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Like Father, Like Son

It's Tallman vs. Tallman on Saturday

January 20, 2012
By JOSH STROPE - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

NEW MARTINSVILLE - Basketball runs deep in the Tallman household.

Dave Tallman has been the head coach at Magnolia for a number of years and has watched his sons play under him, contributing to state championships in 2000 and 2003.

The point guard for that 2000 squad that beat Independence for the Class AA crown was none other than Dave Tallman, the son.

Article Photos

Magnolia coach Dave Tallman will lead his Blue Eagles into Saturday’s game against St. Mary’s Ryken, led by his son, Dave.

Photo by Josh Strope

While that Tallman combination worked together to hoist a trophy on the Charleston Civic Center floor 12 years ago, Saturday at University High, they will be on opposite benches.

The veteran Magnolia coach will lead his No. 2-ranked Blue Eagles (12-1) against St. Mary's Ryken, led by his oldest son.

''We have been talking about it for a while and I think it is really going to be a neat experience, as well as something good for our players to see where we matchup with a very good program,'' the elder Tallman said. ''David coaches in a pretty tough conference and he gets to go against some of the best players in the country.''

It will be the first time they will coach against each other.

The younger Tallman, 30, has led the Knights out of Leonardtown, Md., for the past five seasons. Before that he was an assistant under Wheeling Jesuit coach Danny Sancomb and coached former West Virginia player John Flowers.

When Sancomb took the job at WJU, Tallman was elevated to head coach. He is also the athletics director.

''I've learned a lot and not only am I coaching against the best players in the country, but also against some of the best coaches,'' the younger Tallman said.

The game has been a while in the making. Magnolia needed an opponent for the Remember the Miners Mountaineer Showcase and it seemed like it was the perfect time for the father-son combination to meet on the court.

At least for the Tallman-led Blue Eagles.

''I might be the dumbest guy in the world scheduling him to play this year,'' the younger Tallman said. ''He has one of his best teams and we are struggling right now (4-14, 11-game losing streak). We've had some pretty good players over the seasons and we lost a lot of those guys. I am starting two freshmen and two of our better players are really banged up.

''(Magnolia's) Mark Winters is a stud and I don't know how we are going to guard him. Hopefully the refs will let us play with seven guys out there. If he gets me this year, we might have to set up a rematch next year.''

The younger Tallman tries to use a lot of the stuff he learned playing for his dad into how he coaches the Knights, while acknowledging that he makes a few tweaks here and there because of the skill of the players in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

''There is a lot of adjusting, but the base of everything is there,'' he said.

And it's not just the coaching. He can be pretty animated as well. Just like his old man.

''He coaches with a lot of intensity,'' the elder Tallman said. ''He is fiery all the time. He is turning into a great coach and it makes me very proud. I get to see them a good bit. He is very organized and has a great rapport with his players.

''He was born to coach.''

Winters and his teammates will have to back up a lot of the trash-talking that has been going on the past four months by their coach.

''He has been doing most of it,'' the younger Tallman joked. ''I just sit back and smile. But I am really excited about this chance. It is going to be an honor to be out there on the floor with him. I'm sure he will have some tricks under his sleeve.''

There will be plenty of time for catching up after. Following the game, the two teams are going to head up on the same charter bus to watch Cincinnati play West Virginia later that day at the Coliseum.

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