"What goes up...must come on down...spinnin wheel is turnin 'round..." We win 133-124... DTate goes for 68...on the ROAD no less...Wow!!

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December 11, 2007...Yunnan City, southern China...this is a remote area of China that is known as the "Carolina Tobacco Country of China..."...and let me tell you something this city is literally surrounded by farms, every kind of farm you can think of...It's beautiful, but you feel like you're encroaching upon this fertile valley when you look out of the tallest building in the city from the 10th floor of our hotel...Weather is in the 60's...no skeeters got me this time...I came prepared...I finally got "wise" and asked, Pancake, my translator: "is this a warm climate or cold climate we're headed towards...?"...he prepared me well...

On to the game...WOW...that's all I've got to say...WOW...DTate, 6'5" 2G/SF put on an offensive show last night that I've only seen one other time, and that was the 58 points Dale Ellis got vs. Milwuakee at Milwaukee back in the day ('88-'89 I think) in overtime...DTate's performance was beyond spectacular, he sensed early on that they could not match up on his quick first step and acceleration to basket on one dribble...he had 25 at halftime, and that was after he only played 18 of 24 mins. DTate drove and drove and twisted and turned and drew fouls and missed his 5 3's in game, meaning he ONLY missed one shot inside the 3pt. arc...now I don't know about you, but if I'm an NBA scout, GM or Player Personnel Director, I'm all over this kid, as he is demonstrating all too well that he's ready for his "one" shot at the next level...He's a nondescript small college player whose passion for the game supercedes his character and respect of others off the court...He is genuinely one of the best offensive players that I've ever worked with...His defense when he first showed up was an "ad" in the Lost and Found section of a newspaper...He has gotten better every week, and now KNOWS when he is out of position and makes poor judgment fouls: reaching in, off balance jabs at ball on dribbles and forgetting to block out first...BUT...he now looks at me and nods, knowing all too well that I was about to remind him where the "sun don't shine..."...He is by far the best American player in the CBA this season...he is a cross athletically between Wilkins of Seattle, Bowen of San Antone and Raja Bell of Phoenix...yeah, all those athletic combos, but none of the aforementioned have his offensive prowess and know-how to get to the basket and SCORE like DTate...WOW...You want to talk about class, here it is...He's at 68 points with 1:40 to go in game and I mention to our coach that it would be good to take him out of game now, out of respect to SunJun, the former GM who brought me and DTate over here 3 months ago, before he was deposed...You see, SunJun is the only player in the history of the CBA to score 70 points in a game and I really didn't think it was right for DaJuan to break that record when we were up 11 with little time left...The coach actually listened to me, glory, and subbed him out to the sidelines to the smiles and backslaps of his Chinese teammates and next to me on the bench..."D, I told Coach to take you out...out of respect to SunJun, because it's only right that he remains the legend of his country's league...you're only going to be here one season and then a distant memory, SunJun lives here and breathes Chinese basketball..."...DaJuan looked at me, nodded and said "coach, SunJun told me to break his record...I was going to, but then again thought about it and said to myself, nah, I don't need to do that...he gave me my first chance at Pro Ball here and I'm happy for the experience..."...Whew, I said to myself, I'd hate to think that he wanted to score 71 and didn't because I waxed sentimental over a National icon...Get this, our coach PUTS DTate BACK INTO GAME with 45 secs. to play because the other team cut the lead to 8 with that much time left...Tate winks at me and says, "Coach, don't worry, I ain't even goin to be near the ball..." And he wasn't...He now holds the All Time Single Game record for a Foreign Player in the CBA...When he was told that by the GM and Assistant Coach YoYo, DTate was ecstatic...Folks, I gotta tell you something, he's the kind of person, player and teammate you wish you could have your family around, teach and coach and be on his team, respectively...THAT GOOD...Okay, gotta get on 3 hour bus ride to the airport for another 6 hours on a plane, two connections, making it a 12 hours day again...But when you win again on the road, it's pure joy to travel...We now have 4 wins on the road, more than any team in the league presently, or so I'm told...we're two games out of the win column for the last playoff spot with 16 games to go...light a candle...We play at home on Wednesday and again on Friday...if we bring our road mindset to these home games, we'll do just fine...Stay tooned...Hello to Larry Stone, the gentleman who constructed our platforms back in June of this year for the 11' Exposition Game at Hec Ed...Also, best wishes to Dorothy Harshman, who has had a rough go of late, being hospitalized over the last several weeks...she is the wife of Coach Marv...wonderful basketball woman she is...Her son, David, was a coach over last season and did a GREAT job working with Post players, both Junior and Men's level players...Also Shout Outs to Eastside Catholic, Newport High, Mount Si, and Inglemoor HIgh school Varsity and JV teams, AND of course Kentwood, home of Lindsey Moore and Teddi McGuire, two outstanding student athletes on the Girls team there, as well Josh Smith, the 6'9" Post player whose developing skills and careful mentoring from his wonderful parents will make people marvel at this young man's brilliant future...God Bless all...Coach tom

10:30pm, RedBuds Hotel, Changchun City...we made it safely and hungry...you just can't depend on Airport food to be the best meal of the day...so I'm warming up the water to have some good old "Top Ramen"like, but better noodles...Good day...

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