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Woodbury improves proficiency at free-throw line

[ 0 ] December 3, 2012 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. Iowa freshman center Adam Woodbury is shooting 61.1 percent from the free-throw line through eight games.

“Which is an all-time high,” said Ras Vanderloo, Woodbury’s coach last season at Sioux City East High

School.

The 7-foot-1 Woodbury shot just 50.8 percent from the charity stripe a year ago, so 61.1 percent is a sign of significant improvement heading into Tuesday’s 7 p.m. game against South Dakota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“He’s really worked on it,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “He's confident up there. I think he'll be a 75 percent free-throw shooter before long.”

Seventy-five percent?

“That kid has proved me wrong so many times,” Vanderloo said. “He has quite a ways to go, but he wouldn’t shock me if he does it.”

Woodbury worked on his free-throw shooting last season, too, but made just 65 out of 128 attempts.

“It wasn’t due to a lack of effort,” Vanderloo said.

He does have a theory on big guys and free-throw shooting.

“I call it the Shaq Factor,” said Vanderloo, in reference to Shaquille O’Neal, a notoriously poor free-throw shooter. “The angle to the basket for guys who are 7 feet tall is so much different than a guy 6-2, and they’re not used to shooting from 15 feet.”

Watching Hawkeye games on television, Vanderloo has noticed that Iowa coaches have worked with Woodbury to improve his angle. He’s bending his knees more, with a lower release point.

Touch has never been an issue for Woodbury close to the basket. He’s ambidextrous, and already this season he’s shown an ability to score with both hands.

“That is something that, in time, could make him an unbelieveable player,” Vanderloo said.

Woodbury

played baseball until he was a freshman, when he quit to concentrate on basketball. He was a right-handed pitcher, even though he’s left-hand dominant, and said his fastball was clocked in the mid-80 mphs.

“Very rarely do you see a right-handed baseball player who is a left-handed basketball player,” McCaffery said. “I’m not surprised when he’s making layups or jump hooks with either hand.”

Woodbury’s first two baskets Saturday in Iowa’s victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi were a left-handed jump hook and a right-handed hook. He doesn’t favor one move over the other.

“I hope both of them are my money moves,” Woodbury said. “If they’re guessing which way I’m going, it makes my job a lot easier.”

TUESDAY’S IOWA MEN’S GAME

WHO: South Dakota (4-4) at Iowa (6-2)

WHERE: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City

TIPOFF: 7 p.m.

TICKETS: $14 adults, $5 University of Iowa students and youth (18-under).

TELEVISION: Online only at BTN.com

RADIO: WHO-AM (1040) and Hawkeye Radio Network

STAT LEADERS: For South Dakota — Juevol Myles 15.8 ppg; Trevor Gruis 6.8 rpg; Myles 4.5 apg; for Iowa — Devyn Marble 14.5 ppg; Aaron White 6.5 rpg; Marble 3.5 apg.

ABOUT THE COYOTES: Casey Kasperbauer, a freshman guard from Carroll, is averaging 8.9 points and 25.4 minutes a game

ABOUT THE HAWKEYES: Melsahn Basabe’s 17 points off the bench Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi matched his highest-scoring game in the last 33 games. He also scored 17 at Oregon in last season’s second-round NIT game

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Iowa has made more free throws (151) than its opponents have attempted (140).

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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