One of the best parts of March is that beautiful moments can come at the most unexpected times.
In this case, an emotional, teary-eyed Max Good delivered one Thursday night after a reporter asked how proud he was of his Loyola Marymount team for upsetting seventh-seeded Portland 67-64 in the opening round of the West Coast Conference tournament.
“Oh, I can’t begin to tell you to be honest,” Good said, choking back emotion. “These guys pick me up everyday. I apologize for this, but don’t care. I come to practice everyday and they pick my ass up. I hate the day off. I can’t wait to get in the gym and see these guys every day. They grind and they grind and they grind.
“I jumped on [forward] Nick Stover unmercifully tonight and he stuck it right up my behind. I jumped [point guard] Anthony [Ireland] for throwing him the ball and Nick heard that and how do you think that makes him feel and he said, ‘Oh I’ll show you, you old S.O.B.’ and he showed me and in the process showed Portland.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much it means for me to be around these guys. They keep you old as hell and young as hell at the same time.”
Good's emotional speech added to the reputation of the veteran coach known as one of the most outspoken yet genuine characters in the profession. It also was fitting given the adversity LMU has endured during a season that began with promise but fell apart after injuries left the Lions with only seven scholarship players.
LMU (13-18, 4-14) finished last in the WCC for the second straight season and had dropped 14 of its last 16 games prior to Thursday night. The Lions then surprised Portland despite star Anthony Ireland sinking only 4 of 16 shots.
When LMU finished last in the WCC a year ago, it atoned for a poor regular season with an unlikely run to the semifinals in the league tournament. This season could follow a similar script if the Lions can upset second-seeded BYU in the quarterfinals on Saturday evening.
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