Derrick Nix’ free throw shooting woes are mental, Izzo says

Posted: December 22, 2009 by Jared Field in College
Tags: , ,

If you don’t think the mental game is every bit as important as the physical one, consider this from the State News MSU blog:

Derrick Nix said all the right things Tuesday about his free throw struggles.

But MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo said he believes he knows how his freshman center really feels about shooting five percent (1-for-20) from the line through nine games.

“Inside I think he’s hurt and embarrassed,” Izzo said. “And sometimes that gets to you more than being mad.”

Tuesday, Izzo said he watched Nix as he was shooting free throws at practice. There, Izzo said Nix made 26-of-30, which led Izzo to say of Nix’s struggles, “There’s no question it’s mental now.”

Whenever I read about issues at the foul line, I’m always reminded of the former Oklahoma State standout guard Doug Gottlieb (he’s on ESPN now) who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the foul line.  He hit for nearly the same perentage from the field (while being guarded, presumably) as he did standing all by himself at the foul line.

The brain is a powerful thing. Remember Tom Watson at the British Open this summer?

  1. Andrew Secor says:

    Pittman scores 4 points inside vs. State. Guess that post-defense wasn’t that big of an issue on Tuesday.

  2. Brandon says:

    Andrew Secor- Pittman played 12 minutes total, it had nothing to do with MSU’s big men shutting him down. It had to do with them getting him in foul trouble and him hardly being in the game. MSU’s post defense is still a huge issue…

    • Andrew Secor says:

      In 2 of their losses, Florida and Texas, their loss has more to do with the issues of their perimeter players (turnovers and shooting %) than it did with their post defense.

      Pittman playing 12 minutes, which I obviously knew, helps to make my point. MSU had more problems guarding wings than it did in the post.

      Once again, outside of the UNC game, let me know when the post defense is an major reason they lose a game. The post defense will be fine. Winning the Big 10 or in the tourney will come down to the “stars” playing like stars, not turning the ball over, and half-court defense by the entire team.

  3. Jared Field says:

    Yeah. It’s easier to cover Pittman when he’s on the bench 28 of 40 minutes. Damion James didn’t have much trouble though.

    • Andrew Secor says:

      Thanks, Jared for your great insight. Yep, James is a lottery pick and will be hard to stop by anyone when he plays like that. What again, does that have to do with MSU’s post defense?

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