Rodney Watson and nerves

For someone who has been coaching as long as USI head coach Rodney Watson — going on three decades — I wondered if he ever got nervous before a big game. I figured this next game, against seventh-seeded Wayne State in Saturday’s quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional, would be as good a time as any — especially considering that the Eagles have lost their only two first-round NCAA games played under Watson (USI was banned from the regional his first year, the result of GLVC sanctions against the school that resulted from accusations against former head coach Rick Herdes). Well, Watson does get nervous, just not over this game.

“The games I get most nervous about are playing lower-division teams in our league,” he said. “These games (in the NCAA tournament) , everything is pretty even across the board.

“Now, I would be nervous if we had knuckleheads (as players). We have such good guys. I’m cool with going with these guys on the bus.”

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