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The Blade [a DDSCB3 story]

Started By Wayne23, Feb 16, 2015 06:40 PM

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#41

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January 1, 2007
 
Happy new year! The restaurant opening was a huge success. Thousands of people were served between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Papa Joe knows how to do it. People wait a long time for a table but once they get the table there are so many buffet set ups that they don’t wait any more, or if they do it’s very briefly.
 
January 8
 
2-1 in conf.  Still feel like we need to tweak the lineup a little. The staff is meeting for that purpose.
 
We didn’t change anything.
 
January 15
 
A 1-1 week, losing to #21 Arizona, then winning at home. We’re up and down. Rash May at C is about our only consistent player. The issue is turnovers but I don’t really have a solution. On the road for 2 next week.
 
January 22
 
Two close losses, one against an opponent we simply should not lose to.
 
We meet again on lineup changes. Our C, Rash May, is solid. Our PG is adequate but we really don’t have anyone else. We shake it up a little, going with a bigger lineup that is likely to score more and to rebound more. They may give up a few more points.
 
January 29
 
And another 1-1 week, but we lost to #9 California. Don’t see that the lineup changes did much.
 
Thai Garden 4 is, like all of Papa Joe’s other restaurants, a huge success.
 
The kids seem to love their school more every day. They are challenged and they have choices. Mai and I are thrilled. It’s non graded and small groups with no set curriculum. Kids learn because they investigate areas of interest.
 
All of our recruits hit our SAT score.
 
We’re 12-9, 4-5. 9 of the 12 teams are either 1 ahead of us, 1 behind us, or tied with us.
 
February 5
 
And yet another 1-1 week, winning one, then losing to a ranked team. We’re simply not good enough to beat these ranked teams and this conference has a few of them.
 
We need a two win week though. We’ve slid back into a tie for 7th. No ranked teams left but 3 of our last 5 are on the road. This week is our best shot at that two win week. One more slight tweak to the lineup.
 
February 12
 
And we got those two wins! 15-10, 7-6, RPI #54. In a 3 way tie for 5th with 2 teams 1 ahead of us, 1 team one behind us and 3 to play.
 
February 19
 
Great week. 2-0 including a 3 point win over #25 Arizona! This puts us in a two way tie for 4th. 
 
On the road with 12-15, 6-9, USC to close the regular season. A win would be huge. 
 
February 26
 
We did not come to play. Lost by 17. Still end up in a 3 way tie for 4th and I think we get the #4 seed.
 
We enter the post season 17-11, 9-7, RPI #48. I think we need to win a game to be invited to the NCAA tourney but maybe not. We’re close.
 
March 9
 
#5 seed Arizona State, 19-10, 9-7, in the quarter final round. We won by 6 at home in late January. They’ve won 8 of the last 9. This is a tough match up for us. We’ll need to be ready.
 
March 10
 
Bad news all around. We lost 72-82, and Point Guard Art Bain stretched a hamstring and is out for at least two weeks. We never led, giving up 55 in the first half. 
 
March 12
 
Selection Sunday. We’re 17-12, 9-7, but our RPI dropped to 62 so I don’t know.
 
Not in the East.
 
#11 in the Midwest. We’ll play 21-8, #6 seed, #25 ranked Oklahoma State. Not an easy game.
 
We have Ed Robb at the Point in place of Bain so it’s not going to be easy.
 
March 16
 
48-58. Ben Blag, our starting Power Forward, turned an ankle 10 minutes in and was unable to play again. That did it for us.
 
We’re losing two starters but we have some really good looking recruits coming in. I think we’ll be very good next year.
 
April 4
 
Mai and I went to the final four. Indiana beat my old Wisconsin team by 2 for the title.
 
Awards: Rash May made conference 1st team. That’s it.
 
April 21
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade. We get it. Facilities will be at B+ when the work is finished.
 
I was reasonably satisfied with my first year at UCLA. I didn’t think we had a lot of talent yet we managed to win 17 games and might have won more if our Point hadn’t gone down with an injury.
 
I look for a great season next year.
 
Li decides she will go back to working part time at the restaurant. She did bookkeeping there in the past. She doesn’t have the kids much with school so I guess she’s bored.
 
Team Prestige stayed at 71. I have a record of 359-158, .94. Off- 58, Def- 90, 
Recruit- 90, Scout- 47, Player Development- 74, Reputation- 68.


#42

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June 26
 
We’re ranked #22 in the early preseason polls.
 
We went after some transfers but didn’t get them.
 
5 scholarships. We need at least 3 bigs. Looking at 10 for now, 7 bigs.
 
June 30
 
Happy birthday Lili. 5 years old!
 
Both kids are going to accelerated summer sessions at the experimental school. They got two weeks off after school ended and will get two more just prior to the opening of school in the fall. They still love their school.
 
Papa Joe is happy as can be. He feels that Sami is ready to take over the major part of the management of Thai Garden IV. He checks in early and late in the day. In the meantime he’s out looking for properties in different parts of L.A. He feels he should be able to open three more Thai Gardens. He says he is in no hurry. He wants to gather all the data to be certain that all three will be successful. I’m sure they will be. Papa Joe manages to spend at least a little time with the kids every day. When they are free he takes them with him on his shorter trips. They love it. We convinced him to get a driver and he hired a really nice man who was originally from Cambodia. They both speak Mandarin so they communicate in that language. The car is a limo. It can hold at least 7 or 8 of us if we pull out the jump seats and one of us sits in the front. The driver also does some of the property maintenance but Papa Joe has a staff for that. Oh, we’re all in our homes. They are lovely. Mai and I helped to design ours. The Driver’s wife does housekeeping. His brother helps with property maintenance and his wife also does some housekeeping. This is not a lifestyle I am accustomed to but it has been a pretty easy adjustment. And Papa Joe treats these people extremely well. They get salaries way above average for these jobs, he has a pension plan for them and full health coverage.
 
August 7
 
Sid Nee is #10 on the Norton list and Brad Lee is #35.
 
August 21
 
We offer to 4 bigs and a PG.
 
Papa Joe, “taking his time,” has found not three, but four properties that he likes. The four, plus the already established restaurant, form a ring around the city, far enough apart not to be in direct competition with each other. He has put in offers for all four properties.
 
September 18
We got commitments from an SF, a PF, and a C, and lost a PF.
 
No in season tourney invitation this year. We loaded the schedule with ranked teams.
 
All but one of the properties Papa Joe is looking at have agreements and should close soon. The other is still in negotiations.
 
“He’s trying to hold me up. I will give a little more than the property is worth but I am looking at other properties in that area.”
 
October 2
 
First day of practice. I’d like to have more bigs. One injury and we’re in trouble.
 
Papa Joe talked the guy into selling the property at a price that Papa Joe was willing to pay. He closes on the other three next week, and plans to begin renovations at once. 
 
We’re picked to finish 2nd to Arizona in conf. California also looks strong but the rest of the conf. doesn’t. It looks like a 3 way battle.
 
October 9
 
A PG committed. We’ll keep looking but we’re thinking of holding the 5th scholarship until next season.
 
October 30
 
The last preseason poll has us at #12.
Papa Joe has 3 properties being renovated and closes on the fourth next week. The company that renovated Thai Garden IV is a very large construction company and they are doing all the renovations. Papa Joe was very happy with their work on IV but he still checks in at all three sites (and will on the 4th) every day, as well as checking in early and late at IV. He still flies to Bangkok every month and plans to continue doing so.


#43

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November 20
 
Beat #14 UConn at home. Lost to #19 Louisville on the road. Still trying to put the pieces together. Not happy with Brad Lee at PG so far. He’s fouling way too often.
 
Lou turned 4 two days ago. My kids are growing too fast.
 
November 27
 
2 home games. We looked great beating #6 Oklahoma State and looked awful losing to #3 Wake Forest.
More time for Bain at PG, less for Lee. 
 
December 4
 
2 road games against ranked teams. We beat #14 Gonzaga on good play by Art Bain, now starting at PG. Then we beat #6 LSU by 6. Bain had 16, 3, 3, but go figure, Brad Lee had 25 from the bench. I’m not happy with Ron Hart at Small Forward so the staff and I are pondering.
 
December 11
 
We put Lee at SF. 2 win week. At home against unranked Creighton Bain had 13, 5, 2,  and Lee had 18 and 4. At unranked Memphis all 5 starters contribute. I think I’ve found my lineup. We’re 6-2, ranked #15.
 
December 18
 
A 1-1 week, losing to #6 Minnesota.
 
December 25
A great holiday. Papa Joe’s restaurants are open on the holiday but he pays his employees triple time to work.
We beat Iowa to end the preconference season 8-3, ranked #15, RPI #6.
 
January 1
 
Happy 2008! We beat Washington by 40 at home to start the conf. season.
 
Papa Joe says his restaurants, all 4 of them, should be ready to open no later than April 15. He and Sami will both train employees, management and labor, at Thai Garden IV, beginning soon. They are about to start hiring.
Mama Li has complained of feeling tired lately. This is not like her.
 
January 8
 
We lose a game we should have won at Wash. ST, then beat Utah there. 
 
In our two most recent losses it was poor shot selection and a low shooting % that did us in. In both we led in rebounding, TOs, committed fewer fouls. We just didn’t put the ball in the basket.
 
Something seems to be wrong with Mama Li but she refuses to see a doctor.
 
January 15
 
We beat #11 Arizona at our place. Ren Hart hurts his back. Out for 10 days or so.
 
We decided to expand Jed Dye’s role and he responded with 11, 6, 4 in 27 minutes. Sean Hall at SG, Sid Nee at PF, and Ben Blag at C all had good nights. We didn’t shoot well but we held Arizona to 36%.
Tied with California for 1st but it’s early.
 
January 22
 
Another 2 win week and we’re alone in 1st place. But Arizona and Cal are 1 game back and we have 5 of the last 9 on the road including both of them.
 
We feel like we have the right lineup. The starters are all doing what we need them to do and Dye and More, the first two off the bench, don’t hurt us at all.
 
January 29
 
2 road wins including a 2 point win over #23 California. It seems like different guys step up every night but Jed Dye has really been stepping up since we increased his minutes.
 
We’re alone in 1st place. Arizona is 1 back, everyone else is 3 or more back with 7 to play. We’re ranked #13, RPI #8.
 
Sid Nee is #12 on the Norton List.
 
February 5
 
2 more wins and Arizona lost, so we’re 2 ahead of them with 5 to play.
 
“Mama’s really not doing well.”
 
“I don’t understand why she won’t go to the doctor, Mai.”
 
“She is very old fashioned in some ways.”
 
“Why don’t you or Papa Joe force her to go?”
 
“That is not our way, Blade.”
 
February 12
 
20-4, 12-1. Only Arizona can catch us.
February 19
 
Arizona lost early in the week. Then they beat us by 11 but we’re still 2 ahead of them with one to play.
 
