Michigan FT shooting a strength

Submitted by ralphgoblue on February 19th, 2019 at 1:55 PM

***  took this from another site ***



Some bits and pieces

n their last seven games, the Wolverines have hit 70 of 88 free throws for a clip (79.5 percent) that would rank among the top five in the country if extrapolated to an entire season. Even in a larger sample size, since Jan. 1, Michigan has hit 74.3 percent of its shots from the line — good for 85th in the country. During league play, the Wolverines 74.6-percent rate is fourth in the Big Ten.


Watching From Afar

February 19th, 2019 at 2:07 PM ^

Simpson is shooting 75.9%(!!) in Big Ten play. Both Matthews and Teske are still around 63% but Livers, Iggy, and Poole are all above 80%.

Still not completely comfortable with Simpson getting the ball late when fouls are coming. I understand he is probably the best ball handler on the court, but getting Poole/Iggy/Livers the ball if possible would seem like a more sustainable approach. At least now, Simpson shooting FTs isn't a death sentence. In general his shot looks better more often.


February 19th, 2019 at 2:42 PM ^

He's at, what, 75% in conference play?  There have been multiple games this year in which teams have gone to hack-a-Z and had it backfire after he hit a high percentage of them.

His form is looking much better (more wrist flip, less shot-put), and they did away with that dumb side dribble that just got into his head.

There's reason to think this is his new normal. No reason to take the ball out of his hands unless he proves that not to be the case.

Watching From Afar

February 19th, 2019 at 2:59 PM ^

He's at, what, 75% in conference play? 

I... That's literally the first sentence in my comment..?

His form and the flight of the ball do look much better than they used to. Though given the choice between Simpson and Poole/Iggy (maybe not Iggy because he looks a little less comfortable dribbling out of trouble), you'd rather have the 81% or 84% shooters than Simpson, who averages 0.5 - 1 less FT/game. If he's hitting, that's great. But first sign of struggles popping up and they have to have a plan B because he seems streaky. His 3 point shooting is other oddly great, or horrible. There is no in between and that's what I worry with him 

Last year they went to Simpson inbounding the ball late to keep guys from fouling him. That team had a better secondary ball handler in MAAR (who was down around 75%) so they could get him the ball or go to Robinson if needed. Simpson inbounding can cause problems because he's short, but he's a very good passer and if the other guys can handle the ball, they'd be good options.

Watching From Afar

February 19th, 2019 at 3:17 PM ^

He has been doing very, very well for the last month+. I was speaking more to being streaky in general. In games, especially from 3, he is either on or way off. It usually starts out 1 way and stays that way for the entirety of a game rather than swinging from good to bad.

Outside of Rutgers, he usually only gets ~2 FT/game. If a point comes where they try to hack-a-Simpson and he's going to the line for 6-8 FTs, I want to see how that goes. Especially outside of Crisler and if he misses the first 1 or 2.


February 19th, 2019 at 3:24 PM ^

I find it encouraging that he's reliably having these 2-2 FT nights.  Logically, it would seem easier to get into a rhythm when you get to shoot a bunch in a game, rather than only making a single trip.  And yet he's consistently making the pair.  Also, his improvement isn't skewed by a single hot night.  His percentage has steadily trended upward.  I'm cautiously ready to say it's a sustainable thing.

He is streaky from 3, though.

Watching From Afar

February 19th, 2019 at 3:03 PM ^

If he can hit the wide open threes with any consistency, the offense can be much, much more dangerous. Not off the dribble, or late in shot clocks. Just the ones where no one picks him up and he's standing there with 5 feet of space.

Teams slack off from him and help a lot more on drives coming from Iggy and Poole. And on the P&R no one worries about him pulling up. Can't do much about the pull up stuff, but if he can hit ~33% or more of his wide open 3PA, then Iggy will have a little more room and guys who immediately go to Poole on scramble plays that leave Simpson holding the ball will get burned.


February 19th, 2019 at 5:57 PM ^

Rumeal wasn’t a great FT shooter, either. Part of what made them so clutch. 

BTW re: Simpson shooting FTs late. We may like the idea of, say, Poole shooting them. But it’s pretty clear that Simpson WANTS those shots. It looks to me like he’s deliberately seeking the fouls late in games. It’s personal. 

And given his performance I am really cool with that. 


February 19th, 2019 at 4:45 PM ^

I blame you for jinxing Michigan into a 3/20 game against Minnesota, but...whatever.

They are definitely shooting better overall, and while this isn't going to be a dead-eye team from the line the fact nobody looks like an obvious liability for some time now has definitely been a welcome surprise.