CANYON JAMES?

Canyon Barry joked that “I channeled my inner LeBron James in the finals” when he made a vital block on Wisconsin’s Kahlil Iverson with 34 seconds left in overtime. Implied was the reality that Barry, a graduate-student guard for Florida, is better known for his offense, particularly his underhanded free-throw style.

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Truth is, he is best known for being the son of Hall of Famer Rick Barry, champion of the underhanded foul shot and a scoring champion in the NCAA, NBA and ABA. The elder Barry and his wife were there to watch their son help secure the Gators’ Sweet 16 East Regional win just before 1 a.m. Saturday. His son is well aware that Rick always enjoyed being in Madison Square Garden.

“I think he used to like to take it out on the Knicks because they didn’t draft him first,” the younger Barry said.

On Dec. 14, 1965, during his rookie season, Barry scored 57 points for the San Francisco Warriors at the old Garden. On St. Patrick’s Day night in 1971, playing for the Nets as part of an ABA doubleheader in rival NBA territory, he set what was then a professional record in the current Garden with 45 points. “He had kind of a chip on his shoulder. He came out and torched people here,” said the son, who admitted he has not seen many vintage Rick Barry highlights.

Canyon’s own highlight moment is worth remembering. His coach certainly never will forget it. “The LeBronesque block by ‘Canyon James,’ I mean it was a huge play,” Mike White said. “Obviously, while I’m screaming, ‘Foul him! Foul him!’ he goes and blocks the shot. It was enormous. If he doesn’t make that play, we don’t win the game.” — MARK HERRMANN