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Temporary Like Achilles [DDSCB3] [Retired]

Started By Wayne23, Apr 04, 2014 08:03 PM

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#21

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We play 14-15 Bowling Green in the ¼ final round. Beat them by 17 and 22 in the regular season.

March 7: “Survive and advance.” We did… barely. 16 lead changes, 8 ties, down 10 with 5:11 to go. We closed and closed. Down 73-75 with the ball, 8 seconds. Rick brought it down the floor, got it to Jon. Two guys on him but no time. Jon threw up a 22 footer and it went in. 76-75. We were +9 on the boards, -3 TOs (but only 12).

Next up is Western Michigan, 18-12. Beat them by 20 in the regular season.
They’ve been playing well and this could be tough.

March 8: It was, for a long time. They had all five scoring, moved the ball well, and defended us. We held a slight lead most of the way but couldn’t break it open. Finally, at the 8 minute time out we went on a big run and broke free. Final score was 86-72. 24, 7 for Jon. They shut Kal down by doubling him but we went to our other guys and they responded.

Muncie, 18-12, upset No. Ill. in a shocker so they’re up for the title game.

We beat them by 21 in our only meeting. They play a lot of guys. We want this title!

March 9: It was a war! We held the lead all the way, but usually by 5 or less.

They caught us a couple of times, including at the 1:12 mark. Then Jon banged a three, Kal got inside for a layup and the final was 70-67, and that’s how close it was.

And now we wait. #17, RPI #8. Dare we dream of a three seed? A four? #12, 13, 14, 16 were all beat before their tourney finals. And #6, 7, 10, 18, 23. All of that raises our stock.

March 12: We gather round the big screen and wait. #5 Austin, Texas, vs. a play in winner. #5 is a bit of a disappointment but we’ll take it.

#22

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We start with 16-14 Oregon State from the PAC 12. They were competitive in a very good conference. They play eight. All score, but no one scores a lot. We think we can turn them over.

March 17: And once again, survive and advance. We led by nine at the half but Ore. ST kept coming. We didn’t feel it would get easier in the second and it didn’t. They were very physical and my guys were too tentative about pushing back. The up side was that we kept going to the line. The down side was that their aggressiveness was giving them momentum and confidence.
Finally, with 3:01 to go, we went down 3. I burned a time out and kicked butt. I told my guys, in a LOUD voice, to defend their turf and push back, no holds barred. Let the refs stop the nonsense or not but I wasn’t going to watch my guys get pushed around. If the starters didn’t do it I threatened to pull them and to give the subs their chance. The Ore. ST PF threw a shoulder at Rahm and Rahm knocked him on his butt. The guy had a look of amazement. Kal, who had done nothing on offense all night then took a pass and blasted inside for a slam, getting fouled in the process. He converted, Rick picked the PG’s pocket and threw it ahead for a slam by Jon, and we held on to win 66-64. Jon got player of the game but I would have given it to Jay Gore who had 14 and 7 from the bench and who was the only one of my guys who didn’t allow himself to be pushed around at any point in the 26 minutes he played.

28-4, and on to # 4 seed Cincinnati, 26-8. They feature a balanced attack and play a 1-3-1, which we rarely see. That’s a problem but we’ll do what we can. They won their last six, including upsetting #1 in the country UConn for the conf. title. They are a little weak at PG and we think we can turn them over. They’re tough inside.

March 19: 70-71. The usual close game scenario except this time we came down at the end and were defended so well that we didn’t get a good shot.
The stat sheet was extremely even as was the game. We played well, they played well.

We lose seniors Rick Bakk, Rahm Park, Clint Ray and Jay Moody. We have some very good players returning. Next year should be another very good year.

Now to wait for job offers. Will I go if the right offer comes? Of course. I love it here in Akron but this is not a destination school. I won’t go to a team that is only a little better, If I am offered a situation that is clearly better, I go.

That is a couple of weeks away.

We end up 28-5.

April 3: Syracuse beats UConn for the national championship.

April 4: Awards: For the second year in a row one of our freshmen gets POY, Jon Morr, and of course he is also freshman OY and first team. I am honored as Coach OY. Kal Napp is named first team. Senior Rahm Park is second team.
April 9: I will be staying in Akron. Minnesota offers and theirs is an interesting offer, but I feel we will have a better team here.

April 16: Our last two recruits, PF Jon Byrd, #110, and PG Ger Leit, #129, sign. We have no staff to hire.

Our Team Prestige rises to 46. My numbers also rise:
Offense- 22, Defense- 36, Recruiting- 94, Scouting- 71, Player Development- 34, Reputation- 45. Next year, assuming we do well, I should expect some very interesting job offers. But my heart is in Akron and I am very happy to come back.

April 23: We made a lot of money for Akron athletics this year, selling out every game, winning the tournament… I want some of it. And I get it, $10,000.

I am very happy about our season and very excited about next year.

#23

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May 1: And we begin. The family will spend a week in Greece later this month. I await that with delight.

“Maria, do you feel prepared for your statistics class?”

