DENVER -- Arkansas-Little Rockcoach Chris Beard will coach his team's NCAA tournament game after suffering a broken right hand from punching a whiteboard during the Sun Belt tournament title game Sunday.
Beard said he was frustrated by his team's effort during the first half of Sunday's win over Louisiana-Monroe to clinch an NCAA tournament berth. The Trojans play fifth-seededPurdueonThursday.
"We were not playing our best half," said Beard, who wore a cast Wednesday. "We were down five at half. I made a bad decision in the locker room, trying to get the guys a little fired up. We talk a lot about boxing in our program. We're a good defensive team. We believe in boxing, kind of, footwork.
"Unfortunately, I didn't get the message with the handwork. A dry-erase board took a bad shot."
Beard joked that he thought about grabbing a chair to make his point, but Bob Knight, for whom Beard worked for as an assistant at Texas Tech, warned against that method. Knight famously tossed a chair across the Assembly Hall floor during his tenure at Indiana.
"There was a chair there," Beard said. "I thought, briefly, about maybe using the chair, but Coach Knight told me never to do that. Never use a chair in [any] situation. No, I learned a lot from Coach. I'm proud to be associated with him and proud to be taking a team to the NCAA tournament that I believe plays the right way."
Beard said doctors told him his hand will heal within six weeks, but the injury will not affect him during Thursday's matchup.
"I'll be there," he said. "If I had one leg and one eye, I'll make it. I've worked my whole life to coach in a game like this."