Gators Game-Winning Shot Basketball Rarity
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
With one Herculean toss, a college basketball player has earned a place in the YouTube hall of fame. It happened yesterday when things were looking downright desperate for the University of Florida men's basketball team. Playing at North Carolina State, the Gators were down by one with less than three seconds to go.
They could only stand by and watch as a Wolfpack player was on the free throw line with a chance to put the game away. He missed the second shot. Then Florida forward Chandler Parsons got the rebound on that last free throw. And with so little time and almost the entire court to travel, he really had only one very, very, very long shot.
Unidentified Man #1: Parsons, a long three-point shot. It's good.
Unidentified Man #2: It's good.
Unidentified Man #1: It's good.
Unidentified Man #2: It's good. Chandler Parsons has won the game.
Unidentified Man #1: Unbelievable.
Unidentified Man #2: Oh, man. Sixty-two to 61, Chandler Parsons shoots in a 65-foot three to win the game. How, my - I don't believe what I've just seen.
NORRIS: The Florida announcers might not have believed and the headlines today were quick to call it a miracle shot. But just how miraculous was it? Well, for an answer, we turn to John Gasaway. He's a writer for basketballprospectus.com, and he joins us from member station WFYI in Indianapolis. Welcome to the program.
Mr. JOHN GASAWAY (Writer, BasketballProspectus.com): Thank you for having me.
NORRIS: A lot of happy people in that clip.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. GASAWAY: Just listening to that gets me excited all over again. That was a great call of a great play.
NORRIS: Yeah. If you haven't seen it on YouTube, it is an amazing bit of basketball play there. But in your most recent post for Basketball Prospectus, you jokingly - we think - say that Parsons, who's a reserve forward, has made a strong case for the National Player of the Year. Are you serious about that?
Mr. GASAWAY: He's the most exciting thing I've seen in calendar 2010, I'll put it that way.
NORRIS: I'm going to ask you about the shot in just a minute, but first, the player. Tell me a little bit more about Chandler Parsons.
Mr. GASAWAY: This is the best thing he's done in his career. He's a fine player, all kidding aside. But he's a role player for Florida. He's not the star player for the Gators. And Florida looks to be a team that will be right on the edge, as far as getting into the NCAA Tournament this year. So one point I made in my post today was that this shot actually could turn out to be a very important shot for their season, in addition to being great TV. That was an important game for them to win and they have Parsons solely to thank for that.
NORRIS: Did the coach know that he had this particular talent, that he could make a shot at 65 feet or however wide it was?
Mr. GASAWAY: I think Florida coach Billy Donovan's exact quote, and if you can call a Twitter post a quote was, "That's not the way I drew it up, but I'll take it."
(Soundbite of laughter)
NORRIS: How often do we see this kind of shot?
Mr. GASAWAY: You know, it did happen in an NCAA Tournament game last March. A Missouri player by the name of Marcus Denmon did the same thing from almost the exact same spot on the floor with a key difference: It was to close out the first half, not the whole game and it didn't turn out to make the difference between winning and losing.
When shots like this are made from this distance, they get on the highlight reel. You see them. They're very rare. And then one that singlehandedly spells the difference between victory and defeat is rarer still. So we're right to make a big deal out of this. It's pretty special.
NORRIS: But you said it matters for the team, that this could make a difference in terms of tournament play. How will this change the fortunes for that young man?
Mr. GASAWAY: Well, he'll be on YouTube forever. He will be attached to this feat forever. We're now talking about him on NPR. You know, I don't want to write the subsequent book on his playing career, but this is certainly the biggest splash he's made so far. It's a pretty big deal.
NORRIS: Well, John Gasaway, thanks so much for talking to us. All the best to you.
Mr. GASAWAY: Thank you very much for having me.
NORRIS: John Gasaway is a writer for basketballprospectus.com.
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