“Oh yes, Achilles. The tutor I have been working with is wonderful. He has prepared me fully, not just for this course but for my future statistics classes as well. I am very confident now, and I will be able to meet with him as necessary during the summer.”

“And your course of study in general?”

“Perfect! I will spend a great deal of time learning even more about those ancient Greek philosophers I have always respected so greatly.”

“I am very happy that you have taken this path, Maria.”

“And I am very grateful for your support, Achilles.”

We choose to purchase the Gold National report. This will leave us with $42, 180 for recruiting. It will be difficult to pursue foreign recruits, but I feel we will be fine.

With roster moves we will seek to find two transfers. We have only four big men on our roster. All four are very talented but an injury could be disastrous. A transfer will not help with that, but it will be helpful in the future. Let us see what is available.

We offer to a small forward. He is the only transfer of any interest at all.

He goes to UConn.

Greece was wonderful. It was nice to meet up with family and old friends still living there.

June 26: We have five scholarships and will look almost exclusively at big men.

And, predictably, it doesn’t look like a great year for big men. We start off looking at 14 recruits, 1 PG, 1 SF, and the rest big men.

July 4: Down to 10 recruits. We’ll add in August.

August 7: Plugging along. We add a dozen, mostly bigs.

Maria, of course, received an A in her statistics course.

August 21: We offer to 4 big men and a PG.

September 5: Maria begins as a full time student tomorrow. She is as excited as a kindergarten student on the first day of school. I am happy about this.

Achilles left for Cornell two weeks ago. It seems very strange to not have him at home.

September 12: We begin making home visits.

September 18: Len Jax, #187 PF commits.

We have a schedule. No in season tournament this year. Two ranked teams on the road, one at home but a tougher schedule, all in all and a much better distribution of home vs. road games.

Maria bubbles with excitement when she discusses her courses. I have never seen her so happy. She works very hard and is sometimes up later than I am at night. This is amusing given how much trouble she has given me about this issue.

September 25: Three more commit. #119 PF Ollie Munk, #461 PG Curt Darby, and #51 Matt Mack.

October 2: Still adding recruits. Four new ones this week. One or two of our committed recruits are borderline students so hitting the SAT score is a concern. We want back ups available.

First day of practice today. We were deeper last year but we have seven players we like at this stage. Injuries would be a real problem this year.

November 6: Practice is going well. Teaching the new guys is the biggest task but we have some solid veterans.

Two exhibition games this week then the season begins.

As usually happens the exhibitions led to some changes. For one, we couldn’t keep Jay Gore out of the starting line up. As the season progressed last year his playing time increased. He is simply not a practice player. While he works hard in practice, his skills don’t leap out at you. In games they do. So he’ll start at C and Kal will move to PF.

We like what we are seeing from freshman bug man Jon Byrd. He will get minutes.

#24

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“Maria, how goes school?”

“I love it, Achilles.”

“You work very hard.”

“Yes, but the work is interesting and I love the challenge.”

“Should I be concerned regarding your lack of sleep.”

“Oh no, I stay up late to do my work but- are you teasing me, Achilles?”

“Perhaps just a bit. I find it amusing that I seem to get more sleep than you do these days.”

“Yes, I suppose it is amusing at that.”

“Again, I am happy for you, my wife.”

Achilles is doing very well at Cornell. He too is very busy, balancing a challenging academic load at a great university with a varsity soccer schedule and all of its commitments. He seems to be doing fine though.

Young Maria is enjoying high school. She continues with her dance at the local academy, and is pleased to be doing it more for fun than at the higher level she was offered. She is looking at colleges.

We open at home with Missouri State. We should have no trouble with them.

As was the case last season we are sold out for the season.

November 14: 72-52. We trailed 3-2, then never again. 22 each for Kal and Jon. Jay had 10 and 9. 14 TOs.

Next we go to Kansas City. Their strength is at SG, SF and C.

November 17: The game went back and forth for a time. KC worked really hard to stay with us. In the second we built a good lead, as many as 17, and they were unable to mount a real threat. At the end it was 78-68. 17 and 9 for Jay, 21 and 6 for freshman Jon Byrd from the bench. I played seven guys and all of them played well.

November 20: Our four committed recruits all came in to sign. That usually means they will hit our SAT score. Still chasing one recruit, a big man.

Massachusetts, 2-0, is in next. They have a solid front line and an SG that can put up points.

November 21: After some early back and forth we took charge, pulling away in the second. 72-51. 20, 8, 2 for Jon, good games for our other six.

Maryland, 1-1, is here. This is the most talented team we have faced so far. They are solid at every position and have a deep bench. They will press all night, and press well, then go man to man. This game will tell us a lot about ourselves.

November 24: Okay, it told us we have some work to do but we aren’t that far from where we want to be. 14 lead changes, 8 ties, close all the way.

With 1:33 left it was 69-69. Kal hit a little half hook but then they came down and banged a three. We missed, they got a lay up, and it ended 71-74.

