Ricky Tarrant

VIDEO: Memphis’ Ricky Tarrant hits game-winner after … swallowing blood?

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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.

Why?

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.

Tough kid.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: South Carolina looks to remain undefeated

Associated Press
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Ole Miss at Memphis, 8:00 p.m.

One of the nation’s best scoring guards will be on display in this one, as senior Stefan Moody leads the Rebels up against Memphis. Moody’s averaging 24.1 points and 4.2 assists per game for Andy Kennedy’s team, and slowing him down is the primary objective of any team. Memphis will counter with a perimeter rotation led by senior Ricky Tarrant, and their top two scorers are forwards Dedric Lawson and Shaq Goodwin. Keep an eye on the free throw numbers in this one, as Memphis is one of the nation’s best when it comes to getting to the foul line (third in free throw rate).

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: South Carolina at Clemson, 7:00 p.m.

Despite being 9-0 on the season, Frank Martin’s Gamecocks have flown under the radar nationally to this point in the season. They boast five double-digit scorers led by senior forwards Mindaugas Kacinas (13.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Laimonas Chatkevicius (13.0, 4.3), and freshman P.J. Dozier (8.1 ppg) will only get better with time. South Carolina’s gotten the job done thus far with balanced scoring an tough defense (opponents shot 39.9 percent from two), and that will need to be the case when they take on their in-state rival tonight. The Tigers are led by junior forward Jaron Blossomgame, who’s averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and is shooting 57.6 percent from the field.

SIX THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. A game that may float under the radar tonight is Southern’s trip to Ruston to take on Louisiana Tech. Eric Konkol’s Bulldogs are looking to rebound from a 19-point loss at Ole Miss, and they’ll do so against a team that has road wins over Mississippi State, Tulane and Wyoming. The tandem of Alex Hamilton and Eric McCree has been key for Louisiana Tech thus far.

2. BYU is back in action, taking on one of the early favorites in the MAC in Central Michigan. While CMU can put the ball in the basket their issue is defense, as they’re ranked 316th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy’s numbers. Can they slow down Kyle Collinsworth and company?

3. Oregon hosts Long Beach State, with the 49ers having already been through a rigorous non-conference schedule. While they’re still awaiting the debut of the injured Dylan Ennis, Oregon’s received steady play at the point from sophomore Casey Benson. His numbers on the season: 31 assists and just two turnovers.

4. Wake Forest faces a Coastal Carolina team that’s expected to contend in the Big South, with Cliff Ellis’ team being a balanced group offensively led by guards Elijah Wilson and Shivaughn Wiggins. The question for the Chanticleers is whether or not they have the power inside needed to deal with Demon Deacon forwards Devin Thomas and Dinos Mitoglou.

5. Grand Canyon heads west to play San Diego State, and this could be a trickier game than one would anticipate. The Antelopes are 8-2 on the season, and the addition of guard Dominic Magee (29 points against Omaha) has given them another guard capable of putting points on the board. The Aztecs will defend, but can they produce enough on the offensive end? That’s been the question all season for them.

6. 8-1 Colorado takes on Nicholls State in a game they should win comfortably. Tad Boyle’s Buffaloes have turned things around after a disappointing 2014-15 season, and while senior Josh Scott has been the mainstay George King’s been good as well. The redshirt sophomore’s averaging 15.9 points per game, shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 48.8 percent from three.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • Southern Illinois at Murray State, 8:00 p.m.
  • Texas State at Washington State, 9:00 p.m.
  • Louisiana at Pepperdine, 10:00 p.m.
  • Cal-State Fullerton at Oregon State, 11:00 p.m.