Kevin Coble trumps LeBron?
Wondering how Northwestern senior Kevin Coble deals with his fractured left foot that’s forcing him to sit out the 2009-10 season? I’m sure Big Ten foes such as Michigan State, which was victimized by Coble’s vast array of unorthodox shots when the Wildcats won in East Lansing, Mich., last season, will be giddy to know his rehab involves expanding his trick-shot repertoire.
Prior to Northwestern’s practice on Thursday, Coble accepted a few challenges from Greg Valenzisi (the school’s assistant director of athletic equipment) and proceeded to put on a show that any Harlem Globetrotters fan could love. For the video posted below, Coble hit the first shot he tried while I was rolling with my iPhone (he took four practice shots while I figured out what the heck I was doing). I’m estimating it as a 65- to 67-foot shot. Maybe somebody who knows a little something about geometry can give me the correct number.
Later, Coble stood just in front of the scorer’s table at halfcourt and needed about 10 tries to hit a one-hop bouncer from 50 feet away. Then he spent more time trying to pass a few other crazy tests (half-court underhanded and a 40-footer while seated on the scorer’s table).
Because newspapers and blogs are still a reading medium (I think), I figured I’d chat with Coble and add a little verbiage to go with the video. As you might recall, he suffered a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot on Nov. 10 -- three days before Northwestern’s opener. He underwent surgery on Dec. 2 and was told he’d need four months for the foot to heal.
Q: Are these trick shots what you’re limited to?
A: I can do upper-body lifting. Basically anything that isolates my foot. I’ve been lifting three times a week and kind of viewing that as a positive thing, because that’s something that I’ve wanted to improve. And it’s tough to do that when you’re running all the time and playing every day, it’s tough to gain that weight. I’ve used that as a positive mental thing for me…I’m still going to be able to improve in that aspect. And then when I come back, I’m still going to have the basketball.
Q: When they did the surgery, did they tell you it was good? Bad? Indifferent?
A: Good. It was very, very good. Everything went well. All the checkups and the physical therapy with the surgeon, everything is back to where it should be. Attached how it should be. I can stand on it now. They’re pleased with how it’s progressed six-and-a-half weeks after surgery. They’re just going to leave the screws in there until they’re ready to come out, which will be four months after the surgery. Once those are out, I’ll be running in that first week and it’s just healed up.
Q: When do you get done with school?
A: I’m set to graduate in June (note: he’s a Political Science major). We just have to figure out what all we do now (for next year’s academic regimen), because we really didn’t build in this extra year when I came up here. I’ve got to sit down with Coach and the (academic) advisers and see where we go.
Q: Can you learn anything more about the game or about the offense sitting there behind the bench during games?
A: (smiles) Yeah, as Coach would say, I can learn a lot of stuff because I didn’t know it when I was out there. It’s a unique perspective for me. You know, Mike (Thompson) and I were out there for 38 minutes a game and we really don’t see the outside looking-in perspective that everyone else gets from the sideline or the bench. I’ve gotten to see a lot of it from a different perspective than I’ve had the first three years, so I think I pick up little things that when I get back I can hopefully incorporate. Just kind of see it as a whole as opposed to being a small part. You know, that whole forest-for-the-trees thing.
Q: Do you have plans to go back and work with (Attack Athletics founder) Tim Grover this summer?
A: I’ll know more once I get the screws out and see that progression. But, yeah, my goal right now is to go down there and work out during the summer.
There’s more, but that’s good enough for now. We can speculate on Northwestern’s chances next year when next year arrives. The Wildcats are still in a position (No. 74 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings; No. 65 per Jeff Sagarin) where they can make a run at the NCAA Tournament.