Close, but not quite. 22, 4, 2 for Jon, 17, 8 for Kal, 8,6 for Jay, and 11, 5 for rookie Jon Byrd who is really playing well from the bench. We lost this one on defense, allowing them to shoot 58.5%. That’s simply not acceptable and we will work on it. Still, this was a good early season test and it will help us in the long run. We’ll get better.

At 2-1 North Buffalo next. They have some talent but I don’t think they are at our level.

November 28: 68-55 but the game wasn’t as close as the score. Great games by our seven players. The only concern was 20 TOs, our most for the season so far.

We have two challenges in a row coming up, going first to #23 Arizona, and then to New Mexico.

Arizona is 5-1 against some pretty good teams. They are strong at every position. They press often and then go man to man. This will not be easy.

December 1: Once again we stayed competitive with a good team but couldn’t quite get the win, 86-91. All five starters in double figures, good bench play, +9 on the boards, but 21 turnovers, and that’s what did us in. All in all I like what I’m seeing and feel that we’re getting better. By March, when it really counts, I expect us to be ready to beat these teams.
Another tough one, at 4-1 New Mexico. They have a very good back court and a deep bench. Time to win one of these!

December 6: Another war. It was back and forth all the way with 17 lead changes and 6 ties. We were up 4 at the half, and as expected, their back court was doing some damage. We decided to go all man to man rather than our usual shift back and forth between man and 2-3, and it helped. We kept a hand in the outside shooter’s face. With 1:22 left it was 49-50. We brought it down and got a slam from Jay Gore, then Jon picked their PG’s pocket and drove for a lay up. That put us up 53-50. They came down, missed a three but got a tip in. Up 1 with 7 seconds to go they fouled Jeff Post who hit both ends of the 1 and 1. They missed a contested three at the buzzer so the final was 55-52. Good win!

18 TOs but 43 rebounds, 14 by Jay. A big game from Byrd, 14 and 8. I like what I see from him more and more.

5-2 Rhode Island is in. They have a very good PG and are solid inside.

December 8: Everything worked tonight. We galloped out of the gate and never looked back building a huge lead, as many as 34. 25, 7, 4 for Jon Morr, 12, 9, 3 for Byrd, 12 assists for Post. Only 10 TOs tonight.

December 9: “Achilles, my husband, I am so happy I can barely stand still!”

“And what is the cause?”

“My grades for the semester just arrived in the mail!”

“I assume you passed.”

“All A’s, Achilles.”

“This does not surprise me but congratulations. Wonderful news!”

“Oh yes! When I first decided to do this I thought it might be too much, but now I see that I can do this. It is such a good feeling!”

“I never doubted you for a moment, Maria. You worked very hard and you earned this wonderful feeling. Let us go out to dinner to celebrate. Get your parents and Maria. We will go to Mousaka.”

“Oh thank you, Achilles. That sounds wonderful!”

We are 6-2 with three more non-conference games. Provo at home and #7 Spokane, there, will both be challenges.

#25

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(Author's Note: I had thought that Achilles would be far more temporary than he has turned out to be. Gary has not dropped an update in a while so I will continue with my Greek friend's adventures.)

4-3 Army comes to town. This looks like a mismatch.

December 13: And it was, 76-54 and not that close. Double doubles for Kal and Jay. Art King hurt his back. He may miss the Provo game. Jon Byrd will be fine but we have no one behind him. We’ll need to play a lot of small ball.

Provo is 4-3 against solid competition. They are very good inside but we think we can turn them over and out play their guards. That’s the plan. Let’s see how much the thin front line hurts us. Having a noisy crowd behind us will help.

December 15: And yet another war. It went back and forth all the way. Our starters outplayed theirs at all five spots and Byrd was solid, but our short bench hurt us. Their bench had 35, 8, 7 while ours had 12, 6, 5. At the end we built a small lead and held it to win 80-75. This was a sweet victory! 14 TOs, +10 on the boards.

And now we travel to #5, 10-1 Spokane, the toughest team on our schedule.

These guys can play. They are solid at every position. Jon Byrd will start again but Art King is ready to play some minutes in relief.

December 19: They jumped all over us and stormed out to a 23 point first half lead. And then we battled back. It was 17 at the half. At :45 it was one.

We came down and missed, they missed, we missed, they missed, and we brought it down with 6 to play, got it to Jon Morr who put up a contested 16 footer that rimmed out at the buzzer. 76-77. We never led but we gave them everything they wanted. 25 for Jon Morr, 14, 12 for Kal, 15, 9 for Jon Byrd.

I am going to split time between King and Byrd for a while.

8-3 in pre-conference, losing to three very good teams by a total of 9 points. I’ll take it! RPI is 25.

9-2 Miami of Ohio is in to start conference play. After a down year they seem to be back. They’re tough inside but you can’t ignore their guards.
December 29: 69-62. We did so much right it is difficult to see how the score was so close. As I look further it is because of bench play. Their bench had 23, 12, 7, while ours had 8, 7, 2. Only Byrd was effective. Our starters played very well. 11 TOs.

January 1: Happy 1974!

