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DDS:CB3 Dynasty: Mack Jones- The Hard Way

Started By Wayne23, Apr 11, 2014 06:32 PM

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#41

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7-16, 2-10 Tennessee is here. They have decent outside game but not much inside. Lost their last 5, 10 of 11. This is no place for a slip up.

Feb. 15: 70-64. Well, it’s a win. We were pretty awful tonight but they just don’t have many weapons. We shot on’y 32.6%. 10 TOs, +17 RB.

10-5, 6-7 LSU is in. We won by 14 there. They have a good outside game but we feel like we can pressure them an’ turn ‘em over.

Feb. 18: 87-75. We were better on O tonight but the D was not what I want. They hit 16 threes cuz we jus’ didn’t get out on the shooters. 32, 4 for Al Carr was the diff, an’ Al has been that often. Front line all hit double figgers an’ got boards, +14. 11 TOs, 11 assists for Hart.

Last two are against ranked teams, one road, one home. We gotta at least split. Still the log jam with three of us one back a KY. Nobody close behind us though so we’ll finish 4th or better.

21-5, 11-3, #17, RPI #9.

At #19, 21-6, 11-3 Alabama. We won by 8 at home in a battle. Their SF lit us up. They’re 9-1 in the last 10. This won’t be easy.

Feb. 22: 58-65. We never led. Down as many as 16 early an’ never quite caught up. Ya gotta play D an’ we on’y did that in the 2nd half. Outside shooters got way too many open looks in the 1st. Not happy about that. 16 for Carr, 13, 9 for More, 8, 5 for Penn from the bench.

KY an’ Ark. Lost too. So 4 teams within a game of each other with one ta play.

18-9, 9-6 Missouri is in to close out the reg’lar season. They beat us by 8 there. 10 guys scored for them. They’re strong inside an’ we can’t let ‘em beat us inside. We’re goin’ after the PG, keepin’ pressure on. We didn’t do enough a that las’ time.

This is a MUST win.

Feb. 25: 71-56. We were up pretty much all the way. 27, 10, 2 for More, 19, 3, 2 for Carr. +11 RB but 18 TOs.

Ark. lost so we end up 3rd.
And we’re in the post season. Lucy won’t travel with us this year. She’s still feelin’ fine but the store keeps her busy an’ the one thing we don’t want is for her to push an; get overtired.

22-6, 12-4, #18, RPI #12.

#42

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We get Tennessee in the round of eight. They pulled an upset. We beat them by only six on an off night. I want focus and energy and a big win this time. It’s March!

March 8: 72-71. And I got a one point win- barely! Survive and advance. We were sloppy, 19 TOs, and didn’t get out on the three- they hit 12. We won on the boards, +17. But we won’t win again if we play like this. 23, 6, 1 for Nick Penn from the bench, 12, 15 for More.

It’s #10, 23-5 Kentucky in the semis. They slid to second by losing their last regular season game so we play the best team in conf. In the semis. We beat them by 2 at our place in one of our best games of the year. We’ll need ta be that good again this time. We need ta take care a the ball. Last time we were -15 on the boards. We prob’ly can’t match them there but it needs ta be single digits.

March 9: 61-72. Not tanight. They got the first 12 an’ we were never in it. They simply overpowered us. We matched them in all of the stats category but we shot 29%, they shot 45.5%. Our poor shooting was due to great D by them. They were bigger and quicker. 21, 2, 2 for Carr, 12, 9, 1 for More, 8, 7 for Hill, 16, 2 for Penn, who is getting more time since he’s earned it. It’s no disgrace to get beat by a better team. We worked hard tonight an’ I did not get down on the guys. We can make some noise at the Dance.

So now we wait.

Lucy is showing. It’s cute at this stage an’ she likes it as much as I do. She’s still feeling good. No morning sickness, no problems.

Missouri beat KY for the title.

March 12: Here we go! Not in the East. Not in the Midwest. Not in the South. #4 West. I’ll take it! WE play #13 New Rochelle, 19-11. Peoria is also in the West but we’d both need to get to the round of eight to meet.

#43

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New Rochelle, 19-11, looks good in the tapes but they really haven’t faced the level of competition we have.

March 17: 74-61. We led all the way but they never quit. Well coached team. 19, 5, 4 for Carr, 19, 5 for Penn, 10, 10 for More, 10, 9, 8 for Hart. 14 TOs, +11 RB.

KY upset in the 2nd round. Bama too.

We play Missouri next. Hm. Shouldn’t play a conf. rival this early. Lost by 8, then won by 15 at home. We won the inside game last time and will need to again.

March 19: 97-83, OT. After a 40 minute battle we dominated OT. This was a foul fest with three idiots blowing whistles all night long, 50 of ‘em, never allowing any flow to develop. More, 29, 12, 2 an’ Carr, 31, 1, 4 kep’ us in it, an’ eventually won it for us. I got T’d up an’ the Missouri coach did too. 69 free throws taken. Ridiculous. Both coaches ranted a bit at the postgame press conference. We’ll get fined, the NCAA will do what they do best, ignore the whole thing. Survive and advance.

#1 seed, #7 ranked, 29-4 Temple in the Sweet Sixteen. Very good outside, not bad inside. 16-1 in last 17. Score mostly outside. They don’t RB all that well except for one guy. But we have problems getting out on the shooter. We need ta do that in this game, an’ we can’t let their PG do what he wants ta do.

