Louisville forward Chane Behanan’s free throw struggles haven’t got unnoticed this season. Behanan, a 6-foot-6 sophomore is averaging 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. In 29 games for Louisville this season, Behanan has made 51% of his free throws, connecting on 59 of his 114 attempts.
How many points would Behanan average per game if he was a better free throw shooter? That’s a fair question, right?
There are plenty of good college players who average a lot of points, but still struggle at the free throw line. You can be a valuable player and still not be a great free throw shooter, which Behanan is. Despite his struggles at the free throw line, he has still been a big part of Louisville’s success this season. That said, over the last couple of weeks I couldn’t help but notice how vital free throws are to Chane Behanan’s overall game.
At 6-foot-6, Behanan is slightly undersized for his position and at this point of his career he isn’t quite capable of playing much on the perimeter. Considering his skill set, getting fouled should be a big part of his game. Being undersized in height, but a massive 250-pound frame, it should be tough for college opponents to stop him without fouling.
If Chane is aggressive and getting touches, he should get to the foul line at least eight to ten times per game. Unfortunately for Behanan, at this point of the season, going to the line has been detrimental to his game. Maybe I’m the only one who notices it, but it sure seems that after he misses his first two, he has a tough time getting any of them to fall.
It’s hard not to wonder if the lack in confidence at the free throw line has affected his overall play. Pitino said after Louisville lost to Villanova earlier in the year that Behanan was missing easy shots and bobbling the ball out of bounds because he was scared to go back to the free throw line after missing six consecutive free throws.
Throughout the entire year Chane has missed countless point blank layups. Could it be a mental affect because he fears going to the line? Maybe? I don’t know. One thing I do know is that Chane Behanan is too talented of a player to let some free throw struggles affect his entire game.
Behanan will likely never be a great free throw shooter, but we know he’s better than he’s shown at times this season. I think it all starts with confidence.