February 26
 
We finish the regular season 2 up on Arizona, 4 on Cal., and 5 or more on the rest. 22-5, 14-2, ranked #9, RPI #7.
(Author’s note: Now there’s a huge flaw in the game: 1. Guys would not declare for the NBA draft before the end of the season. 2. There would be a way to recruit when they did declare.)
 
March 5
 
Brad Lee declares for the draft.
 
Mama Li is too sick to work. Mai and Papa Joe have a long, loud argument. At the end Papa agrees to make an appointment for Mama Li to see a doctor.
 
March 9
 
# 9 seed Utah upsets #8 USC so we’ll play them in the round of 8. We won by 10 there and then 20 at home.
 
March 10
 
71-55. 
 
Mama Li has medical tests.
 
#4 seed Oregon is next, in the round of 4. We beat them by 17 at home.
 
March 11
 
61-47. An impressive win. Nee, Lee, Blag and Bain all have really good games.
 
#12 Arizona for the title. We beat them by 10 at home, lost by 11 there. 19 TOs in the game we lost so that’s what we’re working on.
 
March 12
 
72-74. Heck of a game! We came back from 16 down and almost managed to steal it, but then on the last possession they hit a 3. Their starting guards combined for 43; we couldn’t stop them. I tried everything I could think of and nothing worked. #2 seed?
 
It was a long wait. We’re #2 in the West. We’ll play Jacksonville to start.
 
March 13
 
Mama Li has liver cancer. Late stage, inoperable. The docs say 3-6 months.
 
March 17
 
It’s hard to be away from home at a time like this. Mai did not come. She may not come to any of the tournament games. 
 
We win by 20.
 
Next up is #10 seed Villanova, 20-10. They are tough inside but we’re the better team.
 
March 19
 
70-54. Never a game. Brad Lee sprains a toe. Jed Dye will start for him for at least one game. This hurts but Dye has been playing well.
#20 LSU is next in the Sweet Sixteen. We beat them by 6 earlier in the season.
 
Mai stays home again.
 
March 24
 
72-58. Sean Hall gets 30, his biggest game ever for us. 21, 7 for Nee. Jed Dye goes 8, 6, 4.
 
Wake Forest in the Elite Eight. They beat us by 19 at our place so this is a tough match up. They’ve won their last 9. They’re stronger outside and we’re stronger inside. Lee will play some but not a lot.
 
March 26
I guess Wake Forest is 19 points better than we are. That’s what they won by again tonight. I hate to lose but at a time like this I want to be at home. I won’t even go to the final four this year.
 
We’re losing starters Art Bain, Ben Blag, and Brad Lee, as well as sub Ren Hart. That’s a lot. We’re bringing in some very good big men but I hadn't figured on losing Lee. That will make us short at guard.
 
April 4
 
Kentucky won the title.
Awards: Sid Nee is named conf. freshman of the year, and makes the 1st team. I get the coach award. Ben Blag and Sean Hall make 2nd team.
 
Mama Li is fading fast. She is receiving pain meds and she’s drowsy or sleeping most of the time. Papa Joe is still working but he stays with her a couple of hours in the morning before leaving and he’s always home by 6:00. He’s taking this hard. He and Mama Li have known each other since they were small children.
 
It’s tough helping our kids with this. Mama Li took care of them since they were infants. They’re too young to understand all of this but we try to be completely honest about what’s going on. 
 
April 23
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade but I don’t get it.
 
Team Prestige climbs to 80. My record is: 386-165, .701. Off- 62, Def- 90, Recruit- 90, Scout- 49, Player Development- 79, Reputation- 74.
 
It was a successful year. Next year we hope to challenge for the national championship.
 
I don’t think Mama Li will make the three months.


#44

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May 1
 
Preseason #2. I wonder if we’re that good. 
 
Mama Li is heavily medicated. 
 
Papa Joe’s four restaurants all opened yesterday. There was not the joy in it for him that we saw with the openings of the previous restaurants.
 
June 5
 
Looking at transfers. If we found a really good looking guard we’d go after him. 
 
We go after a Small Forward.
 
June 9
 
Didn’t get the transfer. We’re done.
 
Doc says it’s a matter of days, maybe hours for Mama Li.
 
“She seems so peaceful about it, Mai. She has from the start.”
 
“She is a good Buddhist, Blade. She believes she will come back. There is no beginning, no end. She accepts this and looks forward to her next life.”
 
“Do you believe that, Mai?”
 
“Only when I need to.”
 
June 17
 
Mama Li dies. Papa Joe is hurt and looks terribly sad. He is very quiet. The kids are confused and heartbroken but Mai has done a good job of preparing them.
 
June 26
 
4 scholarships. We’re looking at 12 players.
 
August 7
 
Clay Robb, C, is #2 on the Norton list. Sid Nee, PF, is #7, Ryan Roy, PG, is #28, Sean Hall, SG, is #45.
 
Papa Joe is still very quiet, very withdrawn. He visits his restaurants, but not every day. He did not fly to Bangkok in July, the first time he has missed since I have known the family.
 
August 21
We offer to 3 guards and a PF.
 
September 9
 
Papa Joe didn’t fly to Bangkok again this month.
 
Mai and Papa Joe had a long, loud discussion last night. I was not in the room and I tried hard not to eavesdrop, and it was in Thai, so I would have understood very little anyway. When Mai came to bed she was crying. 
 
Before I could say anything she said, “Just be quiet and hold me. Don’t ask. I’ll tell you when I am ready.”
Being no fool I did exactly as she asked.
 
September 18
 
We’re going to the Sunshine Shootout. Definitely a challenging schedule. We get commitments from a PG, a PF, and an SG. Still chasing a, SG.
 
Papa Joe doesn’t look any happier and he’s just as silent, but he’s going out more.
 
September 25
We get the SF. He’s rated the #1 recruit overall at the moment.
 
October 2
 
First day of practice. At least the first 7 on our squad are really good.
 
October 23
 
Papa Joe flies to Bangkok.
 
November 6
 
Exhibition games over. Let’s get this season started!


#45

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November 20
 
Great 1st week, beating 2 top 10 teams, 1 on the road.
 
All 4 recruits came in to sign.
 
Ranked #1.
November 27
 
#11 LSU beat us at their place. 3-1 after two weeks.
 
Mike More is putting pressure on Sid Nee. Right now More is playing very well and Nee is not.
 
The kids clearly miss Mama Li. It helps that they’re back in school, which they love as much as ever. 
 
Happy birthday to Lou who is now 5. Lili is 6 ½.
 
Papa Joe is showing just a tiny bit more of his old self. He flew to Bangkok again this month. I’m hoping to get a chance to chat with him but it hasn’t happened.
 
December 4
 
5-1. We beat #6 New Mexico this week. 10 assists for PG Ryan Ray in that game. Sid Nee really picked it up this week.
 
#10 Minnesota at home and then off to the Sunshine Shootout where we’re the #1 seed.
 
December 11
 
We won the Shootout after a scare in the semis, but it was a costly win. Clay Cupp, our starting Center is out for about two weeks with a shoulder injury. Mike More will come in for him.
We’re 9-1, back at #1 in the polls.
 
December 25
 
We end the pre-conference season 12-1, ranked #1, RPI #2. Cupp will be back at 100% for our next game.
 
We’re +8.6 per game on the boards, +4.5 on TOs, +15.3 on PPG. All 5 starters are averaging in double figures, Cupp leads in rebounding with 8.8. This is a powerful team.
 
Slowly but surely Papa Joe is getting back to being himself but he remains much quieter than he was. I still haven’t managed that chat with him.
 
January 15
 
5-0 start to conf. play. The conf. seems weak this year. Cal. is the only team that seems capable of challenging us.
 
January 22
 
On the other hand… Stanford upset us there, 60-63. Our shooting was horrible, 29.3%.
 
January 29
 
And this week we lose at home to #6 California. Very disappointing. We shot poorly again. The other factor was bench play. Their bench got 22 ours got 6. We don’t play Cal again so we really need to run the table to hope to finish first in conf.
 
Finally had that talk with Papa Joe. It was revealing on a number of issues. First, he and Mama Li had known each other all of their lives. She was his rock, his support, his confidante, his best friend. Second, he told me about the shouting match with Mai, which she had never explained to me. She told him he needed to snap out of it and run his businesses or sell them all. It was a long, involved discussion, but that’s what it boiled down to. He says he thought about it for awhile and realized she was right. His heart was not in it at first but he made himself go back to work. Eventually it became easier and he hoped that soon he would have the energy and enthusiasm for his work that he had always had. He was very grateful to Mai for “waking him up.”
 
February 5
 
2 easy wins and Cal lost a game so we’re tied for 1st.
 
February 12
 
2 wins. Cal won twice.
Clay Cupp is #7 and Sid Nee #16 on the Norton list.
 
February 19
 
One to play and we’re still tied with Cal. 
 
Mai and I both noticed that Papa Joe returned from this month’s flight to Bangkok with a spring in his step. No idea why, but it’s great to see. We are guessing that the passage of time is easing his pain.
 
February 26
 
We end the regular season tied with Cal. Since they beat us they will get the #1 seed in the conf. tourney. We’re 26-3, 14-2, ranked #1, RPI #3.
 
Ryan Ray is #1 in the country in assists, and Clay Cupp #2 in rebounds.
 
March 5
 
We lose Clay Cupp and Matt Fogg to the draft.


#46

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March 10
 
Colorado up first, in the round of 8. Beat them by 20 in Feb.
 
88-59. In a huge upset Oregon beat California by 3. We play Arizona next. Beat them by 8 there and 21 at home.
 
March 11
 
67-54. #4 seed Stanford for the title. They upset us by 3 at their place in January.
 
March 12
 
98-73. The only question is whether we will be #1 or #2 overall. Florida is #1 RPI. We’re 29-3, 14-2.
 
#1 South, #3 overall, which I find a bit difficult to believe. We play VMI first.
 
March 19
We get to the Sweet Sixteen with absolutely no difficulty.
 
Again this month Papa Joe comes back from Bangkok in a very happy frame of mind.
 
UMass is a #12 seed. They managed 2 upsets in order to get to th3 Sweet 16 to meet us.
 
March 24
 
79-55. We have yet to be challenged in the tourney but that may change in the Elite Eight. The match up with Cal that never happened in the conf. tourney is happening here. They beat us by 9 in the regular season.
 
March 26
 
67-54. Sean Hall banged up his leg but he should be fine for our next game. I took Wisconsin to the Final Four a few years ago. There’s nothing like it. This year we hope to win it all. We’ll play unranked Kentucky which got here from a #6 seed, which is very unusual. On the other side it’s Florida, the top seed in the tourney, vs. #2 seed, #4 ranked UConn.
 
