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How to deal with free throw shooting

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    Baltimore Blowfish Pras's Avatar
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    Default How to deal with free throw shooting

    Interested in hearing people's basketball thoughts.

    While we were poor from the line last night, we weren't that far below our season average. I have no doubt Miller will be working on this for March, and while I think some improvement will definitely occur, it seems unrealistic that we'll magically jump 10-15% from the line. In a sense, we are what the numbers say we are.

    So if you accept that free throw shooting is a weakness, how do you deal with that in terms of game plan and strategy? 1 and 1's are obviously a decent chance at a turnover for us. My first thought is that we need to be in the double bonus by the end of the game. And the best way to accomplish that is by being aggressive early in the second half, attacking the basket, and putting the defense in situations where they will foul. If we were in the double bonus I have no doubt Nick and AG would have iced the game before the final play.

    Much was made of our jump shooting last night, particularly to start the game. I think the biggest downside is that it let's the defense off the hook. When we feed Zeus on lob entry passes, there seems to be a high percentage of fouls (mainly thinking of the Duke game). When AG or Rondae get an offensive board, they seem to draw a lot of contact. Nick is also great at drawing fouls while dribbling thanks to the new rules.

    I think foul trouble in general plagued us last night, especially since AG and Rondae picked up some charges for being out of control. Everyone was mindful of not picking up a charge, which also limits our ability to create contact and draw fouls.

    I see no problem in having a weakness, every team we play will have more of them than us. But I do think we need to account for that weakness in a general sense. It seems like we should be able to draw 7-8 fouls in the first 15 minutes of the second half, which would prevent teams from taking advantage at the end.
    "It's all basketball oriented," Aaron Gordon on why he chose Arizona.

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    Solid Player Fried Sushi's Avatar
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    The question is how do you fix such a mental issue, which is really why we're suffering from the line at this point?

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    Chi-City Chronic SCDave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Pras View Post
    My first thought is that we need to be in the double bonus by the end of the game. And the best way to accomplish that is by being aggressive early in the second half, attacking the basket, and putting the defense in situations where they will foul. If we were in the double bonus I have no doubt Nick and AG would have iced the game before the final play.
    I couldn't agree more. If Arizona is not in the double bonus by the 2-3 minute mark of the 2nd half then it is a clear indication they were not aggressive enough earlier in the half. Knowing you have two shots takes a lot of pressure off the shooter. And I think the team could improve their free throw shooting to at least get it to a respectable 70%. Anymore than that is unrealistic.

    Offensively, last night was just "weird" to me. For most of the game it seemed the players made ass-backward decisions with the ball. When they should have driven to the basket, they settled for a jump shot. When they should have taken a pull up/jump shot, they drove into traffic and charges. It was one poor decision after another. I hope they can settle down, run the offense and be smart and unselfish once again.

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    Seattle Silver Foxes UA_in_FL's Avatar
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    With the way fouls are called this year, it should be a good strategy for both AG and RHJ to keep drawing contact, WHILE UNDER CONTROL! I like the way Zeus, NJ, and TJ are playing, they shouldn't change. I think Brash is doing good on offense as well. As I think you mentioned earlier, pump fakes by Gabe and slashing to the basket should help him. But AG and RHJ can create havoc on the other teams big men with their inside skills, athleticism, and aggressiveness.

    FTs, in fact a lot of basketball shooting, is muscle memory. I don't see that changing much to the end of the year, but if they work on it over the summer like Fogg and Dwill did, their shooting will improve (which will be too late for us with AG but hopefully not RHJ).

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    Wildcat Fan AZwildcatz's Avatar
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    To start the 2nd half in the majority of our first 12-15 games we went down low over and over again. This caused me to believe we were a "second half team." I still believe we are. But we have gone away from that. This team doesn't need to take jump shots in the first five minutes of the second half unless one of our "shooters" are wide open or it's an inside-out pass.

    Dump it down low to zeus, Gordon, and Ashley over and over and watch the fouls add up early. This will also open up our shooters and ability to drive. If they zone us, then get it to the free throw line (where Jefferson or Ashley should be receiving the ball) or set screens for johnson and TJ and let them penetrate and kick or penetrate and hit those 15 footers. Either way we seem to get open shots and accumulate fouls.

