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This year a phenomenon has infected the ASU student section at basketball games, causing overwhelming sorrow and grief.

The idea to clap before raising one’s hands in the ceremonial pitchfork salute during an ASU free-throw attempt has risen from the depths of the school’s underworld and taken over. It may be new and cool, but it’s not helping.

The ASU men’s basketball team is just 9-14 overall and 1-10 in the conference, after three 20-win seasons.

While many critics have sighted the lack of rebounding from this year’s team, I have to disagree.

Rebounding has never been one of ASU’s fortes under coach Herb Sendek. In fact, the highest the team has ever finished under Sendek was seventh in the Pac-10 during his disastrous 8-22 first year. This included his first four seasons in which ex-Sun Devil Jeff Pendergraph, who finished his career in second place on the ASU career rebounds list, competed.

It’s been their free throw shooting that has held them back this year. Ty Abbott, Rihards Kuksiks and Ruslan Pateev have all seen their free throw shooting percentage drop immensely from last year. Therefore, I urge students to not clap before they shoot.

Try it the way it was last year. There’s nowhere to go but up.

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