The Redskins' Best Outside Shooter
When DeAngelo Hall was talking about his high school basketball excellence earlier this week, he added, nonchalantly, that he was clearly the best overall athlete on the Skins. But that doesn't necessarily mean he's the best at every discipline, and so I'm here to tell you who Washington's best outside shooter is.
Randy Thomas. Believe it.
"I've got the best shot on the team, shot for shot," Thomas said. "You can ask DeAngelo, you can ask Smoot, you can ask Rogers, you can ask Clinton, you can ask Santana, any of the little guys who think they can outshoot me."
So I did. Turns out he was right.
"I've never seen him run down the court and shoot, but if you sit there and play OUT with him or HORSE with him, you're bound to lose," Santana Moss said.
"He shot me out some cash before," Hall said.
"I am gonna vouch for him; for a big guy he has a very wicked jumper," Fred Smoot said. "If you let him set up, he'll hit nine out of 10, so I don't bet him, I don't do anything. If we was actually playing in a basketball game, he's very ineffective....But if you play HORSE with him, he will beat you. He will beat you."
Of the team's basketball-playing contingent, Jason Campbell was the only one I spoke with who wouldn't agree. "I'm the best shooter," he said. "I like shooting the NBA three. You've got to get three feet behind the line or you ain't gonna last."
"Jason's horrible," Antwaan Randle El said, shaking his head. "It's Randy, then it's me."
The one thing everyone pointed out was that Thomas doesn't attempt trick shots when playing HORSE, and he doesn't even jump for his jumper. But he has a devastating set-shot, honed in the days when he was the leading scorer and rebounder on his high school team, and when he also got dunked on by Shareef Abdur-Rahim. He explained that his game is pure old school, and that he will shoot a set-shot as far away as half-court. I asked why he doesn't jump for his jumper.
"I've got a strong tricep and forearm," he said, which made me laugh.
"You think I'm joking?" he continued. "You think it's a joke? I'm not. It's like riding a bike. You never forget how to shoot."
Teammates said that Thomas has even improved their shot via osmosis; "he's the reason why my shot got better, because I didn't need to have a jumper until I started playing OUT with Randy," Moss said. "And now, out of nowhere, I've got a little semi-jumper, you know what I mean?"
Thomas said he was an 89 percent free-throw shooter in high school and would surprise opposing centers from long distance. He said he probably shoots about 80 percent on unguarded threes. And in fact, he said, the only time he ever loses to other Redskins at HORSE is when the fix is in.
"I only lose at HORSE to set up a game," he said. "You've got to lose to get a competitor. If you win every time, nobody ever want to play you."
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