Mai is coming to the Final Four. We have a nanny for the kids now, and she’s coming with the kids as well. Papa Joe shocked us by asking to come along. He’s been to a few games but never showed a great deal of interesting basketball.
 
“I am trying to develop interests in many things these days. I think the atmosphere will be fun and who knows, I may meet some possible future business partners. Lots of ‘big shots’ go to this.”
 
April 1
 
71-61, and we get to play for the title against Florida.
 
April 2
 
Mai and I are pretty certain we have discovered why Papa Joe comes back from Bangkok so happy. Tonight he introduced us to a business acquaintance in Bangkok who is here at the Final Four with his daughter. The daughter, Sing, is absolutely gorgeous, and the way she looks at Papa Joe, and he looks at her, says a great deal. She is about Mai’s age, we think. Papa Joe turns 60 in a few weeks and Mai is about to turn 34.
 
Florida is one terrific basketball team. They are strong all the way through and they have a deep bench. I think we’re about as good as they are, so it will come down to the intangibles.
 
April 3
 
90-92. So close! They made 17 threes including one with 3/10 of a second left. This was a shootout, not much D by either team, and they got the last shot.
 
April 4
 
Awards: Matt Fogg won the WS Player of the Year, national freshman of the year, and somehow didn’t make national 1st or 2nd team.  Clay Cupp made 2nd. I got national coach of the year. In conf., Matt was player and freshman of the year and 1st team, along with Sean Hall, Sid Ney, and Clay Cupp. Ryan Ray made 2nd team.
 
Papa Joe actually got to both games but we didn’t see much else of him. I’m guessing he and Sing painted the town. Given that the finals were held in Salt Lake City there isn’t much town to paint.
 
April 23
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade. I don’t get it.
 
Team Prestige is up to 87. My record, after 18 seasons, is 420-169, .713. Off.-65, 
Def.-90, Recruit-90, Scout-52, Player Development-83, Reputation-80.
 
Hopefully we’ll get that title next year.


#47

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May 28
 
We’re #2 preseason behind Florida.
 
Mai and Papa Joe have another long talk. It isn’t as long as the last one, and isn’t at all a shouting match. As a matter of fact I hear occasional laughter. When it ends Mai walks into our room with a smile.
 
“That old rascal!”
 
“Oh? What’s going on?”
 
“He’s going to marry her.”
 
“Really?”
 
“Yes, and she isn’t my age, she’s 29.”
 
“Wow! And she’s okay with that? And her family is okay with that?”
 
“It’s different there. First, our families have known each other for a very long time. Second, it is a very good match. Third, she really does love him.”
 
“When?”
 
“They will wait until my mother has been dead for a year, out of respect.”
 
“And the marriage will be there?”
 
“Yes, but they will live here.”
 
“Wow!”
 
June 5
 
We go into the transfer pool but the only guy we’re interested in goes to Indiana.
 
Mai’s younger brother Dani is very happy about the marriage but her older brother Jin is not. It’s interesting since he isn’t really a big part of the family. He came to the funeral but if we see him once in three years that’s about it. Papa Joe flew to Akron, where he now coaches at at a Division III school, and the conversation did not go well. Both Mai and Papa Joe have called a few times since but nothing has changed. Papa Joe is going ahead with the wedding, which will be in July, but Jin will not attend. The rest of us will fly to Bangkok.
 
June 26
 
5 scholarships. Looking at 11 guys.
 
The wedding plans are going forward. Papa Joe is flying to Bangkok about every 10 days.
 
July 5
 
In Bangkok for the wedding which took place yesterday. It was really nice and the couple seemed very happy. The whole family was here except for Jin, but his wife and two children were here. Papa Joe and Sing will live in Papa Joe’s house after they return from a short honeymoon trip. 
 
August 7
We have 6 on the Norton list including numbers 1, 3, and 5.
 
Papa Joe is busy as ever. Sing is lovely, easy to be with, just a great person. She works at the local Thai Garden and is really learning the business quickly. Incidentally, she’s no gold digger. Her father is a very successful business man and her family is very well off.
 
August 21
 
We offer to a PG, 2 SGs, a PF and a C.
 
September 18
We got 4 out of 5. Still chasing an SG.
 
Schedule is out. We’re starting with the Coaches Classic. We’re playing mostly ranked teams including several in the top 10.
 
October 2
 
We don’t get the 5th recruit and we decide to bank the scholarship since we have only one junior.
 
First day of practice.
 
Sing is pregnant. Mai is astonished at first and then she isn’t, she is amused. 
 
“I will be 35 when the baby is born. Not many 35 year olds have a newborn sibling.”
 
She laughs.
 
“And, the baby will have a niece who is 8 and a nephew who is 6.”
 
November 6
 
The roster is set.
 
Sing is 2 months pregnant. She is doing great. Like Mai she doesn’t experience much morning sickness, at least so far.


#48

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November 20
 
We breezed through the first two rounds of the Coaches Classic and then #1 Florida beat us by 9. I guess they still have our number. Hopefully we’ll get them next time.
 
November 27
A good week. We beat #2 North Carolina at home and #25 Iowa on the road.
 
Our front line is extremely strong. Jay Davis is our leading scorer and rebounder at the Small Forward position, but inside guys Sid Nee and Adam Brow are also playing well. Adam Brow at Shooting Guard is our 2nd leading scorer and Ray Ryan isn’t scoring much but he’s terrific with the ball, A/TO is 2.7. We’re getting good production from the bench as well.
 
Mai is getting soft about the new baby that will be arriving in the family.
 
December 4
53 rebounds in a win against #7 UConn. Another 2 win week.
 
December 11
Easy win against Kentucky then we got beat in OT by Kansas, who we beat by 16 in the Coaches Classic. Hard to figure the loss, 39 boards, 11 rebounds, no serious foul issues. We didn’t shoot well, 32.1%, but that was it.
 
Papa Joe is still busy, still traveling, but he manages to spend more time at home than at any time since I met him.
 
December 18
 
2 easy wins against unranked teams this week. 12 assists for Ryan Ray in one of them. 
 
December 25
 
3 point win at Duke, then a 28 point win over #6 Princeton. 
 
A great holiday with the kids and with Papa Joe and Sing. Sometimes Mai and I, in private, laughingly call her “Mama Sing.”
 
The kids are growing too quickly. Lili is 7 ½ and spends her time reading about science, and about how to program computers. Lou is 6 and he reads whatever he can get his hands on, and I don’t mean children’s books. He reads mysteries, sci fi aimed at adults (well, the ones we’ll let him read), fantasy, of course Harry Potter and others like it- you name it. 
 
Sing is still feeling great. Doc is saying end of June. Papa Joe is delighted. Mai continues to gush about the baby.
 
January 1, 2010
 
We win our first conf. game in a one game week.
 
Mai and I have a wild new year’s eve celebration. I think we were up until 11:30!
 
"So Blade, what do you think about us having one more baby?"
 
Oh boy! I was speechless but I'm sure the subject will come up again.
 
January 8
 
14-2, 3-0. +18.2 ppg, +8.3 rbpg, +3.8 topg. Our 5 starters are putting up terrific numbers and playing great D, and our first 2 off the bench, More and Hart, are just about as good.
 
The conf. seems weak this year. It looks like only Cal. can challenge us.
 
Mike More, our first big guy off the bench, hurts a knee but it doesn’t seem serious. The docs think he’ll be out about a week.
 
“Alvin, I have a problem.”
 
“Oh? What is it, Papa Joe?”
 
“Well it isn’t really a problem, more like an opportunity.”
 
“Tell me about it.”
 
“One of the major what do you call… fast food chains wants to buy Thai Gardens, all of the restaurants and the name.”
 
“And you don’t want to sell?”
 
“Well, I am not certain. They came to me a few weeks ago. I said no at first and they raised the offer. I said no twice more and they raised the offer both times. It is an enormous amount of money. We don’t need it, I have enough money for the next few generations of our family to live very comfortably, but it is never good business to refuse a very good offer.”
 
“Then I guess I don’t understand what the problem is.”
 
“The problem is, what will I do with myself!”
 
“Ah… hm… Papa Joe, you are a business genius. Begin another business.”
 
“I thought of that but I am not certain. I know the food business but, of course, if I sell, I cannot do that.”
 
“Have you spoken to Sing?”
 
“Of course. She does not yet know enough about business to give me sound advice but she suggests that I sell, then explore possibilities for a new business.”
 
“I think that is great advice. Wait! What about Dani and Sami, and the rest of the relatives.”
 
“The company very much wants to keep them and guarantees to pay 10% more than I have been paying, which is quite a bit above what most people in their positions earn. On the other hand, if I begin a new business I would want them with me. They are now experienced, and they are very good.”
 
“What about your brother in Bangkok?”
 
“Oh, I spoke to him and he says he would be happy to retire if I sell, after working for a year with the new people to make the transition smooth. Our relatives who work for him will keep their positions.”
 
“Well, there is a lot to think about. Is the price fair?”
 
“It is more than fair. They are now up to 500 million.”
 
“WOW!”
 
“It is a fair price, generous, but fair.”
 
“I don’t know how to advise you, Papa Joe, I am not a business man, but you have so much energy and you are so creative I think a new business would be enjoyable for you.”
 
“Yes, I have thought of that as well. I must make a decision soon. I told them by the 15th of this month so I have a week.”
 
January 15
 
A 2 win week but a close call at USC.
 
Papa Joe got them up to 585 million, and he agreed to stay on for 6 months to help with the transition, at a million a month salary for a maximum of 20 hours per week of work. Part of the deal is that he does not have to travel for meetings. He really wants to be here until after the baby is born. He says he is exploring options regarding a new business.
 
January 22
 
2 more easy wins. The USC game was the only close conf. game so far. We travel to #9 Cal this week, though.  We’re one up on them and Oregon.
 
Sing had a little scare this week but she’s fine. The doc isn’t worried.
 
January 29
 
A one point win at Arizona State, we shot poorly and didn’t play our usual tight D. Then we beat Cal by 17.
Jay Davis is #1 on the Norton list and Brad Vann is #7, Sid Nee #16, and Adam Brow #22.
 
Papa Joe was complaining of being bored. Lili took him by the hand and brought him to her computer. He uses computers and can do all of the normal things, but Lili taught him how to do advanced searches.
 
She said, “Papa Joe, this is important for you to learn. It will help you to learn about businesses you might want to open. My advice to you is to do a tech related business, that’s where the money is.”
 
He has been working at the computer ever since, whenever he has free time.
 
February 5
 
And yet another 2 win week. #21 Oregon was one back but we beat them by 23. We are 2 up on them and Cal., with 5 to play, and ranked #2, RPI #4.
 
