Saturday, February 23, 2008

Free Throws

The undefeated #1 Memphis Tigers just lost to the Volunteers from Tennessee. Without taking any credit away from Tennessee for a well played & well coached game, it is disappointing to see a team lose because they are lazy basketball players. To me if you cannot hit free throws its because you are too lazy to work on it. They hit 8-17 [47.1%l] and it truly cost them - arguably the most crucial aspect of the game. It reminds me of the 2003 National Title game when the Jayhawks shot 12-30 [40%] from the charity stripe and cost themselves the game. It is the little things that matter in college sports, and it is frustrating as a college basketball fan to watch these kids who are given EVERYTHING throw up bricks on the line. As a team on the whole season they are shooting just a shade under 59% from the line. If I was Calipari, I would have those boys shooting free throws in practice. They are too talented and too deep to be losing because of a simple fundamental. In their three "almost" losses this year - look at their free throw percentage: 39% against USC, 51.2% against UTEP (including 20 missed!), and 54.5% against UAB. A team with the 4th worst free throwing shooting percentage in college basketball is not going to win the national title. So Rose, Douglas-Roberts, Dozier, and Co...hit the gym and learn to make a free throw. Who knows, with some practice, you might be cutting down the nets come April 7th in San Antonio.