I would say Thurman. He had at least five game-winning baskets in his career. Some of the shots I remember him making off the top of my head, not including the Duke game:
The jumper with 5 seconds left to beat Kentucky on Super Bowl Sunday in 1995.
The game-tying free throw (after he missed one) to force overtime in the closing seconds of regulation, and what proved to be the game-winner with about a minute left in overtime vs. Syracuse in the 1995 NCAA Tournament.
The go-ahead 3 with 16 seconds remaining in overtime at LSU in 1994.
The game-winning 3 with 9 seconds left at Tennessee in 1994.
Clutch shooter should be defined by not just game winning baskets, but by ability to create your own shot or an open shot and deliver that clutch basket when you need one. There have been many that did that for us such as Ron Brewer, Sidney, Day, Mayberry, Corliss, Scotty, Johnson, etc. But the world defines clutch shooter based on game winning baskets, and that has to be Scotty Thurman as Matt says.
Incidentally, our own Joe Johnson is one of players with most fame winning baskets in the NBA.
Scottie the most important shot vs Duke, shooting a rainbow over Lang. Brewer was second most clutch for 3rd place vs ND in ‘78 with a turnaround from the top. He did it frequently, backing the defender down, then squaring up after a 180 in the air, from 3 pt distance. Haven’t seen many that could do that.
A little known shot that no one talks about, because IIRC it wasn’t on TV anywhere, was a leaner Moncrief hit in the lane at the buzzer to beat TTech in Lubbock in the last regular season game in 1979. That shot got us a share of the SWC regular season title after Texass lost to SMU that night. Much more important than winning a meaningless (and the last) Final Four consolation game. If Boot had missed that shot that game would have gone to OT, and nobody wanted OT in a useless consolation game. Which is why they didn’t play that useless game ever again.
We set the school record for shooting percentage that night in Lubbock, which still stands nearly 40 years later. Made 27 of 34 shots for the game (which would be a heckuva night at the foul line, never mind the field). That’s 79.4%, to save you getting out the calculator. But we turned it over enough that Tech had a one-point lead before Sid hit that leaner. If he’d missed, we still would have set the single game shooting mark that night, but we’d have one less conference title.
I have what I believe to be a very vivid memory of Sid’s shot in Lubbock. Remembering though, that my mind is now very old, I see that “jump shot” as being just right and maybe a little forward of the top of the key. What I know for certain is that I jumped out of my chair and screamed loudly when it went in.
If I had to choose among a very good bunch, my clear choice is Sidney Moncrief. His senior year was the absolutely best performance of any Razorback ever. The next best player on that team was soph U.S. Reed followed by senior Steve Schall and freshman Scott Hastings.
Sidney played 1157 minutes out of 1200. He also averaged 9.8 rebounds a game. That team was 25-5 and only missed going back to the Final Four because of a phantom traveling call on U.S. Reed and a fluke shot by Indiana State’ Bob Heston.
I watched all the great Razorbacks. I was in St. Louis for Ron Brewer’s step back from the top of the key and was in Charlotte sitting directly on line for Scottie’s 3. I have had the joy of watching all the greats since the Sutton era and there were many that were great clutch shooters, but Sidney would be my clear choice.as the one to take the last shot.
Though I wasn’t there, didn’t hear or see it, I was thinking about that specific game as i was reading this thread. I remember reading the recap in the DMN the next day and marveling (a) at how well we shot, especially in Lubbock (which has never been an easy place to come away with a win, especially in the Gerald Myers era); and (b) that it took a last second shot from Sidney to procure the win with that kind of remarkable shooting performance.
Wish I had been able to watch the game. We’re spoiled these days.
I also remember Boot missing a FT with something like 10 seconds left in a SWC Tournament Championship game (1978), and Houston got the rebound and made a last second shot to beat us by 1 point; I believe it was Rose who made the shot. I remember being afraid that we would not get into the “Big Dance” because we didn’t win the Tournament.
