While 6-foot-11, 265 pound Dwight Howard was barely able to stay above 50 percent from the line before his injury, two players are proving it is possible for a very large man to hit from 15 feet. Howard (167-329 for 50.8% so far and under 50% last year), Wilt Chamberlin (51.1% career free throws, Ben Wallace (41.5%), Dennis Rodman (58.4%) and of course Shaquille “Hack a Shack” O’Neal (52.7%) could have all taken lessons from these two.
Those are five of the most dominant big men in the history of the game. However, there is hope for the future.
There are 64 Division 1 college players who weigh in at Howard’s 265 pounds or bigger, and only two of them are shooting 80 percent from the line. What is even more ironic is that they both play in Wisconsin – a state with only 4 of the 344 Division 1 schools that is known for very large offensive linemen. Brennan Cougill from UW-Green Bay is 6-foot-9, 265 and has hit 31 of 36 free throws for 86 percent. Davante Gardner of Marquette shoots much more because, according to Ken Pomeroy, he is in the top 1% of all players at drawing fouls to get to the line.
At 6-foot-8, 290 pounds Gardner has hit 58 of 69 free throws for an 84 percent clip. There are only nine Division 1 players 265 or heavier who are shooting even 70 percent from the line, but here is the top 10:
|Rnk||Top 265-pound FTs||Team||Height||Weight||Yr||FTM-FTA||Pct|
|1||Brennan Cougill||UW-Green Bay||6-foot-9||265||Sr||31-36||86%|
|6||Ian Chiles||Morgan St.||7-foot-2||270||Jr||20-27||74%|
|7||Derrick Nix||Michigan St.||6-foot-9||270||Sr||39-54||72%|
|8||Reggie Johnson||Miami FL||6-foot-10||292||Sr||35-49||71%|
|9||Rayshawn Goins||James Madison||6-foot-6||265||Sr||69-99||70%|
|10||Kendrick Washington||Arkansas St.||6-foot-7||274||Jr||24-35||69%|