ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – Baylor guard Brady Heslip "strapped the scene" Saturday.
In Baylor lingo, when a Bear sinks a 3-pointer, they say "strap." Heslip made nine in the Bears' 80-63 victory over Colorado in their South Regional third round matchup. So Heslip "strapped the scene."
No one outside J'mison "BoBo" Morgan, a senior center who is redshirting this season, knows exactly what the term means – "BoBo is the slang master," guard Pierre Jackson said. "He comes up with a lot of words that we don't even know." – but in the wake of Saturday night's victory, no one much cared.
All that mattered was that Heslip did strap the scene to the tune of 27 points – that's right, he scored all 27 of his points on 3-pointers – including back-to-back daggers that turned a three-point game with just over seven minutes to go into a rout.
For Heslip, the night provided some validation of his decision to transfer to Baylor before last season. He spent his freshman season at Boston College, but when the Eagles fired coach Al Skinner, replacing him with Steve Donahue, Heslip opted to leave.
"It was nothing personal or anything like that, I just didn't feel like he had confidence in me to play at that level," Heslip told the Boston Herald. "He was going in a different direction and he kind of said he wanted his own players. I just felt after the meetings I had, the vibe was that it was best for me to move on."
Hailing from a basketball-crazed family in Canada – his father was an All-Canadian player in college and his uncle, Jay Triano, coached the Toronto Raptors for three seasons – Heslip found a comfort zone in Baylor.
After sitting out a year per NCAA transfer rules, Heslip immediately earned himself a spot in the Bears' starting lineup. He has made at least one 3-pointer in all but three of Baylor's 37 games this season, but never more than six … until Saturday night.
Ironically, he missed his first shot of the game, but an offensive rebound gave him another shot and he promptly knocked it down. As he strolled down the court, Heslip made a circle with his index fingers pressed to his thumbs and lifted them to his eyes. "I call 'em the 'three goggles,' " he explained later.
By halftime, he'd done it six times, at which point a referee had seen enough.
"I was doing it in the first half, then the ref told me, 'Don't do anything after you make the 3,' so I had to figure something out," he explained.
He improvised by keeping his lands low around his waist. But still he made the goggles three more times, sinking nine of his 12 3-point attempts in the game.
"Heslip was the difference," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said in an understatement. "He was unconscious tonight."
"I'm just feeling great right now, first of all, because we won," Heslip said. "I'm just happy for my seniors. Nobody wanted to go home today. We played like that in the second half for sure. So it's an amazing feeling right now."
"I know he's capable of it; we've just got to get him open. He did a great job of getting his shot off fast and it went in," Jackson said. "Strapped the scene."
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