UC Davis’ Jim Les is under more pressure than you might think as the coach of a No. 16 seed that’s enjoying the spotlight of its first NCAA Tournament.
While the prospect of facing top-seeded Kansas on Friday night would be unnerving enough for most, Les is under a differing kind of heat.
Family pressure, to be exact.
"I'm coaching for chemistry." -- UC Davis Coach Jim Les pic.twitter.com/T0cEjb2tTS
— Geoff Grammer (@GeoffGrammer) March 16, 2017
Les’ family joined him and the Aggies in Tulsa on Thursday after the school advanced past the First Four with a 67-63 win over North Carolina Central. Well, all but one member of his family _ with youngest daughter Hannah remaining at home in California to concentrate on a busy week of swimming, midterms and prom.
It was while back home, in chemistry class, that Hannah Les sent her father a desperation text.
“My chemistry professor just told the class that if you beat Kansas, we all get As on the next test,” she texted. “Dad, step up.”
Jim Les said he had received more than 200 texts in the few hours following Wednesday’s win in Dayton. None, however, carried as much pressure as the one carrying the hopes of his daughter's entire chemistry class.
“So, (Friday) night, I’m coaching for chemistry,” Les joked.
Follow Kurt Voigt on Twitter @Kurt_Voigt_AP