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The Blade [a DDSCB3 story]

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

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#81

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January 8
 
A 1-1 week. Doug Myre got hurt  (ankle) in our 63-30 win here over Oregon ST. He’s out for about 2 weeks. 13 each for Kidd, Law, and Spar, and Mike had 13 RBs as well. 9 TOs, 42 RBs.
 
I went on the two game road trip. At #14 Cal we lost 50-66. 29 TOs. Need I say more?
 
This week we’re at 7-7, 2-1 Stanford, and home against 8-7, 1-2 Arizona ST.
 
January 15
 
And 1-1 again this week. 54-73 at Stanford. 20 TOs, -5 RBs. Mike Kidd was held to 3 points. Only Keb Law, 21, 4, had more than 6. We shot 31%. 
 
Much better at home against Arizona ST, 71-56. 28, 14 for Mike, 13, 2, 4 for Keb. 7 TOs. I don’t understand why we can take care of the ball at home but not on the road. Oh well, we’re working on it.
 
This week 2 on the road. At 11-5, 4-1 Arizona, and then to 7-9, 2-3 Washington ST. At this point I plan to travel with the team. When I do we always have the family Lear Jet on standby to take me home if need be.
 
I think my relationship with Mai is stronger and closer than ever. We have always been close but all of the recent events have drawn us even closer to each other.
 
Papa Joe says Lili only gets out of bed to use the bathroom. She’s on a hunger strike, too. The staff watches as she takes her meds, and as she drinks, which they insist upon. They are not forcing her to eat, or to go to therapy yet. She talks with Papa Joe but mostly cries about how miserable she is. Staff tells him to support her and to very gently try to convince her to cooperate but if she is resistant, to just drop it. They continue to say that she will come around in time. He visits every day.
 
January 22
 
A terrific week in hoops! 2 road wins put us at 16-4, 5-2, tied for 3rd, 1 back of Stanford, 2 back of Cal., ranked #5, RPI #5. We beat a good Arizona team, there, 66-50. Still too many turnovers, 16, but we played outstanding D and shot well. Mike played 7 minutes (!) due to fouls but we won without him, which makes it even better in some ways. 14, 10 for Ty Robb from the bench, 9, 6, 2 for Em Spar at PF, and our guards played well.
 
Then it was 54-45 at Wash. ST. We played great D again. I was very pleased with 7 TOs, and we were +8 on the boards. 12, 9 for Mike, 5, 12 for Em.
 
2 at home this week, 9-9, 4-3 Washington and then 5-5, 1-6 Utah.
 
I got home to the news from Papa Joe that Lili is eating and that her conversations with him are definitely more upbeat. She agreed to “try” to go to individual counseling, and maybe most importantly, she cried in his arms.
 
January 29
 
2 more wins. 18-4, 7-2, tied for 2nd, 1 back of Cal., #4, RPI #4. Mike Kidd is #2 on the Norton list. 80-56 over Wash. Foul trouble again for Mike Kidd. He’s trying to do too much; we’re working with him. As a senior he should know better. 17 for Keb, 16 each for Glen Hix and Lem Hay. +6 on the boards but 14 TOs.
 
Then we beat Utah 58-46. 28, 13 for Mike. When he stays out of foul trouble he’s all but unstoppable. 16, 8, 2 for Glen. +17 RBs but 17 TOs. Frustrating.
 
This week it’s at 8-12, 3-6 USC, then at home for #25, UCLA, 13-9, 6-3.
 
Lili saw Lou and Ling this week and Papa Joe says she was really happy to spend time with them. There was lots of laughter. Small steps, but important ones. Some of it’s the “happy juice” no doubt, but she needs that right now. 
 
Papa Joe says she isn’t saying much about individual therapy but did say, “It’s hard, but it’s probably good for me.”
 
We haven’t spoken with her since the abduction, which is very hard and both of us.


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February 5
 
A 2 win week puts us in a 3 way tie for 1st with Arizona and Cal. We beat USC 80-63 there. 20 for Ron Bing at SG, 15 for Em Spar at SF, 11, 7, 2, 2, 3 for Mike, who had 4 fouls and played only 24 min. 12 TOs, 33 RBs.
 
Then we came home and beat #25 UCLA 58-46. 14, 5 for Glen Hix at PF, 11, 9, 2, 3 for Mike Kidd. 10 TOs, 32 RBs.
 
Return matches with Colorado here and Oregon ST there. We beat Colorado 75-59 last time, and Oregon ST 63-30.
 
Papa Joe sees Lili every single day. He says she is up and down, but not as deeply down as she was. There are still topics that he must either avoid or tread lightly upon.
 
February 12
 
An opportunity missed as we go 1-1 this week. 63-42 over Colorado here. 20, 9, 4, 2, 1 for Mike but 4 fouls again, 20 and 4 for Glen, 10, 6 for Keb Law from the bench. 9 TOs, 34 RBs.
 
Then we went to Ore. ST and stunk the place up, 48-53. We shot 28.9%and their bench outscored ours 24-8. This is a game we should not have lost. We’re 21-5, 10-3, alone in 3rd, 1 back of Arizona and Cal. 
This week we’re at home for 2, first against #10 Cal, 19-5, 11-2. They beat us by 16 there. Then it’s 13-11, 8-5 Stanford and they beat us by 19 there. Two challenges.
 
February 19
 
We assured ourselves of 3rd place by losing at home vs. Cal., 64-72. We shot 33.3% and gave up 11 threes. 19, 20, 6 for Mike, 18, 8 for Keb, but it wasn’t enough.
We beat Stanford 69-46. 17, 7 for Mike who was in foul trouble again, 14, 4, 6 for Glen, 10, 6, 3 for Em, 7, 14 from the bench from Ty Robb and 12 from Keb Law. 
 
We’re going to put Mike Kidd at PF for about 6-8 minutes a game to see if his fouls go down. Keb Law is already in the game at the critical moments but now he will play more minutes than any other guard we have.
 
We are 2 games back of 1st (AZ and CA are tied for 1st) and 2 up on 4th. One to play. We travel to last place Arizona ST. 
 
February 26
 
62-44 over AZ ST. Mike Kidd bruised his sternum and will probably miss at least one game of the conf. tourney. He played only 17 min. tonight, getting hurt with seconds left in the half. We rallied the troops. 15, 4 for Em, 9, 9 for Glen, 10, 6 for Ty, who got Mike’s minutes.
 
March 3
Lili OD’ed at the facility last night. She’d been “cheeking” her meds, saving them up. She took too many, fortunately, and wound up violently ill. She is in the hospital. We are moving her to a different facility when she gets out. We’re not blaming anyone but she fooled these people too easily.
 
March 5
 
No one is leaving for the NBA draft. 
 
Mike Kidd healed more quickly than expected. He will be in the lineup for our first Pac 12 tourney game.


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March 8
 
Lili is in the new facility. It’s a bit further from us but this has to be.
 
March 10
 
All the favorites won in the play in round so we face UCLA, 17-13, #6 seed in the quarters. We won by 12 at our place. Mike Kidd is 100%.
 
75-46. They doubled Mike all night, which made no sense after a certain point. He had 2, 14, 2, 1, 6. 20 for Ron Bing at SG, 19, 6 for Em Spar, 19, 5, 5 for Keb Law. 7 TOs, 41 RBs.#2 seed, #7 ranked, 23-5 California in the semis. They beat us twice in the regular season.
 
March 11
 
68-73. 22, 14, 4 for Mike, 13, 5, 2 for Glen, 12 for Keb, but 19 TOs (-11). +10 RBs. This team seems to have our number.
 
March 12
 
Selection time. #2 in the South. Guess who’s #1? Yep, Temple.
March 13
 
Lili is back to being uncommunicative, even with Papa Joe. He goes anyway and just sits there.
 
“She will come around. She’s been through so much that it will take a very long time, or maybe it will happen all at once. It is difficult to say. When I go I speak with here, tell her about our companies, and about my kids and her brother and sister. I ask her questions which she ignores, and I just sit and look at here. Sometimes she turns away, sometimes not. I kiss her on the forehead when I arrive and when I leave. I am not an expert but I do not think she will try to kill herself again. The first two attempts caused her pain, suffering and grief. She was violently ill for many hours from the overdose.”
 
March 17
 
We start against ODU. They’re 18-14.
73-49. I know that team very well, which may have helped. Of course their staff knows me just as well. 29, 16, 3, 2, 3 for Mike, 12, 5, 3 for Keb, 14 for Glen. 11 TOs, 40 RBs.
Next up is 20-11 Tennessee. Finished 3rd in conf. and lost in the title game. They can play, especially inside.
 
March 19
 
66-54 and we’re in the Sweet Sixteen. It was close through the 1st half. We made some adjustments and it was 33-19 in the 2nd. Mike Kidd played 24 minutes due to fouls. He had 9, 8, 3, 1, 2 but we need him in there. 19, 6 for Ron Bing.
 
It’s Iowa in the Sweet 16. Amazingly enough, in all 4 brackets the top 4 made it to this round. That is extremely unusual. #3 seed, #14 ranked Iowa, 25-8, finished 2nd in conf., but lost in the 1st round. Their Center, arguably their best player, tore his ACL in their last game. We think we can turn them over and with their big guy out we should be able to do well inside.
 
March 24
 
67-51. You never wish an injury on the other guys and we certainly didn’t, but at the same time, if it happens you try to take advantage. RBs were 46-24. Our guards did the scoring. It was close for the 1st half but we put it away early in the 2nd.
We’re in the Elite Eight which is certainly more than I expected in my first season here. Wouldn’t you know we play #1 in the country, Temple. I wish I didn’t have to play this team. I still have genuine affection for the players and for the staff, two of whom were my assistants. But that’s who we’re playing so we’ll do our best to beat them. They finished 1st in their conf., and won the tourney. They’re 31-4, and haven’t lost since Jan. 17. They can do it all, score, rebound, play D, take care of the ball. The only hope we have is to disrupt them, not let them do what they want to do. In the Elite Eight are 7 of the 8 favorites. Amazing!
 
March 26
 
55-61. We really put a scare into them. In the end they were too deep. Their bench got 17, ours got 5.The two Centers neutralized each other as did the two PFs. Really, it was the bench. They stopped Keb and that’s what they needed to do. We were -3 TOs, +1 RBs. It was a good game. We did all we could. Mike Kidd has played his last game for us and he will definitely be missed. We’re also losing starter Em Spar, our PF, and our 6th man, Keb Law. People have said all year that we were over rated. We finished the season at #9 and made it to the round of 8. Any questions?
 
March 28
 
And once again, Lili seems to be doing better. We’re afraid to hope at this point. I am strongly considering dropping in on her. The staff at the facility is asking me to wait a bit. They don’t know her that well yet.
 
April 4
 
I didn’t go to the Final Four. It was in Atlanta and I didn’t want to be that far away. Lili is still doing well, and Lou seems to be doing much better though he still has some fears. He has been in psychotherapy and he says it is definitely helping. They won’t tell us anything other than that he’s working really hard.
 
Anyway, #1 Temple and #2 Duke were both upset in the round of four. In the final #5 Kentucky beat #11 North Carolina by 5. The upsets all came late in this tourney.
Awards: Mike Kidd made 1st team All American. In conf., Mike was POY, Defensive POY, and 1st team. Glen Hix made 2nd team.
 
