Spurs rookie Jeremy Sochan just can’t help but draw comparisons to Hall of Fame defender and former Spur, Dennis Rodman. The comparisons were there before he got to San Antonio — from the neon hair color to his reputation as a lengthy, pesky defender with issues on the offensive end — and they only intensified with his decision to wear number 10 for the Spurs (Rodman’s number). Now, there’s another feature he’s added to his game that caused the comparisons to go viral again after the Spurs’ recent win over the Houston Rockets: one-handed free throw attempts.
Of course, Sochan isn’t doing the one-handed free throw just to be more like Rodman. So far, he has struggled his way to 43% free-throw shooting for the season. This is an attempt to fix his form, as he himself explained it at practice today:
Pop and Brett Brown suggested Jeremy Sochan shoot FTs one-handed in Houston. Here is Sochan explaining why:— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 21, 2022
“When I’m doing it with one hand, my elbow’s in tight. When I put my guide hand, my elbow kind of drifts out. That’s what we’re emphasizing.”
More Sochan:— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 21, 2022
“During shootaround (in HOU), before I even touched the ball, Coach Pop and Coach Brown came up and said, ‘You’re shooting with one hand this game.’ I just did it. It’s more about my development than how it looks. I’m just going to listen to them and try my best.”
Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. Rodman ultimately still shot under 60% from the charity stripe for his career, but former New York Knick Anthony Mason is an example of a one-handed free-throw shooter who shot over 70% for his career. However, Sochan is still young and eager to learn, and Doug McDermott believes he has what it takes.
You can’t be afraid to go to the line. You just gotta keep being aggressive and try to get fouled. Once you see a few go through, I think the floodgates open. Your whole game opens up, especially (for) a young guy like that. I think he is going to continue to do that. We have a lot of faith in him. (Spurs assistant coach) Brett (Brown) is working with him a lot and he is looking great out there.
We’ll see how long this form lasts and if it works, but the fact that Sochan is willing to do anything to improve, even it brings about some mockery in the interim, shows how dedicated he is to being the best player he can be.