Feb 27, 2013, 11:31 AM EDT
There aren’t a lot of ways to shoot a free throw, but every now and then a true pioneer comes along to show us that innovation lives, even at the charity stripe. Rick Barry’s underhand style was quite successful, but never caught on (except with his sons, and of course Ollie from Hoosiers). Then we had Shaquille O’Neal, who just flung the ball up there hoping for favorable tradewinds. And now there’s Ryan Evans.
The University of Wisconsin forward had been 51-for-126 from the line this season, and that 40.4 percent is pretty icky, no matter how you look at it. Especially since he shot 72 percent last season. Drastic measures were called for.
And so on Tuesday vs. Nebraska he unveiled the free throw jump shot, a method not seen by me since my rec league days. I can’t mock it too thoroughly because it worked: Evans was 2-for-2 from the line, improving his free throw percentage to a glossy 41 percent, and the Badgers cruised to victory.
“It worked tonight, so I’m going to keep it going,” Evans said. “It felt good. I feel a lot more confident out there.”
If this technique fails him eventually, the only other place to go is to the far corner.
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