Papa Joe says he will need to pay a consulting fee to Lili, he is asking her so many questions. I told him not to let her hear that or she would begin to negotiate it.
 
February 12
 
2 more easy wins. Up 2 games on Cal, 3 on Oregon, and at least 5 on everyone else, with 3 to play.
 
Kent Hart, our first big off the bench, strained his left calf. He’s out for a week to 10 days.
 
Sing continues to feel well, and she has not gained much weight.
 
Papa Joe says he wants to do something along the lines of either a business to business network, or a consumer network so that people can comparison shop either locally, regionally or nationally. He and Lili are in frequent discussions about all of this.
 
February 19
 
2 more easy wins. Now we’re 3 up on Cal, 4 on Oregon, and 5 or more on the rest. RPI is now 3.
 
Chad Reed, our first guard off the bench, hurt his back. He’s out for about 2 weeks.
 
February 26
We end the regular season 27-2, 16-0, and win the conf by 3. Ranked #2, RPI #3.
 
March 5
We lose three to the draft, Jay Davis, by far our best player, Kent Hart, our first big off the bench, and redshirt freshman Gar King.


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March 10
 
Mai and Lou come to the tourney in Phoenix but Lili stays home.
 
“I’m too busy helping Papa Joe.”
 
We play Arizona in the round of 8. We beat them easily in both games this year.
 
84-49. Cal gets upset by Utah. We’ll play Stanford, who we beat by 24 earlier.
 
March 11
 
86-59, 37 and 8 for Davis who we’ll really miss. And Utah upset Oregon! So Utah comes from the #7 seed to play us for the title. We beat them by 27 and 24 in the regular season.
 
March 12
 
79-39.
 
Florida was upset in the finals of their tournament by #5 ranked Mississippi State. I’m wondering if that will give us the #1 seed overall.
 
Not in the East. Wake Forest is #1 overall.
 
Not in the Midwest. Florida is #1 there.
 
We’re #1 in the South. We’ll start in Atlanta.
 
Miss. ST is #1 in the West.
 
March 16
 
Oregon was upset in the first round.
 
March 17
 
Again, Mai and Lou are here in Atlanta, and Lili is not.
 
We start against Elon from the Colonial.
 
70-37. 21-10 Temple is next. 
March 19
 
89-70. On to the Sweet Sixteen in Dallas where we’ll play #5 seed, #7 ranked New Mexico ST.
March 24
 
“I really don’t have the time. Papa Joe needs my help.”
 
And so Lili stayed home again.
 
77-62. In the Elite Eight it will be #7 seed Kentucky, 21-12, unranked. We beat them by 12 in the regular season. 
 
March 26
 
84-75. They played well, we didn’t.
 
So it’s off to the Final Four where we’ll play #5 ranked, #2 RPI Mississippi State, 30-4. They beat Florida last week so they are definitely tough. They actually beat Florida both times they met them this year. 
 
Their PF and C are both terrific players. 
 
April 1
 
75-53 and we have a rematch of last year’s title game. We beat up Miss ST’s big guys, just dominated them.
 
Lili and Papa Joe are both with us here in Baltimore. They spend most of their time working, but at least they’re here.
 
Florida is the team that has it all. We’ll need to be at our very best.
 
April 3
 
71-74. Very much like last year except lower scoring. We had to play catch up, took the lead, traded it back and forth. Then at the end we scored to tie it with 11 seconds left. They brought it down and hit a 3 with 4/10 of a second left for the win. Their Shooting Guard had 32, including the three at the end. The frustration is overwhelming.
 
April 4
 
Awards: Jay Davis was national freshman of the year and 1st team all American. Brad Vann was 2nd team. In conf., Jay was POY, freshman OY, and 1st team. Brad Vann was defensive POY and 1st team. 
Sid Nee was 1st team, Adam Brow was 1st team.
 
April 15
 
Papa Joe lets us know that he will form a very complex consumer website. It will, on an hourly basis, let consumers know where they can buy any item valued at approximately $10 or higher most inexpensively, in their community, within a 50 mile radius of their home, and on line. He and Lili have been working out the details. Obviously they cannot do this on their own but they have found a web master, and all of the other tech people they need, and they have begun the process of doing what needs to be done to make this work.
 
“This is going to be huge, Alvin. And Lili is a full partner with me, including the right to vote at stockholders’ meetings. I could not have done this without her and she will be just as valuable as we move forward.”
 
I am shaking my head in disbelief. How is this even possible? Later on Lili confesses that she does a lot of work at night, after the rest of us are asleep. She evidently needs only about 5 hours sleep a night, so she spends a lot of time teaching herself the intricacies of the internet world, as well as the complexities of computers, from programming on out. 
 
Mai and I discuss all of it at length and decide that the best thing we can do is accept all of it but make certain that Lili gets enough sleep. She certainly never seems tired except at bedtime. She tells us she sleeps from 8:30, her bedtime, until about 1:30 and automatically wakes then and spends the rest of the night working.
 
April 23
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade. I got it. We go from B+ to A-.
 
We finished 35-3. Team Prestige is up to 92. My record is 455-172, .726. Reputation is up to 85. 
 
Hopefully next year will be our year.


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June 5
 
Preseason #1.
 
Chad Reed transfers out. That leaves us with 8 scholarship athletes, only 3 of whom are guards. 
 
Sing is still feeling fine. She has gained 11 pounds and is due in less than a month.
 
We look at the transfer market but there’s no one there we have any interest in.
 
June 26
6 scholarships. We need at least 4 guards.
 
July 1
 
Sin gives birth to a healthy boy, Khee.
 
Papa Joe comes to Mai and I and asks us to please help with the baby if he isn’t around long enough to raise it to adulthood. We assure him that we will and tell him that we feel sure he’ll be around. He is so full of health and vitality.
 
August 7
 
6 on the Norton list: #1, 3, 5, 11, 15, 44.
 
Mama and baby still doing great.
 
“Blade…”
 
“Yes Mai.”
 
“Khee is a beautiful baby, isn’t he.”
 
“Yes he is.”
 
“Well… I …”
 
“What is it, Mai?”
 
“I’m pregnant.”
 
“Wow! How did that- I mean, I’m surprised.”
 
“Yes, well…”
 
It was a strange conversation. She never came out and said it but I got the impression that Mai had gotten so excited and happy about Sing’s pregnancy that she came to really want another child, and eventually she had stopped taking the pill. In any case there will be another baby in the family in February.
 
August 21
 
We offer to 3 guards, 2 SFs and a C.
 
September 18
We get 2 guards and a C, lose a couple.
 
No tournament this year but we loaded up on ranked teams.
 
September 25
 
We get an SG and a PF. We go after an SF with our final scholarship.
 
October 2
 
We’ll bank the last scholarship.
 
First day of practice goes very well.
 
November 6
 
Ready to go!
 
November 20
 
We started off beating #5 Wake Forest by 10 at home and followed with a 40 point win over Seton Hall. Rob Mark at SG and Al Samm at C both had two terrific games.
 
Three game road swing coming up next.
 
November 27
 
Lost 75-82 at #7 Oklahoma on a night when we just didn’t play D, and didn’t shoot well. No excuse for giving up 82 though.
 
Then we beat Duke 68-61.Samm and Mark have been terrific, and PG Brad Vann also scores points. I’d like fewer TOs and better shot selection.
 
December 4
 
We beat Oklahoma State by 10 then come home and clobber North Carolina. No complaints about rebounding, 45.3-31.2. Al Samm is averaging 17.8 and 14.0, and Rob Mark is getting 21.3 and 7.2. Sid Nee is getting 10.8 rebounds per game.
December 11
 
We beat #19 New Mexico by 23. Samm and Mark combine for 55. 11, 4, 9 for Vann.
 
Four home games coming up, 3 against ranked teams.
 
December 18
79-53 over Georgia Tech and 86-54 over #19 Minnesota.
 
December 25
 
63-51 over #5 Kentucky, 61-48 over #11 Maryland.
 
Khee is still doing great. Doc says he’s a little on the small side but perfectly healthy. Mai’s pregnancy is going as well as the first two did. We’re about two months away. Lili and Lou are fine with the new baby but not particularly excited. They play with Khee but not for long periods of time. They are both too preoccupied with their projects. 
 
Lili still spends a lot of time with Papa Joe. The most technical aspects of the new business are done by the webmaster and his crew but Lili and Papa Joe talk about the business aspects, and Lili serves as his technical assistant.
 
Lou is suddenly into sports statistics. His teacher thinks that’s a great way to learn math and designs projects around this interest. He’s also interested in astrophysics so there are projects in that field as well.
 
We’re about to start conf. play. Again this year it looks like Arizona and California will be our rivals.


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January 1, 2011
 
A one game week. We go to Wash. and beat them by 17.
January 8
 
2 home wins by 30+ points. +13.3 in RBpg, +7.0 in Apg, +20.0 in PTSpg.
 
#10 Arizona is next, there. That will be a good test.
 
January 15
 
73-59 at Arizona and then we came home and beat USC by 28. Alex Link, our first guy off the bench, strained a hamstring. He’s out for about 10 days.
 
Arizona worked hard to stop our inside game. They pretty much did but our starting guards combined for 42.
 
Back on the road for the next 2.
 
We’re finally #1 again. RPI #3.
 
Papa Joe and Lili expect their business to hit the market on or about June 1. They will call it “BestPrice.com”, and that’s the web site (obviously). Neither of them had connected their name to the fact that Lili and I have “Price” as our last name. When I mentioned it they laughed, and liked the name even more.
 
January 22
29 point win at Oregon, 18 at Stanford. Samm and Mark combine for 84, 33, 18 for the week.
 
2 at home this week. The 2nd is with Cal and they’re just 1 game back of us.
 
January 29
62-38 over Arizona ST. 77-42 over Cal. 
 
Al Samm #2, Brad Vann #12, Sid Nee #23 on the Norton list. No idea why Robb Mark isn’t on it.
 
Everyone hits our SAT score.
 
Mai says she’s a little uncomfortable. That never happened with the first two but then she’s 7 years older than she was when Lou was born. She’s only gained 11 pounds so far.
 
February 5
 
2 easy wins but Alex Link is hurt again. Wrist this time. 10 days to 2 weeks.
 
We’re 21-1, 11-0, up by 2 over Cal, 3 or more over the rest with 5 to play. +21.2 points, +14.6 RBs, +6.3 TOs.
 
February 12
 
2 more easy wins. 17 TOs in the 1st which did not make me happy.
Al Samm is leading the nation in rebounding by a wide margin, and Robb Mark is 4th in scoring. Brad Vann is leading in assists. In conf. we’re completely dominating the stats.
 
This week we play #16 Arizona again. At home this time.
 
February 19
 
2 more wins. We’re up 4 games on Cal and Stanford, 6 or more on the rest.
 
