Cleveland State’s Gary Waters spent two years developing shooting guard Bryn Forbes only to watch him defect to the national title contending Michigan State Spartans. For that he’s owed something.
Written by Kyle Magin
To: Gary Waters, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Cleveland State University
From: Michigan State Spartan Fans
Re: THANK YOU
Thanks. Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, eleven times, thanks. Whatever you did in your two years with our shooting guard, Bryn Forbes, at Cleveland State, when you opened up a scholarship for a guy right out of high school who our coach only extended a preferred walk-on spot to, thank you. Thanks for taking two rough developmental years off our hands, for giving minutes to an underclassman while we rode our two-and-through phenom to a few league banners for Michigan State then came calling for a two-guard with whom to reload.
In your Horizon League, recruiting classes are opened up and left to breathe for a few years until you might muster the critical mass to make a run at a league title and your league’s probable only NCAA bid. The kinks are worked out during 9-22 seasons, like the one you’re having now, so that down the road you might get a chance to drive to Dayton for the play-in then a date with a 1-seed and hopefully an early flight home after getting massacred on Thursday so you get all day Friday to start assembling next year’s squad.
That’s why it was damn gentlemanly of you to get Bryn ready for us when he transferred after a ‘13-’14 season where you worked out the kinks and had him scoring 15.6 per game for you. See, we’re going to need his outside shooting prowess to keep up with Iowa in the B1G title game next week, and who knows, maybe Kansas in the national title game on April 4? I’m sure a senior guard with the ability to shoot .515 from three and hang 15.2 per game on B1G competition would kill at the Joe for you this weekend, but them’s the breaks.
Without Bryn transferring and getting hardshipped out of his redshirt last year, we might not have made that Final Four and our 25th nationally-televised game that season. Without him this year, we’d have had to rely on the streaky backup who transferred here from West Virginia and looks a lot like Bryn did last year. (Note to self: get Huggy one of these thank-yous.)
What I’m trying to say is that it’s damned decent of you to operate your team like a prep school for ours. I know you have to claw for every scrap of talent you can get your hands on–Lord knows you’re scraping the peanut butter jar with your index finger in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Lansing, Gary and Akron after almost every other big league gets it fill with their silver spoons. You take chances on projects–string beans who couldn’t guard the time-out corner at day care like Bryn, kids with torn meniscuses and guys from families who are getting their heat shut off in January–just to keep your head above water in a state where probably half the leagues in college basketball do their hunting and gathering. When one of your claims hits, you stood by and watched him come to fight for minutes with the same national contender that couldn’t find a spot for him two years earlier. That should get you a beer, or a chance to sit down and relax–who knows, maybe watch a basketball game where you don’t have to dog the refs about every call just to put your team in position to keep it under 10 going into the half. But you don’t have time for that, because you’ve gotta develop the next kid and hope he doesn’t bolt when Big Daddy wants him to come up to the show. I hope you do have time to hear a thank you, because you’ve earned it.
Bryn’s new fans