Just about everybody who has been coached in basketball has been taught about BEEF, which teaches a player the basic fundamentals of how to shoot a ball. If you’re unfamiliar, BEEF is an acronym that stands for balance, eyes, elbow, and follow-through. If you want to become a good shooter, you follow those four rules.
BEEF helps create a base for players to build upon. They’re able to find a form that feels comfortable to them that abides by the four rules. However, you don’t have to be a shooter to make it to the NBA, which means BEEF might not be something some players ever work on. And that’s where we get to Jeremy Sochan.
A couple of days ago, the highlight of Sochan shooting free throws using only one-hand against the Houston Rockets went viral throughout Twitter. It sparked conversation between those who thought it was ridiculous that an NBA player had to do this and those who are happy to see a young player unabashedly working to improve his game.
It should be no surprise that Sochan is spending time working on his shot, as it was his biggest, and perhaps only, weakness in his game. He brings so much to the table with his size and athleticism, being able to handle the ball as a point-forward and guard just about everybody on the court. After 23 games played, Sochan had proven he could do everything but shoot. His shooting splits up until the Houston game were 45.5% from the field on 7.2 attempts per game, 17.4% from three on 2 attempts per game, and 45.5% from the free throw line on 1 attempt per game. Needless to say, it was time to implement a new shooting strategy.
According to the San Antonio Express News’ Jeff McDonald, Coach Pop and Brett Brown approached him before the Houston game and told him to shoot all of his free throws one-handed. To the 19-year-old’s credit, he did it without hesitation and care for what people might think. It didn’t initially yield results, as he went 1-4 from the line, but the pieces were in motion. Over the next few days, Sochan was in the gym, practicing these one-handed free throws, working on keeping his elbow in and releasing the ball with a better follow-through (BEEF!).
Jeremy Sochan attempting to hone his one-handed form at shootaround under the watchful eye of Brett Brown. pic.twitter.com/T8L3iF58Dp— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) December 22, 2022
And last night? He had his best game yet, scoring a career-high 23 points, having gone 2-3 from three and 7-10 on free throws.
It could’ve been a fluke, but I’d bet it was the fact that these one-handed free throws have already made a positive impact on his shooting form. Even Sochan was talking about the difference they were making right away, stating, “When I’m doing it with one hand, my elbow’s in tight.” Time will tell if these one-handed free throws will truly make Sochan an impact scorer due to his ability to knockdown threes and consistently make free throws. But after one game, the arrow is certainly pointing up.
If you’d like to see the changes in shooting form throughout the season, here’s a video Ty Jager put together:
Here is a supercut of Jeremy Sochan free throws throughout the season from angles that give you a good perspective of his form.— Ty Jäger (@TheTyJager) December 22, 2022
Elbow placement is what Sochan says he's working on with the one-handed free throw and it's pretty apparent why. https://t.co/odXcZUNAb0 pic.twitter.com/vzzGfXNYuF