Long layoff

USI’s men’s basketball team now enters a sort of vacation from games — they don’t play again until Dec. 8, against Notre Dame College from Ohio. That’s a two-week layoff. Coach Rodney Watson wasn’t too happy about this before the season began, blaming it on the NCAA’s cutting two games from Division II teams’ seasons. Now it may be a blessing. Keith DeWitt, USI’s 6-9 senior center who scored 25 points in the season opener (and 18 against Division I Evansville), is recovering from knee surgery. Sure, USI has won without him, but it’ll need him come the conference schedule.

By the way, I saw DeWitt at practice today. He was just shooting free throws, but he looked OK. And his left knee did not have a brace — or any covering — on it.

New picture now, and some thoughts on Brooke Valentine

It’s the one used with my column that runs in our print edition on Mondays. By the way, this has already been an unusual day, what with USI women’s basketball player Brooke Valentine deciding to sit out the rest of the season on pregnancy leave. I have to say that in my 32 years in the newspaper business, this was the first time I’ve had to write such a story. Having a child is a life-changing experience — the most important experience anyone can have. But knowing there is a person in this world who will always be a part of you no matter what, there’s nothing else like it. Ever since I heard about Brooke, I’ve been thinking about my two children. Both are adults now, but my wife and I still remember the day they were born like it just happened. We are better people for it.

Hello world!

Just trying to keep up with this will be a challenge, but USI sports — especially USI men’s and women’s basketball — should provide plenty of fodder. This is Thanksgiving week, so the men’s and women’s teams have a shortened practice schedule. But they still have to prepare for this weekend’s games: the Bill Joergens Memorial Classic for the men, which runs Friday and Saturday at the Physical Activities Center, and the USI Thanksgiving Classic for the women, which will go Saturday and Sunday at the PAC. Interesting note for the women’s team: Chancellor Dugan, who turned the USI women’s team into a national power in the 1990s, returns as the coach of Bellarmine University’s team this weekend. USI coach Rick Stein, now the winningest coach in the team’s history, was her longtime assistant.