Saturday, March 20, 2010
(1) Will Coleman. When this guy said he was not giving up on Memphis like his fellow Miami-Dade bro, whatever-his-name is, who went to Kentucky with Cal, Orlando Antigua, Rod Strickland & the bulk of what was our (yes, OUR) recruiting class, I definitely shrugged it off. I had no idea who he was and I also thought the decision likely lay more in Cal not wanting him more than him wanting Memphis. That attitude is pretty typical of a native Memphian--i.e. "Mane, who'd care about us anyway. We suck. Shelby County and Nashville think so, so it must be so. Gimme a drink."
Little did I know that this guy would end up to be my new favorite Tiger in many a year. He went from literally being a completely embarrassing clod to playing teams 1-on-5 at the end of the season. I made excuses for him for awhile ("Well, he just started playing in 11th grade, you know?") to my ecstatically spilling beer on my father at the Tulsa game screeching, "Are you watching this guy???? OH MY GAWD!" as he took the entire Tulsa Golden Hurricane on for at least 4 minutes by himself while who knows what the rest of the Tigers were up to.
I simply cannot wait to see him after a Spring and Summer of workouts get out there with our #1 recruits. Pastner and Cyprien are geniuses. Which leads me to...
(2) Josh Pastner. Who would have thought? I mean, really? A 32-year-old non-drinking, non-cursing, Peter Brady-looking eternal optimist as the Head Coach of Memphis? Being a total Tiger sucker, I didn't even blink when they named him head coach and simply ran to the internet and my husband to ask questions. After reading piles of history and hearing my husband--a Tiger fan but above all a Michigan State Spartan, Tom Izzo-loving diehard fan from Lansing--wax seriously on about how Pastner was "perfect" for a litany of reasons, I had something to back up my sucker fan sunshiney self. The only time I was concerned was earlier in the season when I saw that he was a little reticent courtside, but by the end of the season, he was as demonstrative as Cal, but without looking like a total jabrone about it. The fact that he yells "Gosh Darnit!" is priceless and precious. Plus suddenly the Tigers aren't embarrassing at the free throw line and shocker of shockers, can play DEFENSE. Several versions at will, even. Love you Josh.
(3) The 6th Man. Yes. You. Us. The Tiger Nation or whatever they're calling us now. While Robin noted that she didn't see as many signs and flags as she used to, we came correct this year, people. Selling out games like the one against LeMoyne-Owen etc etc and never giving up even when we seriously had some reasons to get very, very pissed. We rule.
I hate saying "Next year!" but I'm gonna say it.