Losing Coach Blames Millennials

March 19, 2018

Millennials are looking at their phones instead of watching college basketball these days, according to Stephen F. Austin State University’s coach. But despite Kyle Keller's obvious irritation with millennials, he's determined to “figure these kids out" in order to survive in the industry.

Keller’s comments came after the 14th-seeded Lumberjacks lost to third-seeded Texas Tech 70 to 60, in the first round of the NCAA men's tournament Thursday in Dallas. The Lumberjacks held an eight-point lead over Texas Tech for much of the second half, up until the final few minutes.

“The millennials today, they don’t even watch college basketball,” Keller told USA Today after the game. “A lot of our guys didn’t even know who those cats [Texas Tech players] were because they don’t watch the game. They’re on their phone and doing that kind of stuff. I hate to say it, but as much as you or I or anybody in here watches the games, they don't. Or the NBA. They might watch the slam-dunk contest in February on TNT or whatever, but that's about the extent of it.”

While Keller implied that he'd rather not learn about millennials, he said he would make an effort to do so -- because that’s how he was raised.

“The way I was taught as a child was, ‘Hey, you are going to eat what is on your plate, if not, you’re going to sit here.’ I had to sit at the kitchen table one Saturday afternoon because I didn’t want to eat green beans or salmon patties,” Keller said. “So we have a lot of green beans on our team meals, and I tell that story to our guys. But you have to adjust. You’d better learn to give and some take with these kids, I think.”

Keller did offer his seniors, who’d carried the team to the NCAA tournament in four of the past five seasons, some empathy.

“We had three great seniors who came together. A lot of tears in the locker room after the game because of how much invested they had in our university,” he told the AP.

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