March 24: 87-82. Big win! 4 TOs- for the GAME! +3 RB, we committed 9 less fouls. They hit a lotta threes- 16-32, but most of ‘em were in the 1st half, when they went up by 12, still up 5 at the half. We shut off the three in the 2nd (3-8), an’ that made the diff. We pounded it in ta More, then got open looks for Carr an’ Hart, an’ those three guys got it done, 21, 9 for More, 20, 3 for Carr, 16, 3 for Hart.Hill had 13, 4 from the bench.

NEVER thought we’d hit the Elite Eight this year!

#2 seed, #5 ranked Louisville, 30-5, in the rounds of eight. On paper they’re way better, and they do most everything well. We need to hold our own inside, disrupt, disrupt, disrupt, find the open man, work it inside, work it outside.

March 26: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 84-75, Final Four. UNBELIEVABLE! Very close for 35 minutes, just back an’ forth, nobody really takin’ control. Then John Hart found Nick Penn on three straight backdoor cuts. We got stops after each one and Louisville didn’t stop it until the fourth try and when John saw that he found Al Carr in the spot the defender had vacated, got it to him and watched him drain a three. 9-0 run, 11 point lead, bye bye Louisville. 27 for Penn, 23, 4 for Carr, on’y 4 for More but 10 RBs, 4, 4, 6 for Hart, 1 TO, 15,1, 3 for Evans, 8, 4, 1 for Hill. Dancin’ on air!

The publicity has been unbelievable. Getting’ ta the Final Four in our first year here is insane an’ I am bein’ treated like a Civil War General- Confederate.

(Author\'s Note: No explanation. I did not edit any players in Commish mode. I did no do overs.

At the start I saw my team and thought, \"Middle of the pack, with luck.\" As the season progressed I made changes to the line up. They ALL worked and worked well. But getting this far? Never in a million years. Maybe just one of those unlikely, magical runs, like UConn in both 2011 and this year. A team that simply caught fire.)

#44

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We’ll play Michigan State, 31-3, #4 ranked, #5 RPI. Really, really good back court. I think we may be slightly better than them inside. We will need ta control the inside game an’ the boards. We’ll try to pressure the PG, jus’ ta disrupt, no more’n that, but if he’s too quick we’ll back off.

Again, Lucy is not with us, can’t be really, but I sure wish she was.

April 1: 87-85 OT an’ I am numb. They went up 9 early, up 6 at the half but we were definitely in it, very competitive. We were even in RBs turnin’ it over a little too much. Didn’t want to change much though, an’ we didn’t.

I thought we could compete, an’ we DID! We finally caught ‘em with 4:44 lef’ an’ it was back an’ forth after that, with More getting’ an 8 footer to send it to OT.

By this point their startin’ back court had fouled out playin’ 38 an’ 30 min., an’ ours had too, playin’ 36 an’ 35 min. Without Carr I figgered we were dead, but it all evened out an’ it was back an' forth for 5 more min.

Finally, 85-85, they had the ball, with 15 left. I had Evans on the Point, nobody else ta put there, an’ he got a step in steal with 4 seconds left, threw it ahead ta Nick Penn who laid it in with .4 left, an’ that was that.

Officials were horrible, 81 free throws taken. 24, 2, 5 for Carr, 16, 9 for More, 13, 11 for Penn.

#45

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An’ we get ta play for the title! An’ Lucy is flyin’ in for the game! Says she jus’ can’t miss this. #2 ranked, #2 RPI, 33-4 Kansas.

They beat us by 14 in the second game a the season at the Coaches Classic. We had too many TOs an’ allowed too many threes. BUT, Carr was not startin’ then, an’ we hadn’t come close ta jellin’ as a team.

They definitely have a much better back court. We can at least hold our own inside. Their bench is longer. But every now an’ then they were upset by teams that we could beat. They are a 7 point favorite, which is HUGE in this kind of game. I think we have a shot if we play hard, smart hoops an’ if we get out on the shooter- that is VITAL!

April 3: The dream comes true, an’ it isn’t close: 80-66. We took control right away. Carr made three threes in the first couple minutes, they got on him, we went inside ta Nick Penn cuz they expected it ta be More. We spread the scorin’ aroun’ moved the ball with precision, didn’t turn it over (12 for the game), an’ we got on the shooters. We controlled the boards well enough (+6). And we simply refused ta lose, or even ta let them get closer than a half dozen or so. Jus’ beat back ev’ry run they made before it got dangerous.

This was the best game we played all year, from start ta finish, at the most crucial time. Al Carr was MOP, as he should have been, 26, an’ he shut down their SG (5 pts.).

I am floating on air. You cannot know what it’s like ta cut down the nets unless ya do it. Unbelievable. Nobody picked us- nobody. Hell, I wouldn’t a picked us. But somewhere along about the Sweet Sixteen it started ta feel special. The staff discussed that we were really goin’ good an’ that it felt like some really good things could happen. They sure did!!

Oh, there’s not a senior on this team- not even a walk on senior.

#46

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4/4: Back home. Awards: Al Carr got Tourney MOP, as I said. In conf., Colin More, Freshman OY. I got the coach award. 1st team: Al Carr, Colin More.

April 9: Would I move? To UConn, Michigan State, someplace like that? Hell yeah! Otherwise no.

Jumped all the way ta Team Prestige 75. Wow!

No interestin’ offers. Good!

April 23: Lookin’ for budget dollars. Got ‘em. $13,000.

My numbers: 114-27, .809. Off.- 34, Def.- 47, Rceruit- 95, Scout- 90,
Player Development- 43, Reputation- 65.

Unbelievable year. National champs. Wow!

