By now, this bizarre story has made its rounds on the interwebs: Florida Gulf Coast, during its overseas tour, managed to win a game despite finishing with just three players on the court.
It’s not like the Eagles had a big lead, either. They were up 88-83 when their fifth of eight total players fouled out, leaving their opponents, the Providence Storm, on a 5-on-3 power play for the rest of the game.
It took only a few seconds for the Storm to pull within one, and soon after, the score was tied at 89-89.
They still, somehow, lost.
So coaches, I’m going to do you a favor. You never know what kind of strange situation you’ll find yourself in and it’s possible your team might face a three-man juggernaut at some point.
Here’s how to handle the pressure:
Tip No. 1: See ball, see literally the only two other men
On defense, there are two opposing players who don’t have the ball. Two. Know where they are. Otherwise, you’ll be way too late trying to come over and help.
Tip No. 2: Know the game situation
Don’t foul in the backcourt in a tie game, especially when there are four of your guys in the area and one of theirs. Seriously. What’s the worst that can happen? They get the ball up the court then have to figure out how to score with just three players. Instead, by fouling, you negate your own advantage by giving them two uncontested free throws.
Tip No. 3: Don’t level the playing court
Don’t make it 3 on 3. Hustle, guys.
Otherwise a teammate might do this...
Tip No. 4: For the love of God, don’t make this pass
Find one of your three open teammates instead of trying to thread the ball through 2/3 of the other team. I know time was winding down here, but he clearly had time to wait for his teammates to catch up. And even if he didn’t, there was no chance his teammate was going to find this ball. Nope. None.
So there you have it. This will ensure your postgame celebration is a lot less lonely than this: