This late in the season, Is there a fix for bad free throw shooting?

  • KU ranks last in B12, and 332nd in D1.

    For those on this site who played in organized ball and/or college ball, Is there a fix ? Bring in a free throw coach especially for our starters who are shooting low percentage FTs? Does it really matter at this point in improving our tournament chances?

  • @Bosthawk Yes, just shoot 'em. Do it enough, they should get better.

    I mean the FTs, not the players…

  • @Bosthawk

    The problem starts and ends with Jackson.

    For Jackson the issue should have been corrected when he got here and worked on from there. I’m really not sure repetition is the key with him, there is clearly some mechanic issues they need to fix on his shot. Having said that, I expected him to be better in clutch time and he hasn’t. The only area of his game I’ve been frustrated with.

  • @mayjay

    If he has the correct technique, repetitions will help; however, if he is using poor technique repetitions will not help. Many time when the technique is correct and still not shooting at least 70%, then the problem wold more likely be mental.

  • 332 ??

    Wow - we’ve come up a ways from the last time i saw the stats…

  • KT said he does well in practice.

  • @mayjay I know many , many , many , moons ago way back when I was in School, we had a real good shooting pct, at the end of every practice coach would have each player shoot 100 free throws, for every free throw we missed - -we had to run a lap, umm didn’t take long before vastly improved as a team - -every now and then he would switch it up - -change to every one we missed was a sprint - -maybe they need to do that - -makes you focus much better. - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • I thought on a replay it looked like JJ’s eyes darted to the right just as he shot (clanked) one of his free-throws. Pretty sure no one teaches that technique.

    Plus, he’s shooting from his chest, flipping it with his wrist, standing flat footed, plus a million other form issues.

  • @Bosthawk Really, it’s time for JJ to just start shooting them like a jump shot. Swallow his pride, take a step back from the line and shoot it like a wide open shot. His form is so bad that getting a good angle on his shot with no lift from his legs is friggen impossible.

  • This late in the season, Is there a fix for bad free throw shooting?


    I can go out in my driveway and shoot free throws RIGHT NOW and if i do it consistently I will improve. I could probably improve my FT % by 40% (or more) by shooting for two hours.

    Although, it would help if i had a basketball goal in my driveway.

  • Sports Hypnosis. - Saw this online. Under Services they feature Sports Hypnosis. Hit 100 out of 100.


  • @Bosthawk

    In a nutshell… YES.

    The largest culprit of bad FT shooting is Josh. Part of us improving as a team in FT% is to structurally reduce the opportunities for Josh to go to the line.

    For one thing… when we are in the bonus (1-and-1) we need to be careful on when Josh handles the ball. It’s best that he is driving to the hole so at least can get 2 shots, and often an “and-one.”

    But also Josh can improve his FT shooting to some degree. It is too late to drastically change his form, which is bad. But he can work on repetitions and develop a regiment. By always doing the same thing, he can improve his %. First thing for him to do is try a few things to see if it makes a difference.

    Here is an example…

    He should pause and focus about the same time every time he takes a FT. Watch what he does now. Sometimes he steps up to the line and he shoots the ball very quickly after receiving it. Other times, he pauses. So which is it?

    In his case, I bet he would do better to take more time at the line so he can better focus.

    His form is bad. We used to call that “pushing” the ball. Guys who don’t get the ball up high enough in their form look like they are pushing the ball, or throwing the ball almost like a 2-handed pass.

    I can’t believe we didn’t work on fixing his form. He would already be showing huge improvements. All he is doing now is instilling a bad habit to take with him to the NBA. Simply stated… he WON’T be able to keep that form in the league. He’ll get it blocked a million times.

    Svi knows better. He needs to put in the reps at the FT line like he puts in the reps from the trey line. He also needs a bit more of a regimented routine at the line. He should be shooting 90%.

  • In watching him shoot free throws I have noticed the same thing about him taking his time on some freebies and not others. He makes a higher percentage when he takes his time I believe although I have not went back and totaled them up. His form also changes at times he does get the ball up higher, not often, and his release looks pretty nice when he does. Not seen that enough to have a feeling on percentage.

    I believe a lot of this is concentration and confidence, there have been times in late game situations he’s made several in a row in a tight situation. Probably his drive to win comes out then and he’s so focused on winning it overcomes his “nerves” or whatever you want to call it.

    You are right, if he can’t get a handle on this it’s going to hurt him down the road.

  • Isn’t it mostly mental at this point with Josh? He can hit them in practice, but in a game it’s a different story. Sometimes he looks really uncomfortable up there.

  • Make anyone shooting less than 65% (lookin at you Jackson, Lightfoot, Coleby, Landen and Svi) shoot it Granny style.

