January 3, 2008

Coble's return doesn't net a happy ending

Northwestern's Big Ten opener on Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena had all the makings of a major motion picture. The Wildcats were taking on Penn State, but the focus was on the return of Kevin Coble, Northwestern's leading scorer and rebounder from a year ago who was making his triumphant return to the court.

ESPN2's pregame show told the story of how Coble voluntarily missed the first nine games of the season to be at home with his ailing mother, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer shortly before the season. To add to the drama, Coble's mother, Carlys, was in the stands and the camera captured her shedding tears of joy when her son entered the game at the 10:11 mark of the first half.

But alas, this was Evanston, not Hollywood, and rather than a triumphant, feel-good kind of movie, this story ended with the good guy getting beaten up by the villains.

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