INDIANAPOLIS —- This is always an interesting day as a reporter.
Yes, there’s a story to churn out. But there’s also a couple to prep for the next week, to help justify the financial investment of getting sent to a regional site.
So much of today was spent doing legwork on stories on Louisville and Michigan State for next week. Obviously, one of them will prove to be wasted effort; the other will wind up in the dead-tree edition a few days down the road.
But there’s still that story for tomorrow, and rather than break down some sort of strategy (which, more often than not, is boring to both read and write), it seemed like a good time to take a look at a guy on the Louisville bench with ties to the area.
Namely, Terrence Jennings.
You remember Jennings, right? The big man who committed to Maryland in the summer of 2007, only to decommit shortly thereafter once some schools other than Maryland found out how good he was.
I mentioned Maryland to Jennings early in our conversation this afternoon, and he just snickered. That’s not a surprise; teammates told me Jennings finds just about everything funny. It was also a more welcome response than a glare.
In any case, we eventually got into what prompted him to open things back up. And one person he wasn’t about to criticize was assistant Chuck Driesell, who Jennings said handled much of his recruitment.
“He was a good dude,” Jennings said. “It had nothing to do with him. It was the program and what was going on, it wasn’t a good fit for me. He was a great guy.”
And as for the whirlwind that prompted him to verbally agree to come to College Park before backing out a few months later?
“At the time, Maryland was the top school recruiting me,” Jennings said. “I kind of kept an eye on them, checking them out. I heard they weren’t doing all that. I mean, they’re good. They’re a good team. I knew it wasn’t a fit for me. I really went into depth and really checked out their programs and knew it really wasn’t a the right fit at Maryland.”
That’s basically it regarding Maryland. The crux of tomorrow’s dead-tree story focuses more on his place on Louisville’s roster —- and as the Cardinals’ top reserve post player, his averages of 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds are more important than you’d think.
In any case, he looked especially good Friday night, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds. But in a reflection of Jennings’ up-and-down season, it was only the fourth time he got five-and-five all year.
Still, there’s that dreaded p-word —- potential. Jennings has it, and he’s one of many reasons the Cardinals are an intriguing choice to win their next three games and snip down the nets in Detroit.
—- Patrick Stevens