    And if it doesn’t improve their stats right away, they’ll at least be embarrassed enough to work on their standard technique! 😝

  • Just shooting, it’s all technique and muscle memory. You did not want to miss ft at our practices back in the day. I spent Christmas break as a junior pretty much perfected my ft stroke. I seldom play BB anymore but last time I did with my nephew I still hit 8/10 not even picking up a ball in months. Our coach called you lazy if you couldn’t make the free ones. He played college ball and shot 94% for his career at the line. Still holds records for most made in a game, most in a row (was 70 something) and career percentage. We would have to out shoot him or run and guess what? In the 3 years he coached us I never saw him miss a ft, no joke.

  • At this point these guys have shot so many FTS. I just have to think it comes down to mental as much as anything. I mean they’ve spent years of their lives for the most part shooting more FTS in a month than most ppl will in their lifetime. It has to be 90 plus percent mental at this point

  • Kusports ran an article on it. They think its mostly mental with him. Says he shoots 90% in practice.

    His 3 point % increased when he stopped thinking about it. Maybe he should get the ball at the line and just shoot it. Jack Gibbs at Davidson shoots it immediately after getting it, he’s like 80%.

  • @Bosthawk


  • @jaybate-1.0 I know you don’t believe that !

  • @nuleafjhawk said:

    This late in the season, Is there a fix for bad free throw shooting?


    I can go out in my driveway and shoot free throws RIGHT NOW and if i do it consistently I will improve. I could probably improve my FT % by 40% (or more) by shooting for two hours.

    Although, it would help if i had a basketball goal in my driveway.

    Your practicing in your driveway without a basketball goal would probably still make you a free throw shooter than JJ.

  • Free throws for me were always about confidence. You have to believe that its going in. Whether your form is good or not if you’re confident and spend time visualizing the ball going through the hoop you will improve.

  • If Townsend speaks true in declaring that Josh hits his FTs in practice, then I predict that occasionally he will shock an opponent or two by successfully hitting the vast majority of those shots in big game situations. If we advance to the Elite 8, and Josh is yet not showing steady success at the line, an opposing coach with a strong bench can be counted upon to target him with fouls. I envision Josh Jackson rising to such a challenge. He might not do so in back to back situations, but he is too competitive not to make someone pay for underestimating his determination. The kid is as exciting to watch as any player in the Bill Self era.

  • @REHawk

    Townsend says in a game the pressure is different for Josh then in practice. So mentally Josh is getting nervous and not being “free”. I really wonder if they will try and either slow down his routine or speed up his routine. Without bending his knee’s it seems the inconsistency we’ve seen all season is just the way its going to be. We need him to finish the rest of the season hitting 60+%, not 40%

  • @BeddieKU23 I wonder if he bends his knees when he hits those freebies in practice.

  • @REHawk Good point. Short free throws are almost always because of not using their legs. I just wish josh would follow through, he does quick flip.

    Svi doesn’t make sense to me at all.

  • I think it is more than pressure. Practicing FTs often is in the midst of “dead time”, before or after shoot arounds, sometimes on their own after practice. Game situations involve having to stop heart-thumping action and attempt to calm down, focus, and draw on muscle memory in a comparatively motionless situation.

    I would have them run up and down the court (separately), and then shoot 2 within 10 seconds. Anyone not making both gets to do it again. And so forth.

  • @BeddieKU23

    There are so many possible working routines from the line.

    Here is another idea.

    BEFORE he receives the ball from the ref, he should set his feet and take an “air shot.”

    A lot of guys that get nervous before shooting have added this into their routine. It already puts his repetitive form in use before taking the shot. It addresses having the mind imagine taking the shot so his focus is already working before he receives the ball.

    If that doesn’t work… try something else.

    He is nervous on the line. That is impacting his focus. He’s probably trying to not stiffen up. But instead of just hurrying up the shot to prevent stiffness, he should have a routine where he is moving his arms and body (a bit), so he is staying loose while going through a focus process.

    I’m pretty sure some kind of moving routine before he shoots may help him lift his percentage.

  • Coach Self said it best - he thinks about it too much which is why he shoots jumpers well and shoots free throws well in practice. I don’t know what will help him relax the most, but I hope he finds it soon.

  • Interestingly this question was asked early in the season and some believed that the problem would fix itself somehow or another. I didn’t buy it. It’s a done deal. We’re a bad FT shooting team. We have been all year and we will continue to be so.

    The other night when KSU was coming back against us and had accumulated so few fouls I was wondering why they didn’t employ the hack a Shaq strategy. I mean why not? Even if we go to the bonus and double bonus, KSU had so many fouls to give we could have had a parade of guys going to the line shooting 60% and we just may have lost that game.

