It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rick Barry, one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, breeds hoopers. His four oldest sons all eventually became professionals, with Brent and Jon carving out extensive NBA careers for themselves.
Barry has another kid in the basketball pipeline right now as well: Canyon Barry.
Canyon is a 6-foot-6 guard from Colorado that spent last season redshirting for the College of Charleston after becoming the third Barry to be recruited and signed by former Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Cremins; Cremins has since retired.
Barry redshirted as a freshman, which is probably why his name — and his free throw shooting style — are just now making their way across the internet. Rick Barry was known for his unorthodox approach to shooting free throws, as he became one of the most accurate free throw shooters of all-time by tossing them in underhanded.
Canyon does the same, as evidenced by this video from an exhibition vs. USC-Aiken last season:
“It’s logic. If you have one of the greatest free throw shooters of all time, why wouldn’t you do it like that?” Canyon told Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com.
“I always wanted to do that. But it wasn’t until junior year of high school when I made the switch. The main problem is that you have to have big enough hands to grip the top of the ball. Why not give it a try, it was only a matter of time until my hands were big enough.”
His dad knocked down free throws at a 90% clip. If Canyon does the same, no one will argue with him.
LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.
While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.
Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?
Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.
Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.
Throughout Tom Izzo’s tenure at Michigan State the team’s half-court man-to-man defense has been a staple, and the Spartans have generally proven difficult to have a high rate of offensive success against. The reliance on that defense is why Izzo’s conversations earlier this summer about using some token full-court pressure due to the shortening of the shot clock caught some people off-guard.
According to the Detroit Free Press there’s another wrinkle the Spartans may use, and it’s likely that this wrinkle will show up more often than the full-court press. During Friday’s opening practice the Spartans worked on a 2-3 zone, and Izzo wants his assistants to make sure the team works on the defense consistently throughout the season.
That’s also why zone in general isn’t going to get heavy play at MSU, but having it as a tool could be beneficial — especially in games with touch fouls on the perimeter called in droves.
“I told (my assistant coaches): ‘You hold me accountable to working on it every day some’ … I have a tendency to drift off on that, and I don’t want to drift off on it,” Izzo said of the 2-3 zone. “But we will be, rest assured, a 90-some percent man-to-man team still and hopefully take some of those principles to zone.”
As noted in the story one of the risks in using pressure is allowing quality shots, which is why it’s unlikely that Michigan State will go to it. But even with Izzo vowing that his team will work on the zone, that doesn’t mean they’ll be playing it as often as Syracuse does.
Man-to-man has been Michigan State’s staple and it will continue to be. But it doesn’t hurt to look for other ways to keep opponents from getting the looks they want, especially if teams have five fewer seconds to find those shots.