1 more regular season game to play. We’re #1, RPI #1.
 
February 20
 
I have another daughter. Ling was born at 4:30 a.m. She and Mai are doing fine.
 
February 26
We run the table in conf., 16-0.
 
March 5
 
Lost Al Samm, Rob Mark, and Alex Link to the draft. I was surprised about Link.
 
March 10
 
We play USC in the round of 8. We beat them by 28 and 21.
 
Ling is too young for Mai to leave her so she won’t be at any of our postseason games.
 
March 11
 
65-51 over USC. Upsets in all of the other games so we play #21 Arizona in the semis. Huh? Actually, Arizona had sunk to the #5 seed ion conf. Their record is 21-9, 8-8. #11 seed Wash. plays #7 seed Oregon in the other game.
 
March 12
 
58-39 over Arizona and it’s #11 seed Washington, 12-18, 5-11 for the title. Talk about getting hot at the right time! We beat them by 17 and 24 in the regular season but they weren’t hot then.
 
67-43.
 
Now we wait, but I am confident we’ll be #1 overall.
 
Yep, we’re #1 in the East. #2 is Michigan, #3 BYU, #4 North Carolina and #5 Minnesota. Other #1 seeds are Florida, Kentucky and UConn.
 
March 16
 
We beat NC A & T by 15. We shot 28.3%, 22.5 from long range. Good thing we were playing a cupcake! +16 TO.
 
 
Next up will be #8 seed Oklahoma. They are the only team to beat us all year, in the 2nd game of the season. They scored 82 on us, 16 more than anyone else has. Their SF and PF did most of the damage. They lost Brown, as well as their starting C, to grades. But they’ve won their last 7.
 
March 18
 
72-61. Rob Mark had 32, 9, and 7, Al Samm had 15, 14, 3.
 
March 23
 
#13 seed Penn, 25-10, fought their way to the Sweet Sixteen.
 
77-56. This is the first time we’ve played well in the tournament. As we go deeper in we need to be at our best. ]
Next up is #9 ranked, #7 seed New Mexico ST, 26-7. They are very strong inside. They’re on a 12 game win streak. They do everything well so we’ll need to be on our game.
 
March 25
 
78-63. Samm and Mark combined for 45, Vann had 8 assists, and Nee had 12 RBs. We played well again.
 
The final four is set. We play #2 Florida, the team that sent us home both last year and the year before. #4 UConn plays #6 Cincinnati in the other game.
 
FL, 31-5, is tough again this year. Strong all the way, they score outside and rebound well. They don’t turn it over. They play good D. We’ll need to really play well.
 
April 1
 
79-72! 13 lead changes and 9 ties. Brad Vann was terrific at PG, scoring 25 and shutting down the FL PG. Al Samm had 16 and 21, Sid Nee had 10 and 10, Rob Mark had 14, 7, 3. +10 RB and 11 TOs. 
We’ll play #4 UConn, 33-3, for the title. They’ve won 25 of their last 26. They are powerful inside; they score and rebound very well. Their guards don’t score much but they are excellent with the ball. We need our guards to score and our bigs to hold their own.
 
April 3
65-50! A title at last! The guys who got us here brought it home. Samm had 17, 14, 3, Mark had 20, 11, 3, Nee had 14, 8, Vann had 8 assists and no TOs. As a team we had an amazing 4 TOs (+12), and we were +6 on the boards. What a feeling!
 
April 4
 
Awards: Rob Mark was tourney MOP. Al Samm was 1st team All American. I was named national coach of the year. In conf., Al was POY, freshman OY, Defensive POY and 1st team, along with Rob Mark and Sid Nee. Brad Vann made 2nd team.
 
April 9
 
Duke, Iowa, LSU, Michigan State, Syracuse are among the schools that call about their head coaching vacancies. I’m staying here.
 
April 16
 
We hire a whole new coaching staff. All of our assistants moved up, 2 to head coaching positions, the other to a #1 assistant job.
April 23
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade. I don’t get it.
 
Duke, Iowa, LSU, Michigan State, Syracuse are among the schools that call about their head coaching vacancies. I’m staying here.
 
April 16
 
We hire a whole new coaching staff. All of our assistants moved up, 2 to head coaching positions, the other to a #1 assistant job.
 
April 23
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade. I don’t get it.
 
We finished at 35-1 with the national title. Team Prestige is now 97. My record is: 490-173, .739. My reputation is 96.
 
April 29
 
“This championship means a lot to you, doesn’t it, Alvin.”
 
“Yes it does, Papa Joe. It puts me in the top tier of coaches.”
 
“That’s great. And of course another one, or a few more, would be even better.”
 
“Definitely.”
 
“Is it better to win all of them at one school, or to move and win at more than one school?”
 
“I don’t think it matters, really. Why, do you want us to move?”
 
“No, but it will not matter where we live if Lili and I have an internet business. That does not restrict us to any location.”
 
“I would love to live back East, closer to my parents; they are getting older. And I like the seasons. Here the weather is always the same.”
 
“Well, if the opportunity presents itself it is fine with me.”


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June 9
 
We look at the transfers but there’s no one we want.
 
BestPrice.com opens. It charges subscribers $1 a month. One million people join on day 1. 5 million by the end of the first week. Papa Joe says the prediction is 50 million by the end of the first month, and 100 million in three months, 1/3 of the U. S. population. The concept is simple. People buy things or at least check prices, and post the item, the price, the store, and the location. No one is paid to post. No doubt there will be some people who post incorrect prices, either on purpose or in error. The expectation is that businesses running sales will also post. Papa Joe and Lili will pay a Web Master and his small staff, including computer repair people, and that’s it. If the 100 million figure is true they will bring in 1.2 billion a year, just about all of it profit.
 
June 26
 
4 scholarships. We’re looking at 9.
 
July 1
 
And BestPrice.com wound up with 75 million customers at the end of the first month.
 
August 7
7 on the Norton list: #2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 14, 22.
 
August 21
 
We offer to 3 bigs and an SG.
 
September 18 
We get 3, lose 1. We got an SG and 2 bigs.
 
We’re going to the preseason NIT, and we’ve loaded up the schedule, all top 20 except one.
 
 October 1
 
We get a PG. If they hit the SAT score, which they all should, we’re done.
 
BestPrice.com hits 130 million customers. Papa Joe figures it has about maxed out, He and Lili, being the only two stock holders, will bring in 1.56 billion a year. They will pay their few employees very handsomely but will wind up with more than 750 million a year profit. 99.999% of Lili’s will go into a trust, which Mai and I will control until her 21st birthday. We will take no salary for this. The money is hers. We don’t need any of it. But she will not be spoiled. She will get all of the computers and tech equipment she needs from the trust, but everything else she needs and wants (we will decide on the wants) will be provided by us, her parents. She will NOT be spoiled. Fortunately, at least so far, she isn’t interested in the financial aspects of all of this.
 
October 2
 
First day of practice and we’re loaded!
 
 
November 6
 
Ready for the season. #1 in all the polls.


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November 20
 
We romped through the NIT, winning by 28, 29, 18, and 20; the last 3 opponents were ranked. All 5 starters averaging in double figures. +4.8 RBs, 9.5 TOs.
November 27
Crushed #10 North Carolina here, then challenged by Pitt there before winning by 8. Starting PH Keb Monk bruised abdominals in the Pitt game. Out for about 2 weeks. Adam Brow will take his spot.
 
Papa Joe says he was right about BestPrice.com stabilizing. The membership is at about 134 million. Next year they will expend to most countries in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa, and several in Latin America. The groundwork is being laid now. Eventually some other countries will be added, probably the year after next. Papa Joe says within 2-3 years there will probably be well over a million customers. He says there will soon be other web sites doing what he does but getting in first and growing so rapidly pretty much insures that BestPrice.com will hold most of its customers. It will be difficult for competitors to break his hold.
 
December 4
Beat Wake Forest there by 19, #3 Michigan here by 18. But the injury bug hit us again. Starting SG Will Muir strained a calf and he’s out 10 days to 2 weeks. 2 starters out for at least the next week to 10 days. Good thing we’re deep, Raul Mitt will take Muir’s spot.
 
December 11
 
83-46 over #2 Uconn at home, then 83-64 over #7 Iowa here. Not bad for having 2 starters out! They’ll both be back for our next game.
 
December 18
2 road wins this week. 2 more non-conf. opponents before conf. play begins. We’re #1, RPI 1. 4 starters in double figures. Keb Monk isn’t only because in the game when he was hurt he played only 8 minutes.
 
December 25
2 more wins including a 22 point win over #8 Ohio State on the road. Center Vin Stig had 34 and 16 in that one.
 
January 1
One game this week, we beat Wash. by 38 to start conf. play. Cal, Arizona and Oregon are probably our three toughest opponents.
Well, my daughter isn’t a billionaire yet, but she’s on her way. Papa Joe says that after taxes, as of 1/1/2012, she will be worth about 200 million.
 
January 8
2 more wins. We’re outscoring our opponents by 23.8, outrebounding them by 11.1, +5.7 in TOs. Some of the reporters are comparing us to the greatest college teams ever. When reporters ask I say it’s way too soon for that, which it is.
 
January 15
Crushed 2 more teams by huge margins including Arizona by 31.
 
Unintended consequence for BestPrice.com. Many companies are advertising “yes but” type ads. Some of our prices may not be the lowest but we offer coupons, or loyal customer bonuses, or other things. If you spend at least $x here you will receive (whatever). It’s getting interesting. Papa Joe says the team is working on ways to incorporate all of that on the site. The new countries should be up and running I within 2-3 weeks.
 
January 22
2 more, but we play #11 Cal, there, this week.
 
January 29
 
Beat Cal 84-77. Closest game so far. We’re 23-0, 9-0.
 
February 5
 
We beat #13 Oregon by 19.
 
February 12
 
27-0, 13-0.
 
February 19
29-0, 15-0 with one to play. 4 games up on  Cal., 5 on Oregon, 6 or more on the rest.
 
BestPrice.com is being sued for 10 billion dollars by McDonald’s, Walmart, Coca Cola and Shell Oil for illegal restraint of trade and several other things. Papa Joe says it is nonsense and he isn’t at all worried. 
 
February 26
Perfect going to the post season. 30-0, 16-0.
 
March 5
 
We lose 4 starters, Stig, Dane, Muir, and Monk to the draft. All are freshman and none is a surprise.
 
The big corporations get a bought and paid for judge to issues a stop order on Best.Price.com, which means the web site is to come down immediately. Papa Joe’s attorneys appeal it to the next level and it is rescinded.
 
“This kind of nonsense is liable to go on for a while. They cannot stop us and they know it but if they can disrupt our service they think we may lose customers. We pay go money to have the very best attorneys at our disposal.”
 
March 12
 
We play #10 Cal for the conf. title.
 