  • @wissox Jackson is the main culprit for the bad percentage. According to the coaches, he shoots 90% in practice.

  • @nuleafjhawk


    This is a radical idea, but invite 7 junior high players from the state of Kansas that can make 8 of 10 free throws. Make it a big publicized tryout. Call it “THE SELF HAS HAD IT WITH LOUSY FREE THROWING TRYOUT.”

    The seven kids picked get to stay with the team for a week. Pair each one with our seven rotation guys at practice for a week. Each day the pairs of players have to shoot 10 sets of ten FTs. Whoever wins the most sets each day gets to eat steak and watch porn, while the loser has to eat Brussels Sprouts with baloney and nitrites and HAS to watch C-SPAN coverage of congress.

    The winner must walk the campus wearing a KU sweat shirt that reads: “I am a firm, sensitive and dramatic lover that does not need the fractionation seduction technique.” The loser has to wear a KSU sweat shirt that reads: “I have a small penis and cannot satisfy even a lonely woman on a desert island.”

    The winner gets to sleep in a bed. The loser has to sleep on the floor at the winner’s feet in a sleeping bag.

    The winner gets to sleep in. The loser has to get up at 5 AM and run a set of stairs, then come back and serve the winner breakfast in bed.

    I guaranty the above will improve KU FREE THROW SHOOTING more than any other solution!

    (Note: all fiction. No malice. Make Free Throws.)

  • @drgnslayr What is Rick Barry up to now a days? Maybe a visit from Barry would really help. His son is an amazing free throw shooter at 89% shooting underhanded. JJ is just too good to be mentally monkeying with the easiest part of the game.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I don’t think it’s legal to allow 11-14 year olds to watch porn as a prize. Not saying junior high kids don’t watch porn because I work at a junior high and some of the conversations and notes I’ve heard/read are truly disturbing. I’m just pretty sure it’s not legal for an adult like coach Self to provide porn for kids. Also not the best PR move either, especially considering the McCarthy Hall investigation.

    I like the overall premise, but maybe some other reward besides porn to go with the steak.

  • @BeddieKU23 said:

    Kusports ran an article on it. They think its mostly mental with him. Says he shoots 90% in practice.

    His 3 point % increased when he stopped thinking about it. Maybe he should get the ball at the line and just shoot it. Jack Gibbs at Davidson shoots it immediately after getting it, he’s like 80%.

    So was Brannen Green. Frickin awesome to watch. The refs better be ready when you hand him the ball. 'Cause he’s gonna shoot it immediately.

  • I don’t think you want to try to change a players shot who is only going to be here 9 months. The payout on that would be 2-3 years down the road. Josh needed to learn the system and build,not tear down on such a short schedule.


    I think everyone is unique. I threw out some ideas as have others…

    Josh just has to try some things and see if he can find a way to lift his average.

    I think he can. He wants to win so badly… He’ll figure it out. I think if he just settles down on the line a bit before taking his shot he can develop a rhythm. I hope!

    Rick Berry -

    “When his son Brent won the NBA Championship in 2005 with the San Antonio Spurs, Rick and Brent became the second father-son duo to both win NBA Championships as players, following the Guokases (Matt Guokas, Sr. and Matt Guokas, Jr.). Later, this would be repeated by the Waltons (Bill and Luke) and the Thompsons (Mychal and Klay). Scooter won titles in the CBA and the top Belgian League.”

    Rick Barry - Wiki

  • WOW! Jackson hits winning shot…FROM THE LINE!!! Yee-Haw!

  • @REHawk He ended up making 5 of 8 freethrows for the game? I think?

    better than his average.

    His trey shooting is hot right now too

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    You’re right. Nix porn. That was a bad joke.

    Substitute Oreos, glazed donuts and Reece’s Pieces!!!

  • Ok, sorry to beat granny’s dead horse here again, but this kid just set a school record for consecutive made free throws. If one is really serious about improving because you’re costing your school wins because you suck at it, maybe swallow your pride? Like KUSteve said, maybe have the kid’s former NBA dad come and talk to our guys.

    Yea, I know it’s goofy as heck looking, but I can imagine a scenario where all the players at some school decide to do it and it actually bonds them more. And other teams realize that when you foul anyone that team, it’s almost automatic. Think of the games we’ve lost that we wouldn’t have if we had back those 5 or 10 misses.

  • It must be something in the water. Or maybe the walk up Mt Oread takes it out of everyone’s legs. I remember Cedric Hunter in the mid 80s. A very good point guard who shot at about 50%. Even watching NBA games, if a shooter clanks a couple my wife asks if they played for Kansas.

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