As always, it’s time for another edition of…
The Weekly Fives
One area that is heavily under-appreciated by fans are free throws. However, any veteran coach will tell you that free throws are what make or break a game. Today, we focus on this crucial statistic – specifically, free throw percentage over a single season. In the NBA, Jose Calderon holds the record, set during the 2008-09 season, shooting an incredible 98% over the course of the season. That stat is so incredible, in fact, that the closest person is almost three percent back of the Spanish star. Four other players – Calvin Murphy, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Ray Allen, and Jeff Hornacek – shot over 95% respectively. Overall, it is hard seeing this record broken, given the fact that some players shoot up to ten a game. To achieve a better percentage, one would have to make virtually every free throw they take.
Currently in the league, Paul George is in the drivers seat, shooting 92% from the charity stripe. However, Stephen Curry, the league’s reigning MVP, is not far behind, at 91.6% for the season. As discussed last week, DeAndre Jordan, the leader in overall field goal percentage, is second-to-last in free throw percentage, sitting at a dismal 49.1%, only above Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond. As a star player, Paul George has only missed eleven free throws this entire season, an incredible statistic considering the number of times he is at the line each game.
In the NCAA, free throws are also an essential statistic for every team to capitalize on. Interestingly enough, Creighton, who shoots exceptionally well from the floor, only shoots 68% as a team from the line, second-to-last in their conference. Their leading shooter at the line, Isaiah Zierden, however, shoots at a 93.9% clip. For Omaha, three of their shooters, KJ Robinson, Kyler Erickson, and Mitchell Hahn, crack the top five in the state, each shooting at over 80% on their freebies. Nebraska, who has struggled all season with free throws, only has a single player shooting over 80% on their free throws.
The NSAA, or the Nebraska State Athletic Association, covers the entirety in the state, from small town to big city, and everything in between. For example, Tredyn Prososki, a freshman from small Riverside High, shoots 87% from the line. Simon Hay, straight out of Omaha’s Millard West, is right behind him at 86%. Overall, free throws, as can be seen, are important at all levels, and as the state tournament wraps up, it can be expressively seen as such.
- Paul George, Indiana Pacers (92.0%)
- Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (91.6%)
- Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Caveliers (90.9%)
- Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics (90.8%)
- Damien Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (89.7%)
- Isaiah Zierden, Creighton (93.9%)
- KJ Robinson, Omaha (91.7%)
- Kyler Erickson, Omaha (87.5%)
- Mitchell Hahn, Omaha (84.5%)
- Cole Huff, Creighton (83.7%)
- Tredyn Prososki, Riverside (87%)
- Ben Moxness, Logan View/Scribner-Snyder (86%)
- Simon Hay, Millard West (86%)
- Jackson Hirschfeld, Centannial (85%)
- Tilden Bardsley, Beatrice (84%)
(Stats as of 3/4/17)
As always, Home Court Advantage is your place for basketball at all levels.
Senior App Associate, Nebraska
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, COJMC