#47

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May 1: Didn’t have scholarship ta offer John Hart, our walk on PG, so he left. He got one at Georgetown. I waived the year delay and he’ll play this year for ‘em. I wish him all the best.

Lucy is huge but seems well, says she’s doin’ fine. Doc says another month or maybe five weeks.

On’y three scholarships, one possible transfer. We buy National Gold, International Basic. Leaves us with $35,000.

May 29: It’s a girl! Felt myself being shaken at about 2:15 a.m. today.

“We need to go to the hospital, Mack.”

Wow! I was typic’ly male an’ panicked. Lucy calmed me down. We went. I was going to be in there with her so I got gowned an’ all. They led me in, an’ within’ like ten minutes, Mandy Lucille Jones had made her appearance. I wasn’t even used to the idea that this was happening an’ it happened.

“Hey beautiful, it ain’t s’posed ta be this easy.”

“Pretty lucky. One big ouch and it was over. Isn’t she beautiful!”

“She most definitely is that! I got goose bumps.”

“Me too.”

We took Mandy home the next day an’ she’s doin’ a great job a runnin’ our lives. Great pair a lungs. Tail is NOT happy with the noise. Looks at Lucy an’ me like we should do something about this.

June 5: Lookin’ at transfers. Nothing there. Moving on.

June 26: As I said, three ta give. 2 an’ 1, either way.

Lookin’ at 20. Never bad ta cast a wide net.

June 29: Mandy’s a month old. Strangely she ain’t walkin’ or talkin’ yet. Squawkin’ though, definitely squawkin’! An’ Tail is less happy all the time.

July 29: Man! Two months already. She’s reacting to us now, startin’ ta be fun.

Looking at 20 still, all top 40 guys an’ ev’ry one has at least some interest in us.

Aug. 7: Stew Buck, SG, is #36 on the Norton list. Jed Lean, PG, is #46.

Aug. 21: We offer ta 3 guys, a PG, an SG, a PF.

Aug. 29: And at three months Mandy smiles and laughs, lights up when she sees us and is jus’ a joy! Lucy is long since back at work, takin’ Mandy with her a course. I have lunch with them ev’ry day that I can which is about ev’ry day. It won't be ev'ry day once the season starts so enjoyin' it while I can.

Sept. 11: We visit our three plus one other recruit.
Sept. 18: Got all three. #3 Nick Hesk, SG, #5, Brad Marr, PF, #16, Al Fort, PG. All three are very good students who should not have a problem hitting our SAT score.

We’ll be at the Sunshine Shootout in Dec. Tougher sched. than last year.

Sept. 29: Mandy hits four months. Doing more ev’ry day. An’ more fun ev’ry day.

Oct. 2: First day a practice. We look real strong.

Picked 2nd in conf., just behind KY, #15 in the nation.

Oct. 29: Mandy is “talking”. Making all kinds of gibberish sounds as if she was telling us things. Funny as h*ll.

Nov. 7: Exhibition games.

Big problem. I have ten guys who should start. Distributing minutes is going to be impossible. We’re pondering.

Well, we came up with a lineup. More sub minutes than usual and I wish there were room for still more. Two Norton candidates, Jed Lean at PG, Stew Buck at SF. I HAD to start Al Carr at SG so Stew moved to SF. Joe Sand looked awesome so he’s at PF, and Colin More needed to be at C after what he did last year. Three subs, Dan Wall at guard looks really, really good. Don Evans at SF and PF, too good to sit but they only let me put 5 on the court. Ian White at PF, C, would start for most teams. We are powerful. Nick Penn and B. J. Bell should get minutes, but none left to give them.

#48

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We begin at North Carolina State. They play 3-2 and on paper we’re better. Let’s see!

Nov. 16: 73-56. 19, 1, 7 for Jed Lean who “took charge”, and was a force on both ends. Very impressive game. 12, 11 for More, 10, 2, 2 for Dan Wall, our PG from the bench. 8, 9 for Joe Sand at PF. 10 TOs, +7 RBs.

Memphis is here for their season debut. They play man.

Nov. 19: 80-51. No contest. 14, 6,6 for Lean who really is impressive. 15 each for Buck and Sand. 14, 5 for White, our big guy on the bench, 7, 8 for backup guard, Wall. 14 TOs, +26 RB(!).

Our three recruits came in and signed. #19.

At 4-0, #15 Toledo. They won the Hawaiian Shootout against some decent teams and one good one. All 5 starters average double figures. This should be our first challenge. We need to play.

Nov. 23: 67-71. We didn’t play our game tanight. Because we didn’t or because they didn’t let us? We’ll be lookin’ at the game a bunch a times ta figger that out. What is really easy to see is the poor D. We let ‘em shoot 52.2% an’ that’s unacceptable. Their guards lit it up, both of ‘em, an’ they got it in to their C who nailed us too. So I guess we already know what we need ta work on. Didn’t help that Lean fouled out in 28 min.

At 1-2 Utah. Could be another challenge. They are solid at 2, 4. We think we’re better at 1, 3, 5. They play man.

Nov. 26: 70-63. We led mosta the way but they kept getting’ back inta it. 18 TOs, not good. +16 RBs, very good. 21, 16, 3 for More.

Nov. 29. She’s 6 months old today, sayin’ quite a few words, crawlin’ ev’rywhere, makin’ Tail find good hidin’ places. Makin’ sure we put ev’rythin’ outta reach. My habit a just droppin’ things wherever- that’s gone.

#49

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Kansas State, 0-2, is in. It looks like a mismatch.

Nov. 30: Yeah, I’d call 81-31 a mismatch. Not pretty! 4 TOs, 10 guys had great games.

