Few teams get to the free-throw line more often than Minnesota. Too bad the Gophers suck at free throws.
The latest example was Saturday’s 71-66 win against Cornell. The Gophers hit just 26 of 44 attempts from the charity stripe (44 attempts!), which made the game much closer than it should’ve been. And it’s starting to stress out Tubby Smith.
“We’re an inside-oriented team, and we expect to get fouled,” Smith told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Our post players expect to get fouled and now they gotta step up and hit free throws.”
Easier said than done. Minnesota’s attempted fewer than 30 free throws in a game just twice this season, yet has made at least 67 percent of those freebies just once. Ouch. So what’s the deal?
“In practice, we’re hitting our free throws,” Blake Hoffarber told the paper. “When one person, a couple people start missing, it starts getting contagious. Then other people start missing.”
Better get it figured out, and quickly. Through eight games, the Gophers’ FTRate is 56.2 percent (5th highest in D-I). They hit 62.9 percent (286th in D-I). (Stats from kenpom.com.)
When Big Ten play rolls around, those misses are really going to hurt.
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