Joe Dooley woke up from a deep slumber at 2 a.m., Friday, his hamstring muscles tight in response to his playing 20 minutes in a Bill Self fantasy procamp basketball game Thursday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.
Dooley, 51, is the Florida Gulf Coast head coach and a former Kansas assistant. He is back in town to serve as one of the head coaches at the three-day, six-team tournament for men age 35 and up. Dooley, with his sore hamstrings, decided to recruit 36-year-old KU assistant/former Illinois guard Jerrance Howard to take his place at the starting combo guard spot for his Team Chalmers squad.
“I got ‘guilted’ into playing yesterday,” Dooley said on Friday. “I sort of ‘guilted’ Jerrance into playing today. I was not going to get ‘guilted’ two days in a row.
“I think both of us were atrocious, and that’s being very generous.”
Dooley, who was a standout at George Washington in his day, is 6-3 and in tip-top shape. But he went 0 for 2 from the field and 0 for 2 from the free-throw line — good for zero points — while dishing a handful of assists in Thursday’s 69-53 loss to Team Robinson. He was playing only because one of the Team Chalmers players had suffered an untimely injury.
On Friday morning, the 6-1 Howard, whose college playing weight was 200 pounds — he’s put on 10 or more since graduation in 2004 — scored three points on 1-of-7 shooting with eight rebounds, four assists and one turnover in 21 minutes of a 53-29 Team Chalmers loss to Team Ellis. Howard was 0 for 3 on three-pointers but did hit 1 of 2 free throws to go with his stick-back of an inside miss.
“I might have been better running up and down the court,” Dooley said. He (Howard) might have been more effective in some halfcourt sets.”
On Friday afternoon, with Dooley again glued to the bench and Howard off recruiting, Dooley’s Team Chalmers squad defeated FOX Sports Radio announcer Doug Gottlieb’s Team Mason 47-43. Gottlieb was hosting his radio show at a studio in town, so former KU guard Greg Gurley and current KU director of basketball operations Brennan Bechard filled in as co-coaches of the losing team.
“I think we would have had a much better chance if Jerrance would have played,” Gurley said. “Jerrance played in the morning, but he was awful.”
While the fantasy-camp games are definitely serious, Gurley worked the refs in a good-natured manner during the loss.
“Brennan and I did not get the calls at all,” Gurley said. “It was like playing against eight guys. Everything went their way. Brennan and I in our inaugural coaching debut were taught a very valuable lesson: Veteran coaches get the calls.”
Teasing absent coach Gottlieb, Gurley said: “We (he and Bechard) drafted the team and coached today. Gottlieb is 1-1 and we are 0-1, but we picked the team. We’re the GMs.”
Dooley faring well at Gulf Coast
Dooley’s fourth Florida Gulf Coast team went 26-8 last season, won the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season and postseason tourney titles and as a No. 14 seed lost to No. 3 seed Florida State 86-80 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“We’ve had some fun,” Dooley said of his Florida Gulf Coast team. “We’ve got some good young players. I think we can keep this thing going.”
Dooley has a 91-46 record at Florida Gulf Coast with two first-place finishes in the league and two seconds, two NCAA Tournament appearances, one NIT berth and one berth in the CIT.
“We’ve got 80 percent of our scoring back,” Dooley said. “We play a tough nonconference schedule like we did last year (losing to Baylor and Michigan State and beating Long Beach State). Hopefully that will prepare us for league.”
Dooley said he and his family love living in Florida, but they also miss Kansas where Dooley worked as an assistant on Self’s coaching staff from 2003-13.
“Our family … we love KU. It’s always good to come back. It’s always good to see Coach (Self),” Dooley said. “It’s always good to see the players, see the people here. It’s a great place.”
Open recruiting period
Self and his assistants will hit the road for a recruiting trip on Saturday. Self reportedly will be in Indianapolis for the second Under Armour Association event of the spring/summer AAU season.
Self likes Golden State
Self says he’s paying attention to the NBA playoffs as always.
“I think it’s the Warriors. I don’t think anybody can play with ’em,” he said when asked to pick an eventual champion.