Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Clutch Time

The game is on the line and it's come to the last few possessions. Your team is down, one bucket to make a difference, a few points between glory and shame. You can pluck any player this season and entrust the ball to their hands. Who would it be? Here are my three:

Chandler Parsons Duh. Chandler has already come up with two miracle, emphasis on miracle, shots this season. The first was against North Carolina State back on January 3. It was overtime, the buzzer was sounding, the shot was thrown up 75 feet from the basket, swish. The 3 pointer made it a 62 to 61 Florida victory. Parsons even got the ball off of a missed free throw with 2.6 seconds on the clock. That's as clutch as it comes.

The second miracle of the season came against South Carolina, the giant killers, this past Saturday. Again, he hit a buzzer beating three to put Florida up 58 to 56. It was in regulation this time, and it wasn't 75 feet, but clutch is clutch. And this kid is clutch.

Scottie Reynolds Everyone remembers his game winning shot against Pitt that sent Villanova to the Final Four last year. That shot made Reynolds a household name. This year? How about a dead on 3 in the wanning seconds against Marquette for a 74 to 72 win, back on January 2. Against Georgetown, January 17, Reynolds went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the final 36 seconds on the way to a 82 to 77 victory. When the clock is winding down, you want the ball in Reynolds hands.

Kalin Lucas Remember when Lucas broke Sherron Collins ankles in a key drive to the basket in Michigan State's win over Kansas in the Sweet 16 last year? Awesome. Almost as awesome as the cold blooded, icy stare of death Lucas gets when pulling up to crush opponents hopes and dreams. In State's last two road games, at Minnesota and at Michigan, they've won by a combined total of 2 points. The Spartans can thank Kalin Lucas for that.

Against Minnesota, State hadn't lead the entire game. That is, until Lucas had the ball in his hands with 1:27 left. Perfectly positioned at the top of the arc, Lucas took aim, pulled up and let loose. Lucas backed away with this stoic expression on his face, and Michigan State rode that shot to the win. In Ann Arbor, during a time out with less than 20 seconds on the clock, Lucas told his teammates and his coaches he wanted the ball. No one argued. With 3.5 seconds left on the clock, he took a mid range jumper that you knew was good two days ago. He had that same cold expression. He just bought another one.

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