Hitting a buzzer-beating, game-winning shot is one of the coolest things you can do in sports. Cuse freshman point guard Tyler Ennis is the coolest player in college basketball this season. Nothing fazes him and as the game situation gets more and more intense, he becomes more and more calm. So when Ennis hit that game-winning 40-footer to keep the perfect season alive, cool exploded and a new level of cool was achieved.
This Cuse season has been really special so far. There have been moments when we were going to lose, like Wednesday, but then we just don’t. It usually involves Tyler Ennis or C.J. Fair taking over a game and coming through with a clutch play or two or three. Against Pitt, Fair scored 8 straight points to help erase a 6-point deficit with 95 seconds to play. Then Ennis did the rest.
It reminded me of when another freshman quieted a rival crowd with a game-winning three…
Overall, this was a just an awesome win that I’m still so pumped up about 3 full days later. I can’t believe that Pitt was 9-0 against Top 5 teams at the Peterson Events Center before that game last night. It shows just how hard it is to win there. But the Orange prevailed and even Boeheim cracked a huge smile when the shot went in. Ennis stayed cool (obviously) but you can tell that even he was impressed with his unlikely accomplishment.
Ennis is having a nearly perfect freshman season. His stats are ridiculous, especially in the final 5 minutes of close games. He has yet to commit a turnover in those situations while also shooting 9-10 from the field and adding 6 assists. Not to mention, he is a perfect 14-14 from the free throw line in the final 5 minutes of one possession games. That’s the definition of clutch. Those stats might be impossible to keep up but the fact that he has accomplished what he has thus far is remarkable. I can’t wait to see what more he and this Cuse team can do.
Ennis has been outstanding and he deserves all of the accolades but this team (which is only 7 players deep) has also been getting major contributions from everyone. C.J. Fair is the senior leader and he always seems to come up with a huge shot or rebound when we need it most. Cooney single-handedly won the Notre Dame with a career high 33 points. He couldn’t miss from three – anything he put up was nothing but net. Jerami Grant and Fair each had career highs in the Duke game, which was the best college basketball game I think that I have ever seen. Both teams were the best versions of themselves and continued to hit shots. The game matched the enormous hype, which seemed impossible.
Christmas, Gbinije and Keita are key role players and each and every one of those 7 guys will be needed down the stretch. Give me this team, especially Ennis, Fair, Grant and Cooney over any other team in college basketball right now. The first-ever ACC tournament for Cuse is going to be electric, but before that we’ve got a HUGE rematch coming against Duke next Saturday. What a ride this season has been so far and hopefully it’s going to continue until April 3-5 in Arlington, Texas.