The biggest shot of Aaron Craft’s junior season was on a play which was run for Ohio State star Deshaun Thomas. The Buckeyes were tied with Iowa State in the round of 32 of the NCAA tournament, and Thomas came off a staggered screen.
Craft had missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 with 1:15 left and the game tied, and he had missed a jumper with 29 seconds left and the game still tied.
Statistically, he was the worst three-point shooter on the floor for the Buckeyes, but Craft decided he would be the man to launch the potential game-winning shot instead of Thomas, one of the best scorers in college basketball.
It worked out. Craft was the hero.
For a guy who has never been a great scorer—Craft averaged double figures (10 points per game) for the first time in his career last season—Craft acted the part of the superstar down the stretch of games.
In the final minute of regulation and overtime of Ohio State Buckeyes games that were decided by five points or less, Craft took 11 of 21 shots (52.4 percent). He took the final two shots against Iowa State, and he took the final three shots of an overtime loss at Michigan, the final attempt on a forced drive in the final seconds that missed.
Craft’s offensive numbers suggest he’s a role player, but as he begins his senior season in November, his status in the college basketball world is far from that.
He’s the guy who it seems like he has been around forever. He’s the guy people love to hate. (ESPN The Magazine‘s Wayne Drehs wrote an entire feature about why Craft is that guy.)
Is he worthy of such attention? Is Aaron Craft a star?
Continue Reading: Ohio State Basketball: Breaking Down Aaron Craft’s Superstar Credentials