At atlanta regional nevada and its vagabond coach hit jackpot georgia state university psychology

And unlike the postgame scene after his team arose from a 14-point deficit to beat texas in the NCAA tournament’s first round, he did not work blue. But, honestly, on the list of vices that inhabit his home state, dropping the occasional naughty word on national TV couldn’t even crack the top 10.

In advance of his wolf pack meeting loyola-chicago in thursday night’s south regional semi at philips arena, musselman, truly his father’s son, was talking about his passion for this moment.

“I tell the guys all the time I was part of two NCAA tournament teams at the university of san diego. And I can vividly remember the entire 40-minute games,” he began.

“we lost both, once to auburn, once to princeton.

Obviously, you can just look at me and tell I didn’t play much (read that: he’s diminutive), but those 80 minutes to me are 80 of the greatest minutes ever. Coaching an NBA game or whatever, participating as a player in an NCAA tournament game – it does not get any better in life.”

NCAA tournament

Let’s put what nevada has done in this tournament in terms relatable to the part of the world from which it springs: think of this team as the glassy-eyed gambler down to his last nickel, who, busted and beaten, feeds it into the airport slot machine nearest his departure gate. And it comes up all cherries. Cue the sound of buzzers and bells and coins cascading into the tray.

Should be no surprise that a team built on the restlessness of the modern transfer – its top four scorers came from other colleges – and led by a migrant who has worked just about any gym that would have him would make the most of any second, third or fourth chance out there.

A team is supposed to be a reflection of its coach, and this wolf pack thus far has accurately represented the resilient nature of its alpha member.

Hey, this also is a team that just a year ago made up a 14-point deficit in the last 70 seconds of regulation to win at new mexico in overtime.NCAA tournament

“there’s no question that there’s some luck involved (in all three improbable rallies),” musselman said. “but when it keeps happening, I do think it’s a credit to the players’ mentality and the toughness that the group has.”

“we don’t shy away from clutch possessions,” guard kendall stephens said, “and that’s what coach musselman is all about. He’s gritty, he’s hard-nosed, and will do whatever it takes to win.”

Musselman is only 53, but his resume includes 15 coaching jobs, give or take a florida beach dog (old CBA) stop. That he blew through for a couple of seasons on lon kruger’s hawks staff is just one tile in the mosaic.

Name the pro basketball initials – CBA, USBL, NBA D-league, NBA – and he’s worked them. He’s been a rapid city thriller, a reno bighorn and a los angeles D-fender. And he has head-coached both in golden state and sacramento.

His travels were his father’s, too. Bill musselman, who died at 59, walked the same path.14-point deficit the word “obsession” is prominent in the title of bill’s biography, a glaring clue as to the role of basketball in his life. His son is another chapter of the same book.

So, certainly, eric hears his father’s voice in his ear while making one of the great runs of his career. “he was my best friend. He was my idol. I wanted to walk in his footsteps,” he said. “if you look at our careers, our minor league records, it’s eerie. There’s barely percentage points difference in our won-loss records.”

“and I hear him say, ‘are you insane? Why are you shooting so many threes? Why are you playing fast? Slow the ball down.’ we play a completely contrasting style from the way I was raised.”

The younger musselman’s final stop in the NBA was a 2007 one-and-done as sacramento’s head man. It featured a locker room full of dysfunction and one ugly episode for the coach, a DUI arrest.

After a long break and a couple of other minor league detours, musselman was moved to reinvent himself as a college coach.14-point deficit three seasons as an assistant at arizona state and LSU represented his late-life internship.

Three seasons now at nevada – which include a pair of NCAA tournament bids – represents a relative dropping of the anchor for this ever-drifting coach. It’s a good fit because nevada was the one school willing to hire him.

His wife, the former danyelle sargent, georgia-born and as a long-time TV sports personality comfortable in the public eye, had hoped for this.

Their 8-year-old daughter, mariah, is coming into her own as a star attraction. She is scheduled to interview loyola-chicago’s 98-year-old chaplain, sister jean dolores-schmidt, for CBS before tipoff thursday night.

Should the wolf pack win another one – no doubt after once more breakdancing on the brink – how the coach chooses to take his celebration to the next level will be of keen interest.