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Dysfunctional Dave McGee, a DDS:CB3 Dynasty

Started By Wayne23, Mar 28, 2015 07:28 PM

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Wayne23
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As told by Dave's friend, Michael "Red" O'Connor

 

Dysfunctional Dave McGee

I guess it even surprises me how long I’ve been with Dave. He’s not an easy guy to get along with- hell, he’s impossible to get along with- three ex-wives, not a single other long term friendship, no connection to his family…

The man the media has always called “Dysfunctional” Dave McGee is one of a kind. He has a fierce, hair trigger temper, he has been known to get into street brawls, and more often bar brawls, he drinks way too much, he is constantly mad at the world to the point of almost being paranoid. He simply has few if any people skills regarding anyone but those involved with his basketball program.

On the other hand he has a deep, wide, long knowledge of basketball fundamentals, and an equal knowledge of the intricacies of the game. He is an excellent teacher. No one is better at putting together a practice that wastes no time at all. He has unquestioned integrity. He demands the best, in the sport, in the classroom, and on the street from his students. He expects them to avoid anything remotely resembling trouble. But he is loyal to a fault. He will defend his players completely in times of trouble, if he feels they are in the right, or even if it is questionable.

The media too often portrays him as simple. He isn’t. He’s exceedingly complex and usually conflicted.

Okay, where to start? Third grade I guess. I moved to Cranston, Rhode Island from Bridgeport, CT in October of my third grade year. As all schools do, this school teamed me with a kid who would show me around. When we got to lunch recess we went outside. There was a small group shooting baskets, dominated by a tall, rugged looking kid who was clearly in charge. He was yelling at one of the other kids as we drew near.

“Who’s that?”

“Stay away from him, Michael. He’s a real asshole.”

“He’s in the third grade, how bad could he be.”

“If you look at him he beats you up.”

“Hah… What’s his name?”

“Dave McGee.”

“What’s the deal?”

“I dunno. He’s in Miss Butler’s class, not ours. I just know he’s trouble.”

I walked over to the game.

“Hey McGee, kin I take a shot?”

… “Guy wants a shot ta the HEAD! What’s your name, kid?”

“Michael O’Connor. You kin call me Mike.”

“At least yer Irish. I figgered by the hair. Guys, this here is ‘Red’ O’Connor. Call him anything but ‘Red’ I’ll kick yer asses.”

He threw the ball to me, hard. I dribbled twice and took a jumper. It went in.

“Not bad, Red. Yer on my team. Jeff, switch ta skins.”

“Hey! Why I gotta-”

“SWITCH TA SKINS!!!”

That was the intro to Dave McGee. For some reason he liked me. Turned out he lived on the street right next to mine so we hung out a lot right from the beginning. It wasn’t easy being Dave’s friend. He just did stupid, annoying things. Couldn’t seem to help himself. I stuck it out though. I don’t know, I’ve always had a thing about underdogs for one thing. For another, he could play basketball, and even then he was the leader, the coach. He’d put plays in and they were way more sophisticated than you’d expect at this level. He had a head for the game.

He was a head case though. He and I were in school together from third grade through college at URI and I never once saw him do any school work. Don’t ask me how he passed! If a teacher said something he didn’t like, or tried to work with him, Dave would start a battle with the teacher, and more times than not, wind up kicked out of class. But he did pass. He claims he never failed a class, and his URI diploma is in his office.

I guess I’d have to say he was at least somewhat of a bully. Leave him alone, no problem, but get in his way and you’d pay. Kids, even kids 2-3 years older, quickly learned that it was best to do things Dave’s way.

None of that ever changed much over the years. Good or bad he was a leader, and people saw that in him right away.

He kept growing, a big, beefy kid. He was Power Forward all the way and that’s what he played from middle school through college. I was a shooting guard/small forward. I always had a good shot, and the ability to get open for it. I wound up being 6’4”, tall enough to switch between the 2 and 3 spots. I handled the ball okay but not well enough to play Point except in an emergency, and I was a shooter not a passer. Oh, Dave got to 6'6".

In high school Dave went through girl friends like other guys go through sweat socks. He was a big, good looking guy and he was a terrific flirt. But after a girl went out with him a couple of times she was done. He was just too volatile. I never heard that he forced himself on anyone and I don’t think he would do that, but I doubt he had much finesse, and he likely had even less patience.
He had a dim outlook, too.

“Red, it ain’t ever gonna happen for us. Don’t matter how good we are we’re just assholes from Cranston. Duke don’t want us; UCLA don’t want us. We’ll be lucky if URI takes us!”

He was right, but URI did take both of us after we won the state title our senior year at Cranston High. He became a starter as a sophomore and I did as a junior. We roomed together all through college.

We won the conference our senior year and even won our first round NCAA game. Then we got demolished by Syracuse in the 2nd round.

All through college Dave was a really good player, tough as hell, a good rebounder and a better defender. He didn’t score a lot but he did get key baskets fairly often. I was the shooter on the team, and in a lot of ways the star, although that didn’t mean anything to me. Dave and I were co-captains our senior year and that meant a lot.

Off the court his luck with women stayed the same; he dated lots of them but never seemed to have a relationship that lasted.

He never drank until senior year. He never should have started. Alcohol made him even more belligerent and morose than he already was. I can’t even count the number of times I talked him out of fights. Too often I didn’t. He was so big and strong that most guys would back down but when they didn’t it could get ugly very quickly.

We both wound up back at good old Cranston High, me as a history teacher, Dave as a P. E. teacher. He got the head basketball coaching job and I was his assistant. We did well. After a rocky first year we won the league four straight times.

That got him the head coaching job at Nichols College, Div. II. Again, I went with him. We both kept our teaching jobs at Cranston High though.

He got married during his third year at Nichols. He found a woman he couldn’t drive away. After 4 ½ months of marriage he… drove her away.

Then this past spring Bryant fired their head coach. Dave had complied a 91-36 record at Nichols, had won the conference each of the last four years, and had gotten to the Div. II finals or semifinals three of the four years. He never won it all though.

“That’s us, Red, we get there but we don’t get the friggin’ gold ring. Just the way it is. We’ll get ta the big time, you watch, but we’ll never get one a those cushy jobs like Kentucky or Texas, or even UConn, and we’ll never win it all. You’ll see.”

No one ever called Dave Pollyanna.

Anyway, Bryant offered him the job. He told them he would only take it if I got to go along as his #1. After some discussion that’s the way it turned out. Hey, we’re full time basketball coaches at a Div. I school at the tender age of 35! Not bad.

Rhode Island is a small state. Neither of us moved. Dave has an apartment in Cranston, and my wife and I have a small home a couple streets away. Oh, I got married at 28. My wife Jean and I have a boy, Bobby, 3 years old, and a girl, Sandy, 11 months. Jean’s a nurse at the hospital in Cranston.

Jean feels sorry for Dave and has a good effect on him. She’s two years younger but she really is kind of a mother figure. She can get him to hang his head and look embarrassed the way no one else ever could. Dave’s own mother was an alcoholic. She died when he was 15. His dad wasn’t much better. Dave kind of raised himself. He says if it wasn’t for his grandmother he never would have made it. She died when he was 19. He didn’t have brothers and sisters, so Jean and I, and the kids are his only family. He loves the kids and they love him. We have him over for all the holidays, and he’s usually here a couple nights a week. We do a lot of our work here. That may change now that there are two other assistants. We’ll see.

Okay, basketball, coming right up!



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#2

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Hey, My cousin goes to Bryant. This'll be a good one to watch.


My projects:

 

Saving the Sonics - NBA basketball Dynasty (Fantasy Players)

 

Football World 2013 - Data editing a new world for fantasy soccer simulations

 

PCF International - International Pro Basketball (Real Players)

 


#3

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Nice!!!



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May 1, 2015: Dave, like most Irish Catholics in R. I., has a thing about Italians. He hates them. His sole descriptor for any Italian he meets is, “That FW.” You figure out what “FW” means. There are A LOT of Italians in R. I. As luck would have it the A. D. at Bryant is Frank Gillardi. Yep, you guessed it. Me, I don’t have a problem. People are people.

“That FW ain’t gonna give us what we need, Red.”

“Dave, just be diplomatic with him. Hey, he hired you, right?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

So anyway, Dave’s big on academics, integrity, and discipline, real big. Yeah, he’s got a temper. He plays a lot of 2-3, some man, some 1-2-2. Doesn’t press much. Ambition? He would love to coach at URI, that’s his dream job. I guess that makes him about average in ambition. He doesn't think the really top schools would ever hire him.

(Author’s Note: I set Dave at 1 in all categories for Current ratings. Potential: 65 for O, 75 for D, 70 each for the other 3.)

Dave and I work as a team, we have since we started coaching together at Cranston High. He always describes me as his Associate Head Coach. It will be nice if we rise high enough for that to mean something salary wise. If Jean didn't work I'm not sure our family would make ends meet. We hired Al Jones as our #2. He’ll recruit. Del Warren is #3 and he’ll scout. I’m the bench/practice coach.

In looking at game DVDs we think we have some talent with this team. It’s a long time until the first practice, but we’ll see. We’ll keep everybody through the exhibition games to see what we’ve got.

