It's becoming increasingly apparent that UConn may need to spend a little more practice time improving its end-of-half clock management.
One year after Roscoe Smith memorably attempted an 80-footer at Texas with 11 seconds left in a tie game because he mistakenly thought time was about to expire, teammate Andre Drummond made a similar gaffe against Villanova. Instead of dribbling up court or passing to an open teammate after corralling a rebound at the end of Monday night's first half, Drummond released a wild 85-foot heave with more than four seconds remaining.
The reaction from commentators Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas was spot-on as the ball sailed out of bounds well to the left of the hoop. After Raftery naturally questioned why Drummond didn't pass, Bilas referenced Smith's blunder from last year, dryly noting, "We've seen this movie before."
Indeed we had, and in both cases the outcome for UConn was the same.
[Related: Shabazz Napier bails out UConn at buzzer]
Last January, Kemba Walker made sure Smith's shot would be remembered as a hilarious brain cramp rather than a disastrous mistake by capping a brilliant overtime session with a game-winning pull-up jump shot. And on Monday night, fellow point guard Shabazz Napier did the same for Drummond, sinking a last-second go-ahead 30-footer to give UConn a 73-70 win at Villanova to salvage a win the fading Huskies desperately needed.
(Thanks, Ballin is a Habit)
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- Bill Raftery