81-64.
 
We're #1 in the East as expected.
March 23
 
We get to the Sweet Sixteen seamlessly. We play #4 seed, #13 ranked Texas.
 
73-48.
 
March 25
 
#2 seed, #4 ranked Kansas in the Elite Eight.
 
77-48. 
 
We’ll play #3 ranked Michigan in the round of 4; we beat them by 20 and by 18 in the regular season. #9 Mississippi State vs. #8 Kentucky in the other game.
 
April 1
 
80-66 over Michigan. We will play #8 Kentucky, 28-10, for the title.
 
April 4
78-65 and our 2nd straight title. Undefeated, 73 in a row.
 
Awards: Vin Stig was tourney MOP, Will Muir was national freshman OY, both were 1st team All Americans, Brad Vann was 2nd team, and I got the coach award. In conf., Will got the freshman award, he and Vin made 1st team, Brad and Des Dane made 2nd team.
April 9
 
I am not leaving UCLA. It’s complicated. We’ve won 73 in a row. I’d like a shot at 88. After next year I will probably move. This year was almost boring because winning was too easy. 
 
April 23
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade. Approved. Facilities now at A.
 
Team Prestige is 100. My record is 529-173, .754. Reputation is 96.


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June 26
 
We’re #1 in the preseason polls.
 
No one interesting in the transfer pool.
 
6 scholarships. Looking at 10.
 
The law suits continue. Papa Joe says they are just obstructionist and none of them will come to anything. BestPrice.com is now in every industrialized country. 1.44 billion members which means annual revenue of about 17.3 billion, at least 17 billion of it profit. Yes, my soon to be 10 year old daughter is a billionaire, several times over. The difficulty with that is  now we need all sorts of alarm systems, electric fences, body guards- ugh!
 
August 7
 
5 on the Norton list.
 
August 21
 
We offer to 3 bigs, 3 PGs.
 
September 18
We got 2 PFs and a PG.
 
We’re going to the WS Midwest tourney. We’ve loaded up on ranked teams again.
 
October 2
 
Not quite as loaded as last year but I’ll take this team and take my chances!
 
November 6
 
Ready for the season. We start out with our 73 game win streak on the line. Let’s see what happens on the way to 89.
November 20
 
We beat #9 Iowa by 33 at home, and #14 Maryland by 25 there. Heading for the WS Midwest.
 
November 27
 
4 games in 4 days led to 4 wins but we were not as dominating. 6-0, 79 in a row. +13.5 RBs, +1.8 TOs, +20.0 Pts per game. PG Brad Vann is our leading scorer. Laz Wilk, our C, is 2nd, and he’s our #1 rebounder.
 
Papa Joe tells me that the corporations who have been filing all of the nuisance law suits made a secret offer of 50 billion for the company. Papa Joe turned it down.
 
“I would take 100 billion, maybe 85. But the trouble is that I would have to have an idea for another new company. Lili and I are discussing this.
 
Sing is pregnant again, due in June.
 
“Last baby, I’m getting too old.”
 
I don’t know if Papa Joe will ever be old, but he’ll be 64 when the baby is born..
 
December 4
 
2 wins, the 2nd over #5 Ohio ST by 11 at home. The media are publicizing the “countdown.” We’re at 81. Laz, Brad and SG Raul Mitt are all but scoring at will.
 
December 11
 
10 in a row, 83 in a row. 
 
Laz Wilk is leading the nation in rebounding. He and Brad Vann are #1 and #2 in the conf. in scoring, he’s #1 in rebounding, Brad is #1 in assists, and Raul Mitt is #2.
 
We’re #1 in the country in rebounds and blocks, #2 in assists, #5 in PPG.
 
December 18
 
And it ends! We beat Georgia Tech to get to 84, and then we traveled to New Mexico and lost 79-80 on a 50 footer at the buzzer. We blew a 10 point lead and we gave up 23 points more than our average. To lose on a lucky shot is tough but we should never have put ourselves in that position. Hopefully we learn that lesson. The most important thing is the national championship and that remains our primary goal.
 
Papa Joe says the offer is up to 82 billion but a group called Consumer’s Union for an Equitable Marketplace is pressuring him not to sell. The feeling is that if the mega-corporations buy BestPrice.com they will skew the data to make it appear that only the mega-corps have the lowest prices.
 
“I would sell for 88 billion but now it is something to think about. CUEM does not have the resources to buy our company but the point they make is a consideration. I am consulting with Lili about this. Being the age she is, she is very idealistic, and perhaps it is good for me to be exposed to this.”
 
December 25
 
Back on the winning track. 12-1 going to conf. play.


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January 1, 2013
 
Happy New Year.
 
We start conf. play with a win against #19 Wash.
 
Consumer’s Union for an Equitable Marketplace (CUEM) mounts a massive campaign to raise funds after Papa Joe tells them that the way to save BestPrice.com is to buy it from him and Lili.
 
“They can never match the price of the big international corporations but Lili and I do not care. We will sell them controlling interest, 51%, for much less than we could get from the monster corporations. We are working out details.”
 
January 8
 
3-0 in conf. Kevin West, the 1st big guy off the bench, sprained an ankle. He’s out for about 10 days. Laz has a sore back but it’s minor. We’re #1, RPI #1.
 
January 15
 
We go to Arizona and get a scare but win 67-60. 5-0, tied with Cal., 2 ahead of the rest.
Papa Joe and Lili sell 51% to CUEM for $1 billion up front, and another 25 billion to be paid over a period of 7 years. This keeps the company out of the hands of the big guys, ensures that it will stay legitimate and useful, gives, at present profit margins, $12.5 billion each to Papa Joe and Lili, as well as giving them an annual income of $4 billion for the foreseeable future. Not bad! Papa Joe and Lili are consulting regarding what is next.
“We’re going to do something humanitarian, not for profit. We are willing to use most of our wealth to establish a corporation that will help suffering people. We are not certain of the specifics as yet.”
 
Fascinating, but then my father-in-law and my daughter usually are. Mai and I control Lili’s money but we would certainly go along with this idea. Let’s see how it develops.
 
January 22
 
California loses twice and we don’t. We are up 2 on them, and Wash., 3 or more on the rest. We are averaging 18.9 points more than the opposition, 10.5 RBs, 5.7 TOs. 
 
Laz is #1 in the country in RBs, #3 in scoring, #2 in blocks. Raul Mitt is #2 in assists.
 
January 29
 
We crush Cal. by 33. 21-1, 9-0.
 
Laz is #1 on the Norton list and Brad Vann is #2.
 
February 5
 
We beat Colorado by 30 at home then Oregon upsets us 67-69. Not a game we should have lost but we gave up 16 threes, and Laz played only 28 minutes due to foul trouble. 
 
Only one up on Wash. They come to us next.
 
February 12
 
We beat Wash. by 15. 2 games up with 3 to play. Everyone else is at least 4 back.
 
February 19
 
2 easy wins. Up 2 on Wash., 5 or more on the rest. Laz had 28 and 26 against Utah. He’s 1st in the nation in rebounds and blocks, 3rd in scoring. 
February 26
 
We end the regular season 27-2, 15-1, up 3 on Wash.
 
March 5
 
We lose 3 to the draft, Kevin West, Djor Stol, Ray Jones. Stol was our starting SG, West is the first big off the bench, Jones was an SG who didn’t play much. We’re thrilled that Wilk is returning.
Papa Joe and Lili think they can greatly reduce world hunger. There are many places that won’t let us in, even to help the hungry. Papa and Lili are working up a plan to help the people who live in the places that will allow us to help. They believe that their annual income of about 10 billion (income from BestPrice.com plus interest on the resources they already have), will feed those who are hungry as well as planting crops which, in time, will allow these people to be self-sustaining, with regard to having enough to eat. They think it will take 2-3 years of before the self-sustaining aspect is in place. At that point their focus will turn to education unless they are able to get into the closed areas. They will continue their efforts to do so.


#56

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March 12
 
#17 Washington for the title. Their starting C is banged up but he’ll play.
 
69-48.
 
#1 in the East.
March 19
 
We get to the Sweet Sixteen with no problem. We play #4 seed, #10 ranked New Mexico, the team that snapped our winning streak at 84. We played terrible D that night and didn’t take care of the ball. They scored 10 more on us than anyone else has this season.
 
March 23
 
93-49. I guess my guys had something to prove. Stol sprained an ankle. He’s out for about a week and a half. He’ll miss our next game. If we win, we’ll see after that. Curr and Brim will split Stol’s minutes.
 
We play #3 seed, #12 ranked Kentucky in the Elite Eight
 
March 25
 
72-71. Whew! The refs called everything, especially on us, we didn’t shoot well, especially long range- 6-33. But we won, and we’re in the final four.
 
We’ll play #2 ranked Brigham Young, 34-4. In the other game #3 Florida will play #8 Maryland. We will play Stol, but not as many minutes as usual.
 
April 1
 
60-41. We led all the way. We’ll play #8 Maryland for the title. They’ve won their last 12, 14 of 15. We need to dominate inside in order to win. We beat them by 25 there in the 2nd game of the season. We were +21 on RBs.
 
April 3
 
93-65. We never trailed. 36, 12, 4 for Vann.
 
April 4
 
Awards: Laz got the Norton, the WS POY, and the tourney MOP, National Freshman OY and Def. POY, 1st team as well as Brad Vann. I was national COY. In conf. Laz got all the same awards. He, Brad, and Adam Brow made 1st team. Raul Mitt made 2nd team.
 
April 9
 
We’re moving. UConn, Duke, Temple, and Michigan State are the contenders. We will visit all four. It’s down to UConn and Temple because they are both close to home.
I want (1) the bigger challenge, and (2) to not have to cross NYC to get home. We’re going to Temple. 
April 23
 
I hire a new staff. I ask for $. Don’t get it.
 
I moved here immediately but the family will take some time to make the move. Mai was hired here immediately. She has a tremendous reputation in her field.
Temple’s Team Prestige is 76. The American Athletic Conf. Prestige is 69. My numbers:
565-175, .764. Reputation- 96. Ready for the new challenge!


#57

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June 5
 
I’ve been in Philly for about 6 weeks. The family finally arrived a few days ago. We’re in rented space until our homes are built. Papa Joe is on it. He and Lili are also busy with the “Feed the Hungry” project. More about that later.
 
We’re looking at transfers.
 
June 26
 
No luck in the transfer pool. We have 6 scholarships and we need just about everything. Looking at 20 guys.
 
Mai is settling in at the university. She has met her team and looks forward to getting started. 
 
Lili is home schooled now, in some senses barely doing school at all. The work she did on BestPrice, and the work she is doing on Feed the Hungry are truly an education. We have a tutor come in to work with her on science and higher math- she’s doing pre-calculus right now, and another to work with her on literature and history. We want her to be well rounded.
 
