Guest Bog: Adam Kilgore on Dave Leitao's Smashed Clipboard
Dave Leitao got mad last night. Official UVA Beat Writer and Local Poll voter Adam Kilgore was there. Adam writes:
Dave Leitao has no problem showing his temper. At one point last night against N.C. State, a game UVA won 71-58, he pulled J.R. Reynolds "because I wanted to yell at him." Note: Reynolds scored 29 points, one game after scoring 40.
Anyway, Leitao saved his most explosive performance of the season for last night, and it may have been the finest tantrum by any coach this year. The first half was miserable offensively, and Leitao was getting angrier and angrier. With about 30 seconds left in the half, he stomped on the court and tried to get Mamadi Diane to call a timeout, but Diane didn't hear or see him, and an N.C. State player knocked the ball out of bounds. So Leitao finally got his timeout.
Then Mount Leitao erupted.
The players ran over to huddle around him, but before they got there, Leitao smashed his clipboard over his right knee. The RBC Center was pretty quiet at the time, so the loud SNAP! echoed throughout the arena and the crowd started cat-calling. Players' eyes widened a tad, but they were pretty unaffected because they've seen this part of Leitao's repertoire before, as is addressed below.
Leitao was left holding one half of the clipboard, but then he chucked it on the ground. A team manager scurried around the huddle and tried to fish out the pieces.
Post college hoops maven (maven?) Eric Prisbell said he's never seen the move in game, but Dan Monson heaving jacket across the floor against Maryland last season came close. So what could push a man to the brink like that?
"We just weren't listening," Leitao explained. "We weren't tuned in. That happens sometimes. I know we've got to be patient with young people. But I've said it for three days to do simple things.
"I get frustrated. And I show my frustrations," Leitao said, which is like your average human being saying, "I breathe in oxygen, and I breathe out carbon dioxide."
Leitao continued: "It was just simply that. I've done it with my voice much more than I do it with a clipboard."
But he has used the clipboard before, Reynolds reported afterward in the locker room. When I brought up the clipboard smash, he laughed. "It was nothing. That's kind of him," he said. This clipboard splintering was pretty standard, nothing too out of the ordinary compared to the others he's seen.
He said he could count the number of times Leitao has killed clipboards in practice on two hands, then decided it was only one hand, and then said it might be two hands. But anyway, the scoreboard in Leiato v. Clipboard is decidedly in Leitao's favor.
"He's pretty intense," Jason Cain said. "I really wasn't surprised that he did it. He was just trying to get people to play better."
Clearly, the Cavaliers were prepared for the occasion of Leitao destroying a clipboard. Later on in the game, he was again using a clipboard to diagram plays. I'm not sure if it was another coach's clipboard or a spare one the Cavs travel with in case Leitao snaps his. I think I need to find out. If that's the case, then that is awesome.
[To anticipate the inevitable comment, yes, Hoya Fan, everyone knows John Thompson III can smash clipboards more emphatically and with greater gusto than any other coach in the area, but we just wanted to give Leitao his moment. - ed.]
January 25, 2007; 1:47 PM ET
Categories: College Basketball
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