Stew Buck hurt a knee but it’s just a bump. Day to day and may not even miss a game.

Dec. 1: “Remember that time a while ago when I told you I was pregnant?”

“Never forget it! Look how it turned out!”

“Oh good. I’m glad you feel that way.”

“I do… Um…”

“Yep.”

Another baby! They’re thinkin’ June, which is what they thought last time when they on’y missed by a couple days. Ev’rybody’s askin’ do we want a boy. Well, yeah, I guess. It would be nice ta have one of each, an’ given my age this should really be the last baby. But honestly? It don’t matter a bit ta me. Lucy either from what she says. We’re pretty happy with our little girl.

1-4 Iowa. Off year for them.

Dec. 3: 72-49. 20, 6, 2 for More, 17, 10 for Sand. 8 TOs, 41 RBs. Remember though, Jed Lean is drivin’, an’ with one exception he’s been world class.

3-3 West Virginia is here. Another mismatch. These are not bad teams. Some are having rough years but they are all good programs.

Dec. 7: 75-38. 45-14 at the half. 7 TOs, 37 RBs. 22, 6, 3 for Al Carr. Played ten, and they all played well.

#50

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Off to the Sunshine Shootout. #2 seed. Stanford is #1. We start with 5-2 Marshall. They have some guys who can play but they haven’t played anyone.

Dec. 9: 80-70. They battled. Even led a bunch a times. Fine’ly got our act tagether late. Lean, Carr an’ More led the way. 7 TOs.

Rematch with 4-3 No. Car. ST in the semis. Beat ‘em by 17 in our opener. No reason we shouldn’t do it again as long as we play our game.

Dec. 10: 73-60. 23 for Carr, 18, 3, 7 for Lean, 11, 7 for Buck, 10 for White. 11 TOs.

Lean an’ Buck both got hurt. Minor in both cases, an arm, a wrist, they’ll play some but we play for the title with two wounded soldiers.

It’s #7, 7-1 Stanford. Very good at SG an’ C, good at the other three spots. On’y loss was ta #1 KY. Play a tight man. They RB an’ take care a the ball. With two banged up we gotta be about perfect ta have a shot. Very little margin for error.

Dec. 11: 76-90. Not tonight. Jed really couldn’t go much, an’ Buck not a lot better. Hey, ya play the guys ya got, no excuses. They were better. 20, 5 for Carr, 18, 8 for More. But 21 TOs- ouch! There will be better days.

#51

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Good ta be back home.

2-5 Tulsa is here. Lean an’ Buck still not 100% but both are over 90% so I think we’ll be okay. They play man.

Dec. 13: 69-68. Escaped! Strange game. Didn’t feel like they should have been in it but they never went away. Thought we outplayed ‘em all night, yet they were right there at the end. +5 TOs, +5 RBs, 7 fewer fouls. But… my old nemesis, threes. They were 12-21. Possibly my greatest failing as a coach is that my teams simply do not get out on the three point shooter. I work it every year in practice after practice. I go away from the 2-3 to exclusively man often, in order to help with it. Still an issue ev’ry year.

Anyway, Carr hit an 18 footer with less than 2 seconds left for the win. 21, 7 for More, 16, 3, 3 for Carr. Lean had on’y 2, but 9 RBs, 7 assists. We’ll take the win.

#12, RPI #21.

At 4-4 Texas Tech. On paper this is a mismatch but it’s a road game.

Dec. 21: 62-58. Big early lead, led mosta the way but they tightened it an’ tightened it. Got it ta one with 91 seconds lef’. They stole a pass an’ headed down the floor. Jed Lean somehow caught the SG from behind and swatted away his lay up without foulin’, we got the ball, an’ scored, then scored again an’ it was over, but Lean’s play was what did it. 18 TOs is how we almos’ blew it. Balanced scorin’, the starters all between 8-13 points.

Givin’ White more PT, takin’ it from Sands. White has really been producin’.

Dec. 25: Baby’s 1st XMas. We refuse to get crazy about the holiday. Simple, quiet, but a celebration, presents, but within reason. Fun. She was pretty inta the fun. As was true with the last pregnancy Lucy is feelin’ good, all in all. No problems so far.

Grades are in. Awesome! Lowest GPA? 3.2

One more pre-conf. game. 7-3 Virginia is here. Good team, esp. outside. One bad loss, only one quality win. Weak sched. Their game really is all outside. If we clean up inside as we should, it’ll be fine.

Dec. 28: 85-75. They led by as many as 13 before we fine’ly started ta get out on the freakin’ shooters. Once we did that we were fine. I am not a yeller but I was tonight. Sorry about it, it’s just not a good idea. I let frustration get ta me. It worked but that ain’t the point. I won’t allow myself ta get outta control like that again. White was terrific, 22, 8 in 21 min. If he keeps up he’ll wind up startin’. 21, 9 for Buck. 5 TOs. Really, the on’y down thing was getting’ out on the shooter.

Of course, White got hurt in his first game with increased PT. Shoulder, not serious, day to day.

Jan. 1: Happy 1979. 11-2 for the pre-conf. #14, RPI #8.

#52

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Tough one ta start out. At #21, 10-3 Arkansas. On paper we may be slightly better but not by much. We need to control the boards because they are really good with the ball.

Jan. 4: 74-57. Didn’t expect that! We never trailed. 17, 10 for More, 17, 4 for Carr, other three all produced. 12 TOs, +8 RBs.

The reward? #1 KY, 13-2, at our place. On paper they’re better, lots. Tough inside, good with the ball. We can’t let them get it inside, and we need ta disrupt their flow. Can we?