    In all, the only guys that are bad at shooting FT's are RHJ and AG. I welcome the rest of the team to go to the line. It's pretty obvious that neither will be in the game at the end when it's close. A couple missed FT's with 15 minutes to go shouldn't break us if we do these other things well offensively.

    Finally, these guys have to get through the mental block they have right now. Especially AG.

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    Desert Diamond Cardsharks Deb's Avatar
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    Arizona is not the only top team struggling from the line - just for the heck of it, I checked the other top ten teams free throw percentage.

    AZ is shooting at 66.2%.

    Syracuse is at 69.1% - Florida is at 66.9% - Mich St at 69.3% - and San Diego St at 64.9%.
    I always think we're gonna' win

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    Seattle Silver Foxes Applequest's Avatar
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    Nick, TJ, Gabe, Brandon and Zeus combine to shoot an excellent 76%.

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    Norcal Ninjas bengcord3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FREAK View Post
    The question is how do you fix such a mental issue, which is really why we're suffering from the line at this point?
    do you really think it's a mental thing with AG, though? I think it's an awful shooting stroke thing, personally. The kind of shooting stroke that should literally be broken down and he should be taught a completely different shooting stroke...like, RIGHT NOW

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    Stereotypical Asian Guy AztecWildcat's Avatar
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    Default How to deal with free throw shooting

    I've never played a lick of organized competitive BB in my life so feel free to tell me to shut up if this is a stupid theory.

    Is it possible the reason Aaron Gordon doesn't make FTs during a game compared to practice is because he's exerting way more energy during a game compared to practice?

    I can only imagine how fast his heart is pumping and his breath is racing after being a lock down defender, shot blocker, and rebounder.
    I blame ESPN, PAC-12 Network, Larry Scott, East Coast Bias, Direct TV, Dish Network, The Honda Center, PAC-12 Refs, and Mark Lyons

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    Seattle Silver Foxes Don't Pay the Choll Toll's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AztecWildcat View Post
    I've never played a lick of organized competitive BB in my life so feel free to tell me to shut up if this is a stupid theory.

    Is it possible the reason Aaron Gordon doesn't make FTs during a game compared to practice is because he's exerting way more energy during a game compared to practice?

    I can only imagine how fast his heart is pumping and his breath is racing after being a lock down defender, shot blocker, and rebounder.
    With the amount of minutes he is playing, no. I played basketball my whole life, and while I am no means anywhere near AG or anyone else on our teams talent level, fatigue only is an issue for FT's when youre just completely gassed. But AG misses FT's at all points in the game so thats not a real excuse.

    Theres really only 2 reasons to miss a FT. Form and Mental. Everyone on our team (that gets minutes) has fine form, so its really all in their head. The tricky thing about that is, you really cant even press it too much because then the guys go to the line thinking "dont miss dont miss dont miss". They really just have to go to the line with confidence, and quite honestly not everyone has that ability.

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    Stereotypical Asian Guy AztecWildcat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Pay the Choll Toll View Post
    With the amount of minutes he is playing, no. I played basketball my whole life, and while I am no means anywhere near AG or anyone else on our teams talent level, fatigue only is an issue for FT's when youre just completely gassed. But AG misses FT's at all points in the game so thats not a real excuse.

    Theres really only 2 reasons to miss a FT. Form and Mental. Everyone on our team (that gets minutes) has fine form, so its really all in their head. The tricky thing about that is, you really cant even press it too much because then the guys go to the line thinking "dont miss dont miss dont miss". They really just have to go to the line with confidence, and quite honestly not everyone has that ability.
    I see. Thanks for the insight.
    I blame ESPN, PAC-12 Network, Larry Scott, East Coast Bias, Direct TV, Dish Network, The Honda Center, PAC-12 Refs, and Mark Lyons

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    Chi City Chronic Esq's Avatar
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    How many of you guys golf?

