By Nick Veronica
Canisius got several open looks from the free-throw line in Sunday’s 63-60 loss to Manhattan. Jermaine Crumpton and others hit some of those shots, and sometimes they missed.
Manhattan did not seem overly concerned with adjusting its defense to take that shot away. That’s because Steve Masiello is a smart coach. He has run the percentages and he does not care.
If you want to pull up from the free-throw line against Manhattan, go for it. He calls it fool’s gold.
“We’ve charted over 600 games,” Masiello said. “The 15-foot shot, challenged late, is a 26-percent shot. It appears at times, when teams make two or three in a row, you actually think they’re hurting your zone. But it actually plays into your hands. That’s one of the reasons they shot 39 percent for the game.
“This goes back to when I was at Louisville,” Masiello continued. “We take it away, we take the high post away with the opposite guard, once it goes in we fan out and go man and match up. Most of the time you’ll see a four-five (a forward) in that spot.
“Give Canisius credit, they made some shots in that spot like you said early there, but that shot will not beat you. I’ve seen it beat a team once — unfortunately it was to go to the Final Foul, it was Michigan State against us in the Elite Eight — but that shot will not beat you. The percentages are just astronomical. It’s what we call fool’s gold. I’m not going to tell you how to beat the zone, but we’re OK with that.”
So, yeah. Steve Masiello is smarter than you. Go ahead and take that shot. He dares you.Follow @NickVeronica