One of the nicest things about covering college basketball is those arenas where you get to sit right on the court. Sadly, some programs have moved the media into the end zones (or worse vantage points). But when you’re courtside — as I was at Loyola for the Greyhounds’ 69-67 loss to Fairfield on Friday night – you get up close and personal with coaches and players. In most arenas, reporters are seated on the sideline opposite the benches; at Rietz Arena, you’re between the opposing teams.
Which is how I got to hear possibly the funniest line from a college basketball coach in a while.
During the first half, Fairfield guard Jonathan Han was having trouble getting through a double team on the press. Every time he tried to dribble over midcourt, two Loyola players would collapse on him. At one point, Han fought through the double team, elbows flying. We’re talking about a kid who’s listed at 6-foot-0 and maybe generously listed at 160 pounds. He’s lanky, wears a headband around a cop of hair and looks a little like a Q-tip dribbling a basketball.
Well, Han made a shot and, while running up court, started taunting the defenders who hadn’t stopped him. Just the usual trash-talking, arm-waving and the like.
To which Fairfield coach Ed Cooley said — to his own player, no less — as Han jogged by the bench:
“You may look like Tarzan, but you’re playing like Jane.”
Good one, coach!