08 March 2006

Now for a real-life mix between Rudy and Hoosiers:

You're the second year basketball coach at Princeton and you're slogging through a horrible season (which includes a loss to a Division III team). The conference season rolls around and you're still losing. So what do you do to turn things around?

If you guessed that you might promote a 6'4" walk-on from the third team and stick him in the starting lineup at center, then you would be right. (The walk-on, Justin Conway, used to play on my city league basketball team, and my brother coached him in high school.) Faster than you can say "Disney," the team starts winning and the announcers rave about how the players seem to have "re-discovered their love for the game."

They wrapped up their season with a thrilling win over conference champion Penn in which Justin scored the winning basket en route to 21 points. It wasn't enough to get them to the NCAA tournament, but they ended up second in the conference with a lot of weapons returning next year. Maybe we'll get a Rocky II-type sequel.

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