Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Coleman Dismissed-Anyone surprised?

-The end to a sad situation on and off the court-

Senior guard Javance Coleman was dismissed from the team last night after season which was deflating for not only him, but his team and the fans. Coleman recieved all-WAC honors last season when he averaged 17.5 ppg and became known as a clutch performer and one of the WACs best players and also teamed with forward Quinton Hosley to form one of the most dynamic tandems in the conference. After flirtations with the NBA draft, he wisely came back to school.

The season began rather well as Coleman led the team in scoring in 3 of the first 5 games, but the shooting woes began shortly thereafter. He became unable to knock down outside shots and had multiple disappointing outings shooting the ball. It was a stretch that Coleman was shooting at a 20% clip and could not find any success. Many fully expected him to break out of his now burgeoning slump and put up a solid 12-15 ppg and help his team going into conference play, but it never materialized.

His final solid outing was the game prior to conference play starting which was the home game with University of San Diego, a game he scored 13 points in a solid shooting night. It was the last game that Coleman actually played and contributed on the offensive end in an efficient way.

Following Coleman's 0-9 performance in 21 minutes in a home victory against San Jose State he was promptly suspended for two games and it was said he had not been attending practice. This was when everyone began to realize that this was much more than shooting woes or slumps. It was now obvious that he was dealing with larger issues off the court.

Then comes the game in Moscow Idaho where Coleman returned from suspension yet had not shaken his inability to make a shot through the majority of the game. He was able to go 2-2 from the line in regulation to help them get into overtime then shoot 6-6 free throws in overtime and also knock down a crucial 25 foot three. He played like a senior leader that night asking for the ball when it mattered most and coming through for his team in a way he had not all season.

I gave a lot of credit to him in my postgame reaction for the very things stated in the above paragraph but at the end of my praise was the telling statement of never knowing what to expect next from Coleman. It was true because Monday night comes and Coach Cleveland is having a press conference speaking on Coleman's dismissal for the team for violating Athletic Department rules.

The actual violation was not disclosed and I for one hope it stays that way. I respect Cleveland for the way he has handled the situation and how he hopes that Coleman can get his degree and come out of this with something to hang on to, because I do too. This issue had the potential to threaten the integrity of the program that has had obvious issues in the past so Im glad it has been resolved. Cleveland is in the position at this University where he has to be squeaky clean.

Of the obvious reasons this team has struggled mightily like a lack of a post prescence on both ends of the floor, inconsistent shooting from both three and at the rim, and turnover issues, Coleman's inability to play with any consistency this season and solidify his starting role is as big an issue as any. Eddie Miller was brought in to back up Coleman and gain the experience to start next season, unfortunately he has been force into the starting role. The positive in this is that Miller is now the man and will not lack confidence or experience beginning next season.

As far as speculation, the two things I would think has happened is either Coleman not attending class anymore or he has failed mutiple drug tests. If Javance had substance issues (I would hope not) then that would at least make me understand why he had such a drastic drop off and inability to make strides shooting the ball this season.

Lets hope Mr. Coleman can find the err in his ways and salvage what has been a great opportunity for him which is his scholarship to a CSU. Get the degree and be productive in any way you can in your future.

Fresno Bee Story

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