By now you’re probably wondering when I’m going to put down my pen and turn my sights toward professional photography (and I don’t want to ruin anything here but I will recommend you keep an eye on www.tomlinphotography.com for big things), but I did want to drop in for a little more Peach Jam goodness before we hit the long trail back to Kentucky.
We had planned to live blog the game between the Jackson Tigers (Jackson, MS) and the Mac Irvin Fire (Chicago), which featured a matchup of 2015 phenom Malik Newman against the tall shoulders of Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander, who you may remember from their combined destruction of Tokyo, Japan in the 1950s. Needless to say, all eyes were on those three and it was a veritable who’s who of the NCAA. The Okafor/Alexander combo proved too much for the fairly one-note Jackson Malik Newmans, even though Newman was flying high from a 40-point showing earlier in the day.
After an evening at Hooters and a stint in the hotel bar, where the people watching was stellar (think Field of Dreams for current NCAA basketball), we tried to catch a few minutes of a Sharknado repeat before turning in. Nice to see Tara Reid getting work these days, huh?
This morning the Jackson Malik Newmans took on NYC’s Team Scan (of the aforementioned “Teams With Names That Sound Sort of Cool but Don’t Really Make a Whole Lot of Sense” post from Wednesday), with Cal and Coach K chatting on the sidelines and big names like Thad Motta, Andy Kennedy, Josh Pastner and Shaka Smart in attendance. Newman is fantastic, as advertised, even though watching him play is like NBA 2K and only using one player for the entire game. He’s pretty much one-stop shopping, and he does shoot a lot — but it’s somewhat necessary because he doesn’t have a lot of backup. And he’s double and triple teamed almost constantly. So take what you hear about him, add in the context that his backup’s not very strong and everyone on the team is guarding him at all times and that bumps him up a few notches. Yes, he’s really good, and Drew and I surmised he kind of looks like a young, yet-to-develop John Wall. So take that for what it’s worth. I look forward to your inevitable comments that you’ve been following him since he was nine years old or something. But for us, it was impressive to see. Syracuse commit Chris McCullough, a tattooed youngster who also looks very good, led Team Scan with 22 points. He’s an athletic young man. There’s my recruiting analysis for Chris McCullough. Pay me $14.95 a week and you can get more of this. Contact me for more info.
It should also be noted, full disclosure, that I spent the last six minutes of this game trying to elude a security guard who clearly had it in for me and was making me move from wherever I sat. First he casually suggested I was sitting in a seat reserved for coaches, so I moved. Then I stood among the masses off-court, where he singled me out and told me I was in people’s way. So I moved to the top of the stairs, literally standing behind a wall where I could only see the scoreboard and half of the court, and he came around and told me to move again because even standing behind walls on tops of stairs is reserved only for NCAA coaches. The postscript is that in EVERY ONE of these places I was replaced by another media person whom he did not hassle. That dude was awful, and I’m glad I don’t have to see him again. So I left and now I can stand wherever I please; and once again Jim Boeheim and I are equal in God’s eyes.
So. Yeah. Headed home today, so wish us luck. And when in beautiful North Augusta, make sure to visit About Thyme for the best anything you would ever want to eat. Consider that an official KSR endorsement. Their hospitality and food is second to none. I think Drew may legitimately be in a coma. I should probably call a hospital or something about that.
I’ll be around on Sunday for a final wrap up of the weekend, but enjoy your Friday, everyone. The open road calls.