(I know, I know. Nobody wants to talk about basketball right now.)
If there's one thing that's guaranteed in the game of basketball, it's the logistics of a free throw. When a player goes to the line after being fouled, they're always going to be fifteen feet away from a ten foot basket, standing behind a twelve foot line.
Yet, why has it been so hard, historically, for Oregon State to make baskets under these circumstances?
"To win the big games you must get to the Free Throw line, and then you must make them."
--Rick Majerus, Saint Louis Head Coach
Over the last eleven years, the Beavers have only ranked under 100 nationally in free throw shooting three times. The Beavers shot 72.7% in 2000-2001, but things hit rock bottom when Oregon State shot 53.4% from the charity stripe two seasons ago. The Beavers have ranked over 225th nationally six times over the last eleven.
In last week's exhibition opener, Craig Robinson's team shot 51.7% from the line, missing a total of fourteen free throws. In the second exhibition against Concordia, the Beavers improved to 72.7% from the free throw line, leaving six points on the court.
Last year alone, the Beavers missed 236 foul shots over the course of 27 games
Now, granted, Oregon State hasn't assembled the greatest teams over this stretch. But a player doesn't need to be a superstar to make most of their free throws. Why can't we make them?
Whichever choice you vote for in the poll below, I would be interested to hear in the comments if you think Oregon State's free throw/shooting percentage will improve under Craig Robinson.
(image via Big Sky Shootout)