No one ever doubted JJ Redick could shoot. It was clear that he had a golden arm early on.
But there are a lot of other aspects of basketball that matter too, like heart and desire and Redick revealed just how much of that he had in the 2003 ACC Tournament.
NC State, coached by Herb Sendek and starring Julius Hodge and Josh Powell, appeared to be on their way to an easy win, leading by as much as 15. But Duke mounted a tremendous comeback with Redick scoring 23 points in the last 10:05 and finishing with 30.
Duke won 84-77, leading Hodge to say “When you lose by 30 points [in 2002], it’s hands down they’re better than you. In this game, we were up 12, 10, 15 points and then they came back and won. That really takes a lot out of you.”
Blue Devil Casey Sanders said this about Redick’s first great star turn: “I’ve seen Jason (Williams) do it, but to see it at such an early age — period — I have never seen a better shooter at his age. I knew he was on fire when he hit the second 3. Once I saw him start jumping around, everyone knew. I’ve seen him go stretches in practice 20 minutes without a miss. A freshman didn’t play a freshman game today.”
Redick would go on to a brilliant college career and an enviable 15-year run in the NBA which ended with his retirement Tuesday. Duke fans were lucky to see him for four years.