Jan. 7: 68-62. Yes we can! As seems to happen to us we feel behind early, 15 at one point an’ I was thinkin’ that was too much given it was #1 in the country. But then it started ta slowly turn. It was a sloppy game or maybe a well defended game. Anyways they had 20 TOs we had 22. An’ the sloppy started ta hurt ‘em. We got it down ta 6 at the half. They had the edge inside so at the half I decided ta go small. Thought we might have less TOs with a three guard lineup- 15 in the first.

Well it worked. Carr, Lean, Wall, an’ even Buck at SF all started makin’ shots outside. We moved the ball real well an’ didn’t turn it over much, an’ we took over. Even with the small lineup we matched ‘em on RBs (-3 for the game). They got inta foul trouble chasin’ our quick passes, an’ before long we were up by 10. At the end it was 6. 17 for Lean, 16 for Carr, 11 eah for Buck an’ Wall, so it was pretty much all outside, except for 9, 10 for More. Great D held ‘em ta 34% shootin’. A great win!

At 8-6, 0-2 Mississippi State. We think we’re better at ev’ry position.

Jan. 11: 68-58. Too many TOs again, 16, but ev’rythin’ else was good. 18, 6, 3 for Buck, 17 for Carr, 8, 9 for More.

10-4, 2-1 Tennessee is in town. A big scorin’ C, some outside shooters, but we think we’re better.

Jan. 14: 69-57. They stayed with us for more than 30 an’ yep their C is good, but in the end we were too strong. Real balance, 9 guys carryin’ part a the load, 13 TOs, +17 RBs.

#10, RPI #5.

Tail spends most a his time under the bed in our room. Mandy caught him a couple times an' he didn’t like it so he hides out ‘til she’s in bed. Then he hangs with us but we get looks meant ta give us the guilts.

#53

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At 11-5, 1-3 Florida. They are strong outside but not much inside game. We know outside shooting can cause us trouble so we been workin’. These guys can play some.

Jan. 18: 63-67. TO problems continue, 17. -5 RB didn’t help an’ should not have happened. We weren’t very good tonight. Lead went back an’ forth but we didn’t have a lotta energy, didn’t take charge, didn’t step up. At the end they wanted it more. Maybe jus’ a bad night but staff met an’ talked all the way back home on the plane.

We decide more minutes for White, less for Evans. We’ll see.

11-5, 4-1 Georgia, one of four teams tied for 1st (KY, MO, us) is in. Another outside team, will match us at PG, SG. We’re better ev’rywhere else an’ our bench is better. We want the comeback win.

Jan. 21: 73-52. An’ we got it! Played the way I want the team ta play, in charge all the way, lotsa energy, 11 TOs, +8 RBs. 19, 3, 3 for Buck, 14, 7, 2 for White. Our guards matched theirs an’ we dominated inside.

At 7-10, 3-3 LSU. I think we’re better at ev’ry spot so jus’ play like las’ game.

Jan. 25: 67-70. Or not. We gave up 14 threes.

We met as a staff for two hours after the game. Going to man 2/3, 2-3 1/3 of the time. Maybe that will get us out on the three. It will also get us more fouls no doubt.

We got nine games left. No reason not ta win 8. The other one is at KY, Not sayin’ we can’t win that one, but I’ll take 8-1.

9-9, 4-3 Mississippi is here. They play 3-2 which maybe we should think about doin'. Hm.

Jan. 28: 60-45. Well, we sure got the D! Gave up on’y 6 threes. 10 TOs, +7 RBs. Balance, an’ another good game for Ian White.

Jan. 29: Our three guys all hit the SAT score.

Mandy is 8 months old. Getting’ up an’ walkin’ while holdin’ onto walls or our hands, sayin’ lotsa words. Lucy is still doin’ great, sayin’ she’s not even all that tired. I tell her ta start takin’ it a little easy anyways. We’ll see if she listens, not that she’s gotta, it’s her life. The bookstore is a money factory an’ the former owner is worth her weight in gold. Since we don’t need the $ Lucy is pourin’ what she needs ta inta the business an’ usin’ the rest ta pay off the mortgage as quick as she can.

Jed Lean #24 on the Norton list.

7-12, 3-5 Nashville is in. Mismatch.

Feb. 1: 69-54. 15, 4, 2 for Buck, 12, 11 for White, 12 TOs, +15 RBs.

At 3-17, 0-9 South Carolina. They’re jus’ havin’ a terrible season.

Feb. 4: 66-41. Great D again. Never a game. 20, 5, 2 for White, 15, 4, 4 for Lean. 12 TOs

1 back a KY, 2 ahead a GA, MO, LSU.

#14, RPI #13.

13-9, 6-4 Missouri is in. They have good people at ev’ry position but not sure they’re at our level. If the game were there I’d be a lot more worried. They are down right now though, 2-4 in the last 6.

Feb. 8: 88-71. In charge early. 26 for Al Carr, 19, 18 for new starter Ian White.

At 12-11, 5-6 Alabama. They’ve had better seasons. But after an awful start they’ve won 4 of 5. We think we can pressure them and we should control the boards.

Feb. 11: 79-72. No problems. 9 TOs. 22, 10, 3 for More, 15, 10, 3 for White. Good play all around.

4 games left, 3 at home the fourth at #1 KY. Sounds like 3-1 ta me!

#54

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10-13, 5-7 Texas A & M is here. We seem way better at guard but they have some good bigs.

