On his annual visit to Illinois Wesleyan, Augustana basketball coach Grey Giovanine was his usual volatile self, whining for every call. But he sunk to a new low this year. A little verbal jockeying towards IWU’s Victor Davis early in the game was met with a response by the player. In short, Grey muttered something like “let him shoot, we want him to take that shot.” After Davis drained the 3-pointer, he returned the salvo with something like “that’s for you Coach G.”
It’s that time again – an evening watching Augustana’s men’s basketball team when they come to town for a conference clash with Illinois Wesleyan. This is always a great rivalry – Wesleyan is rated #25 in the country, and #6 Augustana started the season as the top-ranked team.
Perhaps, it’s more accurate to say I enjoy watching the visiting coach pace the sidelines as the teams battle. Continue Reading
The sport is women’s college basketball. And when you think about the women’s college game, names like Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma come to mind.
Summitt has won eight NCAA championships. Along the way, she won three consecutive titles from 1996-1998.
Auriemma has also won three consecutive titles among his six overall, those coming in the 2002-2004 tournament years.
Kim Muhl has topped them both in consistency, winning his fourth consecutive national championship with Kirkwood Community College of Cedar Rapids, Iowa March 20th.
(Des Moines, IA) – I didn’t know it at the time, but it was victory 299. That’s a lot of wins in 17 seasons. And that’s what Solon (IA) Coach Brad Randall has garnered throughout his high school coaching career, including yesterday’s victory over undefeated IKM-Manning.
Tonight, he has his Spartans back in the Iowa Class 2A state basketball championship game a year after winning his first title.
What makes this opportunity special?
Well, last year’s title was won with a lot of contributors that have either graduated or been lost to injury, making this year’s advancement of relative varsity newcomers somewhat remarkable.
The reward? They get to face off again with private school Western Christian of Hull, a team Solon beat last year in a thrilling double overtime semifinal matchup after trailing by double figures late in the third quarter.
It’s a bit late in coming since the game was a week ago, but it’s still worth commenting on.
The topic is Division III basketball, and in this case, a recent game at Illinois Wesleyan University, home of the Titans.
There are those, and I have many friends that fall in this category, that just don’t like college basketball in the “non-scholarship” division.
“They aren’t athletic enough,” I’ve heard them say.
“They’ll never make a professional team.”
“I like the atmosphere in a big arena.”
It’s the last comment I especially don’t agree with.
Although crowds vary in size at every athletic venue, it’s always an intimate and electric environment at IWU when a conference team comes to town.
On this night, it was Augustana and their colorful coach Grey Giovanine. Continue Reading