We only have $40,000 in the budget after hiring coaches. (Author's note: House rule: One coach can be promoted one level in a given season or when there's a vacancy.) We spend $10,000 on the Basic National Scouting report. We’re talking about doing no out of state recruiting until after SAT scores come out. Still talking it over with staff.

We have a bunch of guys in summer school to get their grades up.

We’re a long way from 1st practice but recruiting, if we do any fall recruiting starts soon. We’re planning practices, the assistants are looking at DVDs of our conference opponents to not tendencies, sets, things like that, looking at potential recruits. We’re all working 12 hour days, 6 days a week. Dave’s doing 7 days.

We decide, yes, in state recruits only until the end of January or later.



#5

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June 26: We’re looking at and trying to talk with 7 in state recruits.

July 4: Down to 3 in state recruits. (Author’s note: I ditch any recruit who has either D or F for defense, and/or who is below C for Overall rating.)

Still working the summer school thing with 7 of our kids. It gives us a chance to get to know them. The others, all R. I. kids, come in now and then to shoot around. We can’t coach but we can watch, and we can talk with them- just not in the gym.

We play in what is essentially a big high school gym. Chace Athletic Center sits 2700. It also has all of the Athletic Department and Coaches offices.

Dave came over for a July 4 celebration barbecue. We all went to a parade and then back home to eat and play. Dave is magic with Bobby and Sandy. He never runs out of patience with them and he’ll play until they crash and fall asleep. He never drinks while the kids are awake either.

“Hey, it’s a bad influence.”

He’d make a great dad. I hope he gets the chance someday.

July 19: “What’s with the guy, Red?”

“Frankie, he’s got a heart of gold. He just doesn’t have great people skills- except with the team, they’re great there.”

“Hey, I gave him a chance here. I coulda hired somebody else.”

“I know, Frankie. And he appreciates it; he just doesn’t know how to show it. Tell ya what. I’ll try to talk him into having me deal with you. You and I are fine. It’ll just save everybody a lot of aggravation.”

“Maybe that’s a good idea. When I got something’ I’ll come ta you.”

I've always run interference for Dave. Doing it with Frankie Gillardi is no big deal.

August 7: We’re not getting to first base with the two recruits in state we’re still chasing, but we’re not spending a lot of money, either.

August 21: “Whatta ya think, Red?”

“We’re never gonna get him, he’s #4 in the country.

“Yeah but he’s from Pawtucket. Maybe he wants ta stay near home. Alex?” (Alex Jones is our recruiter in case you forgot)

“What the hell. Offer to him. It’s not like kids are beatin’ down our doors.”

“That’s what I think.”

So we offered to #4 and to a PF and a PG we might actually have a shot with. They’re all local and the PF is from Cranston. We know the family. Hey, it’s a small town!

September 4: We’re still chasing our three recruits. The PF looks like we have a real shot.

September 18: We lose #4. He’s going to Duke. Still working on the others.

“Okay, so we gonna go easy, right? We ain’t ready ta face any tough teams.”

“Coach, I think we should get one ranked team. That way the guys see what we’re aimin’ for.”

“Darrell (Darrell is our scouting coach), these guys are gonna all be graduated before we get anywhere near that level.”

“Coach, one good team is a good idea.”

“Alex… maybe so. Let’s put the schedule together.”

We wound up scheduling Georgia, not ranked but a good team. The rest were roughly as weak as we are.

September 22: “I don’t know, Red.”

“Dave, have you been drinking?”

“Jesus Red, I call yer house at 2:30 in the mornin’. A course I bin drinkin’!”

“Where are you?”

“I just got home.”

“You okay?”

“I met somebody about a month ago.”

“That’s not exactly news with you, Dave.”

“No, she’s special. I think maybe she’s the one.”

“Were you drinking with her?”

“She don’t drink.”

“What!”

“Yeah. I don’t drink when I’m with her.”

“Dave… I don’t know how to say this but-”

“Hey, I kin get off the sauce any time I want.”

“Frankly… yeah. How about we both get some sleep.”

“Okay Dave. Tell Jean and the kids I love ‘em.”

September 25: I feel like we’re really close with the PF.

October 2: Still no commitments.

First day of practice. Too soon to know much but we’re stronger inside than out.

We’re picked 2nd in the Northeast conf. Must be a weak conf.!

October 9: We got our first commitment, PF Kip Howe.
He dropped from 223 to 719, but we think he’s a good one. Now we need to get a couple of guards.

October 12: Thought I’d give you a couple of snapshots from practice. All the quotes are Dave. He always uses players’ last names.

“Pass it, Mel (PG Pete Mel). NO! Ya gotta LEAD ‘em!”

“Ta the HOLE, MARN (C Ed Marn). Yer 6’9”, one bounce an’ lay it in. C’mon!”

“Good move, Mel, good MOVE!!!”

“Okay, bring it in. Lane, yer my go to, when ya git it look fer the pick or git yerself open and fer crissake SHOOT! Neil, ya done good getting’ inside position. Keep doin’ that. Kilt, take the Point.”
We simply don’t have a PG. There are two on the team but I’m not sure either is up to the job. Priority #1 in recruiting is getting 2 PGs with our 2 remaining scholarships. We have one open offer to a PG who we like. He seemed interested but he’s backed off. Plenty of time.

November 6: Exhibitions showed us that we’re in trouble. We give the ball away like it was on fire. I suspect that the lineup we start with will not be the one we end with. We’re going with a 7 man rotation. Senior Cory Ken and soph Stan Burd start at guard with junior John Kilt and soph Pete Mel backing up. Senior Mike Lane is at SF, senior Rick Neil and junior Tim Star will be inside. Mike Lane starts at 3, as I said, but he’ll move inside to give the bigs a break, as will Cory Ken. It’s a thrown together kind of a thing and who knows?

November 11: “Happy Veteran’s Day."

"Dave, first you aren’t a veteran. Second, I’m not a veteran. Third it’s quarter to three.”

“There’s no one in the place except-”

“Where are you, Dave?”

“Just gettin’ in my car. Don’t worry, Margie’s drivin’.”

“Is this the same one you told me about last time?"

“Yeah, who else?”
“But you said you didn’t drink when you were with her.”

“That was then, this is now, ha ha ha ha ha. Take a left, baby.”

“Dave, do you mind if I get a little sleep.”

“Jes’ a minute. I gotta tell ya I’m scared. We ain’t ready ta open. Are we ready ta open?”

“Dave, everyone knows we’re rebuilding. We’ll be fine.”

“Jesus, I hope so!”

“Now can I sleep?”

“Okay, Red. Take a right, baby. See ya tomarra mornin’, bright and bleary.”

I don’t know how he does it. And he never seems to have a hangover. And… he pretty much does it every night. Whew!

“Dave, right?”

“Who else, Jean. Who else.”

“If he marries this one do you think he might settle down.”

“Sure, maybe for as long as a month.”

We host North Florida to start the season, and then travel to Howard. Niether team figures to be very good but then neither do we!

Dave cut 3 guys after the exhibitions. Two were walk ons and the other one should have been.



#6

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November 20: Dave was pacing like a bridegroom waiting to meet his bride at the altar. He was really nervous. I tried to calm him down because I knew it would be picked up by the players.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m good. Don’t know why I’m nervous. I been a head coach for 10 years.”

But this was Division I, the big time.

Expectations and interest were equally low regarding Bryant basketball. We lost our opener in front of 872 fans, 50-53. Ball handling is our biggest concern and that was the problem, 20 TOs. We took only 39 shots. North FL wasn’t much better but they were good enough to win.

After the game we worked hard on ball movement in practice.

It was 49-45 for our first win, at Howard. We had an unbelievable 28 TOs, but +15 on the boards helped. We managed only 38 shots. Mike Lane had 15 and 10 at SF, Tim Star 13, 8 at C.

‘We ain’t got a friggin’ Point Guard, Red. (He didn’t say friggin’.)”

“I know, Dave.”

“What the hell we gonna do about that?”

“Make sure we recruit 2 or 3 of them for next year.”

“If we average 49.5 points an’ 24 TOs there might not be a friggin’ next year.”

“It’s a process, Red. We’ll keep working on it.”

And we did.

“Pass NOW!... LEAD HIM!!! Give it! NO-O-O-O-O! Jesus , are you guys color blind! You pass to the guys wearin’ the same color shirt! Do I gotta go shirts an' skins like on the playground. NO! Ya don;t pass low inside! The big guy gets it high. Don;t make him bend for it!”

It wasn’t all yelling though. Dave is good at charting, explaining, demonstrating, doing walk throughs. But the guys just don’t seem to be getting it.

This week we host 1-0 FL A &M, then travel to 1-1 Stetson. Good thing we didn’t schedule many good teams!

November 27: 58-54 over FL A & M at home. Mike had 15 and 5, Stan Burd had 10 and 7. But 24 TOs. +15 RBs saved us again. Dave is pulling his hair out over the TOs.

55-64 at Stetson.

“33 friggin’ shots! How the frig do ya take 33 friggin’shots in the whole friggin’ game. Jesus! It’s unbelievable!”

“Dave, we knew it was going to be a process.”

“Yeah, but we didn’t know we was gonna stink like a friggin’ skunk!”

“Hey, it wasn’t all bad.”

“21 TOs. 21 TOs!”