    How many times have you needed to sink a putt for a birdie, and focused, read the green, took practice strokes, and then missed wildly with terrible form? How many times have you just set up behind a putt without giving too many ****s and knocked it down? Walking up to a putt without confidence will not end well a majority of the time.

    FT's are akin to putting. If you fail to go up there with confidence, or let too much **** get into your head, you're setting yourself up for failure.

    AG needs to clear his mind, walk up their with 10 lb balls, and just knock it down. It's that simple.

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    Solid Player Fried Sushi's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bengcord3 View Post
    do you really think it's a mental thing with AG, though? I think it's an awful shooting stroke thing, personally. The kind of shooting stroke that should literally be broken down and he should be taught a completely different shooting stroke...like, RIGHT NOW
    Yes, it's a mental issue. He hits shots outside of games with no problems. He reminds most of Shawn Marion for more reasons than one, but that shooting stroke of his works for him when he's not mind ****ing himself much like Marion's did for him.

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    Baltimore Blowfish Palpalife's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to deal with free throw shooting

    Dwight Howard is an excellent ft shooter in practice. Its been profiled more than once. Its absolutely mental. Maybe he needs to Hank gathers it and go lefty

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    Fundamentals are not being honored.
    I have no idea how coaches haven't addressed some obvious (to me) flaws in our shooting.
    I'll start with FT's, but it goes beyond that.
    Rhythm and Repetition after solid fundamental are taught.
    "Shimmy away!" kills me... When you start relying on gimmicks to cure your broke ass shot, you are just wasting time instead of improving your game.
    I was taught dominate leg slightly forward, bring the ball to the slot (between body center line and inside dominate shoulder above what some of you know as your moob), shoot down target line and hold release. After that, it's just Rhythm and Repetition.
    If you watch Bunnies, he now brings the ball up on his pre-release in a counter clockwise motion that has ****ed up his shot and timing. It also causes a side spin on his shot when it gets real bad.
    AG has a decent stroke but he is firing hard darts.
    Instead of putting the ball on the rim, he is firing at the rim.
    Watch Gabe Yorks quick trigger... it's the best on the team.
    Last edited by GulfCoastCat; 01-30-2014 at 08:50 PM.

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    Wildcat Fan titan4wildcats's Avatar
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    Since Aaron makes FT's so well in practice, it would seem that the best way for him to start making them in the games is to get him to think/believe when he walks up to the line, he's in practice. Sounds ridiculous I know. But what else can you do? With Rondae I would convince him to square up more to the basket. I know that's the way he's shot for a long time, but you can see what that causes. He missed a shot, I believe it was in the Stanford game, that went so far to his right it barely hit the rim on that side. My very first thought was that if he had turned slightly more to his left, that would have gone straight in. Very few good basketball players shoot with their body at an angle to the basket. There must be a reason for that.

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    Originally Posted by AztecWildcat View Post
    I've never played a lick of organized competitive BB in my life so feel free to tell me to shut up if this is a stupid theory.

    Is it possible the reason Aaron Gordon doesn't make FTs during a game compared to practice is because he's exerting way more energy during a game compared to practice?

    I can only imagine how fast his heart is pumping and his breath is racing after being a lock down defender, shot blocker, and rebounder.
    coaches make it a point to practice FTs, in practice, when the players are gassed. after running sprints, or an intense drill, etc, etc. the point being to be able to simulate that exact experience/feeling, of being tired and needing to hit FTs.
    "if you're not bearin down, i dont know whatcha doin"

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    Wildcat Fan thecatsmeow's Avatar
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    Easiest way to improve is make the players step up to the line and shoot one handed in 'waiter' drill fashion. Forces proper mechanics and takes away all their years of horrible mechanics due to coaches in youth ball that no longer focus on fundamentals.

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    Wildcat Fan AridZonaWldCat's Avatar
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    Just for info:

    The 97 NC team shot 66% FT's that year.

