wasn't nearly so bad as it looked:
An MRI on Monday revealed that (Chantel) Hilliard did not suffer a tear in her left knee during Auburn’s 65-59 victory over Georgia, an Auburn spokesman confirmed. The Auburn training staff would not divulge the nature of her injury, but it is not expected to be season-ending ...You wouldn't usually see a player averaging 3.3 points a game as "critical," but Auburn has pretty much just the two backups in the frontcourt, Carrier and Hilliard, and as intimidating as Carrier might look she's clearly got a ways to go before handling major minutes. Hilliard was one of the few Auburn players who was actually having a good game against the Dawgs before she went down, and I think it's quite safe to say she's going to have to play for Auburn to have any shot at not wearing down over the course of the SEC tourney.
The news was certainly outstanding for the Tigers, who dress just 10 players, regularly play eight and have been short on depth since
Jordan Greenleaf went down with a torn ACL in December.
“She is not out of the woods yet as far as playing with the team,” coach Nell Fortner said. “It was good to hear that there was no tear or anything and we are excited to have her back as soon as she can join us.”
When it happened, I frankly assumed she was done for the year, so this quite the pleasant surprise.
"Bad." As you've no doubt heard by now, The Fantastical Mr. Oku has now moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and will apparently graduate from his new high school there. His motivation for the move is apparently to be closer to his Lincoln-based girlfriend, who he met on his official visit to Nebraska.
Staying far, far away from the merits of said motivation, I'm with the Syracuse bloggers in simply acknowledging that if you are choosing to play college football in either Lincoln, Auburn, Knoxville, or Syracuse, and you just got finished moving to one of those cities, it stands to reason you're most likely to choose to play in the city you moved to rather than move yet again. "Hopes," such as they were, are not up.
Which, of course, is fine. Oku is likely to be a quality running back and I'd be happy to have him at Auburn. But--once again--we just signed several quality running backs and we have several more already on our roster. Plus we're still just a bit on the "need to get the class down to 25" side. If he was an offensive lineman I'd be singing a different and substantially more desperate tune, but as is the travails of The Fantastical Mr. Oku are a fun story that's going to have a happy ending no matter how things turn out in the end.
Good. I mentioned yesterday that anyone who wanted to write baseball coverage for the JCCW would be encouraged. Nevermind: there's no point in anything but rudimentary "hey, this happened" talk here as long as new Auburn baseball blog Plainsman Parking Lot is around to provide the goods. A sample:
Just from three games, I can tell that the difference between Slater and CJP is night and day.Kevin has not one, not two, not three, not five, but four different posts on the Elon series. So, yeah, I think we've got that "Auburn baseball" thing covered for the time being. Visit and enjoy.
Fundamentally, we are better. We actually had successful bunts and *gasp* pulled off a hit and run.
But there are so many little, unrecognizable things, that are different from last year's staff.
The first is communication. If you have a chance to go to a game, especially late in the game, pay attention to the 1B coach. Late in the game Sunday, Auburn was trying to keep a close eye on the Elon bullpen. Every now and then you would catch the first base coach (I forget his name at the moment) keeping a close eye on the pen and signaling whether there was a RH, LH, or even a separate signal for a Submariner. So even before the pitcher was called in for Elon, Auburn knew what to expect and could adjust accordingly.
The second is attitude. Slater would rarely come out of the dugout to argue a call. CJP was out even during the first inning. Arguing a close play on a steal to second. That attitude trickles down to the players. I don't know how you would measure this, but even on Sunday, the team seemed, I don't know, happier. They were having fun. Better than that they were vocal, loud, and cheering their teammates on late in ninth when Auburn was trying to rally (even putting on rally caps). Something has changed in Auburn. Something has changed for the better.