Thirteen feet of parquet is what separates Uconn from becoming the Big East and NCAA Champions.
Thirteen Feet is the distance from the free throw line to the rim.
Yet 13 feet, for Uconn players, seems like miles away.
There is nothing more frustrating than watching your team (a top five team in the nation) laying enough free throw bricks to build Puff Daddy’s next Crib. Guys, I heard Shaq is sending you his How to Swish FT’s DVD. Maybe you should pop it in and watch!
The horror show that occurs on the stripe line is unbearable to watch. Scratch that, the show is more of a suspense thriller, where fans are left clenching their armrests whenever a Uconn player comes to the stripe. It is sad, funny, and chilling all at the same time.
Maybe the Uconn nation was spoiled by the likes of Ray Ray, Rip, and Khalid—players who knew how to put the foot on the opponent's throat. Players who understood the FT line is an asset, not an affliction. Players who were not only effective and clutch, but also took pleasure in icing the game from 13 feet away.
But hey, now we have players making highlight reels with dunks and crossovers. We have players making last second fade-away shots. We even have players swatting the ball into the fifth row. But come time to step behind the charity line for an easy point, CLANK.
And that is what makes it so frustrating. Players giving it all throughout the game, but somehow forgetting the art of follow-through on the free throw line.
The team has enough talent to conceal the weakness in the first couple games of the NCAA tournament. They will probably breeze by the first couple rounds based on endurance, experience, and talent.
The second week of the tourney, however, might be another story.
Flashes of Donyell Marshall vs. Florida are all of a sudden coming back. Wait, let's not even go there.
But this team has the tools to win it all. It has the coach. It has the heart. It has the fans on their side. It would be a shame for the team to lose due to a lack of fundamentals and inability to make one of the easiest shots.