Little Rock upset Purdue in double-overtime during the NCAA Tournament Thursday, and head coach Chris Beard was noticeably wearing a cast on his right hand. This was because he broke his hand while punching the dry erase board at the Sun Belt Tournament.
Beard’s description of the event, via ESPN:
“We talk a lot about boxing in our program, we’re a good defensive team. We believe in boxing-sort of footwork,” he told reporters. “But unfortunately I didn’t get the message with the handwork so a dry erase board. There was a chair there and I thought about using the chair but Coach (Bob) Knight told me to never do that, never use a chair in those situations.”
Beard’s hand likely hurt just a little bit less after the Trojan’s upset victory. Unless he celebrated a bit too vigorously. Maybe take it easy with the fist-pumps or bumps this time, Coach.
This is now the second year in a row the winning coach of the Sun Belt tournament has faced some sort of injury. You might remember last season that Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter tore his Achilles tendon celebrating the Panthers’ Sun Belt championship win.
The injury forced to coach their NCAA Tournament games in a chair, where he famously fell after his son R.J., who is now with the Boston Celtics, knocked in a game-winning three pointer to upset Baylor.
Up next for Little Rock is fourth-seeded Iowa State Saturday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, hoping to keep their NCAA dreams alive and advance to the Sweet 16.