At 6-6 Bowling Green. They have a good inside game but our guards seem lots better than theirs.

January 2: They stayed close but never quite close enough. For most of the game we led by between 6 and 16. 85-74 at the end. Our four bigs dominated, 61 points, 30 RBs. 12 TOs.

I’m wondering if anyone in the conference can give us a real battle. It’s early though.

“Maria, You head back to school on Monday.”

“Yes, I cannot wait. I purchased my books early and have read and highlighted everything. My notes are already quite extensive.”

“You certainly do prepare.”

“Oh yes, I want to do as well as possible.”

“I see you have yet another statistics course.”

“This one and then one more next year. Thank goodness for my tutor!”

Kent State was our chief rival last year but they are 4-9 so far. Still, it’s a road game.

January 5: Our big six took comfortable control early and got the job done, 87-72. We aren’t overwhelming our conference opponents but we’re playing with real confidence and poise and are pretty much in total charge of the games, at least so far.

7-7, 3-0 Ohio comes to town. Their SF and C can make some noise, and they keep the score down well.

January 9: We controlled the pace during the first half and went in up 34-27. We started the second with a three by Jeff Post and then it all went away.

They used a match up zone and we simply couldn’t solve it. I don’t think we got three open looks for the rest of the half. They turned us over 13 times in the half and lots of those led to fast breaks. At the end it was 58-67.

A home loss is not a good thing and this loss was not at ALL a good thing.

Oh well, it’s early. We’ll keep working and building. It will be interesting to see how we do in the rematch at their place.

#26

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At 7-8, 2-2 Buffalo and looking to bounce back. They like to go inside but I don’t think their bigs will do much against ours. They play man but if they saw our last game they’ll try some match up. We’ve been working against that in practice and I guarantee we’ll do better against it but I’d definitely like a little more time before I see it again.

January 12: They did more than I thought, almost enough- 56-49. Buffalo played at a very deliberate pace to keep the score down and it kept them in the game until the last two minutes or so. In the end there were two edges for us: +9 on the boards, 21 for Jon Marr.

7-9, 2-3 Toledo is in. Strong at 1 and 5, some press, man to man. Buffalo never played match up but Toledo knows how so we may see it.

January 16: A very disappointing loss, 61-65. We led for the first 28 minutes and then we let it slip away. 24 fouls to their 10, -10 RB.

Coaches had an all night meeting after the game. In the end there weren’t a lot of things that we could change. We aren’t executing in key situations.
Napp and Gore provide us with big offense and great rebounding but they don’t play the defense that King and Byrd do. At guard we have our starters and then it goes downhill fast. Our only reliable sub is Wes Zane and he is not the player Post and Morr are. In light of that we realize we need to look at a few PG recruits, which we will do. The only other thing is a slight adjustment in playing time for our bigs. No need to panic but we definitely need to improve.

6-11, 4-2 Eastern Michigan is next. They’ve played well in the conference. They will press and then go man.

January 19: Tonight we came to play, 83-67. 10 assists for Jeff and very good games for our big six.

Off on a three game road trip. We absolutely need at least two wins.

At 11-7, 3-4 Western Michigan first. They score outside in a fast paced offense. Their schedule was weak in the early going.

January 23: We come out strong and build an early 17 point lead, going in at 37-24. The only guy doing much is their SF. We decide to keep pressure on the guards and not worry about the SF. We want to disrupt the flow of their offense.

We are successful, the second half plays about even and the final is 67-52. 20 and 8 for Kal, 12, 7, 3 for Byrd.

This was a big win because now we only need a split in the next two. A sweep would be even better, of course.

Muncie is 10-9, 5-3, and they’re tough at home. They try to bang it inside all night long. On D they play all man and press only now and then, usually to try to generate a surprise steal. They can be turned over.

January 26: This was one of our “take care of business” wins, 66-56. We were never spectacular but we were deliberate and made few mistakes. Good, solid defense won this game. Kal had 21 and 7, 18 for Morr, 10 RBs for Gore and 12 assists for Post.

We’ve already met our goal for the road trip. Now comes the tough team, 12-8, 8-1 Central Michigan. They feature an outside attack and they can shoot. They also get it in to their C who gets 15 a game. They play man all the way with an occasional man press. They’re beating everyone right now.

January 30: Ulcer city! We absolutely dominated the first half, building a 16 point lead and going in up 34-20. We made shots, got rebounds, took care of the ball.

And then in the second they did to us what we had done to them. The last TV time out came at 3:44 with the score tied, and it went back and forth the rest of the way. With 7.2 left they hit a three to go up 60-59. Jeff brought it down, faked a pass to Morr, threw one to Jon Byrd who hit an eight footer for the win, 61-60.

They stifled Jay Gore all night but our other five all produced. This was a big win! Ohio lost so now we are tied with them for first, with the same record as Central Michigan.

We speak regularly with Achilles, who is very good about calling, but we do not see him. He was home briefly during the holiday season. He tells us he is very happy at Cornell but extremely busy. I can’t imagine carrying a Cornell course load and playing Division I soccer on top of that but his grades were excellent for the first semester.

