Coach Rob Jeter was hoping that the negative press of the 2007 season had passed and the team was looking forward to a brighter future. With the suspensions and dismissals that the team endured last year it seemed the only direction the Panthers could go is.....up.
Well, Ricky Franklin had other ideas at 3:00am on Thursday (11/28) morning. Instead of being at home sleeping and getting ready to eat some turkey with his family and preparing himself for the state show down against Wisconsin today (11am), he thought it would be smart to be out driving around...drunk. He was arrested for drunken driving and will sit-out todays game until the matters get sorted. In the end, he will probably miss 5 games or so. Everyone makes mistakes, lord knows I have. But when you're playing D1 basketball on a team that is quite competitive this year, one would think you would have plenty of friends or family to call to come pick you up. That being said, I'm sure the young man will learn from this and move on. Meanwhile, the team will be with out their starting guard.
Ironically enough, Avery Smith will surely get another chance in the starting lineup. The Senior was coming off the bench and tearing it up for the Panthers. So that is great news as he is clearly the best player on the team. It was his poor decision making that led to him being dismissed last year from the team and starting the 2008 season coming off the pine.
This is a horrid time of the season to lose your staring guard and the leader of your team. This senior is the cornerstone to the offense along with Avery Smith. Now other will have to step up to the plate this morning and help the 3-3 team try to pull off the impossible. Beat Wisconsin.