Ryan Evans has spent the entire season battling a brutal case of the ‘yips’.
Evans, a career 71.1% shooter from the charity stripe that shot 81.1% from the line in Big Ten play last season, is banging home just 41.4% of his free throws this season, and it’s gotten to the point that he is quite literally costing his team games. He was 1-9 from the line in a loss to Marquette earlier this season. He was 2-8 from the line when the Badgers lost to Minnesota in overtime earlier this month. He’s made just six of his last 20 free throws and has four airballs on the season.
To make matters worse, Evans’ struggles are starting to extend to the rest of his game. He’s down to 39.3% from the floor this season. He’s hit just two of the 23 threes that he’s attempted. He was 2-12 from the floor in a loss to Michigan State at home and 1-10 from the floor in a loss at Ohio State.
It’s a mental thing for Evans at this point, and in an effort to change that, he’s changed the way he shoots free throws.
From now on, Evans will be taking a jump shot from the foul line. He debuted it last night against Nebraska:
Twice, Evans finished off a three-point play with his new free throw technique. He rattled home to first one, and swished the second.
“It worked tonight, so I’m going to keep it going,” Evans said after the game. “It felt good. I feel a lot more confident out there.”
(h/t Bucky’s Revenge)