A win-win situation for senior

Cleveland State's Cole big celebrity after 41-20-9 effort

February 15, 2011|By Shannon Ryan

Norris Cole had thrown for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in a game when he was a high school quarterback in Dayton, Ohio. He had scored 38 points on the basketball court as a junior at Cleveland State.

"But nothing like this," Cole said in a phone interview Monday, referring to his play in the Vikings' 86-76 victory Saturday over Youngstown State.

Cole turned in the performance of his life and of the college basketball season with 41 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists.

Take your pick as to which number is more impressive. A 6-foot-2 point guard grabbing 20 rebounds ? The potential he had for 50 points if not for so many assists? Recording a double-double in each half?

Cole, a senior, was most satisfied with something else.

"I'm happy we won," he said. "It would have been a waste if we didn't win."

The Vikings are second in the Horizon League, and it wouldn't be a bad thing for college basketball fans to get to know Cole better if they could win the league tournament and make the NCAA tournament.

Cole, who leads the league with 21.1 points, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals per game, has received hundreds of congratulatory messages and is quickly becoming a recognizable face.

"My e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, everything's been blowing up," he said.

Comedy central: After point guard Jordan Taylor scored 27 in a 71-67 victory against No. 1 Ohio State, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan let reporters in on what wowed him during Taylor's recruitment.

He knew Taylor was a down-to-earth player who was more concerned about impressing the Badgers than having the coaches impress him. One way, Ryan claimed, was when Taylor did "The Carlton" dance for them, imitating a character from the '90s sitcom "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

Taylor, of course, denied this and responded to Ryan's friendly jab about his look-a-like.

"He kind of looks like the Grinch," Taylor joked about Ryan.

From the infirmary: It will be an interesting week for Missouri, Florida and Michigan State. They'll all be checking in on star players' health.

Florida has won 12 of its last 14 and moved to the top of SEC standings. It will be hard not to cool off if forward Chandler Parsons is unavailable against LSU on Sunday. He sustained a deep thigh bruise against Tennessee on Saturday and is out indefinitely. Parsons leads Florida in assists and rebounds.

Missouri has lost three of five games, so the Tigers could use the services of guard Marcus Denmon on Tuesday against Texas Tech. Denmon, the team's leading scorer, received two stitches under his right eye after taking an elbow in a win Saturday against Oklahoma.

Michigan State probably can't afford to face Ohio State on Tuesday without Delvon Roe, a top defender. Coach Tom Izzo said Roe sprained or bruised his knee against Penn State on Thursday.

Games to watch: Wednesday — Wisconsin at Purdue. Can Wisconsin use mental imagery to pretend Mackey Arena is the Kohl Center? Not likely. West Lafayette, Ind., isn't Madison, Wis., but it's a tough place to play.

New Mexico at San Diego State. San Diego State lost its only game to BYU. One of BYU's two losses is to New Mexico. Does this spell trouble for the Aztecs?

Thursday — Richmond at Temple. The teams are looking to break out of a second-place tie in the Atlantic-10.

Saturday — Pittsburgh at St. John's. The Red Storm have been an ice pack to hot teams.

Utah State at St. Mary's. Both teams are ranked in the coaches' poll this week.

Illinois at Michigan State. If you like self-destructing bubble teams, this is the game for you.

Sunday — Ohio State at Purdue. Another big showdown at Mackey Arena.

sryan@tribune.com

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