Are they still talking about how great and tough Aaron Craft is? What about all the less than great things he did in the last 3 minutes against Michigan – why can’t we talk about that?
With under 3 minutes left, Craft was critical on three straight plays. First, he misses 2 free throws. Then on defense, he gambles and loses Nik Stauskas who scores on the baseline after Craft fell to the floor.
On the next possession, he misses a wide open three that would’ve tie the game.
Sports Illustrated puts it this way:
This after the two missed free throws, just after checking back in with 2:55 to play. This after the three-point attempt that rimmed in and out with 90 seconds left. This after Ohio State went from five points down to one up without him on the floor, after it scored exactly one point after he returned.
But that’s not it. With Ohio State down 3 after Spike Albrecht missed a free throw that would have iced it. Craft found the ball in his hand with a chance to redeem himself. He hurled himself straight down midcourt, raised up and … lost the ball.
The game slipped away with the ball for Ohio State. Stauskas came up with the ball and joyfully ran upcourt. Michigan won 72-69.
I have nothing against Craft as a player, I am just exhausted by the announcers cherry picking only the good things that Craft has done. Not one person mentioned those four critical plays in crunch time that helped Michigan pull out the win.
** Of course, after the game, Doug Gottlieb brought up how slippery the basketballs could be, basically making an excuse for Aaron Craft.
“You saw where Aaron Craft, the ball slipped out of his hands. They’re using a Spaulding basketball at the Big Ten Tournament. This happens when they use (Nike) balls are not broken in. you’ll see balls slip out of guys hands; a lot more turnovers and sloppy play. It’s not as much the player as it is brand new basketballs that aren’t worn in, aren’t as tacky as they need to be.
Clark Kellogg shut that down really quickly (thank god):
Ahhhhhhhh I can’t quite go there, I mean you got to squeeze it no matter how tacky it is.