There’s bracketology. Then, there’s hairology.
The NCAA has too many rules. Head coaches micromanage. It’s one of the last avenues of creativity for players.
With the victory over league rival Albany on Wednesday night, the Catamounts own the second longest win streak in the country, 17. With the W, the Cats clinched an NIT bid – but nothing else. Of course, the Cats must win their America East conference tournament to get the NCAA bid – and they just might have to go through Albany once again.
One of the major contributors to the winning streak is Catamount senior Dre Wills, one of the most interesting players in the country. For the Cats, Dre is the energy guy, the glue guy, the guy that makes all the moving parts gel and function fluidly.
Vermont coach John Becker refers to Dre as “the heartbeat.”
Listed at 6-1, this Indianapolis native doesn’t really have a position, at least not in the conventional sense, but he can and will play them all. Dre doesn’t shoot, at least not in the conventional sense. Rather, he hooks, hurls and scoops – never from outside the paint.
Dre can jam from a standing still position with ease.
And Dre plays defense – as if the game is going to be taken away from him. On the bench, Dre is a one man bench mob, constantly clapping and towel waving.
And Dre brings some serious hair. In his final campaign, Dre is sporting a conspicuous, ever evolving beard. Dre would fit right in with the hipsters in Portland, or he could appear in a 19th Century period piece. Why? Simple – Dre, one of three seniors on the Cats, is an elder statesman, and this is his last go around, last chance to dance. Dre has come close but…Yes, this is it, and he knows it.
If the Cats win their tournament, bracketologist Joe Lurnardi has the Cats pegged as a 12 or 13 seed. In hairology, thanks to Dre “Heartbeat” Wills, they would be seeded much, much higher.