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July 3, 2012

Special skills

For two years, Dru Anthrop, D.J. Byrd and Ryne Smith have wanted to get together, shoot some crazy shots and record it.

"We just never really had the time or energy," Anthrop said.

Until three days ago.

The group was hanging out on Sunday and figured it'd be a perfect time to head to the gym to have some fun.

So they went to Mackey Arena, and, over about a three-hour span, made enough tough (and some crazy) shots and got enough footage on Byrd's iPhone to splice together a video and post it on YouTube.

On Monday afternoon, hours after it was posted, the video had 265 views.

By Tuesday at 6 p.m., it had 9,500.

The video circulated on Twitter, getting retweets, and even was posted on ESPN.com and CBSsports.com.

"We just made it for ourselves because we wanted to do it and then everybody started jumping on it. It was a slow sports day," Anthrop joked. "I'm happy with it. It was a fun afternoon, just messing around."

Once they got shooting, they found it actually didn't take too long to make shots.

Perhaps the toughest one - Smith's underhand heave bounced off a baseline wall in Cardinal Court to sink a basket on a sideline hoop more than one court away - took about 35 times. Smith said he'd made the shot before, so he knew he could make it. He probably would have made it in fewer tries on Sunday had he not kept hitting one of the beams.

"That (shot) was incredible," Byrd said.

But Byrd and Anthrop made some impressive "skill shots" - they prefer that to the term "trick shots" - too.

Byrd's favorite shots are from half court, and he drilled those consistently that night. He made five in a row at one point that night, he said. (He's shown in the video making three consecutive.) During one stretch, he and Smith combined to go 9-for-10 from half court, they said.

But those were the traditional way.

Anthrop made one through his legs and another snapped like a football. The former was made on the fourth try, the latter after five.

Anthrop also sank shots from sitting in the Paint Crew and band sections in Mackey.

Smith made one - after a bounce - from the top of where the black-cushy seats usually are in the stands.

"We shoot to thrill," said a smiling Smith, giving a wink to the AC/DC song that Byrd added to play over the nearly four-minute video.

Each player rotated with his own shot ideas, and if he ran out, another piped in.

"We know these aren't basketball shots, but after a week doing basketball stuff, we could finally just go and mess around on a Sunday," Byrd said.

And the video quality?

"It was pretty amateur stuff," Byrd said with a laugh.

So amateur that some subsequent chatter about the video's validity was challenged as "pure ignorance" by Smith.

Added Byrd, "I don't have that kind of software or that kind of time (to fake it)."

The group realizes that there have been "trick shot" videos done better - former Duke player Kyle Singler and "Dude Perfect" have several - but that's only a challenge to make a statement next time.

Byrd said there have been offers from people to bring professional equipment to film the guys and get more than one camera angle. Smith joked that they need the bigger support staff.

Byrd said they're still working on details, and Anthrop said they need to get some things "approved."

"Stay tuned for Volume 2," Anthrop said. "It will be better."

Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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