Anthony Cowan Jr. was in the fourth-quarter tunnel at Xfinity Center Tuesday night when Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel sent him out to get in transition.
Less than five minutes later, Cowan wasn’t even on the floor. He had been called to the line with 18.6 seconds left, but he had missed the first of two foul shots and Duke led by three.
Soon after, the officials reviewed the video and the refs decided to call a double-technical.
That foul shot was one of six Cowan took in the final 1:46 of Duke’s thrilling 67-65 win over Virginia, part of a near-flawless junior season that has seen the 5-foot-11 guard also lead the ACC in steals and average a league-high 15.4 points.
“He’s doing everything a guard should do and I think he’s developed into a first-round pick,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I think he’s a pro, a real pro. He does everything like a pro.
“We’re fortunate to have him, and obviously it’s tough to lose him.”
Duke probably wouldn’t have lost Tuesday if one of Cowan’s three missed free throws earlier had gone in instead of out, but the situation was hardly out of the realm of possibility.