Tuesday, January 7, 2014

StatWatch™: Hayes FTAs

Badgers' forward Nigel Hayes has been a really nice surprise this year. He's got some issues on defense, but he's shown an ability to play with his back to the basket and get to the rim that we haven't seen in a while—especially not from a freshman.

His hard work is resulting in a lot of free throws. He's got 40 free throw attempts in just the last four games, which is sensational. I took a look at the best four-game FTA stretches in the Bo Ryan era, and here is the result:

1) K. Taylor, 43: OSU, NU, Pur., IL in 2006-07 (50 over 5, 56 over 6)

2) Hughes, 41: Duke, GSU, GB, Marq. in 2009-10

3) J. Taylor, 41: MSU, Mich., Pur., Neb in 2011-12 (but had 0 against Michigan! And 42 over 5.)

4) Harris, 40: Minn, NU, Iowa, OSU in 2003-04 (0-1 against Iowa, 47 over 5, 57 over 6)

5) Harris, 40: first 4 games of 2003-04 (45 over 5)

6) Tucker, 40: Pitt, Iowa, MSU, MN 2005-06 (had 49 over 5)

Most of these performances were by point guards, probably largely inflated by late-game free throws. Alando in 05-06 is the only similar stretch by a Badger forward. And he was a starter who was getting a lot more minutes than Hayes.

Hayes's effectiveness will presumably go down a little bit as opposing coaches get more tape on him. But so far he has been an absolute beast.

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