April 9
 
I’m not going anywhere but there sure are some high powered jobs available this year.
 
“Blade, win your championship next year so we can get out of here. Too many terrible memories.”
 
If I had known Mai felt that way I might have taken one of those jobs.
 
April 23
 
I asked for a facilities upgrade. Our facilities are not great. Got it. Went from B- to B+.
 
After 28 seasons I’m at 740-212, .777.
 
April 28
 
Haven’t said anything about Lili for a month because I’ve had my fingers crossed. She’s been doing well, really well, for a long time now.
 
I went to the facility this morning. I did it with their permission. I got there before her first session. She’s actually been going to everything she’s supposed to go to. 
I walked to her room and just stood in the door. She eventually looked up, saw me and… after the shock wore off started to sob, almost hysterically. I waited a few seconds then gambled. I walked to her, sat on her bed, and took her in my arms. She melted into them and continued to cry. 
 
After a bit I said, “We just want you back. Nothing else matters. We love you very much, we know that you’ve been through absolute hell. We just want you back.”
 
The crying continued. Eventually she slowed, then stopped. The therapist who works most closely with her was just outside the door. I spent at least an hour with Lili. We talked about nothing important, just talked. 
 
When I got ready to go l said, “Nothing would make your mother and I happier than to have your okay to come and visit you, hopefully often.”
 
“I- I want to go home.”
 
“We want that too, Lili, very much. That’s up to the people here. Keep doing what you’re doing and I hope it won’t be long. Can we visit?”
 
She nodded that we could.


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June 9
 
Preseason #8.
 
We looked at the transfer pool but no fish worth trolling for.
 
June 26
 
And we’re off! We need guards.
Great news about Lili. If she continues to make the kind of progress she has been making she can come home in a month. Mai and I and the kids are visiting every 2-3 days, and Papa Joe is still there every day, sometimes with a kid or two along. 
 
Lili now has the use of a computer for two one hour periods a day. That is tied to her active participation in group therapy. She hasn’t lost the computer privilege once in the past three weeks.
 
July 31
 
Lili’s been home for a week. She’s kind of acclimating. Part of the deal was that she spend no more than 4 hours a day on the computer. She also needs to socialize- it can be with any of us. The first few days it was with her siblings and with Papa Joe’s kids mostly. She also needs to go to a group therapy session twice a week back at the facility, and one individual session so that’s an hour each way in the car three times a week. She goes with Papa Joe and sometimes brings one of the kids along. She seems to really enjoy her time with the kids. She’s fine with Mai and me but more comfortable with the kids, and, as always, with Papa Joe.
 
August 7
6 on the Norton list: SF Sal Reed #13, PG Ty Fitz #20, PG Ed Dove #33, PF Ferd Jann #38, PG Ron Bing #43, PF Ty Robb #44.
 
August 21
 
Offered to mostly guards.
 
August 31
 
Lili continues to do well. She has some ups and downs, thankfully, because the experts tell us that if she seemed to be up all the time that would be worrisome. I don’t think she’ll ever be the life of the party, outgoing type, but she seems comfortable with all of us. A couple of times she has invited friends over, people she knows from group therapy or from the facility. We encourage that (gently). 
 
Lou is doing a Bachelor’s on line. He’s not very social either but he has a couple of friends he has over now and then. 
 
The three younger children all seem to be normal, if brighter than average, kids.
 
September 18
 
We have an SG and an SF committed. We’re in the preseason NIT. Everyone pre-conf. is ranked and 3 ranked in conf.
 
October 2
 
We’re strong and deep. Strong and deep enough to make a run for the title? Not sure yet.
 
Lili has an occasional bad day, and, as I’ve said before that’s more a good thing than a bad. Her meds are down to just low doses and only two meds. The plan is to wean her off of them completely, thankfully. 
 
I tell her it’s okay to feel down now and then, “Just be who you are, Lili. No one is happy all the time.”
We’re picked 2nd to UCLA in conf.
 
October 14
We’ve never been a pet family but Mai brought home three kittens yesterday, one for each of our kids. It’s really about a pet for Lili, of course, and she was happy than I’ve ever seen her. Fortunately the kitten took to her immediately.
 
October 26
 
Oh my goodness. Kittens everywhere. But well worth it. Lili’s kitten, Pepper, has transformed her. The kitten even sits on her keyboard to get her attention, and Lili laughs hysterically. The therapists are thrilled. If something- anything, can take her from the computer without her becoming angry, that’s a great sign of progress.
 
October 31
 
We’re #6 in the latest polls.
 
November 6
 
We have a lineup, but lots of wiggle room. Except for Ty Robb at C, everything is up for grabs. I’m starting Ty Fitz and Ed Dove at guard, but Ron Bind and Doug Myre will get minutes. Sal Reed at 3, Glen Hix at 4, but Ferd Jann will get minutes. There are guys further down the bench who may also get a look. The lineup might look very different come spring!
 
November 14
 
Kitten corner is still in full swing, and it’s expanding. Papa Joe and Sing had two get a kitten for each of their two kids. This has done more for Lili than anything else since the whole horror started- for Lou as well. He’s in love with his kitten, too. Sometimes you take a shot in the dark and it works out beautifully.


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November 20
#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. 
 
November 27
 
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.
 
December 4
 
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.
 
December 11
 
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.
 
December 14
 
Pepper has the sniffles and sneezes and Lili has become a full time care giver. Pepper is taking full advantage, too.
 
December 18
 
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.
 
December 25
 
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 Dad.”
 
“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.”
 
“Go ahead.”
 
“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.”
 
“I know.”
 
“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…”
 
“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.”
 
“I’m delighted!”
 
“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!


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January 1
 
68-50 over Colorado. 7 scored between 6 and 15 points. 4 TOs.
 
At 5-7, 0-1 Oregon ST this week, then home with 7-5, 1-0 California.
 
January 8
 
A 2 win week and a disaster for the team. Glen Hix, our starting Power Forward, tore his ACL. Out for the season. Fred Jann will step in but we’re thin up front.
 
61-44 at Oregon ST. 4 in double figures. 7 TOs, 42 RBs.
 
64-56 over Cal at home. 13, 16 for Ty Robb, 14, 10, 4, 3, 2 for Ty Fitz, 16, 5, 2 for Sal, 9, 7, 3 for Ferd, who stepped in for Glen Hix. Hix was hurt midway through the first half. 
 
6-8, 3-0 Stanford comes to town, then we travel to 9-6, 2-1 Arizona ST.
 
January 15
62-48 over Stanford before the home folks. 19, 6 for Fitz. 9, 5, 2 for Ferd in his first start. +6 TOs, +7 RBs.
 
Then we beat Arizona ST there, 85-62. 23, 11, 4, 3 for Robb, 21, 7, 5 for Fitz, 15, 6, 2 for Sal. 8, 5 for Ferd, who’s looking comfortable in his new role. 8 TOs, +5 on the boards.
We’re alone in 1st. Stanford and UCLA are 1 back.
 
2 at home this week, #17 Arizona, 11-5, 3-2, and 11-7, 2-3 Washington ST.
 
January 22
82-65 over Arizona here. 22, 6, 4 for Ed Dove. We had some fairly major foul trouble but our bench came through, especially Ron Bing woth 14, 2, 3. 9 TOs, 36 RBs.
 
69-51 with Wash. ST. Ron Bing is really playing well as our 6th man; 11 tonight. For the 2nd time this year the team had 4 TOs. We now average 10.5.
 
On the road this week. First we’re at 11-7, 4-3 Washington, then at 6-13, 1-6 Utah.
 
Lili tells me that all of the applications are out.
 
January 29
 
73-55 at Wash. 24, 8, 3 for Fitz, good games all around. 10 TOs, +6 on the boards.
 
Then it was 61-42 at Utah. 14, 16 for Ty Robb.
 
Ty Robb is #7 on the Norton list, Sal Reed #12, Ty Fitz #25.
 
Home with 11-9, 5-4 USC, then at #3 ranked, 18-4, 8-1 UCLA. This is the biggest challenge on the conf. schedule and they’re only 1 game back of us. Most important is to keep my guys focused on USC or we’ll get surprised. I’ll worry about UCLA after that.
 
Ferd Jann is doing a good job for us at PF. Not quite matching Hix's numbers but close. The problem is that we are very thin up front. We go with three guards often and that will hurt us against some teams. 
 
Major tear fest at home. Ling’s cat somehow managed to get out three nights ago. It hasn’t come back. We live on the edge of some heavily wooded land and I have no doubt that poor little Strawberry wound up as a meal for something or other. We’ll get Ling another kitten in a few days.


#87

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February 5
 
65-41 over USC here. 14, 10, 2 for Robb, 12, 11, 5, 3 for Ferd, 6, 10 for Sal. +23 on the boards.
 
64-68 at UCLA. We got down 19 and had to try to get back in. We got as close as 2 four times but couldn’t get over the hump. WE just didn’t stop the three, they got 16 of them. 17 for Ed Dove but he fouled out, as did his back up Ron Bing.
 
We’re tied with UCLA at 10-1 but they’ll get the #1 seed if we wind up tied. All we can do is try to keep winning and hope that they don’t.
 
This week we’re at 15-9, 5-6 Colorado. We won by 18 at our place. They’re 9-2 at home. Then we host last place Oregon ST. We won by 17 there.
 
Ling won’t hear of a new kitten. 
 
“He’s coming back!”
 
February 12
 
70-52 at Colorado. 15, 8 for Fred Jann and another team effort.
 
Back home we beat Oregon ST 67-38. 20, 8, 3, 2 for Robb. 8TOs, 39 RBs. Still tied with UCLA at 12-1, 4 or more ahead of the rest. We’re now ranked #1, RPI #1.
This week 2 on the road. First is 12-12, 6-7 Cal., then 9-15, 6-7 Stanford. Cal is 11-1 at home.
 
Ling is still waiting for Strawberry to return. It’s sad to watch.
 
February 19
 
Missed opportunity, UCLA lost but so did we. 70-64 over Cal., despite 21 TOs, lots of foul trouble. 19, 11, 3 for Robb, 18, 7 for Sal Reed, 11, 5, 3 for Lem Hay from the bench. +17 RBs made up for the -9 TOs.
 
Then we lost at Stanford, 61-70. We didn’t play good D. They shot 50%, 48% on threes (12). Ty Fitz fouling out didn’t help either. So we remain tied with UCLA with one to play.
 
We host 11-16, 4-11 Arizona ST. We won by 23 there. UCLA hosts USC, a team they should be, especially at home.
 
Lili suggested to Ling that she get a new kitten “to keep Strawberry company when she comes back.” Brilliant suggestion and Ling went for it.
 
February 26
 
76-40 but as expected UCLA won as well so we’ll be the #2 seed in the PAC 12 tourney. 7 of our guys had between 9 and 15 points. 10 TOs, 40 RBs.
Going into the post season we’re 26-3, 14-2, ranked #2 behind Michigan ST, RPI #1.
 
Ling is enthralled with the new kitten, which she named Bluey, for no apparent reason. She still talks about Strawberry, but less and less.
 
Lili has been accepted at all of the colleges to which she applied, and to the Vet program in all of them as well. Wherever she winds up she will be a first semester Junior.
 
March 5
 
Not surprised to learn that Ty Fitz is going pro. That leaves us with only 2 returning guards but we have 3, hopefully 4 if we get the last one, coming in.


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March 10
 
All the favorites won so we play #7 seed Wash. ST, 18-12. We beat them by 18 at our place.
 
65-32. 23, 5, 5, 2 for Ty Fitz. Ty Robb was in foul trouble all night and got the collar, but our bench came up big. Too many TOs again, 17, but +19 RBs. UCLA won by only 3, but they won.
 
It’s #3 seed Arizona, 19-9, in the semifinal round. We won by 17 in the regular season.
 
March 11
 
63-69, which may knock us down to a 2 seed. We fell behind, then way behind, 58-41. We came back but the mountain was too high. 17 TOs, -3 RBs. Not a good night.
 
Now we see where we go and how high. As I think more about it I think there’s still a chance of being a #1 seed. We’re 27-4 against tough competition. There’s also the fact that Michigan ST also lost in their semifinal, as did #5 Kentucky.
 
March 12
 
A couple of other high ranking teams lost today. Let’s see what happens. 
 
#1 in the East which is a very pleasant surprise. Frankly, UCLA should have gotten this, but they didn’t even get #1 Midwest, Michigan ST got that. UCLA is #1 West. Minnesota is #1 South.
 
March 16
We play 15-17 Akron.
 
73-55. 27, 5, 6 for Fitz, 21, 12, 2 for Reed. 7 TOs, +5 on the boards. We didn’t shoot well.
 
Next is 20-10 Iowa, a good outside shooting team.
 
March 19
 
61-53. Great 1st half but we were sleep walking for most of the 2nd. I emptied my bench at one point. 14 each for Ty Robb and Sal Reed. 
We’re going to need to play a whole lot better if we hope to keep playing.
#12 seed Western Carolina, 25-8, upset UMass so they’re next. They haven’t played many good teams.
2 #1 seeds left, us and UCLA.
 
March 24
 
67-58. 16, 12, 6 for Robb, 20, 4, 2, 2, 3 for Ty Fitz, 18, 4 for Sal. 10 TOs, but I still haven’t seen our best effort. UCLA won by 1.
 
For the third time this season it’s New Mexico. They beat us in OT early, then we beat them by 13.
 
March 26
 
78-61. We finally played well. I saw energy and fight. 22, 3, 4 for Fitz, 14, 10 for Reed. Robb was in foul trouble again, but Lem Hay, playing out of position, had 10 and 10, so 5 guys in double figures.
 
It will be #2 seed, #5 ranked Kentucky, 29-6. They have a very solid outside game. We think we’re better inside and we’ll need to be.
 
On the other side it's #1 seed #3 ranked UCLA vs. #3 seed, #13 ranked UConn.
 
April 1
 
61-60. A VERY narrow escape, but we’re in the final game! We got down by as many as 16 in the 2nd half. With about 11 minutes left I called my next to last time out. I made one small change on D and one big change on O. On D we just played a little more 3-2 to stop the outside shot. On O we decided to have our guards drive on theirs since their guards were in some foul trouble. It worked. We fouled out their PG and their back up PG, and we chipped away. The only lead we had in the entire 2nd half came with .8 seconds left when Ed Dove hit a three. +2 TOs, - 7 RBs. Our guards and Sal got the points. I’ll take it!
 
For a long time I thought that destiny would have us play UCLA for the title if we got that far. Destiny had other plans. It’s #13 seed UConn. They crushed UCLA, 77-61. They shoot very well outside but they are simply not that strong inside. If we are too win this title we need to hold their outside game in check and win the inside battle handily.
 
April 3
 
81-69. My 5th title at my 3rd university. We hit a 2 to open the game. UConn then hit a three. We got the next 9 and never trailed again. 22, 7 for Sal Reed, who led the way in scoring all year. Ty Robb had 9, 8, 4, 2 in his last college game and Ty Fitz had 11, 5, 3 in his last game. 17 TOs but it didn’t matter. +14 RBs did.
 
April 4
 
Awards: Sal Reed was NCAA Final Four MOP. I was national coach of the year. Ty Robb made 2nd team All American. In conf. Ty Robb made 1st team, Sal Reed made 2nd.
 
April 9
 
We’re going to North Carolina.
 
“Blade, how many more moves?”
 
“Mai, this is a great school for you. I want to win a title there then go to a place that has four seasons. One more move after this one.”
 
“Promise?”
 
“Yes, next stop after UNC is our final destination.”
 
“Fine.”
 
April 11
 
“I’m NOT going!”
 
“Why not, Ling?”
 
“When Strawberry comes back I need to be here.”
 
April 12
 
“I’m NOT going!”
 
“Why not Lili?”
 
“It’s stupid. If you win the title in one year we move again? I need to be in the same place 2 years to finish my bachelor’s. Nope, not going.”
 
“Okay. We’ll stay a minimum of two years.”
 
“Hmm.”
 
April 13
 
“Alvin, I’m not so sure I want to go to Chapel Hill.”
 
“Why not, Papa Joe?”
 
“I am very tired of moving, and I am getting old.”
 
Man!
 
April 15
 
Not to be believed. Ling and Lili were both yelling, calling my name. Extremely scary in view of the abduction. I ran to them in the kitchen. In Ling’s arms was … Strawberry! She looked pretty beat up but not seriously hurt. 
 
“I heard something scratching at the door and when I looked it was Strawberry!”
 
“That’s amazing, Ling!”
 
“I told you she’d come back. You didn’t believe me but here she is.”
 
“Full of ticks and fleas I’ll bet. We’ll clean her up and make an appointment to get her to a vet right away.”
 
“Dr. Ferguson is my friend. I’ll call and she’ll take Strawberry today or tomorrow.”
 
“Okay Lili, I’ll leave it to you.”
 
There were a lot of questions but no answers as to how Strawberry had managed to survive in the wild from late January until mid-April.
 
“Okay, Dad, I can go with you now.”
 
“Thanks Ling.”
 
“Yeah, I guess me too, as long as we’re there at least two years.”
 
“I already promised. Now convince your grandfather.”
 
“He’ll go if I do, I’m sure.”
 
I left two days later and thankfully, the whole family would follow.
 
April 17
 
I was inheriting a team that finished ranked #8, got to the Sweet 16, and was not losing a starter to graduation. Don’t know if anyone declared, or if anyone would transfer.
 
First job is to hire new assistants.
 
Got three I really like. All younger guys who will no doubt move up and away quickly.
 
April 23
 
We have more than enough money. I ask for a facilities upgrade. Nope.
 
29 years as a head coach and I’m 773-216, .782. This will be my ninth school, and hopefully the 4th I bring to a national championship.
I am told that Strawberry and Bluey are getting along just fine.
 
Papa Joe says he’s not building here. He’ll look for a property that will meet our needs. Security is the biggest issue.
 
Ready for a new challenge!


#89

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May 1 
 
There have been some charges of “carpetbagger” right from the start. Since that’s my plan it’s tough to argue. I have publicly committed to be here for more than one season.
 
Preseason #5
 
June 16
 
We grab SG Phil Kirk from the transfer pile. He looks very good. Now to get him eligible.
 
June 26
6 scholarships. I’d like to get 4 guards.
 
Lili is already looking at schools where she can get her veterinary medicine degree after she finishes the “pre-“ part here. At that point she will no doubt be away from us.
 
August 7
 
We have 3 on the Norton list: SG Rob Burt #9, SF Rick Long #22, SF Marv Ward #44.
 
Lou managed to transfer all of his credits here to UNC. He has one year to go to finish his Math B. A.
 
August 21
 
We offer to 3 PGs, an SG, an SF, a PF.
 
September 18
 
Got a PG and a PF. Lost an SF. We’re in the Coaches Classic so we’ll see how good we are right away. 
 
September 25
We’ve signed another PG, and SG, and a C. We lost a PG. We’ve offered our last to an SF.
 
October 2
 
The SF has us at #1. First day of practice showed me we have some talent but we have work to do.
 
Papa Joe, Lou, and Lili continue to plot regarding their new venture. No word to anyone else as yet.
 
Kids are growing. Lili is 18, Lou soon to be 17, Ling is 9. Papa Joe and Sing’s kids, Khee is 10 and Mai Li is 7. They are all very bright, and all are interested in sophisticated subjects. Lili and Lou we’ve spoken about. 
 
Ling is a reader and a writer. She has already written a large collection of short stories about a cat who roams the world.
 
Khee studies the stars and planets, deeply. He emails with some of the leading astronomers, and he works with the science people in “CoolSmart.”.
 
Mai Li is a musician. Music is her life. She plays violin seriously, piano and guitar for fun. She has a great singing voice.
 
Sing is Sing. She is old fashioned and domestic, and she loves taking care of all of us. We could certainly afford a cook but she insists on making all of our meals, and is a terrific cook. We do have some inside help with cleaning and such but she’s on it.
 
October 9
 
We get the SF, so if everyone hits our SAT score we’re done.
 
November 6
 
We’re going with a 6 man rotation and hoping for no serious injuries. We are very short of guards. Only one true guard in the rotation, SG Rob Burt. He’s at 2, and will play some PG. SF Jeff Ledd is our PG, and he’ll play some 2 and some 3. SF Rick Long starts at 3, plays some PG, and maybe a little SG. SF Marv Ward starts at PF and plays some SF. PF John Young is our C. Ed Jeps is a PF and he’ll play 4 and 5. That’s it. We have commitments from 2 PGs, an SG, an SF who handles the ball like a guard, a PF, and a C. And we have Phil Kirk, an outstanding SG who transferred in from California. This year we’ll do what we can. Burt, Long, and Ward are seniors, as is walk on Rey Smith who will play if we have injuries.


#90

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November 13
 
We start as the #1 seed at the Coaches Classic. We face #16 seed Princeton to start.
 
76-66. I’d have to say that #9 on the Norton list SG Rob Burt impressed me tonight. 42, 5, 1, 2. 11, 7, 5 for Rick Long at 3, and 11 for Marv Ward at PF. 12 TOs, but 7 were by our PG Jeff Ledd. 
#8 seed, #6 ranked (makes no sense) Michigan ST is next. Their SG is their best player so that match up should be interesting.
 
November 15
 
94-79. 27, 5, 2, 2, 1 for SG Rob Burt. 20 and 7 for C John Young, 17, 6, 2 for Ward, 12, 6, 5, 2 for Long 13, 6, 2 for Ed Jeps from the bench. PG Jeff Ledd had 3, 6, 8, 3 but 7 TOs again. The team had 16. Playing an SF at the Point is going to hurt us. +9 RBs.
It’s my old team Oregon, #5 seed, #2 ranked (and again, it makes no sense), in the semifinal. It’s too early in the season to face a team that’s this good. We aren’t really a unit yet. 
 
November 17
 
67-74. We played well, all in all. 23 for Rob, 14, 3, 3, for Marv, 6, 7 for Ed Jeps. Jeff Ledd had 13, 14, 7 but 8 TOs. We’re rethinking the PG position. Jeff need to be in the lineup but maybe not at the Point. We’re going to try Ledd at SF and some at SG, Long and Burt sharing the PG minutes and Burt playing SG at times, Long SG and SF.
 
