Trevor Mbakwe received some flak for missing free throws last season, but the criticism hardly reached fever pitch. That could be because his worst days conveniently came in wins and he seemed to improve as the year went on..

But regardless of whether the bulk of the problem flew under the radar, Mbakwe went into the offseason well aware of his 62.9 percentage -- and knowing that NBA coaches are probably also well aware of his 127-of-202 totals from the line -- and put a lot of time into working on his shooting.

That was one of the main things I was working on (this summer)," Mbakwe said. "You know, I was leaving points on the board. And that’s one of the things [head coach Tubby Smith] stressed to me about and I feel I’m a better shooter than I showed last year and now."

Mbakwe said he's been in the gym "consistently," shooting and  working on that aspect of his game, which he feel has improved heading into tomorrow's first exhibition, against Bemidji State.

"I want to just make teams pay for fouling me," he said. "I think I’m going to show people how much I improved this year."