Pat Riley came to Penn State yesterday to watch a basketball game. This obviously had nothing to do with Penn State and everything to do with who the Nittany Lions were playing. This is understandable, because neither my Nittany Lions nor Riles’ Miami Heat are very good.
But, unlike the underachieving Heat, my boys are actually playing over their heads. Without their two best players, Penn State closed out the Big Ten regular season by beating No. 17 Indiana in OT. Eric Gordon was pretty good, in the way that incredibly talentented players can be pretty good without actually trying that hard. He scored a game-high 26 points, but he shot just 8 of 24, including 4 of 16 from three, and he missed his last six shots in regulation and overtime.
I told you Kevin Love should’ve been on the cover (1:03). Maybe Josh Shipp, too.
So my hard-luck squad started four freshman and a JuCo transfer — a group that included the wonderfully named backcourt duo of Battle and Pringle, neither of whom stands taller than 5-11, and who shot a combined 4 of 27 yesterday — and still beat a team with a couple of first-round draft picks. Needless to say, I left happy.
I don’t know about Riles, though — coming all this way, leaving South Beach for Central PA to see his possible Lottery pick not look particularly impressive. I would’ve asked Riles for his thoughts on the game, but he wasn’t doing media. I did, however, find these notes near his seat after the game…
-I’m thinking of using a very high Lottery pick on Eric Gordon, a 6-4, shoot-first lead guard. Note to self: Check roster to see if we’ve already got one of those.
-Who’s this white guy coaching Indiana? What happened to Kelvin Sampson? Did he get fired? Note to self: See if I can hire him to coach the Heat for half a season next year when I take another semi-hiatus retirement. Hopefully he’s still available.
In totally unrelated news, loyal readers of this column might be curious to know why I was in Great Britain last week. It’s sort of embarrasing, but I feel like we’re family, so, full-disclosure: I had to pick up an award.
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.