week isn’t much. Spending an hour per practice shooting FTs would be an extremely ineffective use of the little time they are allowed.

Those teams shooting high 70%'s to mid 80%'s on ft’s have discovered a system for it to be accomplished. We typically look for excuses as opposed to answers.

We have a brand new practice facility that all players have access to. I don’t think it’s too much to ask guys to give up an hour of video games to practice free throws.

Doesn’t seem like the time devoted to game plan & scouting reports are paying off so might as well use it for FT’s

Doesn’t seem like the time devoted to game plan & scouting reports are paying off so might as well use it for FT’s

Does the current system appear to be working for this team? They lost a game this season based on the number of free throws that were missed. There was whining about the refs, but the numbers showed they missed enough shots to win the game.
I asked clearly if free throw shooting was something that can be coached. You have no answer for that, but go straight to the they have so much to do and only so much time card.
Something needs to be done. If that is what needs the attention then one practice a week that is what they should do.
Of course if you are saying it cannot be taught then I find that hard to believe.
I see very little of an organized offense or defense on the team right now. So it is not like that practice of game plans and scouting reports is working. The team looks lost and lacking confidence, not like a well coached team.
So do you just let free throw shooting go? Do you sit the guys that can’t hit theirs? Or do you just keep doing what you doing and hope the players will suddenly get it?

Of course you don’t let it go, but you can’t spend an hour coaching it every day when you only get two hours with the players.

There is only so much a coach can do to teach free throws, in my opinion, and the onus to improve in that area falls on the individual. When I played basketball, I shot hundreds of free throws a day on my own time. A coach can offer pointers and critique technique, but it’s kind of like a golf swing - the only way it is going to get better is with hours of repetition, building muscle memory. The coaches don’t have all the hours to spend that it takes to get free throw mechanics worked out.

Matt, I’m gonna piggyback off both sides here for a second. When Kikko was here, he would go to the gym and shoot, even when no one else was there. When Bobby and that class arrived, he grabbed them and took them with him. I agree with what someone else said, I see these guys talking about video games a LOT, however I don’t see coaches (Matt Zimmerman used to show pics of the guys being in the gym trying to improve) or players talking about being in the gym working on their game on their “off time.” Is it a lack of leadership (6 SR’s should be doing what Kikko did)?

I think player leadership - or a lack thereof - is a fair question to raise right now. I do not know how much time these players spend in the gym outside of practice.

You are right about Kikko and he did it before the practice facility was opened. Matt Zimmerman raved about the extra time Kikko would spend in the gym. This is from a story I wrote on Kikko a few years ago:

Zimmerman often called Haydar during the off-season to ask if he wanted to take advantage of open gym hours. Sometimes Kikko would have too much going on, but would usually show up even if he was the only one on the floor.

“You would look at these hard, hard, hard classes he had and he was up here so much, even on a Saturday afternoon in April or May,” Zimmerman said. “I’d ask him, ‘Kikko, when are you getting all this stuff done?’ He was doing it at night or doing it early in the morning.”

“My parents instilled the idea in me that to get ahead I had to work hard, outwork my competitors and put in time when others wouldn’t,” Haydar said. “From the basketball aspect, when people were out partying or going to Dickson Street, I was in the gym. When people were sleeping or going to bed, I was studying. I kind of took pride in doing that when others wouldn’t.” … c-student/

No. No one is saying let FTs go. Everyone is saying the players have to work on it outside of practice. That’s what MA said. That’s what we and every other program do.

The reason is they aren’t allowed enough organized practice time to devote an hour a day to it. Not even close. That’s why no one does it.

As a practical matter FT shooting is as Matt described. You can get better through repetition and eliminating glaring bad technique but to think that it is something that can be fixed in the little time they have is not realistic.

It’s an individual responsibility. MA could sit poor FT shooters in favor of better FT shooters. That might help some but they seem pretty similar to me outside of Gafford (poor end) and Macon (good end).