By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, anxiously waiting to see Englewood’s Ryan Roth do his award-wining Tribute to Elvis show Saturday night in Miamisburg. He promised to do my favorite, American Trilogy.
—Pre-season prognosticators predicted that Eastern Michigan would be one of the Mid-American Conference’s best basketball teams this season and junior James Thompson IV, a 6-foot-10 center, would be the league’s best player.
EMU was 3-and-0 before playing at Duke Wednesday night and the first time I checked the score it was early in the second half and it was Duke 51, Eastern Michigan 15.
When it was over, Thompson had six points while Duke’s all-galaxy freshmen, Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, had 21 and 20. Williamson had nine rebounds and Barrett had six assists. Both played little more than a half.
And the final score? Duke 84, EMU 46. Williamson, a 6-foot-7, 280-pounder, is averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 82 per cent (from the field, not the foul line) in three games. C’mon.
—Everybody keeps harping about how awful the Cleveland Cavaliers are without LeBron James. And Wednesday was Exhibit A. The 2-and-12 Cavaliers played another bad team, the 4-and-9 Washington Wizards. Washington scored 72 points. . .in the first half. The final: 119-95 and no need to mention who won. C’mon.
—Is Michigan’s basketball team that good or Villanova’s team that bad? The two teams who met in the NCAA championship game last April were matched Wednesday in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
Villanova went in ranked No. 8 and Michigan was No. 18. And the game was at Villanova. Final: Michigan 73, Villanova 48. C’mon.
—How in the name of Amos Alonzo Stagg did this match-up ever come about? On Saturday, Alabama, the nation’s No. 1 college football team, plays The Citadel. Say what?
The Citadel is 4-and-5 with losses to Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Wofford, Chattanooga and Samford (that’s Samford, not Stanford). The Bulldogs did beat Gardner-Webb.
If Alabama wants to score 100, it probably can. However, The Citadel basketball team beat Johnson (Howard Johnson? Johnson & Johnson? Lyndon B. Johnson?) on Wednesday night, 137-60. Maybe The Citadel should send its basketball team to Tuscaloosa instead of the football team. C’mon.
—If you’ve heard and read enough about Le’Veon Bell, Jimmy Butler and Draymond Green/Kevin Durant, raise your hand. Yes, my hand is up.
If Le’Veon Bell wants to toss aside $14.5 million and gamble he’ll get more next years as a free agent, go get it big boy.
From all reports, all of Minnesota was happy to see Jimmy Butler leave the Timberwolves, especially Karl-Anthony Towns. One day after Butler was traded to Philadelphia, Towns led Minnesota to a victory over New Orleans with 25 points and 16 rebounds while Butler scored 14 for the 76ers in a loss to Orlando.
Golden State’s Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had an in-the-huddle argument that carried into the lockerroom after the game, resulting in the team suspending Green for a game without pay.
What was the problem? Durant was unhappy that Green kept the ball at the end of a tie game and turned it over when Durant was open for a pass. In the huddle, Green brought up Durant’s contract, which permits him to leave after this season if he wants and Green questioned Durant’s loyalty to the Warriors.
As Durant walked back on the floor for the overtime, which the Warriors lost, he was heard to say, “That’s why I’m out of here.”
Boys, boys, boys. And in this case, very big boys.
—And it is still somewhat disconcerting and discomforting to turn on the TV and see a live college football game on Wednesday night, complete with empty stands.
But that was a nice win for Miami over Northern Illinois, 13-7, in DeKalb, Ill. NIU was 6-and-0 in the Mid-American Conference. Miami, 5-and-6 overall, needs a win next week over Ball State to become bowl eligible.
It could be the Camellia Bowl, the Bahamas Bowl, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl or the Dollar General Bowl. Sorry, no Sugar, Cotton or Rose Bowl.
—The Reds have hired two new coaches, Brad Thorn and Jim McKay. No, no, no. Not the Cincinnati Reds. We’re talking about the St. George Queensland Reds of the Australian Super 15 Rugby Union.
In the last four years, the Reds have finished 13th, 15th, 13th and 14th in the 15-team league. Sound familiar?
—Speaking of somebody named McKay, one of my all-time favorite quotes came out of the mouth of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John McKay.
After a loss, McKay was asked what he thought about his team’s execution and he reportedly said, “I’m in favor of it.”
A couple of other McKay dandies: “We can’t win at home and we can’t win on the road. We need to play our games on a neutral site.”
And after cutting kicker Bill Capece, he said, “Capece is kaput.”
And another: “Kickers are like horse manure. They’re all over the place.”