NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge
One thing University of Toledo men's basketball coach Gene Cross prides himself and his assistant coaches on is being "old-school."
"Old-school is, you get it done the best way you know how," Cross said. "Just get it done."
When looking for a solution to Mohamed Lo's free throw shooting troubles, assistant coach Bob Sundvold searched outside of the box. Lo's new method at the line is anything but conventional, but it's also getting the job done.
The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward had spent most of the season in foul-shooting infamy, averaging 30 percent the first three months. After Lo went 0-for-4 from the line in a loss at Buffalo on Jan. 31, Sundvold showed him an alternative form to try.
He had Lo point both his feet to the left and line them up parallel to the foul line before going through his shooting motion.
"He told me the reason why I'm not making them is because when I face forward, my shoulders wiggle," Lo said.
"He told me to face sideways so I don't have as much rotation."
The pair spent one week after practice getting in 100 free throws a night.
Since the switch, Lo has averaged 67 percent on free throws (18-of-27).
Lo hopes the days of fans cheering sarcastically when he makes a free throw are behind him. That was the case when he went 1-for-8 against Rhode Island on Jan. 6, missing his first seven.
"It feels great because it helps me a lot," Lo said. "When I wasn't making them it was hurting the team."
A positive that came out of the Rhode Island game for Lo was his career-high 17 rebounds. His game is predicated on confidence, and knowing he can have that production is a big mental boost.
"My dad is big into rebounding," Lo said. "He tells me every night, he doesn't care if I score two points, as long as I get eight, 10 rebounds he's happy.
"He's been telling me every day since I got that 17, that it's not impossible for me to do. I've just got to put my mind to it and go out there and bang."
Lo has started the last five games for UT and has averaged 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds during that stretch. Cross plans to start freshman Ian Salter in that spot tonight at Eastern Michigan, but acknowledged Lo's progress in the last month.
"We have to have a presence in the paint," Cross said. "Right now he's our best low post threat. When he gets the ball in the post and he has an opportunity to score, we tell him to look to score."
Lately, much of Lo's scoring has come from the foul line, thanks to his new stance. Sundvold, who primarily works with the big men, was out recruiting yesterday and wasn't at practice. But Lo was singing his praises.
"He's helped me so much," Lo said. "He has taught me a lot this year."
Contact Maureen Fulton at:
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.