Lili and Lou are in school. Heavy security. So far so good. The little ones are all home schooled. 
 
Papa Joe has hired a data entry person to work with him at the computer when the kids  are away. Lili says he can do most of it but he doesn’t want to wait for her and/or Lou to get home. If he wants to do something he wants to do it now. Still nothing but secrecy regarding the new project, but Ling is suddenly a partner, and Khee seems to be at least somewhat involved.
 
November 20 
 
All 6 recruits signed. (Went to "Hard" for recruiting, which I should have done earlier)
 
At #17 Penn, and then at Creighton this week. 
 
November 27
 
A 1-1 week. 74-86 at #17 Penn. TOs were great with the new guys at the Point, 9, but two guys in major foul trouble throughout, which was a big factor. Rob Burt fouled out late and had 24, 4, 4 on the way. Jeff Ledd played only 13 minutes before fouling out. We need to make something work for him; he has a lot of talent. He’s a freshman so it may be that he just needs some time.
 
Then we beat Creighton there, 91-88. This one was all offense. 5 guys in double figures and Jeff had 7, 7, 5. 21 each for Burt and Young. 11 TOs, +5 on the boards. This was a hard fought game but we were never in any great danger of losing. They got 3 threes in the last minute to make it close.
 
Next up, at Bradley then we host Maryland.
 
Increased activity with the new project. Khee and Ling are definitely in. Mai Li has shown no interest. I’m getting curious. I am told that two consultants are being worked with on line and that the two are a very large, important part of the project.
 
December 4
 
Another 1-1 week. 69-71 at Bradley. SO close! 21 lead changes, 12 ties in the game. 22, 4 for Rob, 13 each for Long and Jeps, 5 and 13 for John Young. 6 TOs, 41 RBs, but we gave up 14 threes and that did us in. The last was with less than 2 seconds left. The other factor was shooting 18-33 from the line. 
 
80-70 over Maryland at home. 23, 4 for Rob. 7 TOs, 37 RBs. We are down to 11.3 TOs a game, +0.8. +5.6 in RBs. 
 
This week it’s Temple, there, our only game.
 
I think the team is getting there but it’s a process.
 
December 11
 
86-71. All 5 starters in double figures, 6 and 5 for Jeps, 6 and 4 for Joe Dole. 19 TOs, our first bad performance in that area since I made the switch at PG.
 
I was treated well at my old school. Of course I did bring them their only national title.
 
We’re 5-3, ranked #12.
 
#17 Minnesota, 6-1, here.
 
Mai really likes her new colleagues, and feels she is doing the best work of her career.
 
“Think about staying here for a while, Blade.”
 
And I will, of course. As I have been thinking it occurs to me that I might try to get a few titles here then move on to build one more middle level team before I retire. I’m 52, this is my 30th year as a head coach. I love coaching as much as ever but 10 more years may be enough. Of course it may NOT be enough. We’ll see.
 
There is an enormous amount of loud, enthusiastic activity at the computer bank in Papa Joe’s office when Lili and Lou are both at home. Whatever is going on certainly has everyone excited.
 
December 18
 
71-57. 19 for Rob, 14, 11 for Ed Jeps. 11 TOs. We played 9 guys tonight because of foul difficulties. They all performed well, which is good news!
 
At 5-4 Charlotte this week.
 
December 25
 
68-51. 30, 8, 2 for Rob, 15, 6, 4 for Jeff Ledd. 34 RBs (+3), but 19 TOs (-3).
 
I think we may have begun to jell. We need to take better care of the ball but again, I play one true guard and he’s an SG not a PG.
 
A four game week, which is insane. First two are at home, 2-7 VA Tech, and #9 Indiana, 10-1. Then we begin conf. play at 9-1 Clemson, and finally it’s 4-4 FL ST at home on the 31st.
 
January 1, 2021
 
A 4 win week and we’re back to #4 in the polls, RPI #2. On the 26th we beat conf. rival VA Tech here. 24, 10, 2 for John Young, 12, 7, 4 for Rob, 12, 11 for our super 6th man Ed Jepps, 14, 2, 2, 3 for our 2nd off the bench Joe Dale. 11 TOs, 37 RBs.
 
Then we beat #9 Indiana here, 69-52. 28, 9, 2 for Rob, 14, 6, 3, 4, 3 for Young. 10 TOs, 37 RBs.
 
We went to Clemson and won 69-63. 14, 10 for Young, 16, 7, 3, 1, 2 for Rob, 13, 3 for Joe Dale. 43 RBs, but too many TOs, 18.
 
Then we came home and beat FL ST 72-59. 28, 7 for Rick Long, 16 for Rob, 12, 5, 2 for Marv Ward at PF. 11 TOs, 38 RBs. 
 
Road trip this week. We’re at 2-10, 0-3 Louisville, and then 4-8, 0-3 Virginia.
 
It’s a game! Papa Joe and the kids, and the two on line consultants are working on “The Ultimate Game.” It’s way too complex for me to even begin to go into here but I’ll give a brief overview. It’s virtual reality in a 30’ x 30’ space. It requires wrap around glasses but no helmet. It can be programmed for more than 100 scenarios, and at lots of different difficulty levels. 
 
I’ve seen the computer projections. Wow! There are games for just about all ages. Some are more physical, some are more intellectual, but decision making is a huge part of this. 
 
$50,000 installs it in that 30 x 30 space, including the padded walls. The company provides and installs the padding. People shouldn’t run into walls but humans is humans, as they say. Only $1000 per month use fee ($100 for individual, non-business customers), which entitles the buyer to all new games and upgrades. Turns out the two on line consultants have more than a two dozen programmers working for them.
 
Field testing begins here this week. They’ve only scratched the surface as far as possible scenarios go. As revenue pours in more and more will be created. It’s available for sale to private homes but the guess is that “The Ultimate Game” businesses will be set up all over the country and soon, all over the world. Papa Joe will set mandated U. S. fees for the businesses at a maximum of $10 per person per hour. And yes, some of the scenarios are for 2, 3 or 4 people. So far no more than 4.
 
“Adults only” scenarios? Not yet. Papa Joe is debating this. Clearly it would be a HUGE market but he isn’t sure he wants to go in that direction since the kids are so involved. Think the holodeck from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and you have an idea of what this is.
 
This is going to be gigantic. Oh, 99% of all profits will go to FtH and its shelter program.


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January 8
 
The road is tough, 1-1 this week. We scored 83 points in both games. In the 1st it wasn’t enough, 78-83 at Louisville. 15 TOs and giving up 15 threes did us in. 25, 5 for Rob, 16, 8 for Ed Jeps, 10 and 7 for both Young and Ledd. Jeff had 6 TOs so he is still hurting us there. 
 
A win, 83-61, at Virginia. +8 TOs, +4 RBs. 31, 1, 5, 5 for Rob, 23, 4, 3 for Marv Ward, 13, 11 for Young. 
 
This week we’re home, with 9-4, 3-1 Miami. It’s a one game week.
 
“The Ultimate Game” is addicting- VERY! Before allowing us to field test, Papa Joe used robots, 24/7 for a month. We have two units here and one of, including Mai and Sing, is in there all the time. We all need to set a trimer to limit ourselves or we’d never leave. I have used the basketball coaching scenario a few times and it feels as real as does my day job. I’ve also done a mountain climbing scenario which is fantastic. Other family members have done a wide variety of scenarios and they love all of them. We are all making suggestions for tweaks as well, of course.
 
January 15
 
Crushed the orange, 87-53 over Miami. 30, 3, 2 for Rob, 22, 5, 2 for Rick Long, 13, 9, 7 for Jeff, 10, 6 for Ed. 9 TOs, +10 RBs.
 
This week #15 Syracuse, 12-6, 2-4, is here. Then 10-6, 4-3 Wake Forest comes to town. Then we travel to #23, 11-5, 5-1 Duke (Why 3 games in one week?).
 
We’re 13-4, 5-1, in 2nd, one back of GA Tech.
 
The advertising campaign for “The Ultimate Game” started yesterday. There will be teasers, giving more and more away until the end of February. Orders will be taken starting March 1, and installations will begin shortly after that. It’s a very clever advertising campaign.
 
January 22
 
Two home wins, neither close, then a very close win at Duke. 89-73 over Syracuse. 5 guys in double figures including 30 for Rob. 10 TOs.
 
84-65 over Wake Forest. 25, 4 for Long, 17, 8, 6 for Jeff Ledd, 18, 2, 3 for Rob, 9, 12, 2 for John, and 9, 7, 2, 2 for Ed. 5 TOs.
 
Duke gave us a run, 82-78. 13 lead changes, 7 ties. We went on a 12-2 run late, and that sealed it. 37, 5 for Rob, 14, 13, 2 for John Young, 14, 7 for Ed, 12, 7, 2 for Rick.
 
We’re in 1st, a ½ game up on GA Tech (They’ve played 1 game less). Only one game this week but it’s a big one. At 13-4, 7-1 GA Tech. They’re a good team, strong at every position and deep. They aren’t ranked, probably because their RPI is 36.
 
January 29
 
84-73. Great win. 35 for Rob who is on fire lately. 21, 6, 3 for Rick. 6, 6, 10 for Jeff Ledd, 10, 7, 2 for Marv. 5 TOs! We’re #3, RPI #1.
 
Rob Burt is #3 on the Norton list, Rick Long #15, Marv Ward #29.
 
This week 7-12, 5-5 Louisville is in town. They beat us by 4 there and they’re playing well. Then we go to Boston College, 4-14, 3-6.
 
Responses to “The Ultimate Game” advertising are all but breaking the server. People want in, and want to pre-order. Companies in huge numbers are seeing this as a gold mine and individuals in gigantic numbers are asking where they can play.  Another winner here.
 
Lili and Lou are starting the 2nd semester and they both did really well last semester. They’re enjoying school and making friends, which makes Mai and me happy. They were both too isolated.


#92

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February 5
 
Two routs this week. 95-69 vs. Louisville. 17, 10, 5, 2 for Rick 20, 6, 1 for Rob, 19, 9, 3 for Marv, and 3 others in doubles. 10 TOs, 38 RBs.
 
Went to BC and won 77-45. 26, 9 for Rob, 18, 11 for John. 10 TOs, 41 RBs. 
 
At 14-7, 7-5 NC ST, and 5-16, 2-10 Nome this week. 2 game lead in conf., with 6 to play.
February 12
 
Upset at NC ST, 59-67. Poor shooting, especially long range and at the line did us in. D wasn’t bad, 14 TOs, but they had 17, even on the boards. 22, 6 for Rob, but he was 7-21.
 
Then back on track at the Fighting Icyballs of Nome, 76-49. All 5 starters in double figures, only 7 TOs. 
 
This week it’s the #2 and #3 teams in the conf., #21 Duke, 16-8, 10-4, and then GA Tech, 15-8, 9-5, both here. We beat Duke 82-78, and GA Tech 84-73 at their places.
 
We’re 20-5, 12-2, 2 up with 4 to play. Ranked #4, RPI #2.
 
