Shoulda not missed buying the Powerball ticket Monday.
But it was just a little bit hectic. If anyone had foresight on even just a couple of the breaking college (and pro) sports news that spilled out yesterday, they surely had several on-target numbers for Monday night’s drawing.
In the morning, the Sports Twittersphere provided the not-very-surprising news that somebody in need of a college basketball coach looked toward Ruston and made Eric Konkol an offer he didn’t want to refuse. It’s Tulsa Time for Tech’s hoops maestro.
As it turned out, the same thing, on a much lesser $cale, unfolded Sunday in Cane River country, with a deal struck and word circulating in the 71457 and 65897 (Springfield, Mo.) that Show-Me-State native and resident Corey Gipson was making history. The Demons hired their first-ever African-American head coach of a major sport to replace a walking, talking, smiling, living legend, Mike McConathy, who has won more college basketball games (682) than any human in Louisiana ever will.
Northwestern showed its cards middle of Monday afternoon, catching most by surprise with the hire six days after announcing McConathy’s exit.
Louisiana Tech and Tulsa pulled up the curtain after 8 last night, confirming what had been decided Sunday evening and was trickling out since then. Media in Tulsa, where Golden Hurricane basketball has been the big story in town for decades, had the goods before Monday lunch, along with the national hoops newsgathering crew.
All of interest in the 318 AC, but good for just raised eyebrows and shoulder shrugs elsewhere around The Boot.
Enter Scott Woodward, the Don King of college coaching hires. Last week the otherwise subtly-stepping LSU AD and his president, Dr. Bill Tate, provided a predictable flush to the Will Wade error of Tiger basketball.
The stench from that will linger, due to sure-to-follow NCAA sanctions that will nick the Tigers’ football program but gash (comparatively speaking) LSU basketball, where the most “damn strong” rules violations have been sniffed out by the NCAA.
Matt McMahon is quite an underwhelming hire for Woodward, LSU’s big splash AD, in context of Kim Mulkey/Jay Johnson/Brian Kelley, but the former Murray State mentor seems squeaky clean, and quite capable of better game management than what many Tiger fans groaned about in the latter stages of Wade’s time on the bench in Baton Rouge.
The LSU move immediately soared to the top of Monday’s sports news summary, but NFL (Not For Long).
The Saints reupped with Jameis Winston at QB1, after making a lot of stomachs queasy with their interest in disgraced Houston (now, naturally Cleveland) passer DeShaun Watson. Winston had his own shady days in college at Florida State, but has regained his good name. Saints fans hope he regains his 2021 form and that GM Mickey Loomis has pulled the correct contract out of the W-file in the Black and Gold’s front office.
Meanwhile, on the college football scene, spring practices continued around north Louisiana, although at Grambling, news of Hue Jackson’s first on-field interaction with the Tigers is flowing like cold vanilla pudding. Evidently the stumbles with hiring an offensive coordinator have contributed to a plan to low-key the high-profile head coach’s beginning steps forward with the G-Men.
If that’s a puzzle that will take some time to unwrap, some clarity will probably emerge quickly at Bossier Parish Community College. A disappeared Tweet provided some consternation, popping up in mid-afternoon and vanishing later. To be explained: BPCC is said to be shelving its women’s basketball program, leaving the Cavs playing only men’s hoops, baseball, softball and women’s cross country. Women’s History Month is an awkward time to announce discontinuing a signature women’s sport, and the question of meeting Title IX requirements will arise.
Turns out Monday night was the last time this season we get amazed by what Kim Mulkey is wearing at the LSU women’s basketball game. The Wizard of the Wardrobe and her team bowed out of March Madness.
The thunder that you’re cringing about this morning has nothing to do with those bolts of lightning that landed Monday. But it sure is a well-timed Louisiana sports soundtrack.
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