Feb. 15: 75-59. Balance. 9 scorers, 8 of them with 7-14 points. 13 TOs.
Averaging 12.3.

KY isn’t losing either. They’re one up on us and have been for a while. Next teams are 4 back of us so it’s a two team race.

15-11, 5-8 Arkansas is here. Beat ‘em by 17 there.

Feb. 18: 90-51. 9 guys scored between 7 and 17 points.

This is the big one. At #1, 25-3, 13-1 KY. Their on’y conf. loss was ta us, by 6. It will be a lot harder at their place! We mixed up the D, changed looks, harassed, pressured, worked hard not ta get killed on the boards, executed by movin’ the ball inside and out on O, and’ did all a that really well. It’s hard ta play that well twice but we’ll need ta do that ta have a chance.

Feb. 22: 63-66. 14 lead changes, 7 ties. We led as often as they did, but they outlasted us. The game was dead even in most categories, or very close to- 15 TOs each, +4 RB, 7 less fouls, but they made 10 threes we made 4 an’ once again… We played hard, we played well, we didn’t quit. 17, 7 for More, 15, 4, 2 for Carr, 8, 10 for White, 8, 5, 4 for Lean. We’ll mos’ likely do this one more time, on a neutral floor, for the tourney title.

16-11, 8-7 Mississippi State is here to close it out. We’ll finish 2nd no matter what but we want a win to go to the postseason with some momentum. Beat ‘em by 10 there an’ we’re the stronger team.

Feb. 25: 84-67. 24, 6, 5 for Buck, 17, 6 for More. 7 guys played an’ they all did well. 8 TOs

KY was upset but it didn’t affect anything.

#11, RPI #10. 24-5, 13-3.

#55

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16-12, 7-9 Tennessee won in an upset. We play them in the quarters. Beat them by 12 at our place. Won their last 3 after losing 7. A good scoring C but they don’t RB an’ they can be turned over.

March 8: 90-65. 27, 7, 2 for Buck who is on fire right now, 15, 7, 2 for More, 15, 3 for White. 10 TOs.

18-12, 8-8 Mississippi State. Just beat them by 17. Not much has changed in a week. It’s KY vs. GA, also an upset winner, in the other semifinal.

This is a tough time for a family man. If we’re successful we’ll be away a lot for a few weeks. It’s the goal, why we do this, but I want to be with my wife and daughter. I do call, before Mandy’s bed time, every single day I’m on the road, but that can get really complicated sometimes. The whole telephone thing really needs to get better. I don’t know how but there should be some ways to modernize the system.

March 9: 57-49. We led mosta the way but they made it tough, wouldn’t quit, to their credit. It was balance again this time. 7 played, all scored between 6 and 12. 13 TOs, 42 RBs.

As expected it is KY for the title. We won by 6 at home, lost by 3 there.

They are the better team but we played them tough twice. We’re close enough in talent to beat them when we play really well and really smart.

March 10: 66-68. D*mn! 23 lead changes, 10 ties. No one ever led by more than 6. We did so much right. At the end we came down, down 64-66. With about 3.5 left Al Carr made a 17 footer and I thought it would be OT.

Somehow they got it to their SF, 18 feet from the hoop an’ he threw one up right at the buzzer- the refs spent close to ten minutes lookin’ at the tapes before they counted it. Yeah, it went and it counted. Too many TOs, 19 to their 16, but +3 RB and on’y one more foul. We allowed on’y 7 threes, which is reasonable. This is the kind of loss that drives a head coach crazy. So close!

Now we wait ’til tomorrow to see where we go. I think a #3, hopefully out west. We’ll see.

March 12: The usual scene… Not in the east, thankfully.

Not in the south.

#3 in Oklahoma City. I’ll take it! Kinda like it. Looking things over we could do okay here.

#56

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Sam Houston State, 22-8, up first. I don’t think they have much of a chance unless we have our worst night ever.

March 17: 57-42. We weren’t very good but then we didn’t need ta be. Buck, White, Lean an’ Carr all had really good games.

I guess I had kinda forgotten that we’re the defending national champions, at least on some levels. Once the Madness started there was no forgetting. All kinds of interview requests, articles about us, can we repeat…

We beat 22-11 Utah by on’y 7 at their place very early on. We were sloppy an’ we did not get out on the shooters. They’re strong at 2, 3, 4. Starting PF just tore his ACL so maybe not strong at 4.

March 19: 54-45. Stifling D for the second game in a row. 20 TOs, which does NOT please me. Otherwise we did most things well. Another night of balance, no one with more than 10 points, lots of guys with some points.
KY upset in the Sweet Sixteen! Upsets all over the tourney- except in our bracket. #2 seed, #7, 31-4 New Mexico is next. One loss since Jan. 9. Score inside and from SG. Good with the ball, not that good on the boards. A challenge but AI think we’re better.

March 24: 92-71. Thought so. 19, 3, 3 for Lean, 18, 4, 2 for Buck, good games for the rest. 11 TOs.

On to the Elite Eight! How’s this: East: #2 vs. #4. South: #6 vs. #9. West: #3 vs. #5. Midwest: #3 vs. #5. Most unusual! I love the chance it gives us.

Cincinnati Jesuit, 28-5, the #5 seed, #17 ranked is next. They have beaten some good teams. They can be turned over. We need ta contain their C.

March 26: 60-54 an’ we return ta the Final Four! Never trailed. 16, 10 for More, 13, 10 for White, 13, 4, 1 for Carr. 18 TOs, Grrrr!

The others are #10 No. Car., unranked Miami, #16 Oklahoma, so we have a great shot! A 2, a #3 (us), a #5, a #9 seed.

