The toughest dude in college basketball this morning is Memphis guard Ricky Tarrant, as he capped off a wild finish to the Tigers’ win over Temple in FedEx Forum by drilling a pair of free throws while gulping mouthfuls of his own blood.
Let me explain.
OK, so Temple rallied late in this game, and, with 15 seconds left, Tarrant missed a free throw that left the Owls down 65-63. After a three pointer from Jaylen Bond was blocked, Trahson Burrell, for some reason, saved a ball under his own basket and threw it directly to Josh Brown, who laid the ball in to tie the game.
But on the ensuing inbounds, Temple’s Daniel Dingle fouled Tarrant, colliding head-first with him. Here’s that wild sequence:
Tarrant got the worst of that collision, as it jacked up his teeth and left his mouth bloodied, and that’s where this thing really got wild.
A basketball game will be stopped if a player is bleeding to allow the trainer’s to try and get that bleeding under control. But if they cannot get it stopped, the referees can force that player to be subbed off the floor. So the Memphis medical staff had to get the blood in Tarrant’s mouth to stop flowing.
Because it was a tie game with 1.2 seconds left and Tarrant had two free throws coming up. He’s an 86.7 percent free throw shooter, but if he could not shoot his free throws because of an injury, than Fran Dunphy, the Temple head coach, would have been allowed to pick the new Memphis shooter.
“He put that towel into his mouth,” Pastner said after the game, “and that thing was soaked with blood and his teeth were all screwed up, all over the place – [trainer] Brad [Anderson]’s having him see the doctor – and then then ref said, ‘you need to get someone else in.’ And I said, ‘Baloney, he’s fine.’ So then Ricky took a big gulp, just drank all his blood, licked his lips and he said he’s fine.”
You can see Tarrant counting his teeth at the :22 mark of this video. You can see him swallow a mouthful of blood at the :45 mark. And then he steps to the line, clearly in pain and sucking his lips to hold in the blood, and buries both free throws:
After missing that shot, Tarrant didn’t even go through the handshake line.
He ran straight to the locker room with Anderson.