Don’t ask how he thinks he’s going to feel. He said he just doesn’t know.
The Gamecocks (15-8, 7-5 OVC) are playing for a breakthrough win at Morehead State (11-14, 5-6). Green is on the trip, but he will remain at the hotel while serving a one-game suspension for making contact with an official during last Saturday’s loss at Tennessee Tech.
And he will be watching, even though it will be the online broadcast.
“I’ve been ejected, but never been suspended. I don’t know how it’s going to feel,” Green said. “Not good, I’m sure. It’s a new place for me. ... I don’t know what that feels like.”
Associate head coach Tom Schuberth, a former head coach at Texas-Pan American, will run the game in Green’s absence. Everything else connected with the trip will be business as usual, and Schuberth aims to keep it that way once the ball is tipped.
“The game is about the players,” Schuberth said. “Morehead State is a very good basketball team that plays as hard as any team in the country. We will prepare and coach as if coach Green were on the sidelines.”
Green drew the suspension for making contact with official Jon Campbell during the second half of JSU’s 78-64 loss at Tennessee Tech on Saturday night.
The incident happened with 6:06 to play as Green sought an explanation for what he thought was an excessive foul on senior forward Rinaldo Mafra.
Green approached the officials to ask what they meant by excessive when he was hit with two technical fouls and ejected. He received the technicals after the officials walked away, and that set in motion the events that led to Green bumping Campbell’s arm.
Green was ejected from a 2009 game against Chattanooga under similar circumstances but was not suspended.
“There was a hard play to explain, and there was no explanation,” he recalled. “Those tend to bother you a little bit more.”
The exchange Saturday resulted in eight free throws, and Tech made seven to put the game away.
The OVC announced Green’s suspension the next day. He will return to the bench Saturday at Eastern Kentucky, but for one game he will play the role of spectator.
“I’m sure there will be a huge disconnect for me,” Green said. “You want to be there for your guys, but the same reason I was trying to be there for my guys is why I’m not there.”
The Gamecocks have managed to clinch their first winning season since 2005-06 and their next win will bring the Gamecocks their most in Green’s five-year tenure.
Asked if he will have any special instructions for Schuberth before the team bus leaves the hotel tonight, the head coach joked, “Yeah, don’t get thrown out.”
Sports Writer Al Muskewitz: 256-235-3577. On Twitter @almusky_star.