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27-7, #5 seed, #16 ranked Oklahoma. Tough at 2, 3, 4. They play man, press a fair amount, maybe ½ the time. We think we can control the inside an’ we think pressure will get ta them.

All the talk is about us and North Carolina. Can we repeat? We’re definitely a
better team. Lots, than we were last year, but good enough? NC is the fav, but not by a lot over us. If we do not meet them in the Final it will be a surprise. I’m takin’ nothin’ for granted. This is a tough game! We know what we need ta do. If we execute we should win.

April 1: 81-55. Never a game. 27, 12 for More, 12, 7 for White, 14, 4, 5 for Buck, 6, 5 for Sand, an’ we owned the inside, +20 RB. 10 TOs.

NC won as big as we did, 82-57, so the “dream matchup” is on! They’re solid at all five spots. We think we can control the boards. Not sure we can turn them over but we’ll need to disrupt their flow. They are probably, as KY was, a little better than us, but not a lot. We can beat these guys of we do the things we need ta do an' if they play less than excellent ball.

April 3: 89-86 OT. Up as many as 9, down as many as 12. It was that kind of game. Our first half, their second, then our comeback late in the second an’ on ta OT.

Lean fouled out with 3:44 ta go. Their C had fouled out on the previous possession. We won the game on the boards, 42-32 RBs. Other stats were about even. We had 14 TOs, they had 13. Both had 23 fouls. We also won with threes, 13-7. 5 for Carr, 4 for Lean. Dan Wall handled the Point for the last 3 1/2 min., an’ he did fine.

We were down 4 when Dan came in. an’ we outscored ‘em 9-2 the resta the way. He got a 3, Carr got a 3, More got a layup an' hit 1-2 from the line on another trip. As happens when we are at our best it was balance. 7 played, all 7 contributed, an’ amazingly enough, we are back ta back champs!

Lucy couldn’t make it ta this game. With Mandy an’ the store an’ bein’ pregnant it just couldn’t happen. But she watched on TV an’ we talked for a long time once I finally got loose of the press an’ all that. Cuttin’ down the nets was jus’ as special this time as las’. I get the feelin’ it does not get old.

April 4: Back home. Awards: Ian White got the tourney MOP. It coulda been him or More or Lean or Carr really. In conf. Jed Lean got the Freshman award. I got another Coach award. 1st team: Colin More an’ 4 from KY. 2nd team: Stew Buck.

April 9: Our Team Prestige is up ta 81 so not likely that we’re goin’ anywhere. Incredible team comin’ back if the recruits pan out an; maybe even if they don’t. Three in a row is a definite possibility.

Stayin’!

April 16: No staff vacancies.

April 23: How about just one more budget increase? We earned it! Nope. Oh well, we’ll be fine, really.

My numbers after 5 seasons as a head coach: 146-33, .816. Off- 39, Def.- 54, Recruit- 95, Scout- 90, Player Development- 49, Reputation- 76. Not bad at all!

And so we head toward season 6. New baby on the way.

#58

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May 1: We buy the National Gold.

May 29: Happy birthday Mandy, one year old today, getting ready for the birth of her sibling.

June 5: Colin More leaves. Now why would he do that? Never the slightest hint of an issue, no warning at all. This makes no sense.

Looking at transfers. No luck.

June 7: It’s a boy! Ray Alan Jones. Named for my foster dad. Mom and son are healthy!

June 26: 6 ta fill. Lookin’ at 20, all with some int’rest, all top 35.

July 11: Down ta 15, all interested.

Ray seems about as loud as his sister was. Now both Mandy an’ Tail are mad at us an’ want us ta do somethin’ about all the noise. Mandy does love her “brudder” though, an’ she likes ta “help.”

Aug. 7: Nick Hess is #5 on the Norton List, Brian Mars #6, Stew Buck #39. No Jed Lean, who may be our best player. Our first 8 players should all be scary good this year. I am very excited about the team!

Aug. 21: We’ll make offers taday. 2 SF, 2 PG, a C, an SG. A couple are gambles. If we lose a guard we will switch to a big. We don’t expect to get all 6.

Sept. 11: Home visits. Wish we could visit all 6.

Sept. 18: Got one, Mark Seer, SF, #23. Lost two.

We have a schedule. Going to the MS Midwest Invitational. Bumped up the level of competition as much as we could but good teams won’t come here so it wasn’t easy.

Sept. 25: Got 2, lost three. Ed Ross, C, #12, and Nate Davis, PG, #17.

Waiting for the Oct. ratings change before continuing.

Oct. 2: Found a couple of good recruits ta add an’ ta offer to. See what happens.

First day of practice. Best team I’ve ever coached so look out world!

Again picked ta finish 2nd ta KY in conf.

Oct. 9: Got 2, lost one. #17 PF Mike Bay, #42 PG Joe Eddy. So we got 2 PGs, an SF, a PF, a C. One more to go. Probably gonna offer ta a guy who is unlikely ta hit our SAT score but he’s a h*ll of a player an’ we’re in a position ta be able ta afford ta roll the dice.

We’re at #4 in the national rankings.

Nov. 6: Last ratings changes and they were kind ta us.

An’ the season is here!

Mandy is walkin’ an’ talkin’ an’ all over the place, an’ very much in charge of her brother. Ray is 5 months, clearly lights up when sister is near. He’s a happy kid. Lucy an’ I are lovin’ ev’ry minute of it. Too busy but not forgettin’ that this goes by quickly. We miss as little as possible.

