Randy Smith: Former Pioneer Jurick Thriving At Oklahoma State

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Former East Ridge High School basketball star Philip Jurick is having the time of his life as a senior member of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. His team is now 4-0 to start the college basketball season after posting back to back, double digit wins over Tennessee and sixth ranked North Carolina State, to win the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan. Jurick should feel especially good after those wins, because he was the starting center in both games. He helped to hold Vols power forward Jarnell Stokes to a mere 7 points in the Cowboys 67-45 win over the Vols in the tournament semi-finals. His numbers, statistically speaking, are not much to brag about. Against the Vols, he scored six points and had five rebounds. He reversed those stats in the Championship Game win over powerful N.C. State, with five points and six rebounds. He also had several blocked shots in both contests, and he bothered many more opponents’ shots as well.

After leading the Pioneers to a sub-state finish in his senior season at East Ridge, Jurick signed a scholarship with Tennessee. He saw limited action in Knoxville under Coach Bruce Pearl and then transferred to Chattanooga State, where he helped lead the Tigers to the National Junior College Tournament. He then committed to play his final two seasons for Coach John Shulman at UTC, but changed his mind, and signed with Oklahoma State. He doesn’t regret his decision in any way. “I’ve been very happy in Stillwater, (Oklahoma) and I’m on track to graduate next semester. This has been a great experience,” he told me.

It hasn’t been easy for Phillip Jurick. He has been in and out of trouble since his high school days at East Ridge. Earlier this year, drug paraphernalia was found in his dorm room. He was arrested and it looked as if things were not going to end well for the 6’-11” 260 pound big man. He insisted the stuff wasn’t his, and he passed every drug test thrown his way. Eventually, the charges were dropped and Jurick was reinstated to the basketball team. He knows he was very fortunate and he plans to take advantage of every opportunity he has. In addition to his problems with the law, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon early this spring. An injury like that normally takes at least a year after surgery to get over. But Jurick worked so hard in rehab that he was back with his team when the season started; only a seven month rehab period. “It’s still not 100%, but it’s getting better,” he said. “It’s usually always swollen after games or practice, but when I ice it, the swelling goes down.”

Upon graduation, he said he wants to try to play basketball in Europe, where he should be able to flourish. After all, it’s not every day a man that big with a lot of ability comes along. Phillip Jurick has never been a real offensive threat, though when he gets the ball underneath, he is hard to stop. He knows his expertise is defense and rebounding, which makes him a role player. But, every good team I’ve ever seen has at least one or two good role players; guys who do one or two things for their team and they do it very well. His coach, Travis Ford, is lucky to have someone like Phillip Jurick, whether he starts or comes off the bench.

 I’m very happy for Phillip Jurick. I’m also very happy that he is happy. To have come so far in a relatively short period of time is an amazing feat, especially when you consider how hard things have been for him. The Cowboys are now ranked in the top 25 polls following their impressive showing in Puerto Rico. This could be a very special season in Stillwater. I sure hope so. Phillip Jurick deserves it.

rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).

Philip Jurick
Philip Jurick


UTC Men Blank Lee 7-0

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s tennis team evened its record at 1-1 with a 7-0 win over Lee University at the McCallie School’s Strang-Voges Tennis Center tonight.  The Mocs took two of three doubles and all six singles in the match.  “Today was a very solid day, top to bottom,” stated first-year head coach Chuck Merzbacher.  “Everyone was needing ... (click for more)

Lady Hawks Beat Country Day, Avenge National Title Game Loss

Hamilton Heights’ girls avenged a tough loss in the 2017 Dick’s Sporting Goods national championship game in New York on Friday, routing Miami (Florida) Country Day, 71-39, in the Raatz Fense/O’Shea’s Classic in Louisville, Kentucky. Sophomore wing Treasure Hunt (No. 10 in ESPN 2020 rankings) scored a game-high 18 points and went 3 for 5 from behind the 3-point arc. Another ... (click for more)

Fleischmann Blames Senate Democrats On Government Shutdown

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann blamed Senate Democrats after the Senate’s failure to pass the Continuing Resolution (CR), putting a government