Howdy, once again from Austin.
Strange day at the Erwin Center. Miami had to evacuate the building during its practice because the fire alarm went off, but the Canes handled it in stride. Everything — interviews and practices — was pushed back 45 minutes.
I spent some time around the Hurricanes for the first time down here, and just like the Illini, Jim Larranaga’s squad is loose and enjoying the experience.
Shane Larkin stood in the middle of the locker room during the open media session and, surrounded by cameras, microphones and lights, answered questions — sometimes repetitive — for the entire 30 minutes with class and patience. He learned well from his dad, Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin.
Shane’s teammates teased him throughout, calling him the media darling.
By the way, traffic isn’t any better here on the weekends.
I spent some time on Sixth Street on Friday night with some folks with Illini ties. Tuscola’s Matt McCumber, the head manager on the 2005 national runner-up team, made the trip from Dallas, where he now lives. Former Illinois softball star Shanna Diller lives in Austin now, working as the director of operations for the Longhorns’ softball team. Shanna showed Matt and I around and let us know that West Sixth Street is the place to be. We had been hanging with the amateurs on East Sixth.
There’s been plenty of Illinois orange all around town. The folks are excited to have another game to watch here this weekend.
Talk to y’all later.