Stan had 16 points, Mike had 14, Tim 11, 6, 4.”

“We gotta do somethin’.”

“Wait ‘til tomorrow. We’ll meet then. We’re too hyped up tonight.”

“Yeah. I’m goin’ down to the bar. You comin’?”

The mood Dave was in, and considering we were in Texas, I figured I’d better go with him to try to keep him from getting shot.

On the plane to our next game we talked.

We decided to try Stan Burd at PG, backed by John Kilt, and move Cory Ken to the SG spot. I wasn’t confident that it would help but we needed to try something.

This week we were at 1-3 Northern Alabama and then home with 0-3 SE Missouri ST. No world beaters there.

December 4: 50-73. Well, the changes certainly had an effect!

“Worst friggin’ game a the year!”

“Dave, one step at a time. 14 TOs.”

“Yeah but we got hammered!”

“Dave, some good things happened.”

“Neil sucked.”

“He was in foul trouble all night. Cory had 15, Tim had 16-”

“An’ banged up his knee.”

“It doesn’t look bad, he'll play in the next game. Mike had 15.”

“Jesus, I wish I had their Point Guard, 42 friggin’ points!”

“We’ll work on doubling the shooter. We didn’t do a good job. Outside of that guy we were fine.”

“Yeah, outside a that Mrs. Lincoln, how’d ya like the friggin’ play!”

Dave takes his frustrations out on me. He doesn’t yell at the kids as much when things are tough. He sort of saves that for when things are going good. When it’s bad he tries to fix it and stays calm, more or less, well... for him. The guys love him though. He has their back in every situation and that trumps the rest. He suspended Mark Wilk for a week. Mark was mouthing off, probably because he isn't playing much. Coach put the hammer down. Mark cam back and so far he's working harder and he's a lot quieter. We'll see.

We snuck out a 55-53 win at home against SE Missouri ST.

“10 TOs, we took 48 shots, 19 and 8 for Ken, 17, 3, 2 for Mike-”

“And we only win by 2.”

“It’s a win, Dave. And again, 10 TOS.”

“Yeah, I gotta admit I’m happy about that.”

Only one this week, at 2-4 MD Eastern Shore.

We decide to expand the search for guards to the whole Atlantic East section. We’re not spending a lot of money yet but we hope one or two will talk to us.



#7

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December 11: 55-66 at MD Eastern Shore.

“19 in the 2nd half. Jesus Q. Christ!”

“Mike had 25, we only had 15 TOs.”

“They had 6.”

“Dave, it’s not going to be a great season, but we’re building something here. We knew we had back court problems. That’s probably not going to get a lot better. But Mike and Tim look good, and Cory is way better at the SG spot than at the Point, and Stan’s not doing so bad at the Point.”

“Rick Neil is supposed ta be our best player and he ain’t doin’ squat.”

“He’s playing terrific D almost every game,. and he’s our #2 rebounder.”

“We need ta score. 53.1 per game is pathetic.”

“Yes, we need to score.”

Man, we sure do. It takes time for guys to learn a system. It’s frustrating to lose but 3-4 isn’t bad. If we can split our last 2 pre-conf. games I won’t be unhappy.

We host a tough 7-1 Delaware ST team this week, and that’s the easier of the two games. Yikes!

None of the new recruits are talking with us, at least not yet.

December 18: 52-66 vs. Delaware ST. Tim had 17 but fouled out in 16 minutes. Mike had 10 and 6. No one else had more than 5. TOs are getting better and RBs are okay but we don’t get enough shots and we don’t shoot well when we get the shots. We played a tough team though.

“Red, maybe I should quit.”

“Where are you, Dave?”

“Lefty’s Grill.”

“You alone?”

“No, Margie’s here.”

“It’s 2:15. How come they’re still open?”

“They ain’t. They took my drink at 2:00.”

“Go home and get some sleep, Dave. Oh, we’re not quitting, you’ve never been a quitter. We’ll be fine once the conference season starts. We’re fighting a little above our weight class right now.”

“Jesus, Georgia’s gonna kill us!”

“Don’t be so sure. Sometimes guys rise to the occasion.”

“I ain’t sure these guys would rise for Marilyn Monroe.”

Georgia is 5-3 and yeah, we’re going to get killed. After that it’s conf. play though.

December 25: 55-65 at Georgia. Not bad considering they’re the best team on the schedule.

“Down 22 in the first half.”

“Yeah but what a comeback. We got it to 3 late. We just need to work on scoring points, Dave. That’s the biggest problem now.”

“We’re still havin’ ball handlin’ problems.”

“Not as bad though. And 42 RBs against a good team. That had to feel good.”

“I guess. 18, 11 for Mike.”

“I think we’ll be fine in conf., I really do.”

“We’ll see.”

3-6 to end pre-conf. play. Not what we wanted but I see sings that we’re getting better.

We start conf. play at Central CT, one of the better teams in conf., 6-3. Then we host 2-7 Stan Francis.



#8

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As usual Dave overdid it with XMas presents for the kids and for Jean. He brought Margie over. She seems nice. I hope she has a thick skin.

January 1, 2016: Not a good start. 40-62 vs. CCSU. -12 on the boards, 16 TOs, we shot 29.2%. 14, 10, 2 for Tim.

Then a heartbreaker at home, 59-61 vs. Stan Francis.

“10 TOs, 38 RBs, our most points a the year an’ we lose!”

“A prayer.”

“Yeah but it got answered! Beat on a 50 footer!”

“We’re getting better, Dave.”

“Meeting first thing in the mornin’.”

We tweak a couple of things but nothing major. We’ll see.

At 3-8 FDU, then home with 8-3 Robert Morris. We need a win this week, absolutely need one.

January 8: 68-53 at FDU. 19 TOs but they had 20. +11 RBs. We shot 58%. 4 guys in double figures.

“Jesus, we win one then we sh*t the bed at home! 54-70. Damn!”

“Robert Morris is tough
. We got nothing from our guards again. The big guys were fine. Keep working.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

This week it’s 4-9 Wagner there, and 6-7 Mount Mary here.

Oh, Mark Wilk got his 3rd suspension of the year. He’s been a real trouble maker. Two weeks this time.

January 15: The week from hell. 54-61 at Wagner. 23 TOs. Tim Star had a huge game, 28, 14, 2, 3, Mike Lane had 10 and 9, but no one else did anything.

Then Mount Mary beat us at our place, 53-58, and we had 2 injuries. 21 TOs, 16, 8 for Tim, not much else.

Tim hurt a wrist. He won’t miss any games, just a couple of days of practice. But PG Stan Burd got a very bad bicep injury and he’s out for three weeks.

“I know, I know, but we’re goin’ with Pete Mel. Kilt has gotten all kinds a sub minutes and he ain’t done nothin’.”

7-8, 3-3 Silly Hat is here, then we go to 7-8, 4-2 Sam Franklin. Pete Mel will be the third guy to start at PG this season.

January 22: 57-56 over Silly Hat.

“Jesus, maybe we accidentally found somethin’. Mel had no TOs.”

19, 9 for Ken Cory, 17, 8 for Mike Lane, only 11 TOs.

Then we got buried by Sam Franklin there, 43-69.

“But Mel only had 1 TO. Course he was in foul trouble half the night.”

Pete Mel, if he keeps this up, will continue to start when Stan gets back. We’ll see what that means to the lineup as a whole.

We’re still tied for last place, with 10 to play. 5-12, 2-6.

2 at home this week. 10-7, 6-2 Long Island is in, then CCSU, 9-8, 3-5.

January 29: “We friggin’ invent ways ta lose!”

64-71 vs. Long Island in OT. They scored the last 7 in regulation, the last 7 in OT. 20 TOs, 10 in the last 10 minutes (including OT).

Then we beat CCSU 64-59. 21, 6 for Mike, 17, 8 for Cory Ken, 15, 8 for Tim. 17 TOs and no production outside.

“Okay, we’re healthy. Now what?”

“We played better with Mel in the lineup.”

“I think so too.”

Anyway, we’re going with a 6 man rotation. Keep trying.

At 7-12, 5-5 Stan Francis. They won by 2 at our place. Then FDU at home. We won by 15 there.



#9

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February 5: Trounced on the road again, 55-74 at Stan Francis.

“19 TOs! Is it ever gonna stop!”

“John Kilt had a big game, 14, 2, 3.”

“Yeah, if he keeps it up maybe we’ll give him Burd’s minutes. He had 8 of the TOs.”

Lane and Star looked good too.”

“Yeah but we just ain’t playin; like a team, Red.”

“It takes time, Dave.”

54-50 over FDU at home.

“You have to love Pete Mel’s TOs.”

“Yeah, he really takes good care a the ball just about ev’ry game. We looked good tonight.”

“4 guys with either 12 or 13, only 11 TOs, and we took 11 more shots than they did.”

“Which is practic’ly a miracle.”

“Small steps. Hey there’s 2 teams behind us in the standings.”

“Yeah and we’re all the way up to 289 in RPI, which is embarrassin’.”

“Better than Bryant has done in three years.”

This week we’re at 16-5, 9-3 Robert Morris, which figures to be a very tough game. Then we host 7-14, 3-9 Wagner. Unfortunately, after that 3 of our last 4 are on the road.

February 12: 48-76 at Robert Morris.

