An open letter to Jerry Smith's shooting form


Dear Jerry Smith's shooting form,

  I have always been a huge fan of yours. One of my all-time favorite UofL memories was your magical moment at Marquette. I write you to perhaps point out something that your team and coaches may have not clued you in on. But first, I'm going to throw some stats out there that I am sure you are well aware of:

First 3 seasons: 8.84 ppg, 41.8% 3pt shooting, 73.8% Free throw shooting, 1.43 points per shot

Season to date: 8.3 ppg, 19.4% 3pt shooting, 52.6% Free throws, 1.05 points per shot

As my boss says: "The data are the data". Sometime during the off-season, you forgot how to shoot. I couldn't help but notice in your second game this season that something wasn't right. It all started on the free throw line. You looked comfortable, setup looked good, a little dribble or two, ball starts to move upward from the hips every so gently just like it has all your life and then something resembling this occurs near the top of your stroke. The ball then flies akwardly off your fingertips never to hear that sweet string music. I honestly thought you were going to air ball one in the W. Carolina game.

I'm no professional (although I did drop 10 pts in a YMCA pick-up game yesterday against some high school kids) but where did that hitch in your free throw and jump shot come from? The only valuable thing i've ever learned from Dick Vitale was that you want as little movement as possible on the shooting stroke. More movement = more things to go wrong. Your shooting form looks like you took free throw lessons from Rube Goldberg in the off-season. It's beginning to resemble TWill's shot his first couple of years, but his shot actually improved with age. It's great that you've adapted your game to go inside more, but you were meant to shoot the ball.

I don't know if it was the birth of little Jerry, the taser incident or the injury bug, but please fix it and get your confidence back. UofL basketball needs its shooting star. You can come practice at my house if you need to.

Sincerely,

Greg Luerman

P.S.  Jerb, if you're out there, please help Jerry with a montage of free throw clips then and now set to Tom Petty's "Free Falling"

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