KRAVITZ:  He’s the real-life `Billy Hoyle’; Jorgensen and the Dawgs go three-crazy and beat No. 1 Villanova

Butler guard Paul Jorgensen (5) goes to the basket in front of Villanova forward Omari Spellman (14) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Bob Kravitz

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Yeah, it took some stones (New York term) for Butler’s Paul Jorgensen to hoist the Mother of All Heat Checks, rising skyward just a step or two past the bulldog’s jowls that adorn the Hinkle Fieldhouse Court and burying a 32-footer on Villanova. But, see, Jorgensen – everybody calls him “Paulie’’ – has been doing this for years, doing it at Rucker Park in Harlem, taking on the kings of the asphalt who populate the courts way past the point in Manhattan where most white people feel comfortable.

If you want to know something about Jorgensen, go on YouTube and type in “Paul Jorgensen Harlem,’’ and you will be treated to several And-1-style productions of his work. You’ll see why he was nicknamed “Prince Harry of Harlem,’’ and “Billy Hoyle,’’ the name of the Woody Harrelson character in “White Men Can’t Jump.’’ You think Lance Stephenson’s got some New York in his game? Watch Jorgensen, who helped lead Butler to a 101-93 victory over No. 1 Villanova Saturday, go 1-on-1 in the park and utterly abuse his opponent while the eight other players step to the side of the court and clear out for the show.

“Yeah,’’ his father, Eric, was telling me after the game. “Just go to YouTube and it’s all there. You’ll see what shaped his game.’’

With Butler leading 45-40 and having rained down six three-point shots in their last seven field goals, Jorgensen thought, well…he didn’t think. He just pulled from about 32 feet, give or take a foot. It was the kind of shot that will get you yanked from a game in a New York minute…unless you make it. Which he did, sending the Hinkle Fieldhouse sellout crowd into paroxysms of joy.

“What were you thinking on that shot?’’ he was asked at the post-game press conference.

“There wasn’t much thought involved in that,’’ he said, smiling sheepishly.

I talked with him later in the hallway.

“That was Steph Curry range,’’ I told him.

“Jimmer Fredette,’’ he said. “I was always a huge Jimmer Fredette fan growing up.’’

Who needs a conscience, anyway? Thirty-two feet. Let it fly. “All great things take some risk,’’ he said.

Jorgensen finished with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three, combining with Kelan Martin (24 points) and Kamar Baldwin (19 points) to lead Butler to a 101-point performance against one of the better defensive teams in the nation. The Dawgs led by as much as 23 points with 10:23 left in the game, playing offense that was almost euphoric, until the tough-minded Wildcats scored 14 straight points and got things tight. In the end, though, Martin hit the big shots and the Bulldogs held on, their fourth time beating a No. 1 or No. 2 team and the third time they’ve done it to Villanova in the last two seasons.

How hot was Butler? Consider this: They knocked down 13 of their last 14 3-point shots.

But only Jorgensen, the New York kid who transferred from George Washington, had the stones to hoist a 32-footer.

Jorgensen knows no fear on the basketball court because he’s faced down some of the toughest, baddest New York street ballers going and has shown them that, like Billy Hoyle, the skinny white kid can hang. He comes from New City, N.Y., a suburb north of New York City, but his game has been shaped several miles to the south, down in famed Rucker Park in Harlem and other spots on the streetball circuit.

“Yeah, my dad used to take me down to the city (New York City),’’ Jorgensen said. “He told me, `Look, if you want to play ball, you’ve got to go to the city and play with those dudes.’ I played everywhere around the city, up in Harlem. I was usually the only white kid down there, but that’s why I’m never intimidated. Try going to 145th and Lenox (Ave.), like, `Who’s this dude?’ But that’s where I get my juice from. That’s where I get the chip on my shoulder.’’

It’s not like Jorgensen was just hoisting and making threes, which he’s been doing all year, albeit not at this heady rate. On one possession, a 50-50 ball was careening toward the sidelines, Jorgensen dove and saved it to a teammate, and on the other end, Sean McDermott was knocking down a three-point shot. It was a thing of beauty, at least offensively, Butler making 60 percent of its field-goal attempts, an otherworldly 68 percent of its threes, eviscerating Villanova with shooting and ball movement.

This was LaVall Jordan’s first signature Butler victory, with plenty more to come.

“I felt like we had this in us,’’ he said.

With roughly 30 seconds remaining and the game finally – finally – in the bag, Butler PA announcer Dave Peach took to the microphone and implored Butler fans to resist the temptation to storm the floor. But he knew it was a lost cause. Not that it’s unusual for Butler to beat Villanova or a No. 1 team – like we said, it’s become a habit – but still…

Fans all over the floor. Of course there were.

“This whole thing is a dream come true for me,’’ Jorgensen said. “Growing up in New York, watching Villanova play in the Garden (Madison Square Garden), now knocking them off. It doesn’t get any better.’’

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