Garfield Yuille soooo wanted to explain himself, and he tried really hard. He tried to explain how his basketball team, Division III Lincoln University (Pa.) became a Tsunami that scored a record 201 points – stop rubbing your eyes – against an over-matched squad from Ohio State-Marion (a satellite school of THE Ohio State University) last Saturday at a tournament in West Virginia. OS-M suited up only six players and scored but 78 points.
In an appearance on ESPN2’s Cold Pizza this week, Yuille tried to explain how the whole thing was just confluence of circumstances. How his team, a perennial Div. III power, simply did what it always does – run, gun and play pressure D for the full 40. How his team had not played well it its prior game so he was forcing them to re-commit to playing their game. How his team should not have even been playing OS-M, a late substitution for another squad. How he told the opposing coach prior to the game that his team pressed for the full 40. (“He said he was okay with that,” Yuille said.) And how he started only two of his regular starting five.
He tied to explain why he never called off the press, despite 97-44 halftime lead. He even tried to explain why he allowed his major-gunner, Sam Wylie, to jack up treys like Santa tossing toys from his sleigh on Christmas Eve. Wylie converted an NCAA record 21 three-pointers and finished with 69 points. “He wanted to regain the record he set last year,” the coach explained.
Yuille really tried. (See for yourself, below) It didn’t work. At least not for me.
I’m sure Garfield Yuille is a good guy and probably a pretty good basketball coach. He’s a Lincoln alum with a degree in sports management. He’s 50-13 as Lincoln’s head coach, 5-1 this season. His run-gun-pressre-’till-you-drop style is reminiscent of Rick Pitino’s days at Providence and the Knicks. It’s a great way for undermanned teams to give themselves a shance to win. But when teams with surperior talent utilize it, well, 201-78.
I’m sure this is NOT how Yuille wanted to be introduced on the national stage.
But what was he thinking? Under any conditions, it was bad. To describe it as bad sportsmanship does not do it justice. It promoted selfishness. It promoted bullyism (my word!). It promoted all that our kids should be learning in college but too often are not.
Sami Wyile must be one helluva shooter. We all know that now. Perhaps we’ll see him at an NBA camp soon.
For Yuille, I’ll simply call this Strike One. Next time, coach, look up at the scoreboard and make the right call.