With 13 seconds left and the Wisconsin Badgers down by one point, I and every member of the Syracuse Orangemen knew that Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor would take the last shot, no matter what. Knowing this, Syracuse ran two men at him and he nevertheless hoisted a 40 foot fadeaway three pointer that had next to no chance of splashing home.
Now remember, I said the possession started with 13 seconds on the clock and the Badgers down by one single point. The Badgers, an outstanding foul shooting team who happened to be in the bonus, should have been in the driver’s seat. The Badgers should have forced the issue, and at least made the Syracuse zone bend before taking a shot.
But, as Steve Martin used to say back when he was funny… “Nooooooooooo”. Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin’s reputed (but not actual) best player, felt the burden was “upon him” to take the last second shot (I’m assuming this because he made no effort to involve his teammates).
Why did he think this? Well, if he has basic cable, and if he watches ESPN at all, that’s all they ever talk about. “Great players make great plays at big moments…” what’s that stupid ass canard they always spout? It has no meaning, but it is meant to challenge the manhood of any player who doesn’t have the balls to throw up the last second shot. Every time Lebron doesn’t take the last shot with the game on the line, no matter whether he is quadrupled teamed, the ESPN talking heads question whether he has the stones to take last second shots. Never mind that one of his teammates might have a higher percentage shot than him. If he passes off, he is deemed to be gutless.
And as a result of this, players who believe themselves to be the best player on their particular team, as Jordan Taylor must have felt last night, believe a special burden lies upon them to “win or lose” the game, to “put the game in their hands”.
NO!! The object is to search for and take the best shot possible. Not to damn the torpedoes and launch whatever you can get. Last night it cost the Badgers.