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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Virginia Tech basketball coach Buzz Williams is captain and MVP of the All-Unconventional Team. He’s a different guy, with more quirks than the entire cast of “Seinfeld.”
But even by his standards, what he did during the Hokies’ second-round Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game Wednesday night was odd. Hilariously odd.
There was a timeout with his team trailing Miami by a point with just more than 10 minutes left in the game. During the timeout, two fans were brought on to the court for a $500 free-throw contest at either end. While his team was huddled and the Hokies’ season hung in the balance, Williams was AWOL.
He was standing next to the girl shooting foul shots.
“Make it!” he yelled at her, from about two feet away.
She missed it.
“Make it!” he yelled again.
She missed again.
And missed the next as well.
After she was 0-for-3, Williams finally ducked into the huddle. The girl kept missing, so you couldn’t blame Buzz’s coaching.
This certainly ran counter to the stereotype of the hyperintense, super-serious basketball coach who never lets anything interfere with in-game focus.
His postgame explanation of the moment also was characteristically eccentric.
“I want to have fun,” Williams said after the Hokies’ season-ending, 59-49 loss, working his way up to a slam of the sports writers in the postgame press conference. “You guys think I sweat and I don’t have fun – I’m having the time of my life. It’s just you guys, as nerds, think is fun, isn’t what everyone else thinks is fun. You guys can send out a tweet, talking about a blog, that’s not fun.
"That gives you entitlement, because you can send out a tweet or a blog.
“There’s nothing I’m going to say in the huddle that they haven’t heard me say. It’s just saying the same stuff, over and over.”
Fair enough. But if that’s true, why do college basketball coaches insist on using all their timeouts and dragging out the end of every game?