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November 21, 2012

I went to pick up my son from kindergarten this afternoon. The principal helps direct out car-riders. He brought my son over, and I noticed he was wearing a Michigan tie. I was wearing a Pitt shirt, so I tried to engage him about the game tonight. Big surprise, he had no clue.

Sure they have a top-5 team. They are playing a big non-con game in prime time on ESPN2. Considered the best game of the night. Nothing. It’s all about Michigan-Ohio State this week. Their news coverage is really, really limited. Basically it’s, “hey, this is the first real game for Michigan, but, whatever.”

[As an aside, here I was all primed to give the Trib some grief for not using a regular beat writer so far this season -- leading to some uneven coverage -- but compared to the effort in Michigan...]

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Blast From the Past: Jerry McCullough

Filed under: Alumni,Basketball — Chas @ 8:00 am

Here’s something to note. Jerry McCullough, who came to Pitt during the downside of the Paul Evans era, is now coaching high school prep basketball in Massachusetts. He seems to be making an impact.

MacDuffie may not have that same pedigree, but second-year coach Jerry McCullough believes the Mustangs can compete now for Class AA hardware.

“I do — that’s why we play,” McCullough said with a chuckle. “Realistically, it’s going to be very challenging for us to do that. We want to improve and grow with the school.”

McCullough, who played under Paul Evans at the University of Pittsburgh before a professional career in the U.S. and Europe, brought the Granby school to the Class D championship game in his first season.

MacDuffie entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed and was unbeaten against Class D opponents before falling to Hoosac in the final.

Now the Mustangs are making the jump from NEPSAC’s lowest division to its second highest. Only Class AAA is higher, with schools like Brewster Academy, New Hampton Prep, Northfield Mt. Hermon and St. Thomas More, programs that churn out Division I recruits on a yearly basis.

McCullough was playing in Italy, as recently as 2009 (he’s even got a small entry on the Italian Wikipedia). He seems to have made a quick adjustment from the end of his playing career.

McCullough has had an influx of potential Division I level players who want to play for him, which necessitated the jump in divisions. We may be reading more about his program and his players in the coming months or years.

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