#59

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Gonna speed this up. Results an’ reports an’ fam’ly stuff, ‘cep’ fer important games an’ such.

Nov. 16: 83-53 over Providence. All kindsa foul trouble an’ it didn’t matter, jus’ spreads the scorin’ out a little wider. 13 TOs, 41 RBs.

Nov. 19: 83-54 over California. Consistent? Look at the last score. 31, 10 for Mars, 24 for Hess, who looks like he could be a scorin’ machine. 16 TOs, 39 RBs.

Nov. 20: 4 sign. One does not. 1.9 GPA so he won’t hit the score. Prob’ly the other 1.9 we’re chasin’ won’t. They’re both big guys. Not a lotta good recruits still left. We do add one guy. Some may emerge on 1/29. We’ll jus’ wait.

Nov. 21: 88-61 over Western Michigan. 1st round a the WS Midwest Invitational. 8 TOs, 37 RBs. Hess, Mars, Buck led the way.

Nov. 22: 79-62. Not a game but closer than the 1st 3. Hess, Buck, Mars, White all great. 14, 36.

Nov. 23: #11 Kansas for the title. 85-68. 24, 10 for Hess, 20, 4 for Buck.

Whew! One basketball is not enough for all the talented guys who should be touchin’ it more. It’s gonna take a h*ll of a team ta beat us. WS Midwest champs!

(Remember peeps, it's fiction. Don't get butt hurt.)

“This is not where I want to bring up our kids.”

Bombshell!

“Go on…”

“Nice people, really nice. But Alabama is Way, WAY too conservative, Way, WAY too Jesusy. I want kids who know how to think independently, who know how to evaluate information and draw conclusions. I’ve been checking out curriculum in schools here. No, they want to pour propaganda into kids’ heads. Not my kids- not our kids. No way I want my kids being told what to think, what to believe, being FORCED to believe certain things- ANY things. And I overhear comments about your ‘colored assistant coaches’ and my ‘colored help gettin’ the same pay as whites.’”

“Really! When I hear that they ain’t no argument. Let’s hope I get an offer in the spring that will take us ta the right kinda place.”

“No, Mack, that’s not good enough. I want out in the spring. If we need to take a step back I’m asking you to do that. Go to a smaller school in a community that works for us.”

“… Give me a little time ta get use ta the idea but I’m listenin’… I will get use ta it if I hafta, but give me a little time.”

“Fair enough as long as we are NOT here in May.”

“… Okay. We won’t be.”

“I know this is hard. I know you want national championships.”

“I do… but I want what you want for our kids. I don’t know that I see this part a the state the way you do-”

“This is a progressive community, it is. But the schools are NOT. They are propaganda factories, and frankly I don’t want our kids growing up with kids who are being brainwashed. The educated people here are fine, reluctant and not entirely approving of who we are and what we do… but they try. But when you get away from that small, educated population, and it is small, no, I don’t want any part of the ignorance and bigotry, no way. That kind of thing can be dangerous and contagious. And even if not, our kids will be seen as the weird kids with the weird parents. Screw that.”

“Okay, okay, you sold me. I don’t want none a that neither. We’re outta here. It would be good if nobody but you an’ me knew that though.”

“Well, except that I’m putting the business up for sale no later than January. I’ll come up with a cover- I want to focus on my kids more, something like that.”

“Okay.”

Whew! I guess I prob’ly didn’t see what I didn’t want ta see. I mean it’s 1979, ya kinda think times has changed. They have, some. My wife’s way smarter than me so I’m listenin’ an’ I’ll do it her way.”

#60

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Nov. 26: 67-58 over Spokane. 1st single digit win. We were in control all the way but they kep’ it close. 23, 15 for Mars, 16, 7, 2 for White. 12, 37. It stayed close because the zebras kep’ us in foul trouble all night. They were awful.

Nov. 30: 87-49 over USC. 28, 6 for Hess, 25, 12 for Mars, 14, 11 for White, 8, 4, 10 for Lean. 7, 39.

Dec. 3: 66-46 at Michigan. The usual. 12 TOs, 40 RBs.

B. J., Bell banged a hip. Day ta day.

Dec. 7: Beat #8 Utah at their place, 69-53. 20, 10 for Brian Mars who has been steadily fantastic. 18 for Nick Hess who is a force. It feels like he can score as many as he wants to but he needs to get a little more selfish, which I keep telling him. Ian White continues to own the inside with Mars. Jed Lean runs the show from PG, an’ he does a great job of it. 15, 42.

“So where do we look for my nex’ job?”

“Northeast, Northwest. Berkeley, Stanford, anywhere in Oregon or Washington, UConn, UMass, Temple, Iowa, Iowa State maybe. Some places in the Midwest but we need to be careful, lot of ‘Babble Belt’ there.”

“Berkeley wanted me in April.”

“I hadn’t started investigating yet.”

“Okay. Public universities mos’ly. Not goin’ ta a religious school, obviously.”

She laughed. “Um, no.”

So we’ll have choices. Hopefully a school where I can build a national power, but whatever. I love coachin’ so it’ll be fine wherever we land, as long as we’re careful an’ pick a place that fits our beliefs an’ lifestyle, an’ esp. what we want our kids to be exposed to- positive, open, intelligent, affirmin’- alla that stuff.

Ray is 6 months old, Mandy a little more than 18 months. Growin’ like weeds, both of ‘em. Changes ev’ry day. It’s a joy ta see an’ ta be part a all a this.

Never thought it would happen for me an’ wouldn’t a if I hadn’t a met Lucy. Grateful ev’ry day an’ I even remember ta tell her.

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