It’s been a whirlwind evening in not-quite-major-league sports for yours truly ; after witnessing the University of Texas baseball squad run their record to 21-8 with a 6-0 shutout of #19 TCU (Longhorns P Austin Dicharry, 4 IP, 5 runs, 5 K’s, 3 hits), I’ve relocated to the Austin Convention Center, where the D-League Toros lead the Reno Bighorns, 75-67 with a 4:42 left in the third quarter (24 points from Malik Hairston on 9 for 15 shooting).
The Toros are playing shorthanded tonight, as the reassigned Ian Mahinmi is unavailable, and it was announced on ESPN 1530 at halftime that G Marcus Williams (averaging 23 ppg, 7 rebounds and 5.3 assists) has been called up to the parent Spurs in the wake of Manu Ginobili’s season-ending ankle woes.
Is Williams any match for Ginobili’s court vision, distribution or perimeter game? Fuck no, he wouldn’t have been flashing his skills in front of a few hundred slack-jawed Austinites otherwise. I’m not even willing to say he’s appreciably better than most other 12th men in the NBA. But he’s worked tirelessly leading a Toros squad that’s equal parts taxi squad / less talented version of a Greg Popovich boot camp. I’ll be surprised if Williams sees major minutes, but I’d be equally shocked if he doesn’t aquit himself nicely in his limited opportunities.