(For a look at the various subplots in Saturday’s Georgia-LSU game, click here.)
(Updated 9 p.m.)
ATHENS — For a guy who hasn’t played in a game, Connor Nolte certainly has generated a lot of attention for Georgia’s basketball program this year.
“This kid got us into 10 million homes,” UGA coach Mark Fox said Friday afternoon.
And the kid got Charles Barkley to Stegeman Coliseum this week.
Nolte is a Georgia walk-on from Alpharetta, a Milton High graduate who is sitting out this season after transferring from Furman. He has a website, passersremorse.com, on which he posts a trick shot on the day of each UGA game. Game Day Trick Shot, he calls the feature.
Last month, he got Mark Richt to shoot a one-handed reverse free throw, which garnered more than 38,000 views on YouTube. Then last Saturday, he posted a crazy shot by Fox, who twice bounced the ball off the top of the shot clock and through the net from the stands.
ESPN’s SportsCenter picked up the Fox shot, giving it national television exposure as a “Top 10″ play-of-the-day late Saturday night, Sunday and again Monday morning.
“What’s amazing about the trick shot is that when Connor started that, I kind of gave them a hard time that that was more important to them than the simple fundamentals of the game,” Fox said. “But it has garnered so much attention for our program.
“When Coach Richt did it, it was a big thing. And then I woke up the other day and I had a million messages about ESPN. So, yeah, it’s been amazing. . . . It’s been great publicity.”
Which brings us to Barkley.
“That’s why Charles was here the other night -– because Connor has put together this project and he wanted to use Charles,” said Fox, a friend of Barkley’s. “Not to let the cat out of the bag, but Charles was very gracious to participate.”
UPDATE: So here’s the latest Game Day Trick Shot, now posted at passersremorse.com: Nolte dunking without shoes and Barkley looking on approvingly. “He dunks in his socks. And that’s why it rocks,” Barkley says — a play on his Taco Bell commercial.