Georgia Basketball: 5 Improvements the Bulldogs Must Make in SEC Tournament

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Nov 26, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Georgia Bulldogs forward Marcus Thornton (2) shoots the ball during the second half against the The Bulldogs at Madison Square Garden. Gonzaga Bulldogs won 88-76. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Free throws

Charles Mann and Marcus Thornton shoot over half of Georgia’s free throws. Because of Mann’s and Thornton’s work around the rim, only 15 Division 1 teams shoot more free throws per game than the Dawgs. And with a Georgia trip to the free throw line worth around 1.2-1.3 points per visit, free throw shooting is a very efficient scoring method. But, at a season average of 68.9 percent shooting, the Dawgs are leaving a few chips on the table.

The Dawgs rank in the bottom half of all Division 1 teams in free throw shooting. A winning free throw shooting average, one that puts the Dawgs in the top half of the nation, is 69.3. So the Dawgs are close, and are drawing closer.

The Bulldogs were shooting 65.7 on January 1. The reason for the improvement is the work of Mann and Thornton. Mann’s season average improved five percentage points and Thornton’s 10 percentage points during conference play. Also, J. J. Frazier is now number three on the team in attempts and averages 82% on the season.

Free Throw shooting improvement is doable. Thornton and Mann just need to keep doing what they are doing, and that’s shooting better at the free throw line. As the Bulldogs season free throw percentage advances, so will the Bulldogs to successive tournament rounds.

Next: Zone Defense