Outcome determined in this girls' high school game, reserves getting time, two men sitting just past a basket at Cardinal O'Hara High, an 82 year-old and a 72-year-old, were A) falling asleep B) leaving or C) paying even closer attention.
He won't talk to me! The assistant coach was steamed. His target: Dominic Frassinelli, in his third year as a hoops official. Frassinelli saw that steam rising. He said later you have to know where you are - not talking about when to blow the whistle, just when it's time to be a diplomat, when to lay down the law.
LOS ANGELES - The sun came out Sunday, two days of rain and heavy cloud cover moving off, mountains finally appearing outside the city. If that holds, Penn Staters will get one of the most spectacular views in sports Monday afternoon, when they gather down in the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, get inside the Rose Bowl itself, and watch their Nittany Lions take on Southern California, with the San Gabriel Mountains practically as close as the goalposts.
LOS ANGELES - How quickly the questions can turn. Penn State coach James Franklin already had talked at a Saturday morning Rose Bowl media conference at a downtown hotel when Nittany Lions athletic director Sandy Barbour faced cameras and recorders in front of her school's familiar logo.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A defensive play call was made, then a switch to another play. Routine stuff, except a Temple Owls defender missed the signal. It's as simple as that sometimes. From the stands, you don't know the play call or see the switch or know about the missed signal. You just watch an opposing tight end striding down the middle of the field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium by his lonesome.
Rebounding in cow country: Philly basketball players have long gone to Hobbs, N.M., to get somewhere else
Past the college, the only lights under the night sky come from towering oil rigs. A parking lot outside the men's dormitory is lined with pickup trucks and horse trailers. When Rafi Stevens first showed up at New Mexico Junior College this fall as a basketball recruit, he didn't realize he'd be sharing his campus with livestock.
So the new guy at Temple is a salesman. Geoff Collins, next head football coach, Temple University, brought up his childhood love of the Broad Street Bullies and his father's love of John Chaney during Wednesday's official strike-up-the-band Owls introduction. Collins was charming and self-deprecating, said all the smart things, didn't overpromise.
As the Temple Owls practiced Tuesday morning, smoke headed toward the Owls' football complex. Maybe interim head coach Ed Foley, in charge through the Military Bowl on Dec. 27, could have read that smoke as official word that the Owls had a replacement for Matt Rhule. Except Foley lives in the real world. Something was on fire.
By Mike Jensen NEWARK, N.J. - This was later. Josh Hart had already done his thing and deconstructed it. Villanova teammate Mikal Bridges had explained what he just seen from Hart inside the Prudential Center on a memorable day. A question for Jay Wright: Can he live with Hart's being the favorite for national college player of the year?
Maybe Baylor hasn't done much lately to deserve Matt Rhule. As that school tries to dig out from scandal, however, it did its homework. From everything I've seen the last few years, Rhule is both the real deal as a football coach and made to order for Baylor. He's even the son of a minister. They'll like that down there.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Scenes from a championship: A Temple defensive back cruised around the checkerboard end zone, arms out as if he was flying. A receiver went over to some defensive linemen and pointed to his gloved hand, to his ring finger. A bunch of Owls players jumped up to the stands, to sit in front as Temple's band played Temple's fight song. Players grabbed souvenir signs, carried them around the place, high-fiving Temple fans who strung out along the whole sideline.
Among other assignments, Mike Jensen writes "Off Campus," a regular column on college sports for the Inquirer. A staff writer with the paper since 1988, Jensen covered college basketball and football beats for 15 years, wrote about soccer from 10 countries on five continents, and was assigned to the Kentucky Derby the year of Smarty Jones. He won Eclipse Awards for his coverage of Smarty Jones and Barbaro.