Baylor's Brady Heslip was the star of his team's win over the University of Colorado on Saturday. Here are five things to know about the sharpshooter.
He made nine threes for a total of 27 points, seeming never to miss from beyond the arc in a relentless assault on the basket, the likes of which haven't been seen previously in this year's NCAA tournament.
Here's five things every NCAA basketball fan should know about Brady Heslip, the pride of Baylor University:
1. He's dedicated to his craft: Brady Heslip is no slacker when it comes to his chosen career path: that of an elite college basketball three-point-shooter. He not only spends many hours each week practicing with his team, running drills, lifting weights, and otherwise training to be the best player he can be, but he also takes the time to work on his shot for extended periods each day. According to TNT, he ensures that he makes 150 threes before each Baylor practice, and another 150 after each practice. That's how many he makes, not how many he takes. A big distinction, and one that seems to have paid off for the talented sophomore.
2. He's got basketball in his blood: Brady Heslip is not the first basketball stud to emerge from his family. Heslip's uncle, Jay Triano, played for Canada's Olympics basketball team for 11 years, then went on to a successful career as the head coach of the NBA's Toronto Raptors. So Heslip did not start from scratch as a b-baller -- he's got the game in his blood, putting him in the company of Duke University's Austin Rivers (son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers) and many other players on NCAA basketball teams with family ties to the sport.
3. He wasn't always a Bear: Brady Heslip has made a name for himself in the 2012 NCAA tournament as a Baylor Bear, but he was not always a member of the Big 12 powerhouse. Before his impressive performance on Saturday versus Colorado, Heslip went five for 10 on threes Thursday night in Baylor's 68-60 second-round March Madness win over South Dakota State. But that production nearly went to Boston College, where Heslip was originally recruited and signed a letter of intent before the Eagles' head coach Al Skinner was fired after a dismal 2009-2010 season.
4. He's been at it for years: Brady Heslip's shooting prowess from beyond the arc is not the result of luck. The master shooter has been working on his three-pointer since high school, when he would spend hours each day working on his stroke, his form, and his ability to shoot under pressure. That work has paid off superbly, as he was a 43.8 percent three-point shooter during the 2011-2012 regular NCAA season, barely less than his 44.3 field-goal-shooting percentage on the year.
5. He's just getting started: Brady Heslip is a name you will be hearing in college basketball circles for the next couple of years. That's because of the fact that, though he is 21 years old, he is still just a sophomore at Baylor University. So he's got two full years of eligibility. And after he finishes his NCAA basketball career, he may be the next great college three-point shooter to take his skills to the NBA, following in the footsteps of greats like Duke University grad J.J. Redick, who is in the midst of a burgeoning career alongside Dwight Howard on the Orlando Magic.