Mo' Throws, No Woes

  • Josh Jackson FT % up 10 % pts in last 5 games. Landen practicing FTs after games. Lagerald (our best FT shooter) playing well enough to stay on floor for long stretches. And this tidbit from about Frank’s FTs…

    I’ve never seen a basketball player who loves contact more. His specialty is driving into the lane, often without a lane, and creating contact. Mason has attempted 694 free throws in his career, the second most in KU history behind Valentine’s 754. Mason’s 446 makes are the fourth for a KU player behind Valentine (541), Manning (509) and Robisch (462).

  • @approxinfinity I never saw Darnell Valentine, KU wasn’t in the picture for me sportswise when he played here, but wow, that’s a lot of FT’s.

    Does anyone know what Darnell did to shoot so many FT’s? I assume they were on drives mainly. No 3 pointers then and multiple FT’s.

    When I was at KU, he was shooting hoops in Robinson. I was kind of standing there. I didn’t know who he was, but he approached me and asked if I’d rebound for him. He was trying to secure a spot in the league after he’d been released and was practicing.

  • @wissox

    Darnell was from my era. Played lots of ball with Darnell. We used to affectionately call him “thunder thighs” because of his uber muscular legs.

    The reason why Darnell shot so many FTs was that he was always extremely active in games. You always knew when Darnell was on the floor. He was in the middle of every defensive play and rebounding, too. His defense was outstanding! One of the few Jayhawks ever to understand hedge defense in D1. So he drew a lot of offensive fouls and he was a big time driver himself. Think of him as a bigger version of Frank Mason!

    Darnell also received a high amount of PT. Similar to Frank. At least, this is how I remember it.

  • @approxinfinity

    I worry about Josh’s FT% moving forward. Yes, he has improved it a bit, but now he will enter the heavy pressure of March, which typically shows us who is a freshman and who is an upperclassman.

    I’m just crossing my fingers. Josh has major mechanical issues at the line. Major. That doesn’t mean he will shoot poorly in March. But it makes his climb that much steeper when the real pressure is on.

    His mechanics are such that he can’t count on any significant muscle memory to help him close in on the basket. He pushes the ball and in doing so it uses his arm muscles in ways more difficult to create a flow and “path of least resistance.” This makes it harder to just relax and let the muscles go through their memory while shooting. Each shot he has to stand there and focus not only on the goal, but how to mechanically launch the ball to the basket.

  • @drgnslayr his 3 looked like the shot he started out w/last Monday. He was sped up all game.

  • @approxinfinity Just my 2 cents worth but I personally rank Frank as an all time top 5 Kansas guard. But to be more honest, I can only firmly place Jo Jo & Darnell at 1 & 2, then up for grabs after that.! I can envision Frank being top dog since he was old enough to walk. Guess which one is FM? Bulldoggies.JPG

  • @drgnslayr Darnell was my era as well. I don’t think he gets enough credit when people discuss the all time KU greats. He’s not as high on the points list as I would have thought…but he was a great point guard.

  • @wissox said:

    Does anyone know what Darnell did to shoot so many FT’s?

    Besides the way he played, as diiscussed nicely by @drgnslayr, notice that Valentine made over 71%. Assuming that some of those were front ends of a 1-and-1, he must have earned more second shots than someone who shoots at a lower percentage.

    If FM (career >64%) shot Valentine’s percentage, he would have made 490 at least, but probably attempted and made even more by cashing in on the bonus opportunities.

    I would love to see the stats on FTs broken down by 2 shot vs 1-and-1 opportunities, and for the 2 shot ones, further broken down by first or second shot accuracy. I believe that players who miss the first of 2 shots invariably become more accurate on their second ones. Is it merely concentration, or is muscle memory getting belatedly awakened? If they would do that fake shot routine some do, maybe that would eliminate the first miss sometimes.

  • @mayjay I’d be interested too in knowing if going to the double bonus hurt FT percentage or hurt it. Back when Darnell played of course the double bonus was not in effect and ends of games were foul fests.

  • @wissox “I didn’t remember that!” he says with a look of either astonishment or early dementia…

  • if Frank Mason played in the same era as Valentine and Manning would he have more less or the same number of free-throw attempts.

  • @Blown Less attempts, I would think, if back then they only had 1 and 1. No guaranteed second shot.

  • @mayjay

    Darnell actually took some heat for not shooting FTs at a higher %.

  • @Blown

    I don’t think he would have quite as many FT attempts because the style of play was much rougher. Few knick-knack fouls. Defenders were allowed to hold the driver while he tried to drive by (for example).

  • @drgnslayr said:


    I don’t think he would have quite as many FT attempts because the style of play was much rougher. Few knick-knack fouls. Defenders were allowed to hold the driver while he tried to drive by (for example).

    In my prior answer, I said fewer, but in addition to your consideration I forgot the possible effect of the shot clock, but I don’t know how many more possessions for KU teams it has led to. Phil Ford, if he played today, would probably have a lot more attempts!

  • @mayjay

    Forgot all about that, too!

  • I didnt discover or get into KU basketball until about 1990, when I was in school at KU. So I just dont have a frame of reference to compare Frank with past KU greats such as JoJo or Darnell.

    But I do think Frank is the best guard in the Self era, with Sherron and Chalmers close behind. For Roy era, probably have to go with Vaughn, Miles, and Hinrich. Frank is better than Vaughn and Miles (he has far superior scoring ability, always did, only has gotten better).

  • @ralster

    Mario played mostly SG so if we are talking about pure PG he would not be part of the group; however, RussRob should be. He is arguably the most unheralded player in the '08 team but without him KU does not win the Championship. Hinrich played PG, SG and SF and was one of the more versatile players ever at KU.

  • @wissox Darnell couldn’t make a jump shot, so he drove every play.

  • @ralster Good eval of guards. So, in thinking about it, I came to a firm conclusion that Hinrich and Collison were the best two 4-yr players at KU at the same time. How fun was it to watch that combo in action?!!! That was a virtual guidebook on the benefits of having teammates be so familiar with each other.

    The huge improvement in FM this year is due in no small part to the experience he has in one more year with DG and LL. Vick, too.

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