“Pathetic.”

“Hey, Tim’s been our best player and he’s a junior. If we can get him some help we’ll be okay next year.”

“Big if!”

65-51 over Wagner. 29, 9 for Mike Lane and we led all the way.

This week it’s 14-9, 10-4 Mount Mary, and 12-11, 8-6 Silly Hat, both on the road.

“We GOTTA get a split this week. We just GOTTA!”

All Frankie Gillardi asked was that we not finish last in conf. We’re in 6th right now but with 3 of 4 on the road last place is in sight.

February 19: “YEAH!!!”

63-49 over 1st place Mount Mary there. Go figure. 4 starters in double figures, +4 TOs. Pete Mel continues to move the ball without turning it over. This win means it’s impossible for us to finish last. Oh, this tied our longest win streak of the year- 2.

Then Silly Hat crushed us 42-66. 21 TOs, but Pete only had 2 of them.

2 to play. We host 10-15, 7-9 Sam Franklin, then we’re at 14-11, 10-6 Long Island. A split would be great. It would get us to 10 wins.

February 26: 62-57 over Sam Franklin. 25 for Mike, 1 TO for Pete, 11 for the team.

46-56 at Long Island. 17, 9 for Tim, 12, 10 for Mike, 11 TOs, 36 RBs.

“Hey, we got ta 10 wins. Never thought we would.”

10-17, 7-11, RPI #260.”

“Which sucks.”

“Which is the best Bryant has done in 5 years.”

Burd sprained a toe. He may or may not play in our first (hopefully not only tourney game).

We finish tied for 7th, the #8 seed. Unfortunately that means we play Robert Morris, #1 in the conf., in our first game. They beat us by 16, then by 28.

“Jesus, Robert Morris, That teams like the shark and we’re like the guppies.”

“Dave, it’s 2:00 a.m.”

“Yeah, I know. Margie an’ I are just leavin’ Lefty’s. How in hell we gonna beat Robert Morris?”

“Can we talk about this in the office tomorrow?”

“Okay, okay.”

The truth of the matter is that it’s pretty doubtful that we can win this game. I suspect that our season is over after that game. We aren’t having a lot of luck with recruiting. We desperately need to sign a couple of PGs.



#10

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March 1: 58-55 over Robert Morris.

“It’s a friggin’ miracle!”

Pretty much. +16 on the boards, 12 TOs, 15 and 15 for Mike, 13, 7, 2 for Rick Neil from the bench, and get this, the winner was a 28 footer at the buzzer by Tim Star, our Center. His first career three.

“Hey, Mel passed it ta him cuz he was the only guy open. We had enough bad luck this year. I’ll take a little good luck.”

#5 seed, 13-15, 10-8 Stan Francis beat #4 so they’re up in the semis. They beat us by 2 at our place and 19 there.

“It prob’ly ends here but hey, we got that big win.”

Mister Optimist!

March 2: 68-58! We beat Stan Francis and we're in the finals!

“Am I dreamin’? Did I die an’ go ta heaven?”

I have no explanation. 21, 4, 2 for Cory Ken, 10, 9, 3, 2 for Mike Lane, 9 each for Mel (1 TO), and subs Rick Neil and John Kilt. 8, 7, 3 for Tim.

It’s # 2 seed Mount Mary for the title. 18-11, 12-6. We beat them by 5, then they beat us by 14.

“I can’t believe we’re playin’ for the title!”

“And for a trip to the Big Dance.”

“Crazy.”

Maybe the team just put it all together at last. Who knows.

March 3: “So friggin’ CLOSE!!!”

41-43. We knew their back court was strong and they were, but our front court made up for that. It came down to the last possession and their SG made a contested 19 footer.

“We had a friggin’ hand right in his face.”

“He’s a good shooter, Dave.”

“Damn!”

“Hey, it was a great finish and it gives me hope for next year.”

16, 5, 3 for Cory Ken who had a great tourney. He got hurt late and couldn’t go and that’ probably did us in. 7, 9 for Mike. We had 14 TOs but they had 15, and we were +7 on the boards.

We won’t be invited anywhere but again, it was a good way to finish. Now to convince some recruits!

March 5: [b]

March 17: The Northeast conf. is gone from postseason play.

April 4: [b]

April 16: Hal Cam, an SG, and Matt Cone, a PG, sign. We still need a PG.

April 23: We get PF Gee Tomm, but no guards. We were unable to fill two scholarships.

We ask for a facilities upgrade.


“After the way we sh*t the bed Gillardi won’t give it to us.”

“I explained that it would help with recruiting. Let’s hope.”

Denied.

We end the season at 12-18, tied for 7th in a10 team conf. Our only goal was not to finish last. We met it so Team Prestige is up to 4. This year? Same goal.

Dave’s ratings increased from 1 across the board to : Off- 3, Def.- 5, Recruiting- 10, Scouting- 2, Player Development- 4, Reputation- 4.


“Dave, we really didn’t do all that badly. I mean we had so little talent. We scrapped and we battled. I’m thinking top half of the conf. this year.”

“Jesus, I hope so. Losing this much sucks.”

April 30: “I need to speak with Michael O’Connor.”

“Speaking.”

“This is Sgt. Billings at the Cranston barracks. I’ve got Coach McGee. We don’t want to charge him, but he’s sh*t faced drunk. If you can take him home we’ll let it go.”

“I’ll be right there.”

"Now what?"

"He's at the barracks, Jean. If i pick him up and bring him home they won't arrest him.."

"I hope he realizes how lucky he is to have you."

"He does, Jean."



“Dave, this has got to stop. They could have arrested you.”

“Yeah, I know. I shouldn’t have drove.”

“Maybe you should think about cutting back on the booze.”

“Maybe I should.”



#11

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June 6: Jay Rodd, an SF who hardly played last year but who could have helped this year, transferred out. We bought the National Basic scouting report and we’re looking at transfers.

June 12: We get 2, Jon Cook, a junior PF from UNLV, and Brad Doss, a junior C from Auburn. Looking for a guard. (Author’s note: House rule prevents me chasing anyone better than 150 rank.)

June 16: We gamble on a PG from DePaul.

June 19: We get him, Luke Myer, junior PG.
Not sure he’ll be worth having but the way we recruit.

“Damn! We done okay with transfers, Red. You and Alex did a great job.”

“A lot of it was you, Dave. Parents love that strict discipline and kids believe in you.”

“Well, we better do some winnin’ this year or that won’t be worth squat.”

June 26: 3 scholarships. We want 2 PGs and a big but we’ll take what we can get. Looking at 8 PGs, 3 PFs, 2 Cs, all in the Atl. East, to start.

“We damn well better do a better job of recruitin’ this year.”

“I don’t know. We got a couple of good looking guys, and we got some transfers that will help.”

“We’ll see.”

July 17: Still after recruits. None of them are talking much but 2-3 are showing a little interest.

August 21: We offer to 2 PGs and a C.

“We better get some good guys here.”

September 18: No one yet but we’re close with a couple.

“How’d you do with Frankie?”

“Well, we have a schedule.”

“Yeah, I figured that, Red. Specifics?”

5 home 4 away pre-conf. You said cupcakes on the road, a little better at home if we could get them, which we mostly couldn’t. One or two challenges but possible challenges not sure losses. We worked hard. Here’s the list.”

“Fresno ST at home. Yeah, that’s a test. Charleston? Maybe. Nobody willin’ to come here, really, right?”


“Dave, we wore out the phone. If they come to our place and win it’s no help. If they lose it’s a disaster for them.”

“Yeah, I get that. How ‘bout the road.”

“Well, UNLV?”

“Three cupcakes an’ UNLV. They’ll beat us, but it’s good ta have a team like that. Ya done good, Red.”

“Thanks. You might want to thank Frankie, too. He worked hard.”

“Okay.”

“Red… no late night calls in 4 ½ months.”

“I’m tryin’, Red. Margie got all over me an’ she was right. I ain’t quit, but I’m drinkin’ less, an’ drinkin’ at home or in the hotel where I’m stayin’ if I’m on the road. Drunk drivin’ will get me fired.”

“I knew I liked Margie.”

“I hope so. You’re gonna be the best man.”

“... Great! When?”

“November 4, Friday night.”

“That’s great. Where?"

"Her mother’s place. Turns out her mom is kinda rich and got this big ole fancy house. Offered an’ me an’ Margie thought it’d be good politics.”

“Dave-”

“Yeah, I know. But Jesus. I gotta try again. Margie’s real good for me, an’ I really do love her. It’s at 6:00 so Jean and the kids can come, too. I really want all of you there. You’re the only family I got.”

“Wouldn’t miss it, Dave.”

September 25: Got one. Lost one. We got Bill Fine, PG, #594 right now. Lost a PG but offered to another one.

October 2: Lost the big guy.

1st day of practice.

“We’re mighty thin up front.”

“I think a little better than last year overall.”

“We’ll see.”

We’re picked 2nd in conf. again.”

“Yeah. Hope it’s more accurate than last year but Red, I just don’t know.”

“Too soon to know much of anything, but I’ll tell you one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Next year we win the conf.”

“Big talk, buddy.”

“You heard it here first.”

November 4: It was a nice wedding. The groom’s only drink was the wedding toast. No time for a honeymoon but they’ll take a long weekend in the middle of the week. I’ll be in charge for three days.