    BTFD

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    Aztec Warriors ArizonaSting's Avatar
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    AIR GORDON

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    Aztec Warriors ArizonaSting's Avatar
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    Being a basketball player myself, I can relate to this. My sophomore year in HS I shot 62 percent from the FT line which is horrible considering I'm actually a pretty solid shooter. It had nothing to do with my form or conditioning or anything like that. I started off the season missing my first 5 or 6 FT's and just couldn't get out of that funk mentally throughout the entire season.

    My junior and senior year I shot around 80 percent and the only difference was just having more confidence and getting into a groove and expecting the ball to go in.

    I know it may sound dumb, but FT's are about 70 percent mental (huge to have confidence), 20 percent form, 10 percent conditioning. It's one thing to make FT's in practice or just shooting around, but when you're exerting all your energy on the court throughout the entire game it will catch up to you and it's completely different in-game. You can practice all you want, but it truly won't do much DURING the season.

    Fortunately for us, it's only AG and Rondae struggling at the line and they are just freshmen and not known for their shooting anyways. All it's going to take is for them to have a few good FT shooting games in a row to build up that confidence, once they do that (if they do that) then we'll see better results.
    AIR GORDON

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    Wildcat Fan oouchh's Avatar
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    As someone said, learn to start making free throws, but that isn't likely to happen. That's an issue for the off season. Sure you might see minor improvements during the season, and any improvement would be helpful,but major adjustment take too much time and are too distracting. With that said, I like the way they dealt with it at Stanford......don't let the other team score. I don't know that I've ever seen any reasonably good team held to 4 point over 10 minutes, late in a game, when they had been playing well enough to be winning.

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    Oouchh... It wasn't 10 min but Arizona vs Illinois in 05....

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    here's a question for the group... it's been proven that an underhand shot is much easier to replicate over and over and over so why isn't it used more? Is it a thing about it not being manly enough or something like that or is it something that coaches want you to use the same shot from the line that you use from the field? I'm not saying its for everyone and can understand guys not wanting to get laughed at but when you shoot 45% from the line, guess what, people are already laughing at you. Don't you think you should at least TRY and mix it up with something that's scientifically easier to do? Where the **** is Rick Berry when you need him?!
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    Wildcat Fan arizona_pausch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Applequest View Post
    Nick, TJ, Gabe, Brandon and Zeus combine to shoot an excellent 76%.
    This is all fine and dandy until the end of the game when two of our best defenders, AG and RHJ, are going to be all over the ball....you can't take them out and you can't play them on sub par offensive players. They just need to suck it up and make a shot, they did it earlier in the year in big games...they can do it, just need to get the first few to go and then it's all good. You could totally see AG's confidence in any sort of shot drop unless it was at the rim, bottom line...they just have to make them, you can't teach these guys to make FT's at this point.

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    Solid Player Fried Sushi's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Papadeuce View Post
    here's a question for the group... it's been proven that an underhand shot is much easier to replicate over and over and over so why isn't it used more? Is it a thing about it not being manly enough or something like that or is it something that coaches want you to use the same shot from the line that you use from the field? I'm not saying its for everyone and can understand guys not wanting to get laughed at but when you shoot 45% from the line, guess what, people are already laughing at you. Don't you think you should at least TRY and mix it up with something that's scientifically easier to do? Where the **** is Rick Berry when you need him?!
    Well folks it's officially gotten to that point.

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    Wildcat Fan Statfreak101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MOWildcat View Post

    Ouch is right!

    Ban this guy.

    Now.

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    Originally Posted by Papadeuce View Post
    here's a question for the group... it's been proven that an underhand shot is much easier to replicate over and over and over so why isn't it used more? Is it a thing about it not being manly enough or something like that or is it something that coaches want you to use the same shot from the line that you use from the field? I'm not saying its for everyone and can understand guys not wanting to get laughed at but when you shoot 45% from the line, guess what, people are already laughing at you. Don't you think you should at least TRY and mix it up with something that's scientifically easier to do? Where the **** is Rick Berry when you need him?!
    Tranny: "SimonSaysSweetNothingsInSDRBlowUpDollsAreMyFavori te'sEars"

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    Get the Illinois garbage out of here. I'm still sick about that game.

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    Deuce, it's a great way to get noticed by the scouts.

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