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Jacobs On Free Throw Woes

Rest assured, this is not the sort of history they would like to make at Clemson.

So far, the Tigers stand alone in the 53 years of ACC competition, making a strong if unintentional bid to finish as the conference’s worst foul-shooting team ever.

Coach Oliver Purnell’s over-achieving squad stands 14-6 after losing to N.C. State in double-overtime on Jan. 29. Playing at home and shooting at familiar rims, the Tigers made only 21 of 37 free throws. Guard Cliff Hammonds hit but one of two foul shots with a two-point lead and 9.9 seconds left in regulation, leaving the door open for a game-tying 3-pointer by the Wolfpack’s Cameron Bennerman.

In earlier defeats, Clemson lost by three at Georgia while making 11-of-19 free throws, and by five against Elon while converting 15-of-25 chances at the line.

This season ACC teams are making about 69 percent of their free throws, even with Clemson factored in. Assuming a few blown one-and-one opportunities, had the Tigers hit with average ACC efficiency against Georgia, Elon, and N.C. State they would already have surpassed last year’s victory total and earned prominently mention as one of the nation’s surprise teams and a contender for an NCAA bid.


WASTEFUL PRACTICE

Worst Team Free Throw Accuracy In ACC History
(Through 20 Games of 2006 Season)

FT% Team Year
.580 Clemson 2006
.597 Clemson 1992
.601 Clemson 2005
.609 Clemson 1990
.611 Georgia Tech 1981
.611 South Carolina 1960
.614 Clemson 1998
.617 Clemson 1954
.620 Clemson 1999
.621 Georgia Tech 1999
.623 Duke 1960
.624 Duke 1962
.626 Clemson 2002
.626 Clemson 1991
.626 N.C. State 1962


Worst, By School As ACC Member:
Clemson .597 1992
Duke .623 1960
Florida State .642 1997
Georgia Tech .611 1981
Maryland .631 2004
North Carolina .629 1954
N.C. State .626 1962
Virginia .632 1968
Wake Forest .633 1992

Note: Miami (.673 in 2005) and Virginia Tech (.642) are not included, as they have engaged in a single full season of ACC competition.