Friday, September 9, 2011

Top Ten Moments: Introduction and 10. Andy Draayer En Fuego

I wanted to come up with something to pass the time until basketball season began, and my Top Ten Moments list was born. I'll be counting down my favorite memories as a Calvin basketball fan. I gave myself one criterion: I had to be at the game to count it. My apologies to the old-timers, but this list won't contain anything pre-2004.

When it comes down to it, this list is the reason this blog exists. It's the reason I am what I am.

I'll start off with some of the moments that didn't make the cut (all you get is the could-have-been title).

(in no particular order)

My First Game (Or, At Least, The First One I'll Ever Admit To)
Calvin Throttles Olivet by 47
The Old Girl's Final Song
Everything's Right On Senior Night
A Snowed-out Rivalry
Meeting J.J. Jumper

Those stories are all good, but they didn't make our list here. Anyway, without further ado, I present my Top Ten Moments:

10. Andy Draayer En Fuego (Feb. 12, 2005)

You better believe this list will be heavy on the 2004-2005 season. It was my first year on campus and the team made a dramatic run to the Final Four. I got hooked.

Games versus Alma aren't usually the most competitive affairs of the year (to be generous), but on this day, Andy Draayer provided enough entertainment on his own. He launced 14 three point attempts, and connected on 9 of them  (64.3%). Andy finished the game (a 97-66 Calvin victory) with a game-high 29 points).

It wasn't the highest scoring individual performance that I've witnessed, Derek Griffin's 35 point game versus Olivet in 2008, Tom Snikkers' 33 point outing versus Carthage last year, and Dan Aultman's 30 points versus Olivet in 2004 immediately come to mind, but it was certainly the most unreal "I can't believe he just did that... again" moments I've had as a Calvin fan.

At the time it seemed like he put up a shot every time he touched the ball (he had zero assists and zero turnovers so, looking back at the box score, he may very well have). Andy played 21 minutes that afternoon, so that means he averaged one three point attempt for every 90 seconds that he was on the floor, and one make for every 2:20.

I would guess that if you asked Andy "why?" his only response would be "why not?" That was just the type of shooter he was.

The best part about watching Andy play was his ability (and propensity) to launch the ball from anywhere on the floor. Once the ball crossed the timeline, the three point shot was in play. And he wasn't afraid to shoot the ball in traffic either. His loved to receive contact on his three pointers (usually winning an Academy Award while falling to the floor) to try to draw a four-point play.

I was only a freshman at the time so I was still trying to figure all the players out (and I had zero grasp of Calvin basketball history), but this was the game in which I realized we were all witnessing something amazing. Andy Draayer would go on to finish his career as the best (probably) three point shooter in Calvin's history. No one in the "statistical era" (everything since 1997-98) was as efficient as a shooter/scorer as Draayer was in his career.

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