Game #8-548: Davidson Wildcats at Charleston CougarsFebruary 11, 2012 3:00 pm
Carolina First Center
When you turn off I-95 in South Carolina and head east on I-26 towards Charleston, you find yourself in a part of the country where you cannot tell if you are isolated or insulated, going back in time or finding land that will stand the test of time as is, with no intrusions or distractions or trappings of modernity. Tall pines, flat road. The picture of humidity, even in February.
I left North Carolina this morning with every intention of an easy drive to Charleston. From the Foothills, through the Sandhills, down into the Low Country, I was not pressed for time. But despite my friend Zeke's warnings -- "watch for cops in Summerville" -- a certain draw kept the right foot pushing hard on the accelerator.
When Zeke and I decided on Charleston for our annual basketball-and-booze-immersion-sans-wives-and-kids this year, the thought process was as follows: a better destination than Winston-Salem, which was a really good starting point.
Spending a Saturday afternoon watching our alma mater, Davidson, take on the College of Charleston seemed the perfect fit, especially when seen as an opportunity to see Bobby Cremins working the sidelines.
For two guys whose basketball consciousness begins with the ACC in the 1980s, Cremins holds a coveted spot right beside Lefty, Jimmy V, Dean, and K. You absolutely did not want to play those Georgia Tech squads, but you absolutely tuned in to watch the guy work.
Alas, Cremins wasn't coaching today. A little over two weeks ago, he took leave on account of exhaustion. While on the one hand it was better than hearing "cancer," for me, a guy heading into so-called "middle age," it's no real comfort to hear Cremins, at 64, is "exhausted."
Maybe because I'm one of these suckers that hold on to that notion of eternal youth, I'd like to think 64 is not that old. Hell, my dad will be 62 in a few months. That's not old. It pains me to think my old man is, well, an old man, and that he too might be "exhausted." Or more to the point, I'd rather not think about what he could be exhausted by (or with).
Having said that, a large part of Cremins' exhaustion is due to his being a college basketball coach. He coached 946 games before his announcement last month, and won just over 60 percent of them. But today's win or loss would not be part of his legacy, per the record books at least.