One of the worst early shot clock airballs in a while came from Purdue Boilermarkers’ guard Carsen Edwards Saturday against the Northwestern Wildcats. With the Boilermakers up 22-20 in the first half, Edwards got the ball with 21 seconds left on the shot clock, then launched a way-off three-point attempt with 20 seconds left that missed both the net and the backboard.
There was some initial speculation there from Big Ten Network play-by-play announcer Kevin Kugler that Edwards may have been trying to draw contact, and his quick turn to the ref would certainly support that, but he wasn’t particularly close to getting that contact. And on the replay, color commentator Jon Crispin had some pointed commentary on this, saying “The reason why you got to this point is ultimately you got contributions from everybody. To win this game, everybody’s got to be involved. I get what he’s trying to do…maybe I don’t.”
There’s an appropriate Get Smart image for Edwards here:
This was perhaps particularly notable because of Edwards’ status. The junior guard has been the Boilermakers’ star all season, leading the team with 23.4 points per game (Ryan Cline is second with 12.0), and he was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy (given to NCAA basketball’s top player) earlier this week. So seeing him miss by that much is remarkable.
However, Edwards isn’t known for his efficient shooting. He’s shooting just 39.2 percent from the field this season, and has had some disastrous games, like a four-for-24 (16.7 percent) night against Indiana last month. (His nine points there were still second on the team to Cline’s 11, though.) Edwards’ showing so far in this game is a little better (15 points on 33.3 percent shooting), but this shot certainly wasn’t a good decision on his part.