Thursday, December 10, 2009

Green on BCS title game conflict, 'Do

JSU basketball coach James Green was asked for his opinion about the prospect for moving the Gamecocks' Jan. 7 OVC doubleheader with Eastern Kentucky off the same night as the BCS National Championship football game between Alabama and Texas to help their gate at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

He said any decision like that was “strictly an administrative call.” But he was passionate about what he’d do if one of JSU’s teams were involved in the big game.

“I know this,” he said. “If it were our football team or our baseball team playing for a national championship, I’d cancel the (basketball) game. That’s how I feel. If it were one of our teams, I certainly would do that, because I’m for our teams.”

The Gamecocks have played at home on nights of the national championship football game before and didn’t alter the schedule — in 2007, they played Samford that night and SU coach Jimmy Tillette is a big LSU fan — but this will be the first time the game involves Alabama.

The Gamecocks played their conference opener at home Saturday while the Tide battled Florida in the SEC Championship Game and attendance definitely was impacted.

JSU athletics director Oval Jaynes said a lot of factors go into deciding to move a game, and he can’t run his program based on what Alabama does.

It’s Green’s dream that someday he can get the JSU program to the point folks will want to watch it regardless of what’s going on in the world of sports.

“What I hope is we get this program (moving) and when the Gamecocks pick it up, there’s somebody who wants to be in here to see the excitement,” he said. “That’s what we want to get to.”

WHAT'S DOING WITH 'DO?: Senior center Amadou Mbodji returned to practice Thursday after missing several weeks with an ankle injury he suffered at Southeastern Louisiana and Green was encouraged by what he saw.

Mbodji participated in all the drills, with only a slightly noticeable limp.

"He's been doing a little bit -- jogged on it a little. rode the bike and jogged a little more and moved around a little more and did some things our athletic training staff has gotten him going a little bit," Green said. "To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised to see him be able to go through as much as he did."

The coach stopped short of saying the 6-foot-11 Senegalese shot-blocker would be able to play Saturday against NAIA Reinhardt. The hope is to have Mbodji back in action sometime before Christmas.

"We won't rush him," Green said after Saturday's win over Tennessee Tech, the Gamecocks' third straight game (and first win) without the Big Guy, "because him being a senior and wanting him to finish up in some games that are really going to matter.

"I think we can evaluate it, but I'd like to get him back before (Christmas) so he can get some rhythm back. It's a shame for him because he was starting to play pretty good ball."

Mbodji is averaging 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds this season and has blocked six shots in four games to become the Gamecocks' all-time leading shot-blocker.

1 comment:

SRDBB said...

Atta boy Oval, at least you aren't a bammer fan boy. Really makes you wonder how Fuller would have handled the situation.