Father, son are coaching along
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 11:47 p.m.
It was a different feeling. For the first time at a basketball game, Jeremy Shyatt was on the bench opposite his father.
Former Clemson and Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt was hired last May as an assistant on Florida coach Billy Donovan's staff. Jeremy, the oldest of Larry's three sons, is in his second year as a volunteer graduate assistant under South Carolina coach Dave Odom.
Father and son got to spend some time together the night before the game, but it was all business when Florida played South Carolina at the O'Connell Center.
"The season is so hectic, any time you get to see your family, it's a bonus," Jeremy said. "But I'm sure when the ball tips up, he's got a job to do and I've got a job to do, too."
Jeremy Shyatt knew he wanted to get into coaching when he began to break down game tape with his dad when he was 12 years old.
Jeremy played for his dad as a walk-on at Clemson as a freshmen, then spent the next three years as a student coach. He graduated from Clemson with a marketing degree in 2003, the year his father was fired by the school.
Of his father, Jeremy said, "He was a huge influence. I've been going to his camps since I was three or four. He was never going to push us, he was going to guide us. I think that he wanted us to want it. He definitely taught us to love and respect the game."
After graduating from Clemson, Jeremy contacted Odom about possibilities on his staff. Jeremy is 32 credits shy of a master's degree in public relations and advertising because he wants a career to fall back on in case coaching doesn't work out.
"It was a quick decision for me," Odom said. "He was a young man with a tremendous background who made a strong impression.'
Odom has been impressed with Jeremy's dedication and abilities.
"In two years, we've been trying to knock some of his dad out of him," Odom joked. "Seriously, his dad has been a big influence and it's been a big blessing to have someone on the staff that's so talented. There's no job too small, no job too big for him. He's already a fine young coach and I'm sure he'll do a good job if that's what he decides to pursue in the future."
n SC MESS:
Apparently, off-field problems are not reserved solely for the South Carolina football program. The Gamecocks suspended one player for disciplinary reasons before the game and another one during it.
Junior center Antoine Tisby did not make the trip for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
"It's one of those situations where he needs some time away from his team to figure out his role," Odom said. "He and I will have another discussion about it Monday."
Senior guard Josh Gonner did not play in the second half for what was described as a coaching decision. According to a student official near the South Carolina locker room, Gonner used an expletive toward an assistant coach to express displeasure about playing time. Gonner played nine minutes during the first half, scoring two points.
Gonner, who lost his starting job last December, was suspended for a game for undisclosed disciplinary reasons before Christmas break. When asked if he was concerned about character problems on his team, Odom responded, "I have always been concerned about character, whether it's here or at Wake Forest."
Florida, which came into Saturday a 68.4 percent free-throw shooting team, made 24 of 29 free throws against South Carolina.
The freshmen made the most notable improvements. Al Horford, a 51.1 percent free throw shooter, made all four of his free throws. Joakim Noah, a 52.4 percent shooter, was 3 of 4 and Corey Brewer, a 58.8 percent shooter, was 3 of 5.
Matt Walsh had a rare miss, but made 3 of 4 free throws in the final two minutes. Anthony Roberson also hit all four of his free throws, including two late, to lift his percentage to 89.9
"We're trying to get there," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "Guys are doing 100 extra a day. It's been a process."
You can reach Kevin Brockway by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 374-5054.
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