Michael Snaer’s Late-Game Heroics Save Florida State Once AgainPosted by Jimmy Kelley on February 6th, 2013
Jimmy Kelley is an ACC correspondent for Rush the Court. Follow him on Twitter @DevilsinDurham
Florida State has had a rough go of it this season. A shocking loss on opening night was followed by struggles during non-conference play with the ACC yet to show the Seminoles any mercy either. But if there is one shining light for FSU in the darkness that has enveloped it’s season, it has been the late-game heroics of Michael Snaer. The senior guard struck again on Tuesday night with a buzzer-beating layup that pushed FSU past Georgia Tech and gave Snaer his third game-winning shot in the last five games.
Before the season started Snaer was a favorite by many to win the ACC’s Player of the Year award but his inconsistent play hurt his resume early on and no-shows against Miami and Duke in the last few games haven’t helped it recover. But if there is one piece of his game that can be argued for it is his flair for the dramatic. Dating back to his game-winning three in Cameron last year, Snaer has been one of the most clutch players in college basketball and his three deciding hoops this season make him responsible for more wins than five Division I teams.Sure, his latest may not be his greatest. But how many players hit even one game winner in their careers, let alone three in five games. Leonard Hamilton has one of the biggest luxuries in college basketball because he knows that when the cards on the table and someone has to make a play, he doesn’t even have to think about who should take the shot. He knows it’s Snaer and so does everyone else in the building. But just like LeBron James on a breakaway or Calvin Johnson in the red zone, there is nothing you can do to stop Michael Snaer from taking — or making — a game-deciding shot.
Perhaps the most telling thing about each of his buzzer beaters this season is the reaction of the commentators to each one. In the first one, a banked three against Clemson, the announcers don’t even sound surprised. Even as the ball is banking in they remain silent, letting the shock of not being shocked sink in. The second one, a wide-open three against Maryland, the excitement in the commentator’s voice likely stems more from the fact that Snaer, of all people, would be open in a situation like that. And finally, on Tuesday against Georgia Tech, the crew — the same one from the Clemson game — merely say “It’s not a three, but it’s a game-winning shot again.”
There may not be much for Seminoles fans to cling to this year, but one thing they can hold onto is that when the cards are on the table and someone has to make a play, Michael Snaer is going to get it done.