From the desk(top) of Coach Willard

It is a shame Ralph Willard is the only coach in the league with his own Web site. Ralph's posts are always interesting and give a unique peek into the mind of a coach.

This week's team report lacks a little in timeliness, since it comes several days after the Navy-American road trip it talks about. But then we don't depend on Ralph for game coverage and neither should you. That is our job.

What we count on finding at is some insight that he might not share in a postgame interview. For example, in reviewing the Navy game, he says:
I realize these are the "dog days" of February and there is some mental fatigue that sets in this time of year, but now is also the time good teams get better. I told the guys the next morning that I thought we had taken a step backward despite the win.
Brutal honesty.

Better yet this week are his comments about the American game, where he addresses two things that have been kicked about on the message boards this week, the call that sent Andre Ingram to the line at the end of regulation and the AU fans.

On that call, Ralph writes:
The game was almost decided on a ref's call 40 feet from the basket on the sideline by American's bench. That would have been a travesty after the way both teams had battled.
He doesn't come right out and call it a questionable call, though I have. Of course I won't get fined for saying it.

As for the AU fans, well, while the so-called "blue shirts" are not near as clever as they seem to think they are on the message boards, and although half of them didn't even wear blue shirts, they are as spirited a bunch as you will find in the league. At least when I have been to Bender, which is usually for games against Holy Cross which have been "big games," they show up in good numbers and are loud to the end.

I missed the incident near the end of the game when one of them threw something on the floor, though again, it has been discussed elsewhere. Here's Ralph's take:
. . . we had an incident near the end of the game where a student threw a necklace of beads out on the floor right where Torrey Thomas was dribbling and Linas Lekavicious was defending him. Either or both players could have slipped on the beads and blown out a knee. The callous student who threw them out should have been ejected . You also have to question why beads are given out as part of a game promotion. It makes no sense. It's always sad when someone tries to ruin a great game and atmosphere and doesn't care whether they tarnish the reputation of what otherwise was a well orchestrated display of school spirit. I do know for the player's sake it cannot be ignored or tolerated.
Personally, I have no problem with the faux Mardi Gras beads being given out. But Ralph is absolutely right, the kid who threw them should have been ejected.

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