I wish there were a way to see him play. Hopefully he will play a game at a school near us at some point.

#27

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10-11, 5-5 Northern Illinois is here. They do most of their damage outside and they have a deep bench. They play man and only press occasionally.

They lost their starting C to grades which has hurt them a great deal. At this point in the season every game is a big game.

February 2: A great first half and then we hung on in the second, 70-63. 19, 11 for Kal. 13 TOs.

At 14-8, 5-6 Miami of Ohio. Lots of balance, no big scorer.

February 6: It stayed close for 30 then it went away, 59-71. We seem to fall asleep every now and then, and that’s what we did. Fortunately both Ohio and Central Michigan also lost. Kal and Jon Morr had great nights, we were +13 on the boards, but 20 TOs.

13-10, 7-5 Bowling Green is in. We won by 11 there. They like to get it inside. They’ve won 5 straight. A lot of people score for them.

February 9: Total domination, 78-50. Solid play by everyone. Jon Byrd tweaked a calf but it doesn’t look serious.

8-16, 4-9 Kent State is in. We won by 15 there. We feel like this is a team we should beat.

February 13: 75-49. 31, 6 for Kal, 16, 11 for Jay. 11 TOs. Ohio lost so we’re in first but we’re at their place next.

14-11, 10-4 Ohio. They beat us by 9 at our place. They beat us with balanced scoring and the took care of the ball and forced 18 TOs.

February 16: 15 lead changes, 9 ties, never a difference of more than 8. The difference may have been that Jon Morr was in foul trouble all night and contributed almost nothing, fouling out with 3:22 left. 68-72 at the end.

At #5 Spokane for the Bracket Breaker. They sent us home from the NCAA tourney last year. On paper they are way better than we are.

February 19: 66-74. We stayed with them but never quite got there. We played well but they had more weapons.

10-16, 5-10 Buffalo is in. This is a game we should win easily.

February 20: 76-48. 21, 13 for Kal, 17 for Byrd, good games all around.

AND… Ohio lost so we finish first, a game ahead of both them and Central Michigan. Jeff Post hurt his ankle. He’s out about a week but we don’t play during that time so we’ll let him heal.

And it’s the post season. We go in at 20-8, 12-4, RPI #30.

#28

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First up is Western Michigan in the quarter finals. Beat them by 15 at their place in our only meeting. We were sloppy but played great defense that night. Post is healthy again.

March 7: We hold them to 16 in the first half. Final is 65-50. 18 and 11 for Jay, 12 and 8 for Art King, 9 and 9 for Kal. 20 TOs but they had 26. On to the semis.

20-10, 8-8 Miami of Ohio. Won by 7 at our place but then lost by 12 there in one of our poorer performances. They have a deep bench and that hurt us in both games. This one is not a given.

March 8: We were determined tonight. Again took an early lead and didn’t let go. Up 13 at the half and 84-66 at the end. 29, 5, 3 for Morr, 14, 9 for Gore, solid play by all.

Central Michigan defeated Ohio so we’ll play them for the title. We beat them by 1 at their place in a really competitive game so this one should be fun.

Their C and their bench did the damage. We’d love to get back to back titles.
March 9: A back and forth first half ends with us down 35-39. We’re giving up way too many points and I am not happy about it in the locker room.

We’re taking care of the ball, rebounding well, not fouling, but we need to play better defense, against, as expected, their C and their bench. We decide to go straight man, but with Kal, not Jay, on the C. Kal is the better defender.

It works. Kal shuts him down, and the rest of the guys shut everyone else down. We hold the team to 19 in the second and win 71-58 for the title. 16, 9 for Kal, to go along with the great D. He is named Player of the Tournament. 17, 7, 2 for Art.

Now we wait. I see us as about a six seed, but I tend to be optimistic. 23-8, RPI #25.

March 11: Cam Leis, #98, PF, signed. We may need to free up a scholarship to grab a PG, or try to. We’ll see.

March 12: Selection Day and the gang’s all here. 11 in the East. 11! That’s an insult. We’ll play #6 Kansas, 22-8. A tough first rounds match up. Not happy.

“Professor Skouris is a fool!”

“My goodness, Maria!”

“It is true and there is no other way to say it!”

“Perhaps if you told me more?”

“He criticizes ‘The Golden Mean’, Aristotle’s brilliant concept. He is a fool!”

“Hm. The man has done his work on this? This is his area of expertise?”

“No! That’s just it! His work was done on the minor philosophers. He has never published on ‘The Golden Mean.’ He is a fool!”

“And you and he have had conflicts regarding this?”

“Well I told him how I felt about ‘The Golden Mean’ and cited articles. I mentioned that there are thousands of them, none supporting his position.”

“Oh dear.”

“Yes, he did not take it well.”

“Maria, perhaps, given that he is your instructor, perhaps discretion would be the better part of valor.”

“And allow this strutting, pompous fool to spread his nonsensical views about the great Aristotle without defending the latter.”

“I think Aristotle can take care of himself.”