Rob is #4 on Norton and Rick Long #14.
 
Papa Joe can’t train installers for “The Ultimate Game” quickly enough. The demand is astronomical. They started taking pre-orders this week and the numbers are not to be believed. Fortunately, they’ve worked out a system for installing the wall padding that takes only minutes. The main controller, which is located outside the “chamber,” is a quick install, and testing is not a lengthy process either. Papa Joe says complete installation, from getting out of the truck to getting back in it should be less than an hour. It’s a two person job.
 
It’s been a great advertising campaign, and the website shows Lili, Lou, the little guys, Mai, Sing, me and Papa Joe in the “chambers” is what they’re calling them, involved in various scenarios. We’re showing enough to let people see how fascinating this experience is.
 
Inquiries about porn related scenes are also coming in like an avalanche. Papa Joe isn’t interested in going there except, 
 
“I wonder about some things, Alvin. First, there are a great many lonely people. This could provide something for them. Then there are the predators and other deviants. Would having the opportunity to do what they do in a virtual environment protect their potential real world victims? I don’t know. I am consulting with psychiatrists, psychologists, law enforcement people and others. The idea is distasteful to me but I cannot simply reject it.”
 
The U. S. has finally started moving away from the extreme right. If Papa Joe decides to go for it, it will probably fly in the “blue” states. Of course a lot of the business will be people living in red states traveling for the experience. Porn sales stats over the past few decades support that claim.
 
February 19
 
95-77 over #21 Duke. 26, 2, 3, 3 for Marv Ward, 22, 6, 4, 2 for Rick, big numbers for the rest. 10 TOs, +3 RBs. 
 
71-60 over GA Tech. This was a battle for 32 minutes. Then we went on a 22-5 run to go from down 6 to up 11. 25, 7, 6, 2 for Rick. 6 TOs.
3 up on Duke, 4 or more on the rest with 2 to play.
 
Final week of the regular season. We go to 6-19, 4-12 VA Tech, who we beat 78-56, and then we host Pitt, 15-11, 9-7. We haven’t played them.
Rob Burt is 2nd in the nation in scoring.
 
Papa Joe says 200,000 units of “The Ultimate Game” will be delivered and installed beginning on March 1. He says he expects all 200,000 to be operational by April 1. He has his crews working 12 hour days, 6 days a week for the month but it’s impossible to get the installations done any quicker. Starting April 1 crews will be doing new installs, repairs, things like that. He will pay them full time, and VERY well, for 30 hour weeks, 3 days x 10 hours a day, half Mon.-Weds., half Thurs.-Sat., and switching days every January 1. 200,000 units at $50,000 per is a nice little chunk of change. The rental fee structure has changed. “TUG” will get $1 per hour of use per unit. That too will bring in a nice bit of profit. Canada is also up and running, the rest of the developed world will be soon.
 
February 26
VA Tech slammed us, 61-79, our biggest margin of defeat all year. We didn’t play D. They shot 56% (!), and 15-30 on threes. We didn’t play a great offensive game, but D did us in.
 
Then we came home and beat Pitt 88-70. D wasn’t particularly impressive in this game either but had 7 guys in double figures.
So we end the regular season 23-6, 15-3, 3 up on Duke, 4 or more on the rest, #4, RPI #4.
 
March 5
 
March 5 is not a happy day for a coach at a top of the line school. This is the day we find out who’s leaving early for the NBA. We lost John Young. Could have been worse.
 
“TUG” is on its way. Early reports are that the public providers are booked 24/7 for months in advance.
 
"Papa Joe, how are you going to deal with hacks, stolen games..."
 
(Laughs) “It can’t happen.”
 
“What?”
 
(Laughs again) “Remember what 4, 5 years ago when the money was stolen from FtH?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“That was done through a hack. I put Lou on it. I told him I wanted him to find a way to make hacks and stealing data, software, and hardware, except for physically lifting it up and carrying it away, impossible. He was too young, 13 I think, to say it could not be done. He and a few friends got to work. They worked for a year and a half. By that time they had made tremendous progress but they needed an true expert. We found one- the absolute best in the field. In less than an additional year they had it. And they also had an alarm system that makes it close to impossible to physically steal anything.”
 
“You could make billions!”
 
“I already have billions. If this goes public the hackers will find a way around it. If it remains secret it can work forever.”
 
“You never cease to amaze me.”
 
Papa Joe laughed again.


#93

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March 10
 
#9 seed Pitt, 17-12, 10-8, won the play in so we face them. We won by 18, here, last week.
 
75-54. 20, 9, 6, 2, 1 for Rob. 14, 6 for Marv. 7 TOs.
 
#4 seed NC ST is next. They beat us by 8 in the regular season. We shot 35% and had lots of foul trouble that night. All upsets on the other side, #6 seed GA Tech vs. #10 Wake Forest. 
 
March 11
 
73-55. The score was almost identical to the previous game. 19 for Rob, 16, 3 for Marv, 11, 7, 6 for Rick Long. 8 TOs.
It’s #6 seed GA Tech for the title. We beat them by 11 both times.
 
March 12
 
100-70. 57 in the 1st half. It was pretty much over at halftime. 26 each for Burt and Long, 4 others in double figures. 7 TOs. Did we do enough to get a #1 seed? I think so. We’ll find out soon.
 
Here we go… 
 
Not in the East (Oregon is #1).
 
Not in the Midwest.
 
#1 in the South. We play 16-14 Towson first.
 
March 17
 
68-43. Great D. 42-23 at the half. 26, 5, 3, 2 for Rob, 18, 3 for Rick. 2 TOs- for the TEAM!
 
Next up is Providence, #8 seed, 22-8.
 
March 19
 
85-64. 26 for Rob, for the 2nd straight game. 18, 14 for Ed Jeps. 14 TOs, but 40 RBs. 
It’s #22 Maryland, 24-8, in the Sweet Sixteen. We beat them by 10 in December. That’s a LONG time ago.
 
March 24
 
73-72. Whew! We were down 69-58 and went 15-3 from then on. 25 for Rob, Mr. Consistent so far. 15 TOs, but they had 16, +6 on the boards. We let them shoot 50%, but we survived!
 
UMass has strung together 3 straight upsets. They’re the #11 seed, 24-9, #49 RPI, and they’re our Elite Eight opponent. Lots of upsets in all 4 brackets. 
 
March 26
76-58. They doubled Rob so we beat them with our other guys. 20, 6 for Marv Ward, 17, 6 for Rick Long, 11, 6, 2 for John Young, 9, 11, 6 for Jeff Ledd, 7, 8, 1, 2 for Ed Jeps. And we’re in the Final Four!
 
For the 3rd time in the last 4 games we play a New England opponent. This time it’s #10 ranked, #3 seed, 28-6 UConn. Won their last 4, 9-10. They are very good outside but not all that strong inside.
On the other side it’s #2 ranked Oregon vs. #3 ranked Penn.
 
April 1
 
80-73. Close for 24 minutes or so and then we took off. We only won by 7, but it wasn;t that close. 23, 6, 4, 3, 2 for Rob, 17, 11, 4, 2, 1  for John, 12, 6, 3 for Jeff Ledd. 14 TOs (-5) but 42 RBs (+11).
 
And we got the matchup we expected. Return game with #2 ranked Oregon, 36-2. They beat us by 7 in the Coaches Classic. I know we’re a lot better than we were then. Are they? We had 18 TOs but Jeff Ledd was still at PG. We gave up 16 threes and we certainly can’t do that again. On paper they’re the better team but I’m not convinced that they’re a lot better. I think if we play good D, especially outside, take care of the ball, and shoot it for a decent percentage, we’ll be okay. Bring it!
 
April 3
 
71-56 and the title! 20, 4, 3, 2 for Rob, 11, 8, 5 for Jeff led, 7, 15, 3 for John Young, 12, 2, 2 for Rick, 10, 6, 3 for Ed Jeps, 9, 4 for Marv. We jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. We were up 13 at the half and we essentially traded baskets in the 2nd half, never let them get closer than 7, twice. Both times Rob hit threes. 6 TOs, 39 RBs. 
 
I don’t think any other coach has ever won back to back titles at 2 different schools. Title #6 at 4 different schools.
 
April 4
 
Awards: Rob Burt was NCAA tournament MOP and 1st team All American. In conf., Rob was POY, John Young was Freshman OY. The two of them plus Marv Ward and john Young made 1st team. I got the coach award.
April 23
 
I ask for a facilities upgrade. Got it! We went from A- to A.
 
32-6 and the national title. 30 years as a head coach and my record is 805-222, .784. I think we’ll stay here for a while and see how many titles we can get.
 
April 25
TUG is a tremendous hit. There are, and have to be, all kinds of  safety features built in, and no deaths or serious injuries have happened yet.
 
I asked Papa Joe tonight about… longevity, I guess.
 
“With all of the projects and things, how come nothing to extend the human life span.”
 
“Alvin, you don’t know everything I’m involved in, probably not even half. Human virtual immortality is attainable. It could be done and it probably will be done. But it is a very bad idea. The planet would be filled and heavily overfilled with people who could live for centuries. It would be hell. If we found habitable planets, and found a way to get to them, that would only delay the overpopulation problem. Bad idea. BUT… we think there is another way.”
 
“What on earth-”
 
“We are very close to being able to house a person’s mind- not brain but mind, consciousness, whatever, essence perhaps, into a mini-computer type device. It could be solar powered, or solar/wind/water powered- whatever. And the person could then truly live forever, or practically so, in something like our TUG chambers.”
 
“How-”
 
“We have not completely figured it out and we are not yet certain whether the consciousness would transfer. In other words, using me for an example, would I be the same person in a different form? Would I truly and completely transfer and continue my life in this new way, or would this simply be a computer program that was not me at all. We expect an answer within a year, or at most two. I am in good health, but I will soon be 72 years old. If the answer is to come for me, it needs to come fairly soon. I was raised Buddhist, as most people in my country are, but I do not believe in reincarnation, or in any kind of afterlife. I do not really fear death, but if given the chance I would go on living if living was worthwhile. We will see in time, I think- I hope!”
 
This man has levels on top of levels on top of levels.


#94

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June 12
Preseason #1. No one worth chasing in the transfer pool.
 
June 26
4 scholarships. I’ll either go 2 and 2, or 3 bigs. Looking at 14 recruits.
 
August 7
Three on the Norton list: PG Ad Clay #3, SG Lou Best #14, SG Phil Kirk #26.
 
Everyone is, as always, busy around here. Sing has decided she needs an interest of her own. Her kids are 8 and 10, and both very involved with their own pursuits. They still need her, as does Mai Li, but not as much. Sing is deciding between yoga and weaving. 
 
“TUG” is now pretty much everywhere where a facility is available to house it. New scenarios are being created at about the rate of one a month, and they get put into the system as soon as they are ready. Our technicians still do some installing of the whole system but they do far more installing of new scenarios, trouble shooting, and repair work. There are very, very few breakdowns though.
 
“FtH” is also spread to as many places as it can go. A new ancillary program is teaching skills to those interested. Papa Joe wants a worldwide full employment economy, and he is working toward that both through FtH and through other avenues. Lili is still his #1 sidekick but she is busy with her veterinary studies. Lou has two interests in life, Math and TUG. Mai continues to be a worldwide leader in her field.
 
The other day I overheard the word “space” in a conversation between Papa Joe and Lili. I wasn’t eavesdropping, just walked into the room. They stopped talking. It felt uncomfortable so I got what I needed and left.
 
August 21
 
Offered to an SG, an SF, a PF, and a C .
 
September 18
Got the SG, the PF, and the C. Lost the #1 prospect in the country. We’ll go for a big guy.
We offer to another C.
 
We’re in the Sunshine Shootout. All ranked teams in preconf.
 
September 25
Got the Center. So an SG, a PF, 2 Cs. All 4 have a GPA of 3.6.
 
Overheard, “But, Lou, if you could get around the light barrier-”
 
“Lili, I told you, we think we’ve got that figured out.”
 
“Children!”
 
That was Papa Joe as he saw me.
 
“Guys, if you want to keep secrets, I’m okay with that, but I do plan to continue to walk freely about the house.”
 
Sounds like something big- space, light barrier. Now what!
 
October 2
 
First practice. We’re better than we were last year. I’ve got 8 guys who can PLAY. 
 
November 6
 
We’ve got all newcomers starting. Our guards are rookies, #1 recruit Ad Clay, #5 Lou Best. SF is Junior Phil Kirk, another newcomer. He transferred from Cal, and has looked really good in practice. Inside it’s another freshman, #4 in his class, Jon May, and Juco Jed Tuck. I know it’s a gamble but these guys played their way to where they are. We feel we have three excellent players on the bench. Ed Jeps is the only senior on the team. He has started 63 games here and if a big guy doesn’t get it done, Ed will start again. Then sophomore Jeff Ledd, who started 20 games last year at SF. Finally it’s another Juco, PG Ted Bayn. After the top 8 it’s a bit sketchy, but it’s difficult to play more than 8 guys.
 
We feel like we’re ready to get this season started!


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November 13
 
It’s rare to begin with a one game week but that’s what we’re doing. #9 LSU is here. 
 
November 20
 
We may have a future with this team. We just beat the #9 team in the country 99-72. 20, 7, 8, 1, 3 for Ad Clay who seems to be the real thing. 24, 11, 2 for C Jon May, 13, 4, 2 for Phil Kirk at SF, 12, 5, 5 for Lou Best at SG, 8, 5, 1 for Jed Tuck at PF. Oh 12, 5, 2 for Ted Bayn and 10, 2, 3, 3 for Ed Jeps from the bench. 11 TOs, 41 RBs.
 
This week we’re at 0-1 Stanford, and we host #15 Kentucky.
 
All 4 recruits signed.
 
November 27
 
The road is tough, 70-82 at Stanford. The difference was foul shooting, they shot 29-37, we shot 19-34. There is no excuse for shooting 55.9% from the line. The refs called way too many fouls but they called them about evenly. Lou Best fouled out, but their PG fouled out. We were -8 on the boards which was the other major factor. 19, 2, 3 for Clay, 9 and 12 for Tuck.
 
Then we came home and beat #15 KY 80-60. 21, 13 for Kirk, 16, 9, 3 for Clay. 11 TOs, 40 RBs, good bench play.
 
#5 UCLA here in another one game week.
 
Papa Joe says the money is rolling in at an unbelievable rate with “The Ultimate Game.”
 
“We have about 5 million units worldwide. They are used, on average 22 hours per day, 6 days per week. That number takes into account places where any sort of “Sabbath” makes them close for a day. So that is 110 million dollars a day that comes to us. Our costs amount to just under 25%, including what we pay our programmers, which is a great deal. So your children and I are sharing about 81.5 million dollars a day in profit. That’s about 30 billion a year. 99% goes to charity but that still leaves us with 300 million to share 6 ways. Lou did a lot of the work on this, and Lili as well, but they insisted on it being 6 equal partners, the 5 children and me.”
 
“Charity meaning “FtH?”
 
“Only 3 billion. The other 26.7 billion, or whatever goes to a variety of other projects, many of them things I told you that you do not know about.”
 
“Like longevity research and space travel.”
 
(Laughs) “Among others.”
 
“What about taxes?”
 
“We set up as a nonprofit and we qualify in every way, so the 99% is not taxed. The income that the children and I receive is taxed, but we use every possible tax law benefit, here and abroad. I think we pay about 27%.”
 
I can only shake my head in amazement.
 
December 4
 
80-72 over #5 UCLA. 5 guys in double figures, Jeff Ledd had 9, and Bayn had 9 assists. 12 RBs for Jed Tuck. 9 TOs, 42 RBs. 
 
I have to say that so far D has not been our strong point. We’re giving up 71.5 per. But we’re scoring like mad, 82.3.
 
Arizona, 3-2, at home then off to the Shootout. 1st opponent there is Baylor. We’re the #1 seed.
 
December 11
 
A lot to report on. We beat Arizona at home, 79-54. Held them to 31.9%. 30, 5, 10, 2, 3 for Ad. 18, 4, 3 for Lou Best, 11, 9, 3 for Jon May at C. 9 TOs, 42 RBs.
 
Then it was off to the Sunshine Shootout. 64-38 over Baylor to start. 15, 8, 1, 4 for Jon, 15, 5, 5, 2 for Ad, 13, 4 for Ed Jeps, 14, 5, 2, 2 for Phil Kirk. 9 TOs, 31 RBs. Held Baylor to 26.7%.
 
Beat Nebraska 61-47 in the semis. 18, 9 for Jon before he fouled out, 10, 11 for Jed Tuck, 11, 5, 7 for Ad, 11, 5, 2 for Lou. 10 TOs, 39 RBs, held them to 26.2%.
 
73-56 over #15 Arkansas for the title. 22, 11, 4, 3 for Ad, 12, 12, 2 for Jon, 16, 2, 34 for Phil, 8, 11, 2 for Jed. 11 TOs, 46 RBs.
 
We’re off to 3-7 Michigan, but a couple of days to catch our breath.
 
December 18
 
66-74. I guess I’m going to blame fatigue for this one, at least somewhat. We just didn’t play good D. They shot 53.1%, 9-18 on threes. Tired legs don’t get out on the shooter. In retrospect, I should have used more bench, and used it earlier. 18, 5, 7 for Ad, 14, 6 for Jon. 
 
Another one game week coming up, and 7 days between games. We’re at #23 Penn.
 
December 25
 
74-75. A very frustrating loss. We blew a 12 point lead. The refs wouldn’t let us play inside, 5 fouls on Kirk, 4 each on Tuck and May. Most of those in the 2nd half when the lead evaporated. I got T’d up with about 8 minutes to play. Yes, I know, that was the difference in the final score, but I had to do it. The whistles seemed to blow a little more the other way after that.
 
We’re 7-3. Next week it’s Virginia in conference and then “9 Maryland out of conference, both at home, thankfully. We haven’t played at home since 12/7. But the 3 game week ends at Syracuse.
 
January 1, 2022
A three win week! 76-38 over VA here. 21, 3, 7 for Ad while holding his opposite number to 0, 1, 0. 18, 4, 7 for Phil. 13 TOs, 35 RBs.
89-72 over #9 Maryland, also here. 26, 5, 5 for Lou, 12, 15 for jon, the other starters all in double digits. 12 TOs, 31 RBs.
70-63 at Syracuse. 21, 17 for Jon, 12, 11 for Jed, 14, 5, 6, 2, 2 for Ad. 18 TOs, which did not make me happy, but 49 RBs.
 
We’re back at 1st in the polls.
 
This week we’re at 6-6, 1-1 Boston College, hosting 2-10, 0-3 Nome.


#96

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January 8
 
76-57 at BC. -11 RBs, but +19 TOs. 8 guys played well.
 
73-51 over Nome here. 35, 3, 8, 3, 3 for Ad. 9 TOs (+10), 29 RBs (-4).
 
This week at 10-6, 2-3 Ga Tech, home to #24 Syracuse, 11-5, 3-2. We’re 4-0. The only other undefeated team, Pitt, is 3-0. 3 teams with 1 loss, 4 with 2.
 
“So, Papa Joe, why space flight?”
 
“If you think about it for a bit I think you will know.”
 
“No, tell me. I mean the possibility of reaching a habitable planet is all but zero, even if you mastered faster than light travel. At least it seems that way to me.”
 
(Takes a breath, pauses) “Alvin, it is finished here. I mean on this planet. Your final coaching destination should be Denver, or perhaps Vermont- somewhere very high in altitude.”
 
“Come on, Papa Joe, it’s not that bad.”
 
“Alvin, it is worse than any public reports I have seen. In your lifetime, perhaps in mine, much of this planet will not be habitable. Remember, I have inside sources regarding everything important to me.”
 
“So-”
 
“So I want my children and my grandchildren to have a chance to live a good life. Here they will die young or have to live a life in total isolation, guarded by a private army to keep starving, drowning people away- IF they can successfully accomplish that.”
 
“Pretty grim scenario.”
 
“And it will happen in this decade.”
 
“I need to go, Alvin. We will discuss all of this more at a later time.”
 
I didn’t sleep for two nights following that conversation. I look forward to, and dread, the next installment.
 
January 15
 
83-60 at Ga. Tech. 24, 10, 2 for SF Phil Kirk. 25, 6, 3 for Ad, good games by the others. 8 TOs, 42 RBs.
87-65 over #24 Syracuse here. 14, 25 (!), 1, 2, 3 for Jon May, 17, 6 for Jed, 16 each for Ad and Lou. 5 TOs, 46 RBs. 
 
At 4-10, 1-4 Va. Tech. Home to 10-7, 3-3 Duke. At Pitt., 11-6, 4-4. Not a fan of 3 game weeks.
We’re alone at the top of the conf. 2 teams with 1 loss, 2 teams with 2 losses. 14-3, 6-0.
 
January 22
 
We seem to have found ourselves. 84-56 at Va. Tech. 13 and 13 for Jon, 17 each for Lou and Phil, 15 each for Ed Jeps. +5 TOs, +14 RBs.
70-52 over Duke at our place. 27, 3, 3 for Ad, 10, 16, 4, 3, 3 for Jon. 7 TOs, 39 RBs.
 
We closed this busy week with a 74-63 win over Pitt, there. 25, 4, 4 for Ad, good play all around. -17 RBs, but +16 TOs. 
 
This week we’re 10-7, 6-2 NC ST. They can play. Then home in a rematch with BC, 8-11, 3-6. 
 
Only Louisville has one loss, Miami, NC ST with 2, Syracuse with 3.
 
January 29
 
69-63 at NC ST. It was a battle. +8 TOs was a huge help. 22, 9 for Jon, 13, 8, 8, 5, 2 for Ad. 
 
A laugher against BC, 64-32. Scoring was balanced. 8 TOs, 34 RBs.
 
2 on the road next week. First is 2nd place Louisville,15-5, 9-2. Then 10-10, 4-7 Wake Forest. 
Ad Clay is #4 on the Norton list, Phil Kirk #25, Lou Best #28.
 
“So just bail out and leave?”
 
“Too late to fix, Alvin.”
 
“Where can you possibly go?”
 
“We are going to build a huge ship, Alvin.”
 
“How will you get it into space?”
 
“We have- well not quite yet but very soon, developed a material that is extremely light and very compact. We have our own ships almost ready to go-”
 
“Papa Joe, no one outside of a few governments has successfully built a ship that can carry any decent payload into space.”
 
“We have solved the problems. Anyway, we will launch many ships to begin with. They will be filled with this new material. It is bullet proof, cannon proof actually, but only 2 millimeters thick. It can be stored in a very compact form and then expanded when it is in space. Using it and the ships that we launched we will build a very, very large structure. Our geneticists have given us a minimum number of people that would be necessary to have a large enough gene pool to populate a new planet. We will send a bit more than double that number, 550, into space.”
 
“What can-”
 
“Listen, Alvin. The ship, or city really, will grow food hydroponically, and will provide fresh water through recycling. There will be exercise facilities. There will be entertainment centers. Well, it would take a very long time to describe this city in full. Let me just say that living on the city will provide a good life for those going.”
 
“Who-”
 
“Our children will go. Some of their friends will go. They have already begun recruiting others to go. All of the passengers will have needed skills. All will be willing to spend their entire lives in this city since it may not reach its destination for many years. We are allowing these young people to survive and to have a future for themselves and for their own children. I do not know whether everyone who stays here will die, but life will not be worth living for those who survive.”
 
“And you? And Sing?”
 
“Ah. A very good question. Excuse me, I need to take this call.”
 
And off he went. I guess I’ll need to hear more later. I don’t think I’ll be sleeping very well for a while.


#97

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February 5
 
79-76 at #20 Louisville. We were down 16 early in the 2nd half. We switched to man and started doubling their PG, who was killing us ((38, 5, 4). From then on we held him to 8, and we chipped away. Jon May had a great game, 215, 14, 15, 9, 7 for Ad, 13 each for Lou and Jed. 9 TOs, 41 RBs, and we scored 9 of the last 13 points.
 
Then we went to Wake Forest and got clobbered, 49-63. It was one of those nights when the shots wouldn’t fall. 3-22 for Ad, 3-15 for Phil, 29.7%, 8-40 on threes. The D was fine, we only had 11 TOs. But you need to hit the shots.
5 left to play, 4 of them at home, and we’re up 2 on Louisville and Miami, 3 on NC ST, 4 or more on the rest.
 
Only one this week, 14-7, 6-6 Clemson, here.
 
February 12
 
83-55. 6 in double figures, 12 TOs, 43 RBs.
Jed Tuck strained a calf. Out about 2 weeks, but he may only miss one game the way the schedule is set up.
 
Another 1 game week. 2nd place Miami, 19-6, 10-4 is here. Also tied for 2nd are Louisville and NC ST, all 3 back with 4 to play.
 
We’re 21-4, 13-1, #1, RPI #2.
 
“Mai, has your father spoken with you about the plan involving space travel?”
 
“He has.”
 
“And?”
 
(Pauses) “My work is here. I do not think he could provide the equipment, the facilities I need on this floating space city of his.”
 
“So you will stay?”
 
“I will go or stay depending upon what you do, Blade.”
 
“Oh no, I don’t want sole responsibility for this decision. We need to decide together. Of course this will not happen right away, and we need to know for certain about lab facilities for you, and perhaps even your team.”
 
“Very complicated business.”
 
“Is he right about all of the climate stuff?”
 
“That is not my field, but from what I have read and learned, yes, I believe he is.”
 
“We have much to think and talk about.”
 
“Yes Blade, we do.”
 
February 19
 
71-50 over Miami. We never trailed. 18, 8, 8, 2, 3 for Ad, 17, 4 for Phil. 9 TOs, 34 RBs.
Jed Tuck will be back for our next game.
 
And the last week of the regular season is another 3 game week. At 9-15, 5-10 FL ST. Then home with 16-9, 9-7 Pitt, and then 2nd place Louisville, 19-7, 13-4. They’re ranked #22. We won by only 3 last time.
 
February 26
 
Three game weeks wear everyone out. Fortunately we have a long break before the post season starts. 85-58 at FL ST to start, which officially clinched the regular season title. 24, 19, 2, 2, 4 for Jon May, 19, 11, 12 for Ad, his first ever triple double. 20 for Lou. 12 TOs, 45 RBs.
 
87-52 over Pitt here. 25, 6, 9 for Ad before he banged up his wrist. He’ll be out about a week. 21, 4, 3 for Lou. 10 TOs, 45 RBs.
 
We ended the week beating #22 Louisville here, 66-53. Bayn and Best played quite a bit at PG, but Ad played some as well, enough to score 12. 12, 14 for Jon, 16, 3, 2 for Lou, 15, 7, 2, 2 for Phil. 10 TOs, 47 RBs.
 
We won the conf. by 4 games over Louisville, 5 or more over the rest.
 
Our record: 25-4, 17-1. PPG margin: +16.3. TOs: +4.9. RBs: +6.0. Ad is #1 in the country in assists, Jon #2 in RBs. In conf. we dominate individual stats. As a team we are #1 in the country in RBs, assists and Blocks, #4 in scoring. In conf. #1 in all of those. Ranked #1, RPI #2 to Alabama, who are ranked #5.
 
March 5
 
We are losing Ad Clay and Jon May to the NBA draft. Not at all surprising. Ad is #4 on the Norton list.
 
Mai and I have been talking. The bottom line is that whatever we do we will do together, and we will have an equal voice in making the decision. Papa Joe says everything is still in progress. 
He and I also talked about the “transferring one’s consciousness to a microchip” project.
 
“It is ready, Alvin. As a matter of fact 500 people have already completed the preliminary step, which essentially leaves them one short step from transferring everything. Much of their mentality, their thoughts, their memories, a great deal about the mind that we do not understand, has been transferred, and now lives both in their own minds and on a chip.”
 
“And you are one of them?”
 
“I am. And I encourage you, Mai, and all of our children to do the same. This is not binding; it forces you to do nothing. It does not harm you in any way. The final step can be completed in less than a minute. If something happens that leaves you in a near death, or an imminent death position, the final step is ready to be taken. Alas, when one is already dead it is too late. Please do this, and give permission for your children to do it. Sing and my little ones, and my son Dani and his family have all done it. My other son, Jin, is not interested, but he has been away from the family for many years and makes little effort to reach out.”
 
“Mai and I will discuss this.”
 
“I believe that soon at least one person will transition completely. My brother has emphysema, as you know, and it has reached the point where his life is not really worth living.”
 
"Will he suffer from emphysema after he transitions?"
 
"We do not believe so. We know that since the existence is virtual there is no need to eat, or to do any of the other things needed to stay alive in this world."
 
"But eating is a pleasure."
 
"We believe that the experience of eating and drinking will seem to be exactly what it is here, but that since both you and the food and drink are virtual, it will not actually occur. there will be no digestive process or elimination of wastes."
 
“I'm dizzy from all of this. But we can never know if the transfer is completely successful.”
 
“Well, it almost becomes metaphysical. We can actually communicate with a person who makes the transfer via electronic communication. Whether they will be 100% sure that they have actually transferred or whether this ‘new reality’ is completely new? Who knows. But they will be able to tell us what they believe has happened.”
 
“Interesting. What about two people who have transferred. Will they be able to communicate?”
 
“Alvin, they can occupy the same chip. The chip can house any number of people’s consciousness. We believe they will have the TUG chamber experience, essentially, and will feel that they are in their own bodies. They will be able to interact in every way, including physically. Also, a person can be added to the chip at a later time as long as all involved parties agree.”
 
"What about maintenance?"
 
"Virtually none. The chip will last essentially forever. The power source is a radioactive element that renews itself- no danger of getting cancer since you are virtual and not real."
 
“Is there an ‘owner’s manual?’ Something tells everything involved?”
 
“Almost. I expect it to be completed within a month. I am not certain that we can know everything until a large number of people have transferred, and have related their experiences over a long period of time. The first generation will be pioneers.”
 
“And will be at the age that you have reached when the transfer takes place?”
 
“Yes, but that is another long story, and it is related to another ongoing bit of research. I- well, along with some others, have people working on reversing the effects of aging.”
 
“Man!”
 
“All of the work I have going on is quite expensive. I am joined by several extremely wealthy people in financing all of this. There are about 25 of us. One of those trips I take every month is to a conference among us. We meet regularly, electronically but we find that an occasional face to face meeting is beneficial.”
 
“Stem cells?”
 
“And other things, yes.”
 
I may never sleep again!


#98

Wayne23
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March 10
 
All of the favorites won in the play in round so we face 16-12, 9-9 Wake Forest in the quarters. They are the only team to beat us since December 21, but they did it convincingly, by 14. Our shots wouldn’t drop that night, and Jon fouled out in 15 minutes. If we can fix both of those things we should be fine.
 
81-44. 6, 19, 4, 5, 4 for Jon. We had 8 guys score between 6 and 17. 13 TOs, 47 RBs.
 
It’s Miami, #4 seed, 21-9, 11-7 in the semis. Beat them by 21 here last time. Top 4 seeds all advanced.
 
March 11
 
75-50. 28, 6, 6, 1, 3 for Ad, 14 for Ted Bayn.
 
#2 seed, #22 ranked Louisville, 21-8, 13-5, for the title. Beat them by 3 and 13 in the regular season.
 
March 12
 
96-75. 26, 5, 8 for Ad, 17, 10, 3, 2, 1 for Jon, 21 for Lou, 7, 11 for Jed, 9, 7, 6, 3 for Phil, 10, 3 for Ed Jeps.
 
Will we be the #1 overall seed?
 
We are.
March 16
 
17-14 New Orleans is first up. 
 
67-46. Great D. We didn’t shoot well but 10 TOs, 47 RBs. 17, 9, 4 for Phil, 14 each for Ad and Jon, 8, 11, 3 for Jed, 10 for Ted Bayn.
 
#9 seed Stanford, 20-12 in the round of 32.
 
March 18
79-55. 15 TOs, which I didn’t like, but 40 RBs, double doubles for both Ad and Jon, and good play all around.
 
#4 seed, #2 ranked, #6 RPI (in the Sweet Sixteen???) Bradley, 30-3.
 
March 23
 
73-62. Another team effort. 11 TOs, 38 RBs. 7 guys played, 7 guys played well.
#2, 3, 4, 5 ranked teams are all out. 3 top 10 teams made it to the round of 8.
 
It’s #11 ranked, #3 seed, UCLA, 24-8 next. We beat them by 8 in November but that’s a LONG time ago. They can play. SF is excellent, a 1st team All American. They are also very good at 2 and 5.
 
March 25
 
96-82. It was a real shoot out! 23, 7, 8, 2 for Ad, 16 each for Jon, Phil, and Lou. 16 TOs (-5), +7 RBs.
 
We’re playing well, obviously, but not at our very best. Hopefully that will change in the Final Four.
We’ll play #7 Kentucky, and it’s #23 Kansas vs. Unranked Syracuse on the other side.
 
#7 KY is 26-9, 12-4. They finished 3rd in conf., but won the tourney. They’ve won 9 straight. We beat them by 20 in November. Their guards kind of beat us up but we got 51 RBS, completely dominated inside. Ad and Lou have come a long way since Nov. Of course their guys probably have, too.
 
April 1
 
72-83. We were outplayed. Their SG got 37. Their guards, including subs, got 52, ours, including subs, got 14. Case closed. I was really disappointed in Ad and Lou. Ad got in foul trouble early and had to be careful all night; played only 24 min. Lou was just off. Good games for Jon, 21, 14, 3, 2, and Jed, 18, 5.
 
I know you can’t win it all every year, but we’re better than this.
 
April 4
A #8 seed, unranked, won the national title. Congratulations to Syracuse!
 
Awards: Ad Clay got national Freshman of the Year and 1st team; I got COY. In conf., Ad got POY, freshman OY, Jon got Defensive POY,. They both made 1st team. Lou Best made 2nd team.
 
April 9
 
We decided, that is to say Mai, Papa Joe and I, that we will move the first time a school at a high elevation comes open- Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, who knows, but probably one of those states. Didn’t happen this year.
 
April 16
 
We finally had time for lots of long discussions. My biggest question was about failure. How many people had failed to have their consciousness transferred, and/or how many had been harmed in any way by the process. The answer was zero and zero.
 
This is all top secret, of course. Papa Joe and his partners and their families, as well as the partners and families of the people working on the project, will all have the option- 844 in all. In point of fact, 99% of them have already been through it. Others have been invited, more will be.
 
Mai and I gathered the kids together. Lili and Lou already knew about all of this, of course, but Ling didn’t. She decided that yes, she wanted to do it. All 5 of us will undergo the procedure this week.
 
Papa Joe says that 3 people are ready to complete the transfer, including his brother. This will provide lots of answers.
 
“Their physical body will die, of course. They will transfer into a body that is at their present age but they will feel no discomfort, will suffer no disability, as far as we can tell. We will know a great deal within days, and far more in the coming weeks and months.”
 
April 21
 
Done! We were sedated during the procedure. All of us awoke feeling no different at all.
 
April 23
I ask for recruiting dollars. We get $25,000.
 
April 29
We end up 33-5, but we did not reach our goal. 31 seasons as a head coach. My record is 838-227, .787. Reputation: 97.


#99

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June 6
 
Preseason #1 again.
 
Transfer pool didn’t have anyone we wanted.
 
June 12
 
Looking at 10 recruits.
June 29
 
It’s been a busy month, as a coach, but also in regard to all of this body transfer, space travel and whatever else that’s related. 
 
Three people completed the transfer in late May and all three were able to communicate with those of us “on the outside.” 
 
Papa Joe’s brother reported that he suffered no pain at all. He looked as he did when here (there are mirrors, of course) but he felt wonderful, and was able to do whatever he wished to do, unhampered by weakness or pain. He misses his family but he knows he would have died very soon anyway. Now he knows that all of them will very likely be with him again, sooner or later. 
 
As with a TUG chamber, the experience can be programmed. Programs are still being written and developed but there are already enough to keep people there occupied. Papa Joe says the people behind this have several top notch programmers working full time. I asked about coaching basketball.
 
“Of course! We have 150,000 players, each of whose strengths, weaknesses and all the rest are within a certain range but variable, so that no matter how long someone coaches, they will never  experience the feeling that they have the game beaten because they know everything.
 
“We have 5,000 coaches, including all of the famous ones in history. You decide to include all, some or none of them in your season or career. I knew you would want this. The program provides all of the challenges involved in coaching. We have an NBA version as well.”
 
I laughed.
 
The other two “transfers”- that’s the term being used, reported things much like what Papa Joe’s brother reported. None are sorry about their decision.
 
“So, Papa Joe, I hope you do not transfer any time soon.”
 
“I feel good, and my doctor assures me that I am in excellent health. I hope to go into space with the children. Then, when the time comes, I will transfer. No hurry! But again, life on this planet is in its terminal stages. You will not want to be living here 20 years from now, and perhaps not 10.”
 
“When will the ships be ready?”
 
“They are ready now, but the expansion modules which will allow this to become a flying city are still not quite ready. We could leave in a year but I think it will be more like 5 years before we do. We wish to be ready as soon as possible though. Everything is changing very rapidly.”
 
We live in interesting times!
 
August 7
6 on the Norton list: #2 SG Win Dahl, #3 C Jay John, #6 C Tad Dye, #12 SG Lou Best, #16 SG Phil Kirk, and #35 C Jed Tuck.
 
August 21
Offered to 2 guards, 2 bigs.
 
Mai and I had a long talk last night. It seems she has some very mixed feelings about doing a “transfer.” She has lots of questions as well. Her work is extremely important to her. She wants some sort of assurance that after she transfers she will be able to do the kinds of research she has been doing for about 25 years now. Papa Joe has told us that as long as there are people connected to those who have transferred there will be no problem. Whatever a person’s interest, it can be fully accommodated.”
 
“But at some point there will be too many transferred and not enough to communicate with them. And eventually either there will be no people left, or none willing or able to help us.”
 
I spoke with Papa Joe.
 
“We have thought of that. We have people working on ways for those who have transferred to initiate, and in some way control interaction with the outside world.”
 
“That’s just scary. It sounds like it could go the way of a bad sci fi movie.”
 
(Laughs) “That is not impossible but we are taking it into account.”
 
Whew!
 
September 18
 
We got commitments from 2 bigs and a guard.
 
We’re going to the Preseason NIT. As many ranked teams as we could schedule.
 
September 25
 
We have our recruits. One PG is questionable as to the SAT so we’ll keep talking to a couple of guards.
 
October 2
 
We have a lineup. We’re going with three guards- Soph Lou Best and Sr. Phil Kirk, who both started last year, and freshman Win Dahl is the third guard. Up front it will be 2 more freshmen, Tad Dye and Jay John. We have a deep bench. Jed Tuck is a Sr. who started up front for us last year, Ted Bayn is another Sr.; he didn’t start but he got lots of minutes. Then it’s Jr. Jeff Ledd who can play about anywhere, Fr. Min Will, an inside player, and Jal Luck, a soph. PG. I would feel comfortable with all 10 of those guys in any situation.
November 6
 
No changes to the lineup, and we feel like we are more than ready for the season!
 
27 people have now transferred, including our first “group on a chip.” That was a married couple and their grown child. They’re elderly and the child is intellectually disabled. They wanted to (1) be sure to be able to care for him since only some type of institutional placement would be possible after their deaths, and (2) eliminate his physical pain. There’s nothing to be done regarding his intellectual capacity, but his condition was painful pretty much 24/7. They report that they are overjoyed with how this has worked out for them.
 
None of the 27 are unhappy with the decision they made but several are hoping for more programs. Papa Joe says there are LOTS of programmers working on development.


#100

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November 20
 
First up was Princeton. We’re the #1 seed, they’re #16.
 
80-60. Big games from our guards, 24, 7, 4, 1, 3 for Lou Best, 20, for Win Dahl. 11 and 12 for Jay John at C.
 
#8 ranked, #8 seed Duke is next. Seems like a tough match up for the quarter finals.
 
89-55. 27, 3, 2, 4 for Lou, 18, 4, 4 for Win, 12, 11, 2, 3 for Jay, 11, 7, 4 for Phil Kirk. 
 
#4 seed Maryland next. They’re unranked, which makes me ask why they’re #4 seed while Duke was #8.
 
80-70. It took us a long time to put them away. 31, 7, 3, 3 for Win Dahl, 14, 11, 5 for Jay, 14, 13 for Ted Dye, 12, 2, 6 for Phil.
 
#10 seed Cincinnati for the title. The other side of the bracket was filled with upsets. 
 
69-56. 19, 5, 3, 3, 2 for Win, 13, 13 for Jay, 14, 5, 2, 4 for Lou. 
All of our recruits submitted signed letters of intent.
 
Great first week. This week we play #5 Oregon and #17 Florida, both here.
 
November 27
 
87-65 over #5 Oregon. 27, 7, 4 for Win, who has been really impressive. Good games all around.
 
88-70 over #17 FL. 20, 13 for PF Tad Dye, 15, 13, 2, 2, 5 for Jay John, and the other 3 starters were all in double figures, as was sub Jed Tuck.
 
LSU here, Penn there this week.
 
We may have a juggernaut here. We’re beating up some very good teams. 4 starters in double figures and the 5th, Phil Kirk, averages 9.8. +19.5 in PPG, +9.3 in RBs, +6.4 in TOs.
 
December 4
 
85-68 over LSU. Another great game for Win, 29, 9, 2. 16, 12, 2, 2, 4 for Jay who seems to get a double double nearly every game. 10 for Jed Tuck from the bench and again, good games all around.
 
76-61 at Penn. Jay had a huge game, 29 and 18. 21 for lou, 15, 7, 5 for Win, 7, 12, 3, 2, 2 for Tad.
 
At #6 Stanford- it’s a one game week.
 
December 9
 
Ling came up to me when I got home from work.
 
“Dad, I want to transfer.”
 
She’s 11. I stayed calm… sort of.
 
“Ling, why would you want to do that?”
 
“Peace and quiet. No distractions.”
 
LONG discussion. She’s a reader and a writer. Not a lot else she’s interested in. I suppose the world must seem full of distractions to her. I tried to make her understand the value of human contact, especially family contact. 
 
She admitted that she would miss us but, “We could visit all the time. There’s contact between there and here.”
 
Anyway, at the end I told her I was against it but I would speak with her mother.
 
“And Papa Joe.”
 
“Okay, and Papa Joe.”
 
He’s the ultimate source of fair, open-minded decision making. I guess we all agree on that. I talked to Mai and Papa Joe, and Sing. We really tried to view the situation impartially. In the end there was no way this was going to happen.’
 
Ling took it better than I thought she would. I suppose she got the answer she had expected.
 
“I’ll do it on my eighteenth birthday. I’ll be a legal adult then and no one can stop me.”
 
December 11
85-73 over #6 Stanford there. It wasn’t as close as the final score. We got it to 20 and held it between 15-20 for most of the game. 20, 6, 5, 2 for Lou. It speaks for our depth that both Jay and Tad were in foul trouble all night. Jay played 18 minutes and Tad 16, and we still won easily over a really good team. Jed had 11 and 7 from the bench, and Min Will got 5 and 5 while playing great D. 
 
We’re 9-0, #1 ranked, #1 RPI.
 
This week we host 5-3 Michigan. 
 
December 18
 
100-63 over Michigan. Sub Jed Tuck was on fire, 24 and 9. 13, 10, 2, 32 for Jay, another double double. 16, 7, 4, 3 for Win, 18, 3, 4 for Phil. 8 TOs, 40 RBs.
 
4-6 Kentucky here this week. 
 
December 25
83-52 over KY. 19, 14, 4, 3 for Jay. 13, 14 for Tad. We’re 11-0, and still #1, RPI #1.
 
Scheduling quirk and we have a 4 game week. 6-3 Ga. Tech on the road, #2 Indiana then #13 Duke at home, then Pitt on the road. The Indiana game should be interesting. They’re undefeated, too. Duke is 7-2, Pitt 5-4.
 
 “You KNOW what I wanted for Christmas!”
 
“Ling, let it go. We want you here with us. We all love you.”
 
“18th birthday, not one day later.”
 
It’s never easy, I guess.





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