Monday, January 31, 2011

Let's Play "Count The Cliches" With Steve Lavin

I love watching Steve Lavin.

I mean, not as the UCLA basketball coach; no, I've seen quite enough of that. But Coach Lavin, in addition to being a gifted recruiter and histrionic sideline pacer (quite unlike his mentor, the understated John Wooden), was always armed and firing much more than a standard quip answer. And after last night's 93-78 upset of #3 Duke, I couldn't help but chuckle as I saw this quote (from the ESPN recap; no link), explaining why he had turned to the St. John's fans mid-game to fire them up like a cheerleader:

"You're caught up in the moment of the game and I wanted St. John's fans to come to the party in terms of supporting the players on the court," Lavin said. "We had this arduous stretch of games and having lost five of six, at that moment it was just wanting to jumper cable the crowd and bring energy for our players because they deserved a pat on the back and some appreciation for the yeoman's effort and the cohesive brand of basketball they had been playing against the defending national champion." [...]

"I thought our team from the outset executed with precision on offense and brought great intensity to the defensive end of the floor," Lavin said, "and we were able to maintain a high level of basketball for 40 minutes and that was the difference." [...]

"This was an interesting stretch as a coach," Lavin said. "I don't think it had ever happened. The mathematical probabilities have got to be one in a zillion. "We've had to temper things with them and be mindful of that frustration. The concern was that our players realize this conference is really tough and you can lose five of six and not be playing bad basketball."

Something tells me the Red Storm is (are?) getting an 8-clap cheer real soon. In all seriousness, nice job, Lavin.

5 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

fuck me running

KathyR said...

Nuh-uh. This is classic Lavin: spending energy on stuff unrelated to coaching basketball players. During the game.

Fernie V said...

How did Lavin get Gene Keady on his staff. He looks lost most of the time, but that dude was a pretty good coach. He scares me.

Steve Sax said...

@Fernie: It's the hair.

Honestly, are you surprised he nabbed Keady? Lav's a skilled recruiter!

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