“That is silly, Achilles.”

“Sorry, I merely meant that his work has stood the test of time, and one little professor in Ohio will not bring him down.”

“Well… I suppose this is true.”

“So you will let it go?”

“I don’t believe I can. I can only hope the subject will not come up again.”

“As do I, my wife.”

Kansas is tough. Solid inside, with a shooting guard who can light it up. They play great defense, man to man with a little press thrown in. We will have our hands full.

March 16: HELL yeah! Vindication! 77-69. We thought the only chance we had was to work it inside on every possession. We knew they would turn us over. We knew their guards were way too quick for us. But we felt that we had a shot if we could make the inside game work. In the fist half it went back and forth but our strategy basically worked. We gave up some things, tried to stay out of serious foul trouble, and worked it inside. And Jay, Kal, Art and Jon Byrd all did their part. When they got it they either scored or got fouled. We were up 40-34 at the break. We were +7 on the boards.

In the second it was more of the same except that we built up a lead, as many as 18. We tired late and they came roaring back but the closest they got was the final score.

19, 12, 2 for Jay, 18, 8 for Art, 16, 8 for Kal, 11, 3 for Jon Byrd. 8 assists for Jeff Post. +21 on the boards and a great, satisfying win.

Our reward is a game with #3 seed, 10th ranked Michigan, 25-6. They are strong at every position and their C is an All American. We’ll try a similar strategy to last time but we’ll need to be near perfect to have any chance at all. The only thing I will guarantee is that we won’t quit.

March 18: Whew! That was one tough team, 74-90. Their SF went off for 32, their starting guards combined for another 32. We did all we could do but we were overmatched.

We wind up 24-9. Another really good season. We lose Jeff Post and Art King, and we’ll miss both of them.

I am 76-24 after exactly 100 games as a head coach. Not bad at all!

April 1: Bar Ruff, #101, PG from Israel, signs.

April 3: North Carolina beats UCLA for the national title.

April 4: Awards: As he was as a freshman he is as a junior. Kal Napp is POY. I am honored with the coach OY award for the second time in a row. Jon Morr joins Kal on the first team. Jon Byrd and Jay Gore make the second team. A sub on the second team. It is a testament to how well Byrd played.

#29

Wayne23
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April 9: Decision day. Will I receive “that offer”?

Team Prestige up to 47. I go to Offense- 26, Defense- 42, Recruiting- 95, Scouting- 71, but then that doesn’t move much, Player Development- 39. Reputation-48.

Berkeley wants me. Now THAT is a very tempting offer. I’m going to visit and speak with them.

It was a great visit. The campus is beautiful. Maria loves the campus, the school, the area, as much as I do- she accompanied me on the trip. I ask them for 24 hours to decide. Maria and I talk on the plane, and again when we get home. She will need to transfer her Ph. D. program. While I was speaking with the A. D., she was speaking with the Philosophy department, and it turns out that all of her credits will transfer. The money is much better at U. California, double what I am making now. The downside is that I will need to rebuild the program. There will definitely be some struggles given that this is a great conference.

We decide to accept the offer.

Maria will remain in Akron with her parents and with young Maria until the end of the semester and the school year. I will live in faculty housing while searching for our new home.

April 16: I hire my staff. My #1 is Blain Walsh, 44. He was the #2 with Oregon State and he will scout for us. #2 is Rand Myer, 43, will be my bench/practice assistant. He was #3 at Montana State. Several schools courted him since he is seen as an up and comer. #3 will be 42 year old Mel Cloud. He will recruit, a position he held with USC. A coaching change at the top there left him as the odd man out. I am pleased to have all three of these guys.

The team I am coming to is thin on talent. We will probably lose some people and I am hoping the transfer pool will be strong. I expect next year to be a real challenge.

April 23: I am hoping we can get a little money added to the budget. We’ll see what happens. No luck.

And so we head for the new season.

#30

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May 1: We purchase the Gold National report.

June 5: We are going after several transfers including Jon Byrd, who decided to leave Akron when I did.

June 12: We get Byrd. I am thrilled to have him.

June 19: Maria and the rest of the family arrive today. We will remain in faculty housing as our search for a home continues. I have three that I wish Maria to see. Hopefully we will make a quick decision.

June 26: Recruiting begins. 5 to offer. We probably need guards more than bigs but we need both. We will cast a wide net.

I am impressed with my staff. Mel Cloud is very analytical. When we discuss potential recruits he really knows how to focus on strengths and weaknesses.

July 3: We find a house that seems to be just what we need. It is near the university, which is a bonus. We hope to be in it by the end of the month.

July 31: Only 11 recruits on the list right now (We’ll add more next month) but most are interested, a few very interested.

August 5: The house is ours. We will move right in.

August 21: We can offer today and we will. We offer to 4 PGs and a PF. I thought it would be 3 and 2 but these were the guys.

September 4: Maria begins her classes here at Berkeley this week. She is very excited. This is such an incredible university, academically speaking, and I am certain she will be challenged and stimulated.

September 11: We’ll visit four of our five this week.

