I covered college basketball for five seasons from 2013-18. My beats included Ohio men’s and women’s basketball for The Post and Northern Kentucky men’s basketball for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Here are a few of my stories below:
Northern Kentucky is eliminating its mid-range game. Result: The Norse are better for it
On Dec. 28, 2016, Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni sat in his post-game press conference following a 112-106 loss at Pittsburgh and held court with the media. Sometimes he laughed with them; sometimes he asked questions himself.
But what made the 11-minute interview intriguing was D’Antoni openly acknowledged he embraced NBA shooting analytics that trickled down into mid-major basketball. He called himself a “dummy” for coaching players to rush down the court and pound the low post before posting up. He learned his lesson, though.
Why this matters is because Northern Kentucky is doing something similar.
This story originally ran July 31, 2019 for The Cincinnati Enquirer. (Continue reading here.)
Carter shines in gloomy Ohio loss to Toledo
Jason Carter walked into the press conference and lowered his head.
Five minutes removed from the best night of his career — 20 points and seven rebounds in only his second start — Carter sat silently, frustrated with the only shot he’ll remember in Tuesday evening’s 79-76 loss to Toledo in The Convo.
With seven seconds remaining and midway through a broken play, Carter managed to slip free of his man and stood alone behind the 3-point line. His shot clanked off the back of the rim. The Bobcats never took another attempt.
“I just gotta get over it,” Carter said. “I can’t let it hang over me.”
Then Jaaron Simmons spoke up.
“He’ll make the next one.”
This story originally ran Jan. 24, 2017 for The Post. (Continue reading here.)
NKU upset in first conference tourney game
Northern Kentucky spent all season preparing for five days.
It was always about March 2-6 in Detroit, when the Norse would play their “best basketball,” win Motor City Madness for a second-straight year and play in the NCAA Tournament again.
Approaching the Horizon League conference tournament, NKU head coach John Brannen said he didn’t want his team to think it could just “flip on the switch” and play great basketball. But then March 2-6 arrived and on March 3, in NKU’s first game, that switch never came on.
NKU lost 89-80 to Cleveland State on Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena in the Motor City Madness quarterfinals. The No. 1 seed after securing their first Horizon League regular season title in program history, the Norse had an early 15-point lead and lost to the No. 8 seed.
This story originally ran March 3, 2018 for The Cincinnati Enquirer. (Continue reading here.)
In two nights, Ohio felt the joy and cruelty of March
CLEVELAND – The man who typically has so many words sat in silence Friday night.
When he spoke, the words came slowly, often shielded behind wavering lips and a battered heart.
Saul Phillips could’ve offered so many excuses. It’s no secret, the barriers continued to pile as the season progressed. But he didn’t.
Instead, as the postgame press conference unfolded, Phillips was colorfully blunt — a concoction of accepting bitter reality and his warm, personable self.
“If you’re men, you handle it,” he said of Ohio’s 68-66 loss to Kent State in the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals.