J.P. Prince's Halfcourt Heave Didn't Have a Shot, And Neither Does the Box Score

Michigan State fans will remember their Elite Eight game yesterday for the Spartans' smart play in the last half-minute, but Tennessee fans will remember the half-hearted halfcourt heave by J.P. Prince, which didn't even hit the rim, as a symbol of their team running out of gas late.

Except Prince's shot apparently wasn't a shot.

⇥The inbound pass went to J.P. Prince just before the time line. Prince turned to his right and tried to get off a shot from halfcourt. He fumbled the ball slightly and his attempt landed well short and left of the basket.⇥

⇥But was it a "shot attempt?"⇥

⇥

⇥Not according to the official box score, which lists Prince as going 5 for 5 in the game for 12 points.⇥

That's from USA Today's Campus Rivalry blog, and the paper's box score, but I checked our box score, and found the same oddity: Prince is listed as 5-of-5 for the game. The heave doesn't show up in the play-by-play either, which runs totally counter to my understanding of what a "shot" is.

It's a moot point now, of course. I'll guess most Tennessee fans got acquainted with another definition of a "shot," perhaps more than one, after the game, and cared more about the foul call on Prince at the other end anyway. And there's no practical difference between Prince missing a recorded shot and missing a non-recorded one. 

But this is the sort of trivial idiosyncrasy sport sometimes gives us, and it's a reminder that scorers aren't infallible. Well, at least until the robot coup.

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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