September 18: Bret Wood, #53, PG, and Jim Dunn, #60, PG, commit. We switch one offer to a C who we went after late.

We have a schedule. We’ll be going to the JAG in late December. Awful schedule. A possibility of 10 straight on the road, if we go to the title game of the JAG. I’m loading up with road cupcakes to compensate.

September 25: Pat Thom, #50, PF, and Matt Tyl, #136, PG, committed. The other big guy went to another school so still one scholarship to give. We offer to another big but no real hurry on this one.

October 2: Tim Hale, #116 C, committed. We’re finished with recruiting, at least for now (Oh, and I just remembered to switch recruiting from Easy to Normal).

Today is the first day of practice. I can tell that I made a wise decision to put together a less than challenging pre-conference schedule. This group has a lot to learn and we’ll need those games as part of the learning process.

Maria is very happy with her classes and with her professors. The conflict with the “The Golden Mean” professor never really ended last semester and she would have needed to take another class with him so it is good that we left. Here, all is well. Achilles continues to do well at Cornell with both his studies and his soccer although when we see him he looks tired. Young Maria has fallen in love with this university and she hopes to enroll as a freshman here in the fall.

October 9: I am shocked to note that we are picked to finish fourth in the conference. I would be very happy were that to happen.

October 16: There’s a PG we really like. We’ll stay with him even though we do not have a scholarship to give. Things happen. Oops, just looked at his grades. No way he’ll hit our SAT score. Oh well.

November 6: Time for exhibition games.

The exhibitions told us a lot but they didn’t settle the SF position for us. Phil Webb and Sean Drew will get about 20 minutes each at that spot to start the season. When one of them emerges that one will get starter’s minutes.

And that quickly we’re at the beginning of the season.

#31

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Indiana State is in for our first game. Let’s see what we learn about ourselves.

November 16: 69-64. We have a long way to go.

We had a three hour post game staff meeting: Gray Hart looked great at C, 18, 8, 2. John Bell at PF, had 11, 8. Nyah Marr at SG looked like he will help us. We got very little from either of our SFs. Joe Jinx had 8 TOs at PG. Jay Dye, our first big off the bench looked very good. I’m wondering if there may be a way to get him into the mix at SF. He can’t play that spot, but could he play PF, and could I shift Bell to SF. Hm. Des May, our first guard off the bench also looked good. We didn’t rebound very well. It’s early and one game only gives indications, but the staff is watching carefully.

We travel to NC-Asheville for our next game. They lost their opener to a pretty weak team, and didn’t look good doing so. But that was a road game for them.

November 19: 54-46. Gray and John Bell played well again. Joe Jinx played better at PG, and our SFs played better. 13 for Marr at SG. I was happy with our defense and happier with our rebounding.

It is important to remember that I scheduled some weak teams. We aren’t planning to be too excited by early wins against this competition, but hopefully we’ll learn some things without getting our heads bashed in. And even more hopefully we’ll learn enough to be competitive when conference play begins.

Maria is well into the semester and every time we discuss school she has very positive things to say about both her classes and her professors.

Four of our five recruits signed. One, Pat Thom, #44 PF, did not sign. This probably means he will not hit our SAT score. We’ll court some bigs.

0-2 Indianapolis is in. They have some talent inside.

November 23: 80-47. I know this wasn’t a strong opponent but we really played well. 19 for Marr at SG, 14, 13, 2 for Gray at C, 15 for Jinx at PG, and only 1 TO, 11, 6, 2 for Bell at PF, 6, 5, 1 for Webb at SF. Total control.

At 1-2 Charleston Southern. Only win was in OT. All three opponents were weak.

November 26: 64-55. 24, 4, 3 for Marr, 16, 4, 2 for Hart. 21 TOs.

After four games we decide to do an overall assessment at our staff meeting.

We are happy with our defense, holding opponents to 53.0 per game. We’re +4.3 in rebounding but feel we can do better. 16.8 TOs per game and we want it under 14. Individually, We’re standing pat at PG, SG, PF, C. Phil Webb is definitely outplaying Sean Drew at SF, but we’re seriously looking at finding a way to get Jay Dye in ahead of both of them. We decide there’s no time like the present. John Bell is moving from PF to SF. Jay Dye will start at PF, and Webb and Drew will come in from the bench. Let’s see what happens.

Next up is what will be a challenge for us, 2-1 Pitt is in. On paper they are better than us- much better. We’ll need to control the boards and put pressure on their guards to have any chance at all. On top of that, our next home game is in January. So here we go!

November 30: 78-67. We played well and oh yes, Jay Dye belongs in the starting lineup, only 6 and 7, but solid defense. 26, 5 for Marr, 17, 11, 5 for Hart, 13, 4, 2 for Bell at SF, 12, 8, 5 for Jinx. And 39 RBs, our most for the season.

And now the long, long road.

Before I leave I check in with Maria, who is preparing for exams in some classes, and end of semester term papers in others. She feels that it has been a great semester. She has learned a great deal. One more semester of classes and then she begins doing more research, fewer classes, in preparation for her dissertation.

