By J. Henderson
I took my daughter to the basketball game, so we won. I’ve taken her to seven Auburn sporting events. Football. Baseball. Soccer. Basketball. We’ve won every single one. Yesterday it was #15 Ole Miss at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. Make that formerly #15 Ole Miss. We were bundled up. It had stopped snowing outside but inside it was snowing pain. We were taken it to’em and seriously, I thought our fans were going to leap from the bleachers and unload on the stripes because it was like those three guys had decided Frank Tolbert’s extra fingers were an unfair advantage and felt “ethically” obligated to keep the favored Rebels in the game.
Tolbert wasn’t going to let it get him down, he was all over the court, or at least so it seemed, tying a personal record with 29 points. Heard on the radio that the ‘DDitional Digit Dynamo actually sprained his ankle in Friday’s practice and was iffy for the sort of playing time he got yesterday. Coach Lebo told him it might actually be a blessing in disguise… you know, slow his game down, let him settle; if it did, Lordy, I don’t think my eyes could have focused on him if it hadn’t.
One of Tolbert’s early 3-pointers…
“I was kind of more under control tonight, so I guess that would be true. I said after I got hurt I was still going to play. It wasn’t as bad as it seemed after I’d calmed down,” Tolbert said. “I got up early this morning and came over here for treatment and treated it until game time. I just had confidence today. It was a big game, and I stayed relaxed and let the game come to me.”
And when it did, he waxed on, waxed off and crane kicked it in the face, all while guarding 6’8, 240 lb Kenny Williams, aka Shaq with a beard.
I took this with my telephoto…
All our guys were ninjas on the floor – swarming, blizzard defense and fearless shots. Early on, we couldn’t miss a three if we wanted, think we shot 53% for the whole game.
Dewayne Reed broke his career high of 20 scored in Baton Rouge on a few days prior with 21. Luke Hargrove was on fire early on. Quan Prowell only had two pts. but came up with 12 rebounds and Quantez Robertson bought the go-ahead three a drink with one minute left and got its number.
Matt Heramb was in for two minutes. Other than that, all it took was six Auburn Tigers to make us proud. Proud. Tingly. Snow not only did we escape Pearl’s Bottom-Dweller Sausage Cellar, suddenly we’re kinda sittin’ pretty in the S.E.C. West. At least sittin’ cute. War Eagle guys, seriously.
I love this guy… see him walkin’ all the time, rarely is he without a shaker… here he is shooting granny free-throws for tuition or something…
I don’t know anything about basketball. I mean, I know enough. Be Like Mike, I guess… and at first I was just going to let J.M. be my Rick Bragg – I was just going to take some pictures with my new camera, feed him the uncredited vibe and let him write his quality stuff. But we talked, I’m going for it and I hereby tell you that yesterday, I became an Auburn basketball fan. Beyond generic Auburn support, beyond designating my gift just to the general building fund, beyond only paying attention when we play Bama — a straight up fan. Invested. Tingly.
I can’t get to football season fast enough, sure, but yesterday, I found a scenic short-cut.