Badger Bits: Why We Better See Ryan Evans' Altered Free-Throw Form

USA TODAY Sports

The senior forward is shooting an abysmal 41 percent from the line this season, which is costing the Badgers down the stretch. Something needs to change before tournament time, when a few missed free throws could easily bounce Wisconsin from postseason play.

Earlier this week, Ryan Evans was seen shooting jump shots from the free throw line in practice. Unorthodox as that is, nobody in Wisconsin will mind the appearance of Evans' free throw form as long as he improves from the charity stripe.

Lets put Evans' struggles at the free throw into some perspective. In the past two seasons at Wisconsin, Evans shot 74 and 73 percent from the line, respectively. This season, he's plummeted to 41 percent. John Veldhuis of BadgerBlitz and Rivals.com tweeted on Monday that Evans' poor free-throw shooting has single-handedly brought the Badgers from 70.1 percent to 62.2 percent from the line as a team.

The problem is how many more free throws Evans shoots than the rest of the team. He's made 51 of 126 attempts this season, which puts him well ahead the two teammates next in line for attempts: Jared Berggren (86) and Traevon Jackson (49).

It's no secret poor free-throw shooting has cost the Badgers this season. A 39-percent effort (7-of-18) from the line against Michigan State probably cost the Badgers the game. You can also point to the game in Minnesota a couple weeks ago, when an overtime loss could've likely been avoided had Evans sunk more than just two of his eight attempts.

This all serves as plenty of evidence for Evans to change the form of his free-throw shooting. The Badgers find themselves in too many tightly contested games in which free throws often tend to make or break games.

I don't care if it's granny-style or simply shooting jumpers, Evans needs to make a change sooner than later before it costs this team in down the line in postseason play.

Tuesday's Links:

Jeff Potrykus writes about the possibility of Evans altering his free throw shot -- with reactions from his teammates as well.

The Badgers continued to climb in the polls this week.

A preview of tonight's men's basketball game between Wisconsin and Nebraska.

Last night Penn State men's hockey stunned UW in a 3-2 overtime loss for the Badgers -- sending a huge blow to Wisconsin's postseason chances.

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