To earn official recognition for free throw acuity a player must average at least 2.5 conversions per game. That eliminates some worthy shooters but also highlights those who genuinely made an NCAA-qualifying mark over the course of the season.
However many you try, making free throws is a skill that shouldn’t be minimized, reflecting both persistent practice and the ability to concentrate under periodically stressful circumstances. A common basketball drill is to get players to exert themselves at a game-like pace, then suddenly switch gears and, calming themselves, step to the line to attempt free throws. Conversions amid such circumstances are a challenge in concentration well worth mastering.
You can bet opponents are aware of who’s efficient at hitting their foul shots, even if their skill is publicly overlooked. And of those who repeated among the ACC’s foul shooting leaders in 2022 — Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim and Notre Dame’s Dane Goodwin — only one returns.
Boeheim paced the conference with .884 accuracy at the line last year. He tried nearly twice as many foul shots in ’22 as Goodwin. But he’s gone, leaving three official qualifiers among the best free throw shooting returnees. None previously finished among the real top 10 foul shooters.
Goodwin, the sole survivor, has yet to appear among league leaders. Officially. Unofficially, he’s the only active player who ranked among the ACC’s top 10 foul shooters the past three seasons.
However he’s regarded by NCAA standards, Goodwin has proven a dangerous presence offensively. Last year the 6-6 shooting guard from Ohio finished second among the Fighting Irish in scoring to NBA first-rounder Blake Wesley and second on the team in free throw accuracy to Nate Laszewski.
In 2021 Goodwin finished third among the Irish in scoring.
Figure to get a clear view of Goodwin this season, when he returns as a grad student and Notre Dame’s top holdover scorer.
Top 2022 Free Throw Accuracy Among ACC Regulars, Minimum 300 Minutes Played, One Conversion Per Appearance)
|.900||36-40||Sean Padulla, VT||36||463|
|.880||81-92||Jamarius Burton, PU*||30||1035|
|.868||33-38||Leaky Black, NC||38||1127|
|.865||77-89||Daivien Williamson, WF||35||998|
|.863||132-153||Caleb Love, NC*||38||1331|
|.862||82-93||Joe Girard III, V||33||1122|
|.851||40-47||Nate Laszewski, ND||34||984|
|.833||105-136||RJ Davis, NC*||39||1320|
|.823||51-62||Dane Goodwin, ND||35||1170|
|*Qualified among official 2022 leaders.|