#7 seed in the preseason NIT. We beat #10 Kansas 70-48. Ed Dove led us from the SG spot, with 19, 8, 3. 17, 3, 3, 2 for Glen Hix at PF. 14. 8 for Sal Reed from SF. Back up guard Ron Bing banged up a wrist.
#15 seed Ball State upset #2 FL so they were next.
64-31. They shot 20.7%, 3-26 from long range. 20, 10, 3, 2, 2 for Ty Robb at C. 13, 10 for Sal. 7, 7 for Ferd Jann from the bench. 8 TOs, 43 RBs.
#3 seed, #12 ranked New Mexico in the semifinal. They can play. Excellent at C and very good outside.
82-83 in OT. 25 lead changes, 13 ties. They had the ball last and they hit the shot. Our top three guards were called for 13 fouls. 23, 8, 2 for Sal, 19, 5, 2 for SG Ed Dove, 8, 16, 3 for Ty Robb at C. They won at the line. They took 36 foul shots, we took 24. I managed not to get T’d up because it was too close, but I was right on the line.
All of our recruits signed LOIs.
This week we host both #23 Maryland and Oklahoma.
2-0 this week but barely. An easy win over Maryland, 84-54. 18, 9 for Sal Reed, who is off to a great start at SF. 16, 7 for Ty Robb, 12, 11, 3 for Ferd Jann from the bench. We had some foul trouble but he stepped in and really played well. 8 TOs, 39 RBs.
Then Oklahoma almost beat us, 68-66. We got it to Sal Reed and he hit a 17 footer with less than a second to go. He had 21, 9, another great game. 13, 12, 2 for Ty, 12 for Ed Dove.
After 5 games we’re 4-1. +17.2 Points per game, +6.2 RBs, +0.4 TOs, but I’m happy with 11.6 per game. Ranked #10.
This week we’re at #3 New Mexico ST, then at Florida. Definitely will be a challenging week!
Kittens are growing. They’re 3 and ½ months old or so. They still rule the roost here but Lili has started inviting friends over again. Pepper sleeps with her and never gives her any chance to do anything not involving Pepper! Lili loves it.
Papa Joe says Lili is worth an enormous amount of money even though she now donates almost all her share of the profits from “CoolSmart” to Feed the Hungry. “CoolSmart” is making huge amounts of money, and because papa Joe also plows most of his profits into FtH, hungry people are being fed, and when necessary, sheltered. He will give no hints but he says that he, Lili, and Lou are working up something new.
Papa Joe just turned 70 but he certainly doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Sing feels his life is in balance though. He loves his children and spends lots of time with him and he seems to be very attentive to Sing.
Mai and I continue to be very close. The near loss of two of our children made us realize more than ever how precious family truly is. We knew that, but now we really know it.
Another 2 win week. We beat #3 New Mexico ST there, 55-48. That is the definition of a big win! Sal had 14, Ed 13, but 4, 11, 3, 2, 1 by Ty was huge. He also held NMS’s very good C in check. +5 RBs but 17 TOs; +4 but I didn’t like it.
Then we went to FL and won 72-59. 19 each for Sal and PG Ty Fitz. Solid team effort and +12 boards.
2 at home this week, #11 Duke, and LSU. Duke is tough inside, LSU is tough outside.
Another 2 win week. Duke came to town and took us all the way to the finish but once again, Sal Reed got the final shot and once again he hit it, 72-70. 17 for Sal, and 7 other guys did their job. 9 TOs.
Then we went to LSU and won 74-63. Huge game for Ty, 23, 18, 2, 3, 1. 15, 2, 3 for Ty, 9, 9, 4, 2 for Sal. 11 TOs, 43 RBs.
We’re 8-1, our only loss in OT, and ranked #4, RPI #4. We’re in the conversation about the best teams in the NCAA.
#25 Cincinnati and Indiana both come to town this week.
Pepper has the sniffles and sneezes and Lili has become a full time care giver. Pepper is taking full advantage, too.
68-47 over Cincy but Ed Dove strained a knee and is out for 2 weeks. Ron Bing will move into his spot and Doug Myre will be 1st guard off the bench. Injuries happen. 22, 8 for Sal, 14 for Ferd, 9 TOs, 42 RBs.
61-57 over Indiana. We got the lead to 16 with about 10 min. left, then we fell asleep. They got it to 2, but we got it back to 8 before they took it down to the final margin. Ron Bing had 13, 3, 1, and Doug Myre 6, 2, 3 stepping in for the injured Ed Dove. 12 and 14 for Ty, 12. 6 for Glen Hix. 8,7, 5, 2 for Sal despite being doubled most of the time. 10 TOs, 38 RBs.
#8 New Mexico, the only team to beat us, is here this week. Then we travel to #15 UConn. Strange as it seems I think UConn may be the tougher game, but neither will be easy, and Ed will not play in either game.
I was right about which game was tougher but we won both. 72-59 over New Mexico. We led all the way after the first 5 min. or so. All 5 starters in double figures, 7, 4, 1 for Ferd. Ty Fitz led us with 16, 7, 5 from the Point. (Just realize I have two starters named Ty. I am fit to be Ty’ed!)
It was a war at UConn, 58-55. They had an open three at the end for the tie but it rolled out. This one was about defense. They forced 18 TOs on us, and I said it that way for a reason. They really played well outside. But our inside guys, including Ferd, had 42, and that got us through. Also, we were +9 on the boards. It’s good to be tested, and better when you’re tested and win!
#2 in the country in the latest poll. Behind only Michigan ST and ahead of them in RPI, we’re #1 there.
Colorado is here this week to begin conf. play.
The holiday was really great, the happiest day imaginable, given what we’ve all been through. That evening I was going over some game tapes when Lili came into my home office.
“Hi Lili.” I paused the tape, and moved to a chair not facing the TV so she’d know she had my attention and that I wasn’t impatient to get back to work. The psychologists told us how important that kind of thing is.
“It was a nice day wasn’t it.”
“Yes it was, hon. I think the cats made out best.”
(Laughs) “Yeah. I want to ask you something.”
“How would you feel about me becoming a vet?”
“… That would be great… but it would mean going to an actual campus. Lots of stuff you couldn’t take on line.”
“Did Pepper suggest this to you?”
(Laughs) “No, but he made me realize how much I love animals. I’ve been doing some research. I could do about 2 to 2 ½ years on line before going on campus. I already have those credits if the school will take them, and most schools will take just about all of them.”
“We may not be here next year.”
“I know, mom told me.”
“So. I’ve been trying to figure where you might go next-”
“Ha! I don’t have a clue about that yet.”
“I know, but if the goal is to win titles at 5 different schools, if you get one here this year that’s three. I’m guessing you’ll go somewhere where you can get #4 quickly, and then mose to a place where you can finish your career.”
“Wow, you’re really giving this some thought.”
“Yes. That and the fact that it has to be a place where mom can lead a top flight team in her field, so it really narrows it down to about 6-8 schools.”
“Sounds about right but-”
“Trust me, 8 tops. Anyway, I’m applying to all of them.”
“You really want this!”
“I think one of my problems was that I never really, really wanted something. I’ve loved working on the projects with Papa Joe and now Lou, and we do hugely important stuff. I’ll, probably keep on with that. But it wasn’t my passion. I think working with animals is.”
“Oh, I’m applying at Oregon too, just in case.”
“I couldn’t be happier. We’ll work out the security much better this time.”
“I know. I’m not even worried about that.”
What a great conversation. My little girl- I know, not so little any more, is back!