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My wife likes watching college basketball, especially UK. So, that means the few times I am home and not involved with something, I get to watch a little college basketball. In general, it really is more interesting to watch than the NBA because there is more teamwork and less showboating. However, there is one thing I just don't get - why can't these kids make foul shots? These young men are the cream of the crop, but their free throw percentages are often terrible. I mean, when I was in high school we would hang around the gym and shoot foul shots or play horse, and the majority of the time they would go in. Could it be the stress of a crowded arena and the television cameras? Is it that these guys are too busy practicing 3 pointers to work on the basics anymore (definite tuba analogy here)?
Their fingers are sore from all of the slam-dunking they do, in practice and in games.
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I think it's hard to make that kind of blanket statement.
Some kids are shooters, some kids aren't. They are in college, so instead of fans dogging on them for missing shots, it should be a point that the coaches can teach them about and develop them as players.
You're right, there are a lot of tuba analogies -- it's annoying and boring to practice shooting free throws, just like it's annoying and boring to practice scales, articulation exercises, breathing gym stuff, etc. I don't like watching people miss free throws, nor do I like listening to bad tuba playing.
But these people (college bball players, tubists, whatever) are in college, and they owe me nothing.
Foul shots are their "scales". Scales are boring. "Fast" is exhilarating.
I find it interesting that Kentucky hired a coach who has never been to the "Final Four".
Much like Bloke was joking at...
It is a discipline thing. Free throw shooting takes incredible technique and a long, tireless dedication to improvement. In our era of instant gratification the youth does not want to put forth the effort to be good at these things.
Shoeless Wesley Pendergrass
You will be pleased to know that at least where I live the coaches at the schools and colleges do discipline their students/players about free throws. I went to a local college ladies' game last week, and I do believe the home team only missed one free throw all night, and most of them were "nothing but net" clean.
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Foul shots aren't hard, they're just kids/idiots.
The more disturbing part is how no one, referee or coach, seems to enforce proper dribbling. I understand different standards for different age groups, but I see so much carrying I have a hard time not yelling at my refs (I run basketball leagues). Also, the seemingly mandatory phrase "and 1!!!" is the absolute worst phrase in the history of life.
Another one that bothers me... is that they never, EVER enforce the carrying rule. You can't put your hand under the ball. Jeeeebus.
Shoeless Wesley Pendergrass
As far as UK and foul shooting goes, Cal has said in the past that he doesn't do a good job teaching free throws, he's messed some kids' ft shooting up and he just doesn't do it any more. But the team has made over 71% so far this year, and Lamb, Wiltjer, and MKG are north of 80%.
And it's hard to argue with 22-1.
I know you live around Memphis and there's a lot of anger at Cal there. But FWIW you're the last guy I would have expected to have drunk the NCAA's Kool Aid.
No matter what the NCAA says, there is no question that Kentucky defeated UMass, coached by Calipari, in the semifinal game in 1996, and that Memphis lost to Kansas in the championship game in 2008. Unfortunately he happened to have cheating players both of those years, and as a result the NCAA has tried to re-write history. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen: He indisputably had been to two final fours before coming to Kentucky.
(And no, I'm not going to get into an argument about the well-known fact that Calipari was exonerated of any wrongdoing in those situations, and has never been in the slightest difficulty with the NCAA compliance people, unlike, say, Roy Williams.)
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