Coles leading BSU at-large bid balloting

Oxford, Ohio -- Charlie Coles, head coach for Miami (Ohio), has been considered a Mid-American Conference ambassador by many. Coles has become known over the years for his comments during and after games, and after his game against Ball State Saturday, Coles comments let loose, mostly in complete support of Ball State.

"Ball State is so explosive," Coles said. "So explosive!"

Coles discussed several aspects of Ball State, the first of which was junior forward Theron Smith.

"I told Theron Smith what a wonderful player he is," Coles said. "He is a very unselfish kid. I don't know of a finer person in the league than he. And I really mean that. I don't know of a better ball player in the league than he because he's so versatile. One third of the points they got was because we were hugging him."

Coles also showed his surprise in a certain Ball State player.

"We always do that. We always discover a new player," Coles said. "I didn't know (Brian) Burns could role and do all those things he did. Now we got another guy to worry about. I'm serious; I thought he played well."

Burns ended up playing 26 minutes and 10 seconds in Ball State's loss to Miami Saturday, 80-77.

Burns and Smith weren't the only Cardinals of which Coles spoke; he made sure to mention Petie Jackson.

"I thought Ball State came out a little flat, but I applaud coach (Tim) Buckley for getting those guys out. But then he got those (starters) back in," Coles said. "I was hoping he would really get mad at Pat Jackson. I was over there like, 'Pat, Pat you can't take this man.' You're too good for this boy. I looked up and saw him on the floor again and I was like 'Boy, here we go.'"

Coles also took a minute to campaign for Ball State in regard to the NCAA tournament in March.

"I'm going to start politicking for Ball State right now," Coles said. "If the roof doesn't cave in then they should be an automatic bid. We'll see what the NCAA selection committee is all about this year.

"Maybe I shouldn't say this -- maybe it will jinx Buck -- but I'm not trying to do that. He is one of the nicer guys around. I just hope Ball State gets great consideration. I think they will finish very very strongly," Coles said. "You have to begin to talk about this right now. You wait until March and everyone is watching their television and they say, 'Oh no, I can't believe that.'"

Coles mentioned the games that Ball State participated in at the Maui Invitational later when asked how tough it was going to be to play Ball State in Worthen Arena on Feb. 23.

"I think Ball State is going to be so hard to deal with over there. I mean let's face it. This team beat Kansas. This team beat UCLA," Cole said.

Someone from the media then said, "This team beat Duke." Coles responded by saying, "Yeah, until those whistles got out there. I mean I'm serious. Anybody who saw that game knew what was up. Ball State was leading by 10 in the first half."


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