On Shooting Free Throws...

Basketball Writer Gregory Kane was just going through the <b>Overall Big Ten Statistics</b> and was disheartened to find that even after the graduation of free-throw-shooting-challenged <b>Collier Drayton</b> and <b>Tavaras Hardy</b>, <b>Northwestern</b> is still currently LAST in the Big Ten in free-throw shooting:

The Current Statistics:

FREE THROW PERCENTAGES

## Team                  G    FTM   FTA   Pct
 1.Penn State.......... 10    109   142  .768
 2.Wisconsin........... 11    196   259  .757
 3.Iowa................ 10    157   214  .734
 4.Michigan State...... 11    211   288  .733
 5.Ohio State.......... 10    170   235  .723
 6.Illinois............ 10    129   180  .717
 7.Purdue.............. 10    173   243  .712
 8.Minnesota........... 10    185   260  .712
 9.Indiana............. 11    192   272  .706
10.Michigan............ 12    193   274  .704
11.Northwestern........ 10    113   162  .698

Poor free-throw shooting cost the 'Cats at least three games last season. So far this season, poor free-throw shooting has already cost the 'Cats one game against IUPUI.
 
To give credit where credit is due and place blame where blame is due, here's the breakdown of how our 'Cats are doing at the line this season:

Player FT% FTM TTA


Evan Seacat     1.000      5        5
TJ Parker        .818     18       22
Winston Blake    .818     18       22
Davor Duvancic   .800      8       10
Aaron Jennings   .724     21       29
Jason Burke      .625     15       24
Jitim Young      .615     24       39
Jimmy Maley      .444      4        9
Mohamed Hachad   .000      0        2

At this time, it appears as though the nine guys listed above are the nine guys that Wildcats fans will be seeing on the floor 99% of the time this season.

Jitim, in particular, has to get his head straight at the line as he is the Wildcat with the most free-throw opportunities.  Unfortunately, this is partly due to the fact the he is the guy that opposing teams look to
foul when they need to stop the clock.  Jitim was knocking down his free-throws in the exhibition games and early in the season before his free-throw shooting and overall offensive production seemed to go south.

The good news is that free-throw shooting is up over nine percentage points from 60.5 percent last season.  The bad news is that Northwestern obviously should have much more important issues to worry about heading into the Big Ten season than being the worst free-throw shooting team in the conference.

[Gregory Kane covers NU Basketball for Purple Reign. His post game digests appear after every NU Game]
 

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