February 28th: Like it was going to be anything else.
This was absolutely horrific shot selection. For one, when you're down only one, the smart play is always - always - to go for two. Driving to the basket is the best way to accomplish this, as it gives you the added chance to get to the foul line if you can't make the shot. Initially, it looks like Taylor was going this route, although Derek Glasser's defense and the bump by Forrest prevented what might have been another trademark runner/floater by Taylor.
Instead, Taylor pulls out to just beyond the three-point line, where he has a decent look if he wants to pull the trigger. He doesn't. He passes it to Marcus Capers, who, perhaps remembering the UCLA game, gets the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible. Back to Rochesite. He shakes of Glasser, and....
All I remember is seeing a ball go up. I had no idea where he shot it, as I was on the other end of the court blocked by my fellow students probably screaming for a time out. I remember the silence as it went up, the initial shock when it went through, and then the pandemonium when we all realized what had happened.
Usually, shots like these go to the other guys. Friel, as great a venue as it is, never usually rewards the home team. We've seen losses in this building that felt like a punch to the stomach. We've seen calls as inept as any I've ever seen in college basketball. We've seen our final desperation attempts fall harmlessly to the ground. This time was different.
As much as we want to make the smart call, play the percentages, go by the book, every once in a while you get something even better when you just throw it all out the window. And that's what Taylor Rochestie did. In his final home game, with the postseason on the line. There will never be another shot like this one in the minds of Cougar fans.
Forget basketball. Forget just this year. This is my favorite Cougar play of all time.
I still can't believe it went in.