Distraction Of The Day: D.J. Newbill’s Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater
D.J. Newbill is a bad, bad man.
We all know this. Anyone whose caught even a glimpse of Penn State basketball over the last three years understands how essential Newbill is to the Nittany Lions’ success. While Penn State has yet to advance further than the second-round of the CBI during his tenure in Blue and White, Newbill’s strong shoulders have carried the team to some remarkable moments.
No matter how Newbill’s college career ends (*fingers crossed Penn State wins three-straight in the B1G Tournament to earn a miracle NIT bid*) he’s going to go down as one of the best Nittany Lion ballers of all-time. Need further proof? Here you go:
— Alissa Clendenen (@GoPSUAlissaC) March 9, 2015
This, of course, leads into the end of Sunday’s regular season finale with Minnesota. After hitting a jumper to give Penn State a 76-75 lead with 22 seconds left, Newbill watched helplessly as a flailing Jordan Dickerson fouled the Gophers’ Joey King, sending him to the line where he hit one of two free throws to tie the game. Coolly dribbling the ball back down the court, Newbill waited for the clock to tick down under five seconds before pulling up a few feet behind the top of the key, launching a 23-foot bomb with a hand in his face.
While you, dear reader, were most-likely gnawing away at whatever fragments of fingernail you had left, Newbill started celebrating the shot the second he released it. Don’t believe me? Well, our friend Chard Markulics over at Black Shoe Diaries breaks it down for us.
While you can debate whether the play was the most effective, you can’t argue with the results. There’s no question you give the ball to the team’s best player in that situation and ask him to go win the game, and the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer did just that. Newbill’s brilliance has gone unnoticed by Big Ten voters and most of the collective college basketball world this season, but that’s to be expected when your team finishes 4-14 in conference play. Entering Sunday’s action, Penn State was locked into the Big Ten tournament’s 13-seed, while Minnesota was seeking a first-round bye. Seemingly, there was nothing to play for.
Somebody should have told D.J. Newbill.