Voice of the Paladins relives historic win
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - As the gym filled with purple around him, Dan Scott prepared for the next great call of his career.
“364 days later, it is Furman, it is Chattanooga,” opened Scott. “A berth to the NCAA championships on the line and the Paladins looking to do something they have not done since 1980 and that is getting a seat at the March Madness table.”
A long-time broadcaster, Scott joined the Furman Radio Network more than a decade ago. With a long list of proud broadcasting moments, Scott admitted the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was the last big element he really felt like he was missing on his broadcaster’s scorecard.
He thought he would check that box last year and watched it sink with Chattanooga’s overtime buzzer-beater. So he headed back to Asheville with the Paladins, ready to see if this would be the year they could snap the 43-year streak.
“Furman in the home whites, going to the basket to our left,” Scott said ahead of tip-off. “Jalen Slawson, Jake Stephens share a handshake and a smile.”
“You’re just in the moment,” recalled Scott’s long-time partner and analyst Tom Van Hoy. “You have an opportunity and you look forward to it. You prepare the best you can and I felt pretty good.”
“It is Furman. It is Chattanooga. The ball is in the air,” called out Scott at tipoff. “It is controlled by the Paladins and we are underway in Asheville.”
The Paladins jumped out to an early lead in the SoCon Championship, cheered on by an impressive crowd of purple that had made the quick trip north to Asheville.
“Furman up 17,” Scott’s voice boomed over the crowd to the fans listening from afar. “28-11 with 7:58 to go here in the opening half.”
The cheers were stifled though as Chattanooga found its stride as the Paladins went on a scoring drought.
“Mocs have hit their last four shots, Furman’s missed its last five,” delivered Scott. “JP Pegues back in as it was 30-11 before this 13-0 Chattanooga run.”
“I mean you’re a little bit nervous obviously,” said Van Hoy. “You’ve blown that big lead, but you felt good with this makeup. With the experience of this team. That they would be able to win it down the stretch. The guys have been tough, they’ve been resilient, they’ve been in very difficult ball games.”
The confidence was earned and it was on point. Despite Chattanooga pulling within one point of Furman, the Paladins never gave up their lead and eventually started to create more and more distance as the seconds ticked off the clock.
Scott recalled the game still felt a bit too close for comfort with a couple of minutes remaining.
“Skip pass to Foster for three,” said Scott as he illustrated the Paladins passing the ball around the arc. “Got it! Oh, Marcus Foster hits maybe the biggest shot of his career.”
“The first one gave you a little bit of a comfortable feeling,” said Scott. “The second one was kind of the exclamation point. 12-points, 1:18 remaining, you have to go a long way to lose that game and at that point I felt like we had finally done it.”
The fans in the stands could feel this moment was finally going to happen and thanks to Scott and Van Hoy, so could the fans at home.
“With three seconds. With two, and for the first time since 1980 Furman purple reigns in the Southern Conference,” said Scott, his voice just barely hanging on for the call he’d dreamt of making.
“I always look at this job as I’m the eyes of the radio audience,” explained Scott. “So I don’t script anything. What you hear is genuine. Good or bad, I’ll let other people decide that. But Tom and I just try and have fun with it.”
“What a day. What a night. What a season for the Furman Paladins,” Scott said as wrapped up a full night of basketball and the celebration that ensued. He turned to his own team, “Guys, thank you very much,” and signed off for the night.
Scott and Van Hoy have at least one more basketball game to call this season. The destination is unknown but the excitement is at an all-time high.
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