Lou is in a private school that allows students to go at their own pace, mostly studying what they want to study. For him that’s medieval history and plant biology right now, but it changes often, and is all over the place. 
 
Ling is only two so he plays. Papa Joe and Sing’s two children are a bit young for school although Khee, about to turn 3, is looking like he will be an intellectual explorer. The new baby, Mai Li is 2 ½ weeks old.
 
July 4
 
It’s interesting starting over at a new school. It is certainly something I’m accustomed to, having now coached at 7 schools. The big difference is that I became so used to winning at UCLA, and to having absolutely the very top talent, that I need to remind myself that that isn’t true here. I look forward to the challenges of building a program. It’s hard to believe that this is the start of my 23rd year as a head coach. It’s even harder to believe that I am 45 years old and Mai is 40, although she still looks about 27.
 
August 7
 
We have 1 on the Norton List, junior PG Kori Ellis.
 
Recruiting is moving along. There are many players with lots of interest.
 
Things are not quite normal yet around here, but the family is settling in more and more all the time. Papa Joe and Lili spend 8-10 hours a day working together. It would be more but that’s all we allow.
 
August 21
 
We offer to 2 Cs, 1 PF, 1 SG, 2 PGs. I’ll be thrilled if we get half of them.
 
September 18
 
Wow! We got 4 of the guys we were after, 2 PGs and 2 bigs.
 
We’re invited to the JAG Holiday. All in all it’s a fairly challenging schedule for the first year.
 
October 2
 
Lost a few potential recruits but we got a PF. First day of practice. Not the talent level I’m used to. We’re stronger outside than in.
We’re picked 7th in our 12 team conf.
 
October 9
 
We get a C to commit. We wind up with 2 PGs, 2 PFs, and 2 Cs. 2 are questionable about whether they’ll hit our SAT score.
 
November 6
 
I had forgotten the process of determining a rotation when you have a team that is less than amazing. Kori Ellis and Mo Ladd are both very stronger defenders and they can score and take care of the ball. They’ll start at guard with Stan Haze as my back up. Ted Day and Chaz Sork can score inside and they can rebound so they’ll be at 5 and 4. Del Lee is my starting SF. Jim Brow is my first big off the bench. I’m sure I’ll be making adjustments as time passes.
 
November 13
 
We’re ready to start the season- I hope!
 
Papa Joe and Lili Are about to begin actual work with “Feed the Hungry.” It has taken a long time to put the pieces together. Unlike their last venture this one requires a huge staff and lots of people in supervisory and administrative positions. They will be well paid. There is also a group of people hired to travel to wherever FtH is working in order to check on efficiency as well as honesty. There are always some who- well, you know. These people are all relatives. Dani, Sami, and the cousins have now all left Thai Gardens in order to work on this project.


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November 20
 
Great 1st week! We traveled to the Fighting Icyballs of Nome and beat them 58-50. Our C, Ted Day, had 15, 12, PG Kori Ellis had 16, 4, 5, and SG Mo Ladd had 17, 2, 2. Chaz Sork had 9 and 8 at PF. Del Lee didn’t do much at SF but he played good D. Same can be said for the bench. +7 RBs but 15 TOs. We know TOs are an area that needs work.
 
Then we beat Virginia here, 82-59. Day had 30, 9, 2, Del Lee had a great game, 13 and 10, our other starters all put up numbers, and our bench also contributed. 10 TOs, 32 RBs.
 
All 6 recruits sign the LOI.
 
2 top 25 teams at home this week.
 
November 27
 
2 close games. We beat Oregon 58-56. 16, 4, 6, with 3 steals for Kori, and 18, 5, 1 for Ted. Stan Haze had 8, 4, 4 from the bench. Del Lee had 10 RBs. 16 TOs though.
 
Then we lost 74-77 in OT to UNLV. It was close all the way but they hammered us on the boards, 41-30, and their bench scored 31 to our 15. 17, 5, 6 for Kori, 18 and 5 for Mo Ladd, 9, 8, 2 for Ted.
 
After 4 games we’re 3-1, +7.5 PPG, +0.8 RBPG, even on TOs. Center Ted Day and PG Kori Ellis are leading us on O.
 
Away at Marquette and Wash. ST this week.
 
Papa Joe and Lili are beginning the Feed the Hungry project here in the U. S., and in Thailand. Our people are organizing volunteer campaigns.. We’ve started soup kitchens wherever we can find a space to house one and the people to operate it. The kitchens try to provide 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. We operate independently for many reasons, chief of which is that we want nothing to do with providing meals at the cost of people being subject to propaganda, either religious or political. We will accept donations and volunteers from any source but anyone found to be distributing anything but totally neutral, informative literature, or found to be espousing political or religious views at our facilities is immediately banned for life. Some existing food kitchens have chosen to close in order to join with us. Others have remained open because their purpose is to promote their views. The same policies hold in Thailand, as they will wherever else we go. This will undoubtedly keep us out of some countries and/or communities.
 
The campaign for donations and volunteers has been very extensive and quite successful. We simply cannot provide all of the personnel we need and all of the funds required. We provide the supervisory personnel- above local facility management in most cases, in an advisory capacity, and provide the funds we can. In cases of extreme need we provide all necessary funds. Of course a hungry person is in extreme need by definition.
 
December 4
 
One and one week, which I’ll take. Marquette crushed us 41-63. We shot 24.6%, 15.4% from long range. Not one player in double figures. We had only 7 TOs but were -16 on the boards. The D wasn’t bad, really, but you need to hit shots.
 
We beat Wash. ST 72-63. 15, 11, 3 for Ted, 14, 6, 5 for Kori. Chaz had 10 and 9 and the bench contributed. My only major complaint? 16 TOs again. I like to average below 12.0 and we’re at 13.2 right now.
 
This week Georgetown at home and #21 Mississippi ST on the road. 
 
December 11
 
Another 1-1 week. We squeaked out a 2 point win over Georgetown, 82-80 in OT. This one was a battle from start to finish. We forced OT when Mo Ladd hit a 3 with under a second to go, and won in OT when Mo hit another one with about 1.5 to go. Kori had 23, 3, 6, Mo 19, 3, 5, Del Lee 13, 4, 3, Ted and Chaz had 9 each, and Stan Haze had 7 from the bench. 11 TOs, but -7 on the boards.
 
#21 MS ST beat us by 13, 54-67. They were the better team and led most of the way. 11 TOs again. We’re really making progress in that area right now, but -6 in rebounds. 16 each for Kori and Ted but everyone else was pretty much handcuffed- the rest of the lineup shot 6-29., 3-14 from long range.
 
We’re 5-3. Given the level of competition, and that it’s my first year here, that isn’t bad.
 
Only one game this week. We’re at Latrobe State. They’re 3-3.
 
As the weather gets colder in much of the U. S., Papa Joe and Lili are considering providing homeless shelters. The difficulty is that they don’t want to dilute their efforts at feeding hungry people. At this point they are advertising to people who have closed homeless shelters to join with them, asking that they consider providing shelter for the homeless, whether just a bed or two, or an entire facility. They’ve taken on an enormous project. 
 
Papa Joe says he feels they are doing really well in urban areas, but they need to get into suburban and rural areas where the hungry people are more spread out and harder to reach. The goal has been to end hunger in the U. S. and Thailand within three years, while expanding to other countries as rapidly as possible.
 
We have capped Lili’s working time to 8 hours a day (although we know she sneaks more work time in). What she is doing is enormously educational in countless ways.
 
Papa Joe sets aside 3 hours per day for “family time” and spends the rest of his waking hours working.
 
December 18
 
71-61 win at Latrobe ST. Only +2 RBs but we won this one inside. Ted had 17, 9, 2, 8 and 8 for Del, and 13, 3 for Chaz, plus 7 for Jim Brow from the bench. The guards were fine, 17 for Kori, but this was fought and won in the paint. 14 TOs, our worst in a few games.
 
#3 LSU is here this week. Then we head for the JAG Holiday.
 
December 25
 
A very frustrating 1-1 week. In my most satisfying victory in the short time I’ve been here we beat #3 LSU 66-54. We won this one on D, holding them to 26.3%, 19.2% from long range. We were +5 in RBs, and only -1 in TOs. As big a factor as the D was the bench. Stan Haze had 11, 3, 2, Jim Brow had 8 and 6. Ted Day fouled out in only 22 minutes but he had 15 and 7; Brow was outstanding stepping in for him. Kori had 7, 3, 4 and also fouled out, in 27 minutes; Stan Haze was excellent in his spot. 10, 7 for Chaz, 10, 5, 3 for Mo. It was a VERY satisfying win.
 
Then we went to the JAG tourney and played our 3rd OT game of the young season, losing to Sam Louis 74-75. They were up 19 in early in the second half and we came all the way back, hitting a 3 at the buzzer in regulation by Mo to send it to OT. Unfortunately, Chaz missed an 8 footer at the end of OT that would have given us the win.
We close pre-conf. play at 7-4, which is very good, all in all. I’d like to have those 2 OT losses in the win column but we did well and we got to know each other. We’re in a tough conference but I think we’ll be okay. We start at always tough Memphis. They’re not having one of their better years but they’re still tough.
 
January 1, 2014
 
Memphis beat us but it was close, 57-62. Ted had 15, 11, 4, Mo 11, 3, 2. -6 TOs but +6 RBs. 11 threes is probably what sank us. The overall D was good but 57 points won’t get the job done.
 
This week we host SMU and travel to Winthrop. Neither will be easy but we really think both are winnable.
 
Papa Joe says an enormous number of people were fed on XMas day and throughout the week. He feels that Feed the Hungry is making a very big difference already.
 
January 8
 
A 2 win week to put us at 2-1 in conf. 9 TOs and +1 RBs against SMU, 70-41. We were on fire for most of the night, shooting 53.3%. 16, 4, 4 for Mo, 14 each for Ted and Kori, 12 for Chaz, 9 for Del.
 
Then we went to 10-4 Winthrop and beat them by 11, 82-71. It was an offensive, sloppy game but we had the edge after the first few minutes. 24, 4, 6 for Kori, 20 for Mo, 13 and 10 for Ted. We had 17 TOs but they had 19. This 2 win week should be a confidence builder.
 
Coming up are 6-8, 0-3 SO. FL at home, and 9-5, 1-2 Central FL there.
 
January 15
 
Disappointed with a 1-1 week. We beat So FL by 9 here. We played good D and we took care of the ball, more or less- 13 TOs (+8). But we were -4 on the boards, which is getting to be an issue. No one had a huge offensive game but all 7 who played contributed.
 
Then we went to Central FL and got beat up, 43-60. 43 won’t get you many wins. We shot 31%, 21% from long range. Ted had 12, 11, 3, but no one else did much.We were about even in TOs and RBs. 
 
