When Iowa's Vince Brookins heard the Spectrum announcer say that Georgetown's Eric (Sleepy) Floyd was the NCAA East Regional tournament's most valuable player today, he grinned broadly.
"You deserved it Vince," a teammate said, as Brookins stood at center court, net draped around his neck after a 22-point performance that helped Iowa advance to the national semifinals.
"I don't know," said Brookins, "I don't remember the last time I saw a guy do some of the things Floyd did today. He is good."
Good was not the word to describe Floyd today.
Fabulous, perhaps, or as Iowa's Kevin Boyle said, "unconscionable."
At his best, Floyd is almost matchless as a shooter. Today, he was 11 for 14 from the floor and scored 31 points. He also had three rebounds, two assists and a steal that set up Craig Shelton for a three-point play, temporarily stemming the Iowa comeback in the second half.
"They set me up for my shots," Floyd said in the quiet Georgetown locker room.
A Floyd shot can come from anywhere south of Montreal or north of Caracas.
His first half today went something like this: 10-foot, leap-and-follow shot to make it 7-4 Hoyas; jumper from 20, 15-12; jumper from 20, 17-16, Hoyas; jumper from 23, 19-16. Then he rested briefly. Returning with three minutes left; he hit four free throws and another bomb halftime.
Second half: Floyd 20 feet; Floyd on a drive, Georgetown up, 46-32. Iowa crept to within eight -- Floyd bombed again. Again, Iowa got back to eight. Again, Floyd hit.
When Iowa made its move it was with the Hoyas trying to go inside against the Hawkeyes man-to-man. In the end, Floyd never had a chance to pull his game out -- he took his last shot with 5:42 left.
Compliments on his performance did little to make him happier. "I'm drained," he said, "emotionally and physically. That's the way you're supposed to be if you've played hard. I played as hard as I could."
No one argued.