#32

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We travel to 2-2 SE Missouri State. They have a very good C. They are not good with the ball.

December 3: 65-55. Marr had 23 and 5. Once again the change to the starting lineup showed benefits. Bell had 16, 5, 2 and Dye had 10, 5, 1. This is far more than we were getting from those two positions. Gray Hart had an off night (foul trouble) but Dye and Bell made up for it.

December 4: Ranked! #23. I’m not sure this will last but it’s nice.

At 2-3 Georgia Tech. They aren’t playing up to their normal standards but make no mistake, this is a great program and this will be our biggest challenge of the season so far. They score form all five positions and they rebound. We feel we can turn them over and we will need to.

December 7: 53-62. We stayed with them for most of the way, never quite able to catch up but never far back. They pulled away just a little at the end. 21 TOs was the biggest problem, but we were not getting defensive stops when we needed them. Again, this was a good team. They moved the ball better than we had thought they would, and they defended us well. 17 each for Marr and Hart.

At 2-5 Knoxville next. They’ve lost five straight, to weak teams, mostly. We need to control their inside game.

December 10: 70-57. 25 for Marr, who is turning into a go to guy, 12, 10, 4 for Hart, 13, 6, 2 for Jinx. 14 TOs. A good outing.

The loss took us out of the top 25, and that’s fine.

“Achilles, my husband, I am so happy that you phoned!”

“Yes, it is always good to speak with you, Maria.”

“I have news.”

“Oh? And what is your news?”

“My grades are here. They arrived today.”

“And…?”

“All As!”

“Of course! I expected no less. My congratulations.”

“Thank you. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I am successful at this great universities.”

“It is one of the finest in the world.”

“I was not certain I could do well at this level. Akron was a fine school but not at this level.”

“With your intelligence, and your dedication and hard work as a student, I was not at all worried.”

“Thank you, my husband.”

“One more semester and then I begin work on my thesis.”

“Yes. How exciting to know that you will contribute to the world’s store of knowledge!”

“Oh Achilles, it is very intimidating.”

“Don’t let it be. You have known what you want to do almost from the beginning. You will be fine.”

“Oh, I hope so!”

At 3-4 New Mexico State next and this could be a challenge. NM State is not playing well but I think they have potential.

December 13: 62-65 in OT. They led most of the way but we stayed close. Tied it with a three by Marr at the end of regulation. Then in OT we scored the first 5. They scored the last 8. We were done in by turnovers- 24 of them, 5 in OT, 10 by Joe Jinx. Never thought we’d be 7-2 at this point but this is a game we could have won.

We have eight days between games so we’re back home after twelve days away. Feels good.

Down to the Bayou to face 4-4 Louisiana-Lafayette. Everything goes inside with them. If we control that we win. If not, it could be ugly.

December 21: 64-57. They were all over us in the first, leading by as many as 12 and going into the locker room up 10. Their inside game was working, despite all the prep we had done to stop it. At the half I made a couple of minor adjustments to our strategy. They worked, and we held them to 24 for the second half. At the same time our offense started clicking. We balanced going inside with taking open jumpers. All five starters scored points in the second and we turned it around. A good win.

Off to the JAG Holiday Tournament. We start with a tough draw, 7-2 Arkansas, the #3 seed. There are some good teams here. Arkansas is 1-1 vs. ranked teams. They have one bad loss. They can score LOTS of points. We will need to play very well to have a chance in this one.

December 23: 76-55. Didn’t expect that! The first half was close all the way.

No one led by more than five and we went in up 33-31. In the first minute of the second two of their starters picked up foul #3, and we were off. Marr and Bell started hitting outside and when they spread their defense we worked it inside for easy layups. We went in and out and they had no answers.

Next up is #2 seed, 6-3 Florida State. They’ve been up and down but have lost to every good team they’ve faced. They’re tough inside with a very good PF.

December 24: 51-60. Another close first half. This time we didn’t have second half answers, at least partially due to our guys getting into foul trouble. Gray Hart sat more than he played in the second and Dye and Bell also had problems. That allowed them to do what they like to do, bang it inside. They did, it worked, they won. Fouls were 21-12 but that was about right.

We get home late on the 25th. No game until 12/31 so we’re home for a few days. 9-3 for the pre-conference season. I’ll take it! And from here on, half of our games will be at home, and believe me, I’ll take that too!

#33

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Author's note: Unfortunately, I was back in the hospital for a few days (Same issue, third stay, not convinced it's fixed yet but it ain't fatal and docs say it won't be.) so Achilles won't get the ending I had hoped for. I always do the full install because I've never once successfully done the "Link to updated files only". Don't bother to send instructions, you have, I've used them, they don't work for me.

We always knew that Achilles would be temporary but I grew to like him quite a bit. I will probably, at some point down the line, revive him, from the beginning of a new association.

Since Update 1.3 of DDS:CB2 will no doubt also be short lived my next association will also be a temp. But I like playing more when I'm documenting, so document I shall!

Goodbye Achilles.




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