There are so many things to work on: we need to score more points. We need to rebound better. We could have better shot selection. We don’t always get out on the outside shooter. Oh well, one day at a time.
 
Coming up are 10-6, 4-1 Tulsa, here, and 0-16, 0-5 GA Southern there. The Tulsa game will be a challenge, they’re really playing well. Few things scare me as much as playing away with a team that hasn’t won yet. They’re going to win one sometime and it’s easy to feel too cocky and give them that opportunity.
 
January 22
 
Another 1-1 week. It could easily have been 2-0 or 0-2. Tulsa beat us here 50-53. Once again we were awful on O, shooting 33.3%, 2-17 on threes. +6 on TOs, -7 on RBs. 14, 9, 3 for Ted, but not much else. 
 
We beat GA Southern but barely, 76-71. We shot well, 26-46, but had 18 TOS (so did they). Mo Ladd had 15, 2, 5, hitting 5 of 9 threes; the rest of the team was 2-9 on threes. Chaz had 16, Del had 13 and 7, and our 2 subs, Brow and Haze, had 10 each.
 
We’re holding our own in conf. play, but barely. Coming up are #24 Cincinnati, 14-5, 6-1, at home, and then UConn, 11-8, 4-3 there. Tough week!
 
January 29
 
Still another 1-1 week but given the competition I suppose that’s not so bad. We beat #24 Cincinnati here, 78-62. Our guards really did the job, 19, 6, 6 for Kori, 20, 2, 5 for Mo. 12 and 16 for Ted, our besting rebounding performance by anyone  all season. Del had 10 and 8. I was very happy with 6 TOs and 39 RBs. I was pretty happy in general. We played really well.
 
Then we went to UConn and got hammered, 51-77. -2 TOs and +2 RBs, but when we lose it’s because we shoot terribly, and 14-53, 2-20 long range pretty much defines shooting poorly. Some of it was good D, some of it was poor shot selection, all of it was painful to watch. Our starting guards shot 2-19! Ted had 20 and 12, Chaz 13 and 5, and everyone else mailed it in.
 
We’re 12-8, 5-4, tied for 5th place but only a game from 4th and 2 games from the top. A little consistency is badly needed. 
 
12-8, 5-4 Houston is here to start the week, and then we travel to 7-13, 3-6 Tulane. We desperately need a 2 win week.
 
January 29
 
All 6 recruits hit our SAT score. We’re looking at 4 more recruits in case a spot or 2 opens up on our roster in April.
 
Kori Ellis is #16 on the Norton list.


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February 5
 
A great week. We beat Houston here, 79-62. 10 TOs and +1 RBs. 18, 4, 5 for Kori, 17, 6 for Chaz, and 15, 2, 3 for Ted. All 7 did what they needed to do. The bench came up very big in the 2nd half when 3 of our starters were in foul trouble.
 
Then we went to Tulane and beat them 68-52. Mo had 24, 7, 1, Ted 18, 12, 3 with 4 steals, Del 11, 8. +12 on the boards.
 
We’re 14-8, 7-4, in a 3 way tie for 3rd, 1 back of 2nd, 2 back of 1st. We’re now +3.6 PPG, +1.7 TOPG, +0.2 RBPG. The rebound # is actually an improvement.
 
This week it’s a return with 1st place Memphis, 13-9, 9-2, at home. They won by 5 there. We need to stop the 3, take care of the ball and have better shot selection than last time. 
 
Then we go to 7-15, 5-6 SMU. We won by 29 at home. 
 
February 12
 
And another great week! We beat 1st place Memphis by 15 here. +8 TOs offset -10 RBs. We shot 48% and held them to 33%. 19, 4 for Del, 13, 8 for Ted, 12, 7, 6 for Kori, 11 each for Chaz and Mo, and great work from Haze and Brow. We led for the final 38 minutes.
 
Then we went to SMU and beat them 61-52. +3 TO, -2 RB. Ted Day had 13, 11, 3, Kori had 15, and sub Stan Haze had 11, 4. We led all the way.
With 3 to play we are in a 3 way tie for 2nd, 1 back of Memphis.
 
This week it’s Winthrop here. We beat them by 9 at their place. Then we go to South FL who we beat by 9 at home. They’re all big games at this point.
 
February 19
 
Good news, bad news. Good news is we won both games and we’re alone in 2nd. Bad news is Kori Ellis sprained a toe and is out for about a week and a half. That means one game, but it’s the last regular season game and we need a win. Stan Haze will get his minutes. Stan’s been playing well and we have lots of confidence in him.
 
We beat Winthrop 59-43 at home. +15 TOs and +2 RBs gave us 19 more shots at the basket and we took advantage. We didn’t shoot well but they didn’t either. 13 and 9 for Ted, and everyone else was in the 7-10 range. A good win!
 
Then we beat SO FL 69-58 at their place. I didn’t like 15 TOs (-3) but we were +6 on the boards. 17, 15, 4 for Ted, 17, 2, 2 for Mo. 11, 7, 2, 2 for Del. Kori got hurt early in the 2nd half. He played through it for a while but when we got the lead to 15 I took him out. 
 
The last game of the regular season is with 16-10, 8-7 Central FL. It’s probably an even bigger game for them than it is for us. They beat us by 17 at their place on one of those nights when we didn’t make any shots. We need to take care of the ball and find the open man on offense, and not let them beat us outside, which they did last time. We’ve won 6 in a row, and 8 of 9.
 
February 26
 
We win, 69-52, to finish 2nd, 1 behind Memphis. Mo Ladd had a terrific game at PG, 22, 5, 2, 3 steals. 15, 11 for Ted, 12, 7, 2 for Del. Stan Haze did a great job of filling in, 6, 4, 5. 10 TOs and +10 on the boards.
We end the regular season 19-8, 12-4.


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Wayne23
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March 10
 
All the favorites won the play in game except for #10 seed Tulane upsetting #7 Central FL. We’ll play Tulane in the round of 8. We won by 16 there. Mo and Ted led the way last time. Kori is 100%.
 
73-65. They gave us a battle. Ted came up very big with 23, 9, and 4. 15, 7 for Chaz, 14, 4, 2 for Del. We won this one up front, but Mo had 11, 8, 4, and Kori had 8, 5, 4. 7 TOs, 37 RBs. Not much to be unhappy about!
 
It’s #3 seed 18-11 Cincinnati in the semifinal round. We beat them by 16 at our place. On paper it figures to be a close game. We won with great back court play last time, 6 TOs, 39 for our starting guards, and solid D. We were also +12 on the boards. That’s just what I want to see again! 
 
March 11
 
56-64. We were up 11 at the half, and then it all went downhill. We shot 12-28, 3-8 in the 1st half. We shot 6-28, 0-11 in the 2nd. Ted had 21, 12, 3, and Del 10, 8, 2 but for both it was mostly in the 1st half. We allowed 13 threes and that was a big part of it as well.
 
Our RPI is 44, so it will be close as to whether we go to the NCAA or not. If not, we’ll certainly be a very high seed in the NIT. Not sure which I prefer.
 
March 12
 
The team and I are gathered together to watch the selection show. Our RPI is #43 so I think we’re in, but it wouldn’t be a very high seed if we are.
 
Not in the East.
#11 in the Midwest. We play #6, #22 ranked Sid Bonney, 23-8.
 
They’re a tough team. On paper they definitely seem better than us. They were upset in the 1st round of their tourney or they’d be a few seeds higher. Their scoring is very balanced and they’re good with the ball. We absolutely must win the inside game. I actually like our chances. Most of their losses have come against teams that I feel we would do well against. 
 
March 16
 
73-55! We did a lot of things right- we shot 47.5%, +5 TOs, +8 RBs, stayed out of foul trouble, and we won the inside game by a wide margin. Our starting bigs had 43, 23, 6 and theirs had 24, 14, 8. That accounted for our margin of victory and it really tells the story. Chaz led the way with 22 and 10, Ted had 12 and 9, Del had 9, 4, 3. Kori had 13 and Mo 9, and our bench gave us solid minutes. It was a great night!
 
We face #25 ranked, #3 seed Florida ST, 24-8. Sort of the opposite of the last game. Our edge is outside. They have a very strong front line. Our guys will need to hold their own inside and our guards will absolutely have to hit the outside shot. You never want this but their starting PG broke his elbow in their last game, and their back up has a sore hip; he’ll play, but not at full strength. We need to cause TOs, and we need to work hard to get RBs. 
 
March 18
59-51 and we’re in the Sweet Sixteen! We buried their vaunted front line. Our 3 bigs had 37, 19, 6, and theirs had 18, 11, 0. Now THAT’S burying a front line! Our guards held their own as did our bench. 12, 12 for Chaz, two games in a row where he has been the big man, 15, 2, 2, 2 for Del, 10, 5, 3, 2 for Ted, 9, 2,3 for Stan Haze from the bench. 16 TOs, but they had 18.
 
Next up is #2 seed, #9 ranked Maryland, 26-9. They’re good, they’re big, and they’re deep. Their D is good, but it isn’t outstanding. We need to create and then knock down the shots. Obviously we need to play good D as well.
 
March 23
 
59-79. They’re a very good team. They forced a season high 21 TOs on us, and they completely shut down our inside game. Mo had a great game, 28, 3, 3 and Kori had 9, 3, 7 bur he had 8 TOs. After that the less said the better.
 
We’re losing 1 starter, Del Lee, and 2 subs, Stan Haze who is really our 6th man, and Carl More, who played very little. With the guys we have coming back and the guys we have coming in, I think we’re going to be a pretty good team next year.
 
Now that the winter is nearly over Papa Joe says the job gets a tiny bit easier. In urban areas the hunger problem is really difficult to solve on a long term basis. Most of the hungry are not in a position to get jobs without some sort of education and training, and there again, spending money on that would dilute the effectiveness of keeping people fed. In rural areas crops, or at least gardens can be planted. We have resources for people to come in in an advisory capacity for this. Anyway, Papa Joe says the program is going to reach out to as many new areas as possible in the coming months and it is going to expand to several countries in Asia and Africa.
 
April 4
 
I went to the final four, of course. #2 UCLA, yes, I know, beat #9 Maryland in a great game, 64-62. I talked to a lot of old friends.
Awards: Ted Day got Conf. POY and 1st team. Kori Ellis and Mo Ladd made 2nd team. I am mystified as to how Kori didn’t make 1st.
 
April 9
 
Lots of calls. My agent was instructed to tell all of them that I wasn’t interested. A few A.D.s got through to me because they are absolutely upper echelon, but they got the same answer from me.
 
April 23
 
I ask for $. I don’t get it.
 
We were 22-10, 12-4, hit all of our goals, improved Team prestige from 76 to 83.
 
My record is now 587-185, .760. Reputation is 96.





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