McCreary happy at Louisiana Tech
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
Aubrey McCreary is one of the brightest and most respected basketball minds in Northern Nevada bar none.
The fiery McCreary, who was head boys coach at Hug, Reno and Douglas high schools and helped with the Douglas girls program for a couple of years, has joined the men’s basketball staff at Louisiana Tech.
“It was pretty quick,” said McCreary when discussing how the hiring came about. “I think it’s been about two weeks. Coach (Rupp) does a great job and has done a great job. I see how hard he works and the caring he has for his players both on and off the court.”
McCreary signed a one-year deal. McCreary is an interim assistant for one season and coach Kerry Rupp has already said he hopes that McCreary applies for the job at the end of the season.
“Coach McCreary will be a tremendous asset to our program this season,” Rupp said. “He has an outstanding knowledge of the game. This will allow us as a staff to focus on getting ready for the upcoming season.
“I am hopeful that Aubrey will want to apply for the permanent position following the season. This will give him an opportunity to see what our program is about and it will give us an opportunity to get more familiar with him. It’s a win-win situation.”
McCreary said that he became acquainted with Rupp, a past assistant at Utah and Indiana, while working basketball camps for Adidas. Since 1997, McCreary has served as the assistant camp director for the Double Pump West Coast All-Star Camps as a clinician and instructor. McCreary has also been featured as guest speaker and instructor at the Adidas Superstar Camp in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
McCreary said he had called Rupp to let the Tech coach know he knew of somebody that would be good for the position.
“He (Rupp) said he wasn’t going to fill the position for this year,” McCreary said. “I got a call back, and he asked if I would be willing to fill in for the season to help him out. I talked about it for a couple of days with my wife (Janice) and decided to do it. I’ll be working on skill development and defensive stuff.”
Skill development has been McCreary’s forte in recent years. He’s worked with NBA players the past four years. One of his pupils was former Louisiana Tech star Paul Millsap, who is a power forward with the Utah Jazz.
McCreary spent a lot of time working with Nevada freshman Luke Babbitt between the end of Galena’s high school season and the end of the school year.
McCreary admits that it will be a different mindset from his days of being a high school coach.
“It’s basketball 24/7,” he said. “You get to do basketball all day and not have to worry about teaching (classes). You spend time focusing on skills to help yourself and your players.”
McCreary said the toughest part of his new job is living away from his wife, children and their animals. His wife is a principal in a Reno-area school.
“She will try to come out for games and Christmas break,” McCreary said. “My wife is my best friend. It was difficult to leave them.”
– One of these days, I hope that people will come to their senses and shorten the 3A football playoffs.
The state has just nine or 10 3A schools, so on years that Northern Nevada hosts the state football playoffs, four northern 3A schools reach the playoffs. It’s such a joke, especially this year when the fourth-place team will be just at .500 in conference play and under .500 for the season.
How about this? Take the two top teams form the North and the two top teams from the South and have your playoff. It would be over in two weeks, and the student-athletes could move on to their next sport.
Honestly, who wants to watch Lowry, Spring Creek or Dayton, all of whom are battling for the fourth playoff spot, get hammered by Truckee in the first round? Truckee beat Dayton 56-0, Lowry 34-10 and Spring Creek 40-22.
Don’t like my first idea?
OK, take three in the North and three from the South. Give the division winners a bye in the first round. In this format you would be done one week later.
Making the playoffs should be privilege, not a right. Teams that finish at or below .500 in conference just don’t deserve to move on. The playoffs are about watching the elite, and take my word for it, there is nothing elite about .500 or below. That’s mediocrity, my friends.
– After watching Texas Tech dismantle Kansas at Kansas on Saturday, I’m thinking that Nevada’s defense played extremely well against the Red Raiders. Not only did Nevada hold Texas Tech to under 40, but they made Tech quarterback Graham Harrell extremely uncomfortable. And Harrell had his worst day as a collegian against the Pack, completing just 19-of-42 passes.
– I was saddened to see Nick Fazekas, Nevada’s all-time leading scorer, waived by the Denver Nuggets earlier this week.
With the regular season getting ready to start, it’s doubtful that he will get picked up by anybody quickly. What he’ll have to do is wait for an injury to a big man in order to get another shot at the NBA this year.
It’s said that the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Developmental League are interested in him. It’s easy to see why D-League teams need to put butts in the seats and Fazekas would do that. I’m not sure that Fazekas has anything left to prove. He dominated in his half season there last year before being picked up by the Clippers. The only thing positive is that he would be in an area where he’s well liked ” and revered by some.
He could make tons more money in Europe, though he told me last year he would prefer not to go there.
– Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (775) 881-1281