Tubby Smith’s decision to call a timeout as Lawrence Westbrook raced past halfcourt in the final seconds of Minnesota’s loss to Michigan on Saturday has been a big talking point, after Westbrook made a 25-foot, off-balance three that would’ve tied the game with about four seconds left.
"It’s just something that happened," Westbrook said. "I thought I tied the game and then everyone was going to the bench … I’d rather just take the ball because it doesn’t give them a chance to set up their defense and in the open court I don’t think they can guard me. So I could’ve tried to penetrate or score or find one of my teammates."
But Smith said he usually calls a timeout in that situation, and espeically wanted to get an offense set for a three-point attempt.
"At that point in time, you need a three," Smith said. "A two is something a little different. He made a jump shot from way out there, I don’t know what the chances are of that happening."
Michigan’s John Beilein sympathized: "You just don’t know. As he was calling a timeout, maybe whoever was guarding the man stopped guarding him, so you just don’t know. Coaches second guess ourselves all the time anyhow."