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Shadowing The Big Brother One Goal At A Time

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on October 29, 2007

Doc’s Note: This is the latest in a series of columns on sports at Crichton. These columns will appear regularly until the end of the school year.

The only noteworthy news that made headlines around the city concerning the Crichton basketball team was the fact that former White Station and Wake Forest standout Robert O’Kelley was named to the coaching staff just in time for the 2007-08 season.

And if you want to find scandals and dramas in the Crichton basketball program, the only thing that would come close to being a scandal would probably be academic-related, not something that would be on the 10 o’clock news like our big brother to the south — the University of Memphis where, in the last three years, the Tigers have done its share of balling out of control not only on the court, but off it as well with their various legal problems.

After finishing in the Elite Eight and setting a school record for wins with 28 and a TransSouth Confrence regular-season and tournament crown in 2006-07, the Comet Nation is expecting the same performance from Coach Jeff Walker’s bunch in 2007-08 as they enter the season as the hands-on favorite to win another TransSouth Conference Championship and with the #2 ranking in the preseason poll according to Victory Sports Network, an independent entity that promotes NAIA athletics.

But unlike the folks down on the Highland Strip, where they’re anxiously waiting for a meaningful National Championship parade down South Highland Avenue with Derrick Rose leading the way, the pride of High Point Terrace are doing the same thing with a very small budget and a student body that unconditionally supports them.

While the Tigers have prized recruits like Derrick Rose, who I believe will be one of the best freshmen in the country along with O.J. Mayo at Southern Cal, the Comets have former Whitehaven standout Dontaye Hinton, who played two years at Sheridan Community College in Wyoming.

Not anyone who would be exploited on ESPNU on a nightly basis.

Crichton, after years of playing basketball at the Mid-South Coliseum, has a brand-new gem of an arena in the Streets Ministries Arena on Vance Avenue in the shadow of the Tigers’ FedEx Forum that will be packed with rabid Comet fans on Wednesday night when the Comets face Philander Smith in their home opener.

The Tigers are planning to be exploited by ESPN, CSTV, and CBS and be shilled by Pete Gillien, Billy Packer, Jim Nantz, and God knows who else as they run roughshod over a conference that a bunch of junior-high kids could win.

And Crichton?

Let’s just say that people who follow college basketball in this town are still going to confuse Crichton with a similar-sounding basketball school in Nebraska.

Coach Calipari’s daughter Erin is a Facebook friend of mine and almost won the Rodney Carney Cup during the NCAA Tournament for having the most picks correct during the tournament.

So is Coach Walker’s daughter.

Crichton’s basketball team is filled with colorful nicknames that are similar to the old Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950’s.

You have “Sapp”, “Sly”, Stan “The Technician” Brownlee, “D-Ball”, and “The Colonel”.

The Tigers?

“CDR”, “Double-A”, and well, that’s all I can think of right now.

But at the end of March, one way or the other, North Highland or South Highland could be celebrating a championship.

Hopefully, Lil’ Wayne can make a donation of champange bottles for it.

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