November 6: “I don’t know. We better than last year, Red?”

“Definitely! Maybe not world beaters but we’re good enough to make the top half of the conf.”

“I’d take that.”

Here’s the lineup: Frosh Matt Cone who looks really good at guard with senior Mark Wilk. Wilk caused a lot of trouble last year but we think PT may solve that. Senior John Kilt will back them up. Junior Pete Mel is kind of out of the rotation right now but he played his way into a major role last year so we’ll see.

Junior Juco Hal Cam, who looks like a scoring machine is at SF. He’s a natural SG but his ball handling has been awful so we’re hoping we can hide that at the 3 spot. Inside it’s senior Tim Star returning and juniors Ed Marn and Stan Burd getting the rest of the minutes. But except for Star inside minutes are there for the taking. We feel like we should score a lot more points this year. That was one of our issues last year. As to the other one, ball handling, we’ll see. We could be stronger on D after Cone, Cam, and Star.


We start with 2 at home, Army and Boston. If we don’t start 2-0 it could be a long season.



#12

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November 20: A great first week.

“Best I felt since I got the job!”

70-58 over Army. 26 for Matt Cone, 17 for Mark Wilk, 14 for Hal Cam. Tim Start had 8 and 5 but fouled out and we’re in trouble inside without him. He’s really our only inside player. 14 TOs but -6 on the boards.

Then 65-44 over Boston. 16, 4, 2, 2 for Mark, 15, 4 for Tim, 13, 4, 4, 2 for Matt, 9, 3, 4 for Hal. Ed Marn had 8 and 5. He may get more minutes if he can continue that.

“Two cupcakes at home but still. Winnin’s good for everythin’ that ails ya!”

“That it is, Dave. That it is.”

We travel to 0-1 Quinnipiac then host 1-0 Fresno ST this week.

This week will tell us, first, what we can do on the road, and second, what we can do against a decent team.

November 27: Back to reality. 54-67 at Quinnipiac.

“24 friggin’ TOs. I thought we’d fixed that.”

“Matt only had 1.”

“Yeah but everybody else had hair grease on their hands, I swear!”

Matt, Mark, and Tim did the scoring. We’re thinking of Ed Marn for Stan Burd. We think Ed will give us more rebounding, which is another issue.

41-44 vs. Fresno ST here. 18 TOs this time, 5 by Matt. The D was great but for the first time all year we just couldn’t score.

Here’s a little of what Dave is like during a game:

“Stan, back door! Damn it we practiced that. It was THERE!”

“Look inside, Matt! Work it to the bigs!”

“C’mon ref! Over the BACK!”

“Take it easy, Dave. You been on the kid all night.”

“Look Jim, I haven’t yelled at you once. I never do.”

“You know I’d T you up.”

“Yeah, but you’re consistent, and you know what you’re doin’.”

“It takes time, Dave. The kid’ll be fine in a couple a years.”

“In the meantime he’s killin’ me- NO! That was a block!”

“I’m tellin’ ya Dave, ease off.”

“Okay, okay.”

“Good rebound, Tim!”

Basically, Dave yells throughout the game, start to finish. Encouragement, advice, calls plays, switches defenses, criticizes things they miss, gets on the refs- you name it. He has one of those foghorn voices that penetrates through any other noise. He gets Tee’d up, but not as often as you’d think. He usually knows when the ref has had enough. He makes terrific use of halftime and time outs but we’ll talk about those things another time.

“Dave, we lost to the 2nd best team on the schedule by 3.”

“But we shoulda won.”

Burd must have heard us. He had a decent game. No changes yet. +11 RBs, our best all year.

This is our only 2 game road trip, at 4-0 Howard, then at 3-2 North Alabama. I’d love a split!

December 4: We got the split. 74-61 at Howard. 24 for Matt, 16 for Mark, 12, 6, 2, 2 for Tim, 10, 6, 3, 2 for Hal.

57-69 at North Alabama. 19 TOs, but that problem hasn’t been solved yet. 18, 5, 2 for Hal, 14 for Matt.

We need to rebound better, and ball handling is still a mess. We’re getting about 7.5 more PPG than last year.

3-3 ain’t all that bad. We went 3-6 pre-conf. last year. I’d sure like a couple more wins before we go to conf.!”

“Me too, Dave.”

One game this week, and for the next couple. We're hosting 1-4 Navy this week.

The marriage seems to be going well, but it’s only been a month. Dave says he still isn’t drinking in public except for at the hotels where we stay on the road. Learned his lesson? I’m not sure I’d go that far!



#13

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December 11: 64-60 in OT over Navy. It was a battle, no pun intended. Only 14 TOs- in 45 minutes! 19 for Star, 17 for Cone. RBs were even. Burd has been playing much better at PF. We’re giving him starter’s minutes.

This week we’re playing our toughest game, at 7-2, UNLV, #23 ranked.

December 18: 47-62 at UNLV. Not a huge surprise. 14 TOs and 40 RBs so we did some things really well. 27.7% shooting was not one of them. 18, 7, 3 for Matt, 10, 11, 2 for Tim, but they were the better team.

4-4 with one pre-conf. game to play. It’s a tough one. We host 6-2 Charleston.

December 25: 64-40.
12 TOs, +13 on the boards. 11, 10 for Tim, four in double figures.

Yes! 5-4! What a great way to finish!”

I agree. A two game improvement against slightly better competition- not that we actually beat any of the better teams, but still. All 4 losses were to decent teams, which means we won the games we needed to win. I’m sticking with that top half of the conf. prediction.

We start conf. play here with 5-4 Long Island, and then travel to 5-4 Silly Hat.

XMas was great. Bobby’s 4 ½, Sandy’s 2 ½ so they really had a great time. Dave and Margie spent most of the day with us, bought way too much for the kids, spoiled them and played with them all day, then went to Margie’s family’s place for dinner. They both had an absolute ball with our kids and had that, “Let’s have one of our own” look. I hope they wait a while. I’m rooting for them all the way but Dave’s track record is not good.



#14

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January 1, 2017: 68-38 over Long Island. We put it all together in this one. 12 TOs, 23, 5, 2 for Matt, 21, 3, 3 for Hal, 12, 6, 3 for Tim.

42-52 at Silly Hat. 14 TOs, -11 boards. 16 for Matt, 11, 6 for Tim but 4 fouls for both, and we just didn’t get enough offense from our other guys. We’re giving Pete Mel John Kilt’s minutes. Kilt isn’t giving us much.

“Hey, RPI 139. We never came close to that last year, Red.”

“Wins help, and strength of schedule is up some.”

This week we host 6-5, 0-2 Robert Morris and travel to 8-3, 2-0 CCSU, picked #1 in conf. in the preseason polls.

January 8: Still winning at home, losing on the road. 59-55 over Rob’t Morris. 24, 6, 2 for Hal. 13 TOs.

We were down 2 with 1:22 to play. Dave called a TO.

“Look, you’re better than these guys. If they stay in the 2-3, Stan, set a good, solid pick for Hal. Do it ‘til they stop it. Hal, take the shot, don’t even look pass if you’re open. On D, you only got one foul Matt, stay in their PGs shirt. Tim and Stan, don’t chase your guy out side. Neither one a them 2 can hit anything past 6 feet. Stay the frig home an’ REBOUND! Mark, collapse in, your guy ain’t hittin’ sh*t. Let’s go!”

Efficient. The rule is don’t tell them too many things, but he spoke to all 5 guys. It worked. We scored the next 6 and held on.

48-64 at CCSU. -5 TOs, -2 RBs. 14 each for Tim and Matt but Matt fouled out late. It was over by then though.

“D*mn! We gotta start winnin’ a few on the road! We got a shot this week.”

FDU at home this week. They’re 5-8, 2-2. Then we go to 4-9, 0-4 Wagner.

Three teams ahead of us, three behind us, three tied with us right now.

January 15: 34-43 to FDU. We shot 22% at home, 2-22 on threes. 11 RBs for Tim. We had one of our better crowds, 1547, but by the end most were gone.

“Blew a great friggin’ chance. How the frig do ya score 34 friggin’ points! You guys got any little sisters that play hoops? Watch ‘em friggin’ shoot, maybe you’ll friggin’ learn somethin’.”

When I write “friggin’”, yeah, that’s not what Dave is saying- ever, except maybe to a ref.

70-64 at Wagner. We really worked the offense to prep for this one and it helped. 2nd most points of the season. 18, 3, 2, 2 for Hal but 8 TOs, 17 for Matt but 5 TOs, 14 for Mark, 10, 8 for Tim. Pete Mel had 4 TOs. We had 19 TOs, 17 by our guards. Not good. But we got the “W.”

7-8, 3-3 Sam Franklin is here and then it’s 8-7, 5-1, tied for 1st Mount Mary there.

8-7, 3-3, RPI 154. We’re holding our own but the home game with SFU is a must win, pretty much.

January 22: 71-35 over SFU. Matt Cone had 30. He couldn’t miss. 8, 8, 3, 3 for Tim. 9, 4, 6 for Pete from the bench. 32 RBs and 3- yeah, 3 TOs.

