'Bama Struggles On Line

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama has been struggling this season at the free throw line, and coach Mark Gottfried said there doesn't seem to be an obvious solution to the problem

The Crimson Tide is hitting just 59 percent from the line, which ranked Number 321 of 328 teams in Division I entering this week's games.

Gottfried says the fix isn't as obvious or simple as it might seem to amateur coaches/psychologists. Especially when the problem has affected virtually the entire team.

The Tide's poor foul shooting has been a glaring weakness amid a difficult season that includes a number of close losses entering Saturday's visit to Kentucky.

Gottfried even checked out last year's stats this morning to find evidence of what he likely already knew: Just about every Alabama player's free throw numbers have gone south.

Only Alonzo Gee's percentage has risen, climbing from 64.8 percent to 69.8.

The Tide was a 71 percent free throw shooting team last season, when Ron Steele (87.5) and Jermareo Davidson (77.5) boosted the numbers.

Gottfried isn't discounting the possibility that there might be an almost team-wide psychological barrier from the line that the players need to overcome.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)