Free throw shooting coming around for some Louisville players

Wake Forest

Free throw shooting is apparently getting more attention during University of Louisville practice sessions, with UofL connecting on 86 of 110 attempts over the past five games.

Just in time for UofL’s first men’s basketball game ever Sunday as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference at Wake Forest at 8 p.m. photoo= photo

The Cardinals were making free throws at a clip of 78.2 percent during the five-game streak, a vast improvement over 59% during the first eight games. For the season, they’re are now at 65% at the charity stripe.

Terry Rozier led the way, with 29 of 35 for 85.3, followed by Chris Jones, 17 of 20 for 85%, Montrezl Harrell 7 of 10 for 70%, Wayne Blackshear 18 of 27 for 66.7%, and Anas Mahmoud 4 of 4 for 100%.

Blackshear has actually slipped a bit during that period but remains the leading free throw shooter for the season, with 43 of 58 for 74.1%. A couple of those misses standing out, two clunkers in three attempts with 1:32 remaining in the nail biter against Kentucky.

Rick Pitino may want to consider giving Mangok Mathiang a little extra time at the line. He’s good for only eight of 20 attempts for 40%.

Mathiang Louisville’s leading shot blocker


Guess who the University of Louisville’s leading shot blocker is after 27 games?

None other than Mangok Mathiang, the 6-foot-10 freshman center from Australia, who has knocked away 38 shots this season. That’s two more than Montrezl Harrell who has 36  and 15 more than Stephan Van Treese with 23.  

Over the past five games, Mathiang has been credited with seven blocked shots to go with 21 rebounds and 31 points during 78 minutes of playing time.

His best performance may come against Cincinnati, one of the tougher opponents, with three blocks, an assist and five rebounds. He fouled out, which was disappointing but also encouraging, playing aggressively and his loss was felt for the first time.

 After seeing only two minutes of action against Central Florida on Feb. 1 when Rick Pitino said he had the experience level of a high school sophomore, Mathiang may be making some inroads at just the right time.