54-59 at Mount Mary. 20, 3, 3 for Matt who’s really hot, 17, 9, 2 for Tim. Not much from anyone else though. We got down 15 early and never quite got back even. We had the ball down one basket 5 times and never hit the key shot.

“D*mn! It’s the road! It ain’t the road ta h*ll! Basket’s the same friggin’ size. The crowds ain’t all that noisy, everythin’s the same. Make the friggin’ shots! An’ fer chrissake take care a the BALL!”

Still, we’re 9-8, 4-4, 2 back of the lead. If we could get something going good things could happen. Our longest win streak since we got to Bryant last season is still 2 games. We need to string some together.

A tough home game with 14-3, 6-2 Stan Francis, then on the road to 8-9, 3-5 Long Island. If we’re going to get it together now would be a good time!

We desperately need more from SF and PF but I don’t see it happening.

January 29: Ouch! 49-69 to Stan Francis at home. 17, 4, 2 for Hal, 9, 5, 3 for tim, and not much for anyone else. 17 TOs, -6 RBs. Okay, they’re a better team.

56-57 at LIU. This one hurt. It was ours for the taking. 18, 6, 4, 4 for Tim, 13 for Stan. But 17 TOs (they had 20) and a pathetic 20 RBs (they had 19). It was a terribly sloppy game for both teams.

We got the ball back with 8.7 to go. Dave called a TO and put in the play.

“They been man all night. We ain’t run a clear yet. Stan’s been hot. Everybody else draw your man out. Matt get it to Stan. Stan take yer guy and go to the hole fer a layup.”

The set up was perfect. Stan was ready for the pass with about 2 ticks left. Matt faked, passed, and their PG tipped it. It rolled along the floor as time ran out.

January 31: “Red on the head!”

“It’s a been a while since the last 2:15 a.m. phone call.”

“I was so pissy Margie got real mad an’ tore my head off. I said frig it. I’m at Lefty’s. Come on down.”

“Um, I was asleep?”

“You ain’t now. C’mon.”

I went. Dave was about as drunk as I’ve ever seen him. The bartender wanted to close and was about ready to call the police because Dave was giving him a hard time about getting one more drink. I told the bartender to give me 2-3 minutes. I managed to talk Dave into coming home with me. He wouldn’t go to his house; said Margie wouldn’t want to see him like this. He slept on the couch, was up at 6:45, and out of the house by 7:00. He told me later that he jogged home and he and Margie patched it up and went to get his car at Lefty’s. The woman is a saint!

Three game losing streak, our longest of the season.

We host 10-9, 5-5 Silly Hat, then go to 11-8, 5-5 Robert Morris. We need a win and two would be a whole lot better!



#15

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February 5: 60-59 over Silly Hat. -10 RBs, but we got the one that counted. We got the ball down one at the end again. Dave set up a play for Tim. It worked, Tim missed a 6 footer, but Mark got the tip in. We escaped. 11 TOs. 13 each for Hal and Matt but Hal had 7 of the TOs. 9, 6 for Tim.

“See! You guys can do it when you get yer heads outta yer a$$e$! That put back by Mark was nuthin’ but heads up and hustle. If we get more a that we’ll do a h*ll of a lot better!”

40-52 at Rob’t Morris. 31.5%, 23.5% from long range. 18 TOs. Dave was too upset to talk to the kids after the game. I pointed out a few things, but in a positive way.

2 games out of 5th place with 6 to play. That top half finish isn’t looking so great.

Dave got hammered in the hotel bar and I rescued him at closing time. Rescued the bartender is more like it.

15-6, 9-3, 1st place CCSU is in town. Then we travel to 10-11, 7-5 FDU, who beat us by 9 at our place.

“We GOTTA win at least one this week or we’re lookin’ at 9th place. D*mn!”

I’m not sure it’s that bad but it isn’t good. We had a long staff meeting to see if there was anything new to try. There isn’t.

February 12: A great week! 61-43 over CCSU! Matt went crazy, 32, 6, 2. Tim had 15, 10, 3. We didn’t get a lot more, except for good work by Ed Marn from the bench, but it was enough. +13 RBs, -6 TOs.

70-61 at FDU. This was a very big win. 19 for Hal, 16, 9 for Tim, good play by the other starters and Ed Marn. 17 TOs but they had 24.

3 way tie for 4th. Can’t finish 1st or last but everything else is possible with 4 left.

Last place Wagner, 6-17, 2-12 is here. Then we’re at 11-12, 7-7 Sam Franklin. We won 71-35 here but the road is hard.

February 19: 45-32 over Wagner. A very weird game. 13, 11, 2, 3 for Tim. No one else on either team got more than 7 points. We were +4 RBs, +5 TOs.

“The least pathetic team won.”

“Hey, 3 in a row, Dave. First time ever.”

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t take it.”

64-57 at Sam Franklin! We took an early lead, built it to 19 early in the 2nd half and hung on. The final was as close as it got. 20, 5, 5 for Hal, 20, 5, 4 for Matt. 12, 9, 2 for Tim who we will miss like crazy when he graduates in a couple of months. 11 TOs, our best road TO # since we got here.

“WOOOOO!!! 4 in a row an’ tied fer 3rd! WOOOOOO!”

14-11, 11-5 Mount Mary is here. They only won by 5 there. Then it’s Stan Francis, 17-8, 9-7, there, to end the regular season. They won by 20 at our place.

We gotta win the home game an’ hope fer the road game.”

“10-8 would be pretty darn good.”

“11-7 would be terrific!”

“Well, we’re playing well. Let’s see what happens.”

14-11, 9-7, RPI #120.

February 26: 48-53 to Mount Mary. 22 TOs, 2nd worst of the year. 13, 7, 2 for Hal, 12, 6, 2, 4 for Tim. Matt and Pete both fouled out and Dave got Tee’d up. 17 trips to the line for them, 4 for us, and that was the difference.

58-65 at Stan Francis. We blew a 10 point lead. We just fell apart in the last 5-7 minutes. 18 TOs, at least half of them late in the game. 26 for Matt, 12, 5 for Mark but 7 TOs. Tim had 8 RBs but they doubled him and he didn’t score a point; never took a shot!

“Friggin’ guards never got the ball inside. No wonder we lost!” -8 TOs, -6 RBs.

14-13, 9-9 at the end of the regular season.

We’ll play #4 seed FDU in the round of 8. They won by 9 at their place, we won by 9 at ours so it should be interesting!

 

March 1: 66-49 over FDU! 9 TOs, 2nd best of the season. +4 RBs. 5 starters in doubles for the first time since we arrived at Bryant. We scored the first 7 and never trailed.

#1 seed CCSU, 20-8, 13-5, in the semis. We lost by 16 there, won by 18 at home so who knows? Their starting C is out with a broken foot.

March 2: 59-69. 23 TOs- 2nd worst of the year. +10 RBs wasn’t enough to counteract that. 19, 6, 4 for Hal, 15, 7 for Tim in what is most likely his last game here. We can hope for a trip to the CHI but I think it’s unlikely.

March 3: CCSU won the title.

March 6: Margie McGee came over to speak with Jean and me at about 8:00 last night.

“I hope you two don’t mind but I really need to talk about this.”

“Red and I don’t mind, Margie. Go ahead.”

“I’m kind of at my wits’ end. Dave is so good in so many ways. I know that he loves me. He says it and shows it all the time. He’d never cheat. He’d never beat me or even mentally abuse me. We fight, but he backs down before I do. He’s great with kids. He’s good at what he does…”

“It’s the drinking.”

“Yes Red, it’s the drinking. It’s terrible. He’s never mean to me or anything like that but I just can’t deal with it.”

“I understand.”

“I love him to pieces but I just don’t know. I thought maybe a baby, since he’s so great with your two, but suppose it doesn’t get better. I don’t want my child growing up in a broken family.”

“I can see that. It would be a huge risk.”

“He really wants a baby but… I just don’t know.”

We talked for at least 2 ½ hours. At the end she thought she’d tell Dave that if he wanted a baby he had to be sober for a year- not cut back, not drink less, but be completely sober for a year.

March 12: Not selected, as suspected.

March 19: CCSU made it to the 2nd round but that was it.


March 26: PF Dwayne Johnson signed. He’s #74 so a real find. He was 263 when we started chasing him.

April 4: Arizona won it all by 1 point over Duke.

Awards: Tim Star is conf. POY and 1st team. Matt Cone is Freshman OY and 2nd team. Hal Cam is 1st team.

April 9: Dave actually got 2 head coach offers.


“I ain’t leavin’ Rhode Island.”

That means Bryant, Brown, Providence, and his dream school and our alma mater, URI.

April 16: We switch our scholarship offer to SG Ben Ahab, #150. The PG we’ve chased all season never gave us a tumble so we dropped him.

April 23: We got Ben Ahab.
Attendance increased this year- by 349 fans per game, so we ask for a facilities upgrade, figuring we have a shot at it. Frankie said yes. Up from D+ to C+.
We end the season at 15-14, 9-9, RPI #142. Way better than last season. Team Prestige jumps one notch to 5. Our record for 2 seasons is 27-32, .458, but I feel really good about next year. Dave’s #s are: Off.- 7, Def.- 11, Recruit- 27, Scout- 2, Player Development- 9, Reputation- 7.


April 25: “She left me. Took all her stuff and left.”

