Yesterday, while I was driving around the greater Orlando area and performing my day/sales job in hopes of trying to get that extra paper on the ol' commission check, I got to thinking about some of the greatest collegiate "Heat Check Guys" that I remember.
Now, before we dive in any further, I want those that are unaccusomted to the phrase "Heat Check Guy" to be able to follow along, so here's the definition from Urban Dictionary:
Attempting to do something extra difficult when you're on a roll.
Steph Curry is a "Heat Check Guy". Klay Thompson is a "Heat Check Guy". J.J. Redick (I guess) was a "Heat Check Guy" for Duke back in the day, even though he was never really "on a roll" despite whatever Duke fans and revisionist history would have you believe. Kyle Korver is also a "Heat Check Guy".
Makes sense right?
So, while I sat in I-4 Disney traffic, former collegiate players and their big time shots came in and out of my basketball brain like I was some sort of Bran Stark/Game of Thrones Greenseer.
For example, Melo Trimble's heat check to beat Wisconsin earlier this year came to mind almost immediately:
Then there was #TheJimmer (man, I miss #TheJimmer) shot against Florida:
Quick tangent: this clip really made me miss Gus Johnson calling March Madness games. He single handedly -- and despite non stop cackling from his partner, Reggie Miller -- makes this shot infinitely better with his ability to narrate sports:
"Here comes Jimmer (pause for effect)... LONG RANGE (pause for effect)... POW (pause for effect and for Reggie Miller to laugh)... He's got his "J" back folks AND THE EYEEEEEE OF THE TIGER (pause for effect and more Reggie Miller laughing)... 4:56 to play (more Reggie Miller laughing)... Fredette shooting that one from Provo (queue the music).
Classic. Classic. Classic
Then there was Trey Burke's shot against Kansas:
I haven't actually watched that shot in a few years and I still can't believe Burke hit it; even despite stakes that would make Phil Ivey sweat and on a night where his jumper was as pretty as a Deadliest Catch captain.
I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.
Now, because I'm me, I eventually brought these thoughts and day dreams back to the Big Ten Conference and started thinking about next years season and what players I would bet on to take home the 2016-17 B1G Heat Check MVP Award.
I was a little shocked with my Who Wants to be a Millionaire final answers:
Spike Albrecht, Purdue Boilermakers
Man that feels so weird to type still. Spike Albrecht, Purdue Boilermaker.
What a time.
As we've broken down earlier this week, Albrecht is going to get a wonderful opportunity to not only solidify the Purdue locker room but to play some crucial minutes for a squad that really needs a shot making wing that won't crumble in crunch time. And if Albrecht can just manage to stay healthy and stay on the floor for the majority of next years schedule, I wouldn't be shocked if he has a couple of those "National Championship" type moments in front of the Paint Crew (especially against his former team):
Peter Jok, Iowa Hawkeyes
I'm presuming here, but the odds are ever in Iowa's favor that Jok will be back for his senior season. IF and when he takes his name out of the NBA sorting hat, Jok automatically vaults all the way to the top of the Heat Check All-American favorites list.
Looking back at last year -- which was a break out for the shooting guard -- I couldn't even begin to tell you how many times I either Tweeted, read a tweet, screamed out loud, got a text or sent a text that had the words "Heat Check" and "Jok" in them. It was nearly every game.
Take the Northwestern game as a prime example for the type of heat checkery Jok can produce (and quickly):
That's Heat Checkin' at its finest, folks.
Duncan Robinson, Michigan Wolverines
Duncan Robinson can and will shoot the three ball from anywhere. ANYWHERE. And the best part of him is that he's the type of dude that looks like he doesn't give two farts to the wind where he's at, what the score is or who's guarding him, as long as he's behind that arch and he gets the slightest tingle in his hands, that ball is going to fly.
And you know what? I absolutely love it.
I absolutely worship in the Heat Check Church of Dunc'.
And apparently, so does his coach:
Beilein on Duncan Robinson: He's going to heat up. And we'll have a lot of fun when he does.— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) February 19, 2016