What are the mathematical probabilities you will make 55 consecutive free throws, one or two at a time, without missing one?
Dan Rough, valedictorian of his high school class at Port Townsend, Wash., and now a math major at one of the most demanding academic schools in the Northwest, is familiar with the formulas used to estimate such theoretical odds.
Rough, a 6-foot-1 junior guard on the Whitman College men's basketball team, also knows how to beat those odds at the free throw line. Through last weekend's games, Rough has made 55 consecutive free throws to set a new NAIA Div. II national record.
Rough, who leads Whitman in scoring this season, extended his new record and ongoing streak to 55 by making two free throws in a Friday, Jan. 24, home game against Pacific University.
The previous NAIA Div. II record -- 52 consecutive free throws -- was set during the 1991-92 season by Scott Blum of Grace College (Winona Lake, Ind.) and tied in 1994-95 by Kade Wilson of Albertson College (Caldwell, Idaho).
Rough will attempt to extend his streak this Friday, Jan. 31, at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, and Saturday, Feb. 1, at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
Rough last missed a free throw in the first half of a non-conference game against Eastern Oregon State College on Dec. 15, 1995. He made two free throws in the second half of that game to begin his current streak, which has now spanned 35 games.
Rough, a 1994 graduate of Port Townsend (Wash.) High School, ended his 1995-96 season by making 32 consecutive free throws in his final 19 games. He has made 23 consecutive free throws in his first 16 games this season.
Rough also has a second free throw streak in progress. He has made 56 consecutive free throws in his last 27 Northwest Conference of Independent Colleges (NCIC) games. His last miss during an NCIC game was Feb. 4, 1995, against Willamette University. He missed his first attempt in that game and then made three straight to begin his NCIC streak.
Rough ended his 1994-95 freshman season by making his final 15 free throws in NCIC action. During the 1995-96 season, he made all 26 of the free throws he attempted in 14 NCIC games. He is 15 of 15 at the free throw line in eight conference games this season.
In a total of 35 conference games over the past three seasons, Rough has made 61 of 63 free throw attempts, a 96.8 percent average.
Rough capped his 1994-95 freshman season by winning the NAIA Div. II national three-point title. In his final regular season game, Rough made a school-record 10 of 13 three- point attempts while scoring 38 points. For the season, he made 68 of 134 three-point attempts, or 50.8 percent.
This season, after 16 games, Rough is averaging a team-high 16.7 points per game in 16 games. He also is averaging 4.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds.
Dave Holden, Whitman College Sports Information, (509) 527-5902
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