The king of the courts in Europe yesterday? That’s easy: Jaycee Carroll, if only by dint of his repeated blowings up of Twitter among Spanish hoops fans during the Gran Canaria 2014-Caja Laboral Baskonia match.
Carroll was indeed “en estado de gracia” as he led his short-handed Gran Canaria squad (10-10, tied for ninth in the ACB standings) to a 70-68 upset of Baskonia (12-8, tied for fourth). The former Utah State Aggie accounted for 26 points and seven rebounds, but statistics tell hardly a fraction of the story of the Jaycee Carroll Show.
Point guard Sitapha Savané left the game to injury within the first minute of play, explaining the lowly 13-point quarter “topped” by Baskonia’s own dismal eight-point performance. (BiE was beginning to wonder if he’d chosen the right ACB game to watch at this point, lemme tell ya.)
Baskonia woke up enough to put together a huge 29-point three quarter and take a halftime lead of 37-27 … but Carroll would emerge from the locker room to contribute just a monster 20 minutes.
Carroll first led Gran Canaria to an 11-2 run to start the second half mainly by torching Brad Oleson a couple of times; after falling back to eight points down, the home side put together an even nicer 15-4 to give the 2014s a 55-52 lead capped by Carroll’s quarter-ending three from the corner. When the stats had settled, Carroll was seen to have contributed a Kobesque 16 points in the third, single-handedly outscoring Baskonia.
As Baskonia quickly knotted the score up and again surpassed Gran Canaria, Carroll was everywhere. With about 95 seconds remain, Carroll fearlessly beats Mirza Teletovic and Marcelinho Huertas in driving to the hole to retie things at 66-66.
Two more buckets later with 31 seconds on the clock, Gran Canaria was buoyed by a long possession thanks to some nice offensive rebounding by Xavi Rey. Naturally, it was up to the blue-shoed one once again … and yea, verily, the masses did tweet bon mots like “Que grande eres!!!!!” and “Dios de mivida” and “Whoa.”
Highlights from Carroll and those other players in Sunday’s Gran Canaria-Baskonia match run below.