Jack Scheuer’s Off The Boards – February 12, 2014 Edition

Off The Boards
By Jack Scheuer
February 12, 2014 Edition
What’s going on with the poor foul shooting?  We know St. Joe’s has been having problems at the line, but the Hawks (62%) are certainly not alone.  North Carolina, for one, is also shooting 62%, awhile Arizona, a legitimate Final Four candidate shoots 66%, it’s the lowest number in 25 years.  The worst free throw shooter for the Wildcats is Aaron Gordon, the highly touted freshman, who has made only 42% of his attempts. The ironic thing  is that Arizona coach Sean Miller was terrific at the foul line while a 4-year starter at Pitt.  At this level, with top talented athletes who have been playing basketball most of their lives, it is hard to explain how this can happen.  Not enough practice?  A mental issue?  Who knows, but what we do know, it’s a matter of time before it  will be the difference between winning and losing a game.
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Speaking of bad  free throw shooters, one of the worst ever was Chris Dudley, the Yale grad who spent 16 years in the NBA.  In one game he was 1-for 18 at the line including a string of 13 straight misses.  Another highlight was an occasion when he misfired on 4 in a row because his opponents kept going  into the lane too early, correctly assuming he would miss.  Dudley is not the worst ever though, and neither is Wilt Chamberlain (51%), or Shaquille O’Neal at 52.7.  Keep reading to find out who is that player..
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Funny how these things happen.  Earlier in the season there were rumors that Rysheed Jordan was unhappy at St. John’s, very homesick, and was thinking about transferring to Temple.  Then the Vaux H.S. product, who is a great talent, started to get more playing time, and is one of the main reasons why the Red Storm has come up with some very impressive wins as we head down the stretch.
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Trivia Time: Who holds the NBA record for the worst free throw shooting percentage (at least 500 attempts)?  Answer at the end of the column.
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This and That: Mississippi’s Mitchell Henderson is the Justin Bieber of college basketball, very unlikable and continues to make very poor decisions….Here’s a suggestion to the NBA: Have a playoff among the four worst teams to determine who tanks the best. Winner gets first pick.  Right now  the Milwaukee Bucks and your Sixers are the hot picks….. Kansas’ highly publicized freshman Andrew Wiggins seems to be somewhat of an enigma.  No doubt he’s very talented, but his attitude  comes across as someone who is either bored with basketball, or burned out from it…. Right now, Duke’s Jabari Parker is the best of the young phenoms….Billy Donovan has his Florida team high up in the rankings again, and as usual, nobody  notices what a terrific job he does, year after year….Ever notice when a player has  two free throws and badly misses the first, he almost always makes the second.  Also, when a guy blows a point-blank layup at one basket, the other team immediately makes its next shot down at the other end.
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Answer to Trivia Time: Gentle Ben Wallace is the NBA’s worst career free throw shooter coming in at 41.7 percent. He was 1,109 for 2,679 in his 16 years in the league.

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