By Ryan McNeill
Last week Bill emailed me an article that he found in the Baltimore Sun called “Lincoln gets right to the points” which has me worked up about this game all over again. Earlier this month I wrote an article about my displeasure at this school running up the score and this article only served to infuriate me further as the coach and players don’t seem to understand the problem with what transpired earlier this month.
The first problem I had with this article came when Lincoln forward Dwight Dean told the Sun:
“They were a backup team that wasn’t really supposed to play. They only had six players, and the biggest was about 6-2, maybe 6-3. We press every game no matter who we play. It just came together and we executed at will. Everybody [all 16 Lincoln players who dressed] got significant minutes.”
Adding to my frustration was the quote immediately following Dean’s this article by Vincent Carter-Bey who said:
“We executed off their mistakes, and just took it as a normal game. Our style is up and down, and we score a lot of points. Unfortunately, we scored so many.”
First off, are they an underhanded team that you took it easy on or did you treat this like a normal game and show no mercy? I think that the players lack of clarity in this shows that they weren’t sure how to approach this game. I also want to stress that since these players are barely out of their teens so I don’t feel the responsibility for sportsmanship should fall upon them. Rather, it should be placed on their head coach that dictated defensive sets and doles out playing time. While players should be held accountable to some extent for their actions on the court I don’t think you can blame a player for going out and doing what his coach has instructed him to do.
Also, there’s no reason for any team to use press during a blowout. There isn’t a rule in NCAA hoops about this but in the elementary school league that I coach in there’s even a rule that stipulates that teams up by more than 15 points aren’t able to use a press.
Later in the article the writer, Kent Baker, tried to make excuses for Lincoln scoring 201 points by writing:
“The Lions are averaging 115.3 points, and have topped 90 points in five of their first six games.”
Kent, these stats aren’t helping Lincoln’s case. To me this is like a NBA beat writer not being surprised because the Phoenix Suns scored 201 points in a game because they have a high octane offense. To me the bottom line is Lincoln nearly doubled what they had been averaging against a team they admit was weaker competition.
Something else that got my blood boiling is when Dwight Dean said:
“They knew our style. There wasn’t any disrespect.”
To me this is the equivalent of a bully in grade 8 picking on the smallest kid in grade 5 and this being accepted because he’s bigger and older. The fact that Lincoln is a stronger team and that OSM was missing some players doesn’t mean that Lincoln can kick them around the court.
The final part of this article I want to address is Sam Wylie’s stat line. I talked about this in my previous post on this game but I want to vent again. Baltimore Sun writer Kent Baker summed up Wylie’s game by writing:
“Sami Wylie made an NCAA-record 21 three-point shots and scored 69 points”
How could a head coach ever let his star player chuck up 41 attempts from beyond the arc and score 69 points? I’ve talked to some coaching friends since I posted my first article about this game and none of them can fathom what could have been going through the mind of Lincoln’s head coach.
I’ve played in and I’ve coached some games that were blowouts, however I’ve never witnessed a game where a team scored over 200 points while the opposition failed to score 100.
After reading this article in the Baltimore Sun trying to justify the actions of Lincoln’s players and coach I still can’t see the sportsmanship in how Lincoln played against OSM. What does everyone else think about this game?