Roundtable: Who do you trust to close with 10 seconds on the clock?


The UConn men’s basketball team huddles up before playing University of Tulsa on Feb. 13, 2016. (Jason Jiang/Daily Campus)

The scenario is this: If the game is tied and there’s 10 seconds on the clock, who should take the last shot for the men’s basketball team?

In the past, the UConn men’s basketball team always had some the best “closers” in college basketball. But with no Kemba Walker, Shabazz Napier or Ryan Boatright available, the DC sports staff debates who should get the last for the Huskies when the game is on the line…

Peter Harasyko:  In a tie game with 10 seconds left, I want the ball in Shonn Miller’s hands. This is a clear deviation from the UConn we’ve seen over the last few years, where there has always been a guard with the ability to get a good shot with time winding down. This year, however, the most reliable scorer has been Miller.

Miller has scored in double figures in 20 straight games and has the ability to back down his man and get an easy hook or fade six feet away from the rim. Ten seconds is more than enough time to do that. It really doesn’t matter where Miller catches the ball. On the perimeter or in the post, he can still get to his spot on the floor and get up a great look.

The same can’t be said of some of the other players. Purvis can get to the rim as well as anybody, but lacks the soft touch of an elite finisher. Hamilton, on the other hand, has the opposite problem. Many of his shots this year seem to find the bottom of the rim instead of the bottom of the net. Gibbs would be my pick if we needed a three, but isn’t as reliable as Miller from close range.

Give the ball to the guy who shoots 59 percent from the floor. In my opinion, he’ll have the best chance at winning it for the Huskies.

Josh Buser: With most UConn teams of the past, you would want the star guard to have the ball in his hands with the clock winding down.  But with this year’s team, I think Amida Brimah should get the last shot.

Now, obviously you don’t want Brimah with the ball at the top of the key. Personally, I would prefer Daniel Hamilton to start with the ball.  However, this year’s guards seem to be much more effective driving into the lane than they are creating shots off the dribble.

With that being said, I want Hamilton, Jalen Adams or Rodney Purvis to drive, force the opposing big to help, and find Brimah for the easy bucket. Game over.

I’m clearly making it sound a lot easier than it actually is, but when it comes down to it, I’ll take that drive and dish over whatever Sterling Gibbs tried to do at the end of the Cincinnati game any day. 

Shahan Kamal: If there’s 10 seconds left on the clock and one of the Huskies is taking the last shot, I’d absolutely want it to be Rodney Purvis. He may not be the best shooter from three, or have the best moves near the rim, but Purvis is the best overall scorer on this team. He has been consistent in reaching double figures in points this season, averaging 13.3 points per game so far. I would trust Purvis to handle the last possession of the game simply because he has just about every shot in his repertoire. He is clearly the “Jack of all trades, Master of none” on this team and has increased his shooting percentages all around since last year. Purvis gives the Huskies the best chance to win if he has the ball in his hands.

Stephanie Sheehan: Absolutely Shonn Miller. Every other possible candidate is too unreliable. Rodney Purvis is too much of an all-or-nothing player (plus, that double dribble incident from the loss to Temple was just unacceptable); Sterling Gibbs is better from three-point range and that’s too risky of a move to make with 10 seconds to go (unless they were down by three, then I think I would give it to Gibbs). Amida Brimah, while very good at the game of basketball, often cannot even make a floater for his life; Daniel Hamilton has too poor of a field goal percentage (.380) to be reliable. Jalen Adams would also be a worthy candidate, but with the way Kevin Ollie has been running out the lineups, there is little chance that Adams would even be on the floor. Miller has a .593 field goal percentage, the best of his collegiate career. I want to be screaming “IT’S MILLER TIME” when we finally hit a buzzer beater.

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