“I’m sorry, Dave.”

“My own friggin’ fault. I couldn’t quit drinkin’ fer more’n like a week an’ a half.”

I didn’t say anything because there wasn’t anything to say.

“It woulda worked if we’d a had a kid. I never drink around your kids.”

“No but you start as soon as they’re in bed.”

“Yeah. I guess I do. Sh*t! I really love her.”

The next few weeks are probably not going to be a lot of fun.



#16

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May 14: There have been lots of middle of the night calls from Dave but at least he’s drinking at home.

June 6: We have 2 slots open for transfers.

June 16: We get 2, soph PG Ren Hay from LSU, and soph, Geo Dock, a very good looking SG from Nome.


Dave is really struggling. Margie is gone. She won’t accept his calls, won’t tell him where she is living. He blew it and he knows it. He has gone on the wagon. It’s only 5 days but it’s a start. He won’t hear of going to either AA or a therapist though.

June 26: 4 scholarships. Ideally it would be 3 bigs and a PG, but we’ll see. Looking at 5 PGs, 8 PFs, 3 Cs to start. Dave is still sober.

July 29: 48 days sober for Dave but he has an empty look. He’s still missing Margie but he’s missing the booze, too. He’s kind of mopey and listless.

August 21: We offer to 3 PFs, all of whom are showing interest. Still trying to attract a PG.

August 28: We go for a PG who’s in NY, hoping that he’ll become interested.


Dave says he calls Margie’s number once a week and leaves a message telling her how many days he’s been sober. 78 right now.

September 18: 6 of 9 pre-conf. games on the road. We’re going with easy teams for most of them except for Texas Tech. They’re that one tough team we like to face.

Still no commitments but 2-3 are close.


September 19: “She answered the phone!”

“Margie?”

“Yeah. Today’s 100 days and I called and she answered. Said she’d meet me for coffee.”

“That’s great, Dave.”

“I’m real nervous.”

“Dave, you’re a good guy. You’ve got a heart of gold. Just stay off the sauce and everything will be fine.”

September 25: We got one, Cal Wait, PG, #473 for now. We need to get some big guys. Plenty of time and we have money.

October 2: We are definitely better than last year. I’m excited.

We’re picked to win the conf. and I think we can do it.

October 9: Got a big guy, Al Mack, PF, #582.



October 14: “She’s comin’ back!”

“That’s great, Dave.”

“Yeah, she says if I can stay sober this can work. I’m sure workin’ on it. 125 days!”

Truth is I’m amazed. Dave looks good, and he seems calmer. I think this is a long shot but fingers are crossed, Jean’s too.

November 1: Margie’s back in the house with Dave and they’re talking about having a baby. It’s too soon.

“Hey, I’m 38 and Margie’s 35. If we’re gonna do this…”

November 6: Recruit PG Cal Wait drops all the way to #80, but Al Mack falls to 1096, ouch! Still chasing bigs. We’re close with one who we’ve been after for a long time. He jumped from 547 to 193.

We have a lineup. Soph Matt Cone is our lead guard, playing some 1, some 2. Senior Hal Cam, junior Juco Bill Fine, and junior transfer from DePaul Luke Myer will battle for PT at 2 and some at 3. Junior UNLV transfer Jon Cook will start at SF and play some PF. Junior Auburn transfer Brad Doss looked great in the exhibitions and will start at C. Senior Ed Marn will start at PF. Lots of minutes are up for grabs.

We start on the road at Anal Roberts and then Towson.

Dave says no luck on Margie getting pregnant yet but things are going well and he hasn’t had a drink in a very long time.

I asked what he spends the time on. Drinking took up a lot of his time.

“Margie and coaching stuff.”



#17

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November 20: Great start, 2 road wins. 85-69 over A. Roberts. We thought Brad Doss might be special and he certainly was in our first game, 28 and 15. 11, 8 for Ed Marn at PF, 12, 3, 5 for matt Cone, 11, 1, 3, 2 for Luke Myer from the bench. 11 TOs, 38 RBs.

68-55 over Towson. 15, 5 for Luke, 10, 1, 4 for Bill Fine from the bench, 11 with 5 assists for Hal Cam, 7, 6, 3, 5 for Brad. +9 RBs, but a horrible 25 TOs.

“D*mn! Are we ever gonna learn to handle the friggin’ ball!”

At 1-1 Lipscomb, then 0-2 Kennesaw ST.

November 27: 76-58 at Lipscomb. Front court dominated, 20, 5 for Brad, 11, 12, 4, 2 for jon Cook, 13, 5 for Ed Marn. Matt Cone is not off to a good start, he fouled out. Luke Myer had 10, 4 in his place. 15 TOs.

60-64 at Kennesaw ST. 19, 10, 1, 2 for Brad, 11, 5 for Ed, 10, 2, 2 for Bill. 14 TOs. We didn’t get great shots, especially outside, 4-18. Matt is simply not playing well.

We decide to give Luke Myer more time. Cook will lose some time. Myer will take the Point more than Cone. We’re hoping this will increase Cone’s scoring.

Finally a home game then 2 more on the road. 1-2 Lafayette is here then we go to 1-2 Texas Tech, the toughest team on the schedule.

“Almost 6 months without a drink.”

“That’s great, Dave. How’s it going with Margie?”

“Real good. But still no baby on the way.”

“It’ll happen when it happens.”

“I guess- I hope!”

December 4: 67-56 over Lafayette in the home opener. 21, 6 for Brad, 15, 2, 4 for Luke in his first start, 15, 3 for Matt in his first game off the Point. 9 TOs. We could have rebounded better but we’re going small so we expected that.

58-66 at Texas Tech. They opened a 26 point lead at about 15 minutes in. We beat them from then on, but it wasn’t enough. Still, we showed grit. 21, 15 for Brad, 15, 3, 2 for Matt, 12, 4, 3 for Luke. 12 TOs, 31 boards. Texas Tech was a better team. We did okay.

“I think maybe we got our lineup.”

“Could be, Dave.”

“We need to get more from 2 and 4 but we’ll see.”

One game week, the 6th road game in our first seven, It gets better after this. We’re at Radford, 4-2.

Still tweaking, a few more minutes for Cook, Fine at the 3 more when he’s in with either Cone or Cam at the 2. I’m sure we’ll keep adjusting but all in all, we’re 4-2 and doing okay.

December 11: 62-53 over Radford, there.
28, 11 for Brad Doss who is really a player. Don’t know what Auburn had inside but it must have been a lot to let him slip away! 11 each for Luke and Matt who are doing great in their new roles. 18 TOs didn’t make Dave happy, but +9 RBs did.

“Ya know, we could go 7-2 pre-conf.”

“That would be awesome.”

“Feelin’ mighty good about this team!”

Scary! Dave’s being positive.

“We still need more from the 2 and 4 spots though.”

That’s more like it!

RPI is 101, the highest since we got to Bryant.

4-4 Wash. ST is in this week.

December 18: 61-58 over Wash. ST here. We never trailed after the 2nd minute but they reduced a 20 point lead to 3 and had a shot at the end. Fortunately it was long. Strange game, 19, 5 for Bill Fine, and 10, 4 for Jon Cook, both from the bench. Brad had 11 but only 3 boards. Ed had his best game in a while, 5, 8, 2, 3. 12 TOs, 30 RBs.

We end the pre-conf. schedule at home vs. 2-6 Hartford.

RPI is 56.

“D*mn! Ain’t that something!”

December 25: 76-60 over Hartford. 24 for Matt, 19 for Luke. 11 TOs. We didn’t rebound but we didn’t need to.

We start conf. play with 4-5 Silly hat here, then we go to 2-7 CCSU. They were projected to finish 3rd but they haven’t looked like it so far. We aren’t planning to take them lightly.

7-2, RPI #49.

It was great to spend XMas with Jean and the kids and Dave and Margie. So nice to see them together and looking happy. As always they spoiled our kids. Bobby and Sandy don’t even ask Jean and me for presents in the weeks before XMas. They go right to Dave and Margie, and they get everything they ask for. I’ve told Margie that starting next year it has to slow down a little. She winked at me.

After the kids went to bed we poured coffee.

“Best XMas present of my life, folks. You wanna tell ‘em, Margie?”

“You know you’re dying to tell them. Go ahead.”

“She’s gonna have a baby! Late June!”

“We had a lavish, loud, celebration. It had everything a celebration should have including NO alcohol.

After they left we talked.

“I really hope they can make it work, Red.”

“It’s been more than six months, Dave looks great, says he feels great, and says he never even thinks about booze.”

“Yes, but everything is going really well.”

There’s that.



#18

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January 1, 2018: 66-54 over Silly Hat. 29, 8, 2, 2 for Brad. 7 TOs.

74-77 at CCSU. Once again we fell behind early and outplayed the other guys for 60% of the game but it wasn’t enough. 25 for Luke, 18, 7, 2 for Brad, 11, 4, 2 for Matt. Only 8 TOs. They beat us at the foul line, but only because they shot them better than we did; they had 23 tries, we had 22.

“We gotta stop digging these friggin’ holes that are too deep to crawl out of.”

“Yep. Slow starts are killing us.”

“I’m gonna pull the trigger quicker. If we start slow I’m gonna sub in with 2, maybe even 3 guys. AND… I’m gonna announce that at practice!”