That sounds silly today, but the SWC was not highly regarded back then, and only 32 teams got in at that time - not 64+, as is the case today. After conference champions, the bubble was pretty small. We should have gotten in, and did, thank goodness. That team made it to the Final Four, where Boot made the jumper to beat Notre Dame in the last Consolation game ever played in that tournament.
Yeah I remember Boothead missing the FT against Cougar High, and either Rose or Otis Birdsong hitting the winner. We sweated out the selection on Sunday. They’d only added at-large berths two years before and the SWC had never gotten one. Texas didn’t get one that after they lost to UH in the SWCT final, but won the NIT instead.
Wish I could find the boxscore for that game at Lubbock. Eddie’s teams usually shot pretty well from the line but we had a bad habit of gagging late in games which cost us quite a few wins (including that SWCT game with UH). I wonder if we bricked a few in Lubbock that night to keep Tech in it. With no 3-point shot in those days, the math is easy: We made 12 FTs at Tech that night, but I don’t know how many we missed. I did find the team stats for '79. Sidney shot 85% from the line, which boosted the team numbers to .717, but the rest of the team was kinda lackluster with the exception of my fellow freshman Scott Hastings.
Now that I think about that Tech game, I think it was shown on the precursor to Fox Sports Southwest which IIRC was called Fanfare. We got it in the TV room downstairs in our dorm, but I was stringing for the Fort Smith paper that year and they wanted me to write their game story instead of using AP. So I sat in my room, listened to Paul Eells on the radio and took notes, wrote a game story on my typewriter and faxed it (we called it a telecopier then) to Fort Smith from the phone in my room. I think I saw Sidney’s shot later on the Eddie Sutton Show. And, like many of Moncrief’s shots, it was a bit off balance, bounced around the rim and fell through.
That’s also the year we played the 40-minute advertisement for the shot clock – Arkansas 39, Texas 38, in the SWCT final. I listened to the UT broadcast of the game at the Texas Aquatics Center where I was sent with our men’s swim team (we did have a pretty good one at the time) for the SWC swim meet. Abe Lemons let the air out of the ball and figured Eddie Sutton would get blamed. He was right. But we still won.
Don’t remember Fanfare down here in DFW; HSE (“Home Sports Entertainment”) was the network from which Fox Sports SW evolved, but it didn’t start until the early 80’s (83, I believe). Pretty sure the Tech game we’ve been discussing was not broadcast in the Metroplex; but I wouldn’t be surprised that it might have been in some areas of Arkansas (due to the interest there).
I have some vivid memories of that 1979 “rope-a-dope” (or “four corners”) game against Texas in the SWC Championship. However, many of them have nothing at all to do with basketball and can’t be discussed here. We’ll leave it at that.
My first memory of Fanfare was from working for them. They carried the UH-Arkansas football game the previous October (1978) from the Dome, and I was their Arkansas spotter. My recollection is that Fanfare was based in Houston but covered the entire SWC, as long as the game was being played in Texas; they never made an appearance in RRS for instance. The announcing crew was Gene Elston, who was the voice of the Astros at the time, and Barry Warner, a long time Houston sports radio guy. That was not a good night; we gained 200 yards in the first quarter but got only three Ish Ordonez field goals out of it, and they quickly took over and won 20-9. About six weeks later our paths crossed again at the Cotton Bowl when we clobbered SMU and I again was their spotter. Gene teased me on the air in the fourth quarter that I had a much happier expression on my face than the last time he saw me.
But Fanfare morphed into HSE which morphed into FSW.
I remember that Houston loss as well. I had made the trip to Austin the week before to see us lose to the Horns 28-21 in our red britches. Spent the next weekend in Abilene, where my folks lived at that time, and listened to the game over the Humble radio network (Connie Alexander on the mic, I believe).
We came into the season as S.I. cover boys and their pre-season #1 pick. Those back-to-back losses punctured that balloon. We didn’t lose again, but played to a 10-10 tie with UCLA in what was then a pretty new Bowl game - the Fiesta Bowl.