The New Orleans Choke Job

What’s a little attempted choke out between friends? The University of New Orleans coach doesn’t dig it. “Mount St. Mary’s and New Orleans fought to the finish in the opening game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately for New Orleans, which ultimately lost the game 67-66, there was also some fighting among the team itself.

With just under seven minutes to go and the Privateers trailing by three, junior forward Travin Thibodeaux initiated an altercation with senior guard Christavious Gill.

Thibodeaux, the team’s second-leading rebounder, had just committed a turnover and was unhappy with Gill for not getting him the ball in the post sooner. The 6-5 forward immediately began to yell in the face of the 5-8 Gill, who eventually shoved him away.”

New Orlean’s coach benched one of his stars. Okay. I’m actually Okay with this move. Keep your authority, play the life lesson move and get the good headlines. I guess. But you know what I’m not Okay with? Why on god’s green earth didn’t you foul with 25 seconds left? You gave your kids 2.5 seconds to work with. So, yes. You lost this game, Coach. Twice. Once by benching a player for friendly fire and once for not calling for a foul. You know how many times Paul chokes Tommy during a podcast? If we benched him we’d never get anything done.

“Well, we’ve got two extremely competitive guys there,” New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger said. “And, I mean, they’re best friends, to be honest with you. Just got sideways with each other. One thought he should have zigged and the other thought he should have zagged.

“They got sideways with each other, they got into it and I made the decision to sit Travin the rest of the half. I thought it was in the best interest of our team moving forward for the half. It was disappointing.”

New Orleans, you choked TWICE in one game.