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Derek Willis just went with his feelings to help Briscoe get his triple-double

Derek Willis (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Finally Derek Willis had a chance to explain his late missed free throw at Mississippi that resulted in a rebound for Isaiah Briscoe that gave him only the third triple-double in UK basketball history.

“Zay had said something after I think we had lost the ball. The ball had went out of bounds and we ended up getting the ball back. He said something about how he needed another rebound and I don’t know what happened. But yeah, I guess I was shooting free throws and just pointed at him to go that way (left) and then I just tried to bank it and missed real bad and it kicked out to him so he could get a triple-double,” Willis said.

Simple enough. It worked perfectly. So does Willis actually practice missing a free throw intentionally?

“Honestly, I didn’t even really know what happened, but I was like I’ll try and do what I can. Just had a good bounce and got to him,” Willis said.

Late in a game if UK needs a missed free throw, maybe Willis is the player Kentucky needs at the line.

“I kind of thought about that. We’ve been practicing free throws a lot too, and I was almost thinking about practicing missing free throws, because we’re practicing making them. I don’t know, it could be a circumstance of where at the end of the game you want to hit it at the right point to get it back. It could be a thing,” Willis said.

5 comments

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  1. LindaS

    That was one of the most unselfish and beautiful tings I have ever seen don by a Kentucky player…just don’t let it happen when the game is close! LOL

  2. KingGhidora

    I guess Briscoe is lucky it wasn’t Fox on the line. Fox tried to miss a free throw in the UNC game late so that the clock would run out before UNC could get down the floor and score. He hit the ball hard off the backboard thinking it would bounce all the way back to him probably. Instead, as any student of the sport will tell you, if you hit that square on the backboard with the ball the ball will go in the basket. And that’s exactly what happened. It was funny as heck. It had to be the ugliest free throw he ever shot and it went in. You could see the look of surprise on his face.

    Too bad more kids don’t use the backboard. You can throw it like a baseball and hit that square and the ball goes in. I had a guy beat me in a big one on one tournament doing exactly that. I had won the year before. This guy threw it over his shoulder at about 90 mph and sure enough it would go in. I never saw a shot like that before or since. The backboard is your friend.

    Congrats to Briscoe. He well deserves good things like this. He’s a hard working kid always ready to sacrifice for the team. He’s a great defender and passer and a super finisher inside for his size.

  3. KingGhidora

    Here’s a video of that Fox shot. Check his body language after the ball goes in. He definitely wanted to miss. Look quick because this won’t be up long.

    https://youtu.be/Wg-lc0c98AI

  4. KingGhidora

    Sorry but the video is gone now. I don’t need trouble with copyright infringement.

  5. Persimmon Knob

    It is sometimes much more difficult to miss a free throw than it is to make that shot. It is doubly more difficult to miss the shot and have the rebound fall into the hands of a teammate !

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