3-8, 1-1 Long Island is here, then we go to 5-6 Wagner.

Margie seems healthy so far and she says she’s not getting much morning sickness.

January 8: 71-60 over Long Island here. 22, 5, 2, 2 for Brad, 15, 5, 2 for Luke, 11, 5, 7 for Matt. 8 TOs. This small lineup has, for the most part, been great with the ball.

Weirdly enough, 71-60 over Wagner there. 20 for Luke, 10 each for Brad and Ed, 9 each for Bill Fine and Jon Cook, who had 11 boards. 16 TOs, but it was only -1. +9 RBs.

Sub Dan Jon hurt his shoulder. He’s day to day. (Author’s note: My first injury of any kind since my first season here. Strange.)

This week we host 1st place Mount Mary, 7-6, 4-0. Then we go to 6-7, 2-2 Robert Morris.

We’re +8.0 PPG, +3.5 RBs, +1.9 TOs, +3.6 assists. A couple of little tweaks in the backcourt but we aren’t messing with success.

January 15: 81-61 over Mount Mary here. 26, 13, 3 for Brad, 14, 6, 5 for Matt, 13, 3, 5 for Luke, 8 and 6 for Jon Cook. 9 TOs, +7 RBs.

Arrggh. 55-69 at Rob’t Morris. 13, 6 for Brad, 15 for Jon, but 17 TOs. We shot 32.9% and we let them shoot an unbelievable 62.9%! A frustrating loss.

“Jebus! We gotta win on the friggin’ ROAD! We beat the #1 team then sh*t the bed on the road!”

One game back of Mount Mary again, tied with 3 teams, but 2 or more ahead of the rest.

This week it’s 2 at home, first is 6-9, 2-4 Stan Francis, then 5-10, 2-4 FDU.

“We friggin’ better win 2 this week or there’ll be h*ll to pay!”

Nice to see Dave getting his sunny disposition back.

January 22: 79-47 over SFU. Never trailed. 21 for Luke, 17, 2, 5 for Matt, 14, 11, 2 for Brad, 11, 10 for ed. 7 TOs, 35 RBs.

67-47 over FDU. Never trailed in this one either. 14, 11, 3, 3 for Brad, 16 for Luke, 11, 2, 4 for Matt. Ed. Hal and Jon all played well. 5 TOs, +5 boards.

“If we could play all our friggin’ games at home we’d be ranked!”

Tied for 1st with Mount Mary.

13-4, 6-2. RPI #77.

Two on the road this week. We NEED a split, at least. First it’s 11-6, 5-3, 3rd place Sam Franklin, then 7-10, 3-5 Silly Hat.

January 24: Margie had a miscarriage. She lost a lot of blood before 911 arrived and is in ICU but she’s expected to make it.

“I never been so scared in my life, Red.”

“Hang in, Dave. They say she’ll be okay.”

“Jebus! She went through hell. If I hadn’t come straight home from practice she’d a died. She was unconscious when I got there.”

“You saved her life, Dave.”

“Complete hysterectomy.”

“No babies, Dave.”

“Ah hell, I don’t care about that. We’ll adopt. I love all kids.”

January 27: Margie is out of ICU and doing well. She is really depressed about losing the baby, and even more so about the hysterectomy. Dave is being wonderfully supportive.

January 29: We got the split. 64-56 at Sam Franklin. 25, 2, 5 for Luke, 10, 8, 3 for Matt, 12, 5 for Bill Fine from the bench. Lots of foul trouble and lots of TOs, but we had enough.

65-72 at Silly Hat. Same old story, we fell way behind early and couldn’t catch up. Dave did have a quick trigger but it didn’t change anything. – 11 RBs.

Good news? We’re tied with CCSU for 1st place, and only Mount Mary is 1 back.

This week CCSU is here. They’re 9-10, 7-3, and they beat us by 3 at their place. Then we go to 6-13, 4-6 LIU. We won by 11 at home.

As expected PG Cal Wait did not hit the SAT score.

We’re waiting before offering the scholarship.



#19

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February 5: A huge week! 79-52 over CCSU. We never trailed after the first minute. 26, 14, 3, 2 for Brad, and 6 others had between 7 and 10 points. 8 TOs, 39 RBs.

79-64 at LIU. We got down by 12 early but for once we came back; we owned the second half. 15 for Luke, 13 each for Ed and Jon.

Alone in 1st, 1 up on CCSU and Mount Mary, 3 or more over the rest with 6 to play.

8-13, 4-8 Wagner comes to town and we go to 11-10, 8-4 Mount Mary- a big game!

We’re putting Jon Cook back in the starting lineup for Ed Marn. He’s playing better.

February 7: “It ain’t the same, Red.”

“What isn’t?”

“Margie an’ me. It’s like she’s got nothin’ ta give. I can’t get her ta smile mosta the time.”

“After what she went through it’s pretty natural that she’s depressed.”

“Yeah, but she’s REAL depressed.”

February 12: 73-60 vs. Wagner. 29, 10, 2, 2 for Brad, 11, 4, 3, 3 for Matt, 10 for Myer, 9 for Fine.

Fine hurt his calf. Out about 10 days. Pete Mel will get his minutes.

75-64 at Mount Mary. HUGE win! 24, 4 for Luke, 10, 8 for jon, 14, 2, 5, 6, 1 for Brad, 13, 3, 5 for matt. 21 TOs but we survived it.

Luke Myer sprained his wrist. Out 8-10 days. We’re mighty short on guards for the next week or so.

18-5, 11-3 with 4 to play. Up 2 on CCSU, 3 on 3 teams, with 4 to play.


Robert Morris, 11-12, 7-7, is here. They beat us by 14 last time. Then we go to 10-13, 6-8 Stan Francis. We beat them by 32 here.

February 19: 72-52 over Rob’t Morris. 20, 10 for Brad, 16, 4 for Hal, 13, 6 for Jon. 9 TOs

55-60 at Stan Francis. 15, 8 for Brad. 4 others had 8 or 9. I think the lack of depth at guard hurt us.

We’re one up on CCSU.

Final week of the regular season starts at 8-17, 5-11 FDU. Then we’re home with 15-10, 9-7 Sam Franklin.

“She’s leavin’ again.”

“I’m not surprised, but Dave, it has very little to do with you.”

“Huh?”

“She’s lost and hurt, and she probably just wants to be by herself because she doesn’t have anything to give and doesn’t want to take right now.”

“I guess that makes sense. Life sure is frigged up.”

February 26: 56-48 over FDU. 20 wins and 1st place assured. 11, 14 for Brad but it was a team effort, especially on D.

50-52 vs. Sam Franklin. Not a great way to finish but the game didn’t mean anything. 12 each for Brad and Matt. 9 TOs but this was not our best effort.



#20

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March 1: We play 10-17, 6-12 Wagner in the round of 8.

88-68. 24, 7, 2, 2 for Brad, 22, 1, 6 for Luke, 13, 6, 5 for Hal, 9 for Bill. 7 TOs.

Brad twisted his wrist. He’ll play though.

A rematch with 18-10, 11-7 Sam Franklin. They beat us by 2 last week.

March 2: 68-58.
29, 5 for Luke, 17, 9 for Hal. 12 TOs, 36 RBs.

#6 seed Stan Francis, 15-14, 9-9, for the title. Beat them by 32 but then they beat us by 5.

March 3: 72-50, the title, and we’re going to the Big Dance! 4 in double figures and we never trailed.

“Whooee! Red, you said last year we’d do this. Way to go, man!”

And Dave celebrated by getting drunk, for the first time in almost 9 months.

April 4: #1 ranked Florida won it all.

Awards: Brad Doss was conf. POY, defensive POY, and 1st team. Luke Myer and Matt Cone made 2nd team. I thought at least one should have made first. Dave got COY, and he deserved it.


“Hell, Red. If I could cut it in half I’d give half ta you. I’d be nothin’ without ya. Hope ya never leave me.”

“No intentions of doing that, Dave.”

April 9: A decent offer, Austin Peay, #17.

“I ain’t leavin’ Rhode Island.”

April 16: We get another PG, Bic Robb, #165.

April 23: Got SF Trey Bran, #179 SF. I ask Frankie for another facilities upgrade but I don’t expect to get it.

I don’t. Team Prestige up to 10. 23-8, overall record of 50-40, .556. Finally over .500 lifetime and it feels good. Dave’s ratings are: Off- 11, Def- 17, Recruit- 41, Scout- 2, Player Development- 14, Reputation- 11. Great year and looking forward to another one!


April 26: “Dave, it’s 2:15 in the morning and I’m really tired. The kids were up half the night.”

“I ain’t drunk.”

“Then what-”

“Margie’s dead. Pills.”

“Oh Jesus! I’m so sorry. Do you want me to come over?”

“I’m in the car headin’ fer your place.”

“I’ll wake Jean.”

We were shocked but we weren’t surprised, if that makes any sense.

I sent Jean to bed at 3:45 so she’d get at least a little rest before the kids got up, but Dave and I were still talking when Bobby and Sandy came downstairs. He hugged the kids and had breakfast with them.

When they went off to play he said, “I don’t even want a drink.”

“Good, that’s the worst thing you could do right now.”

“Yeah.”






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