Tuesday, February 19, 2013
New Mexico's success from the stripe
By Matt Giles
New Mexico is ranked first' in the Mountain West conference, an interesting situation considering the Lobos are one of the worst offensive teams in the league. The squad's offensive efficiency rate is a paltry .96 points per possession, and Steve Alford's squad only converts 44.2 percent of their shots within the arc. What has helped lead New Mexico, though, to nine MWC wins is their ability to get to the free throw stripe.
As Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal notes, only one other MWC team has attempted more free throws this season than the Lobos. The league-leading team is no surprise -- Colorado State -- but it is interesting that New Mexico scores a majority of their points with free shots. The Lobos' free throw rate, per Ken Pomeroy, is ranked third in the MWC, and three players have already attempted more than 100 free throws in 2013. What is also intriguing is New Mexico is not a great free throw shooting team -- only 68 percent of their attempts result in makes. If UNM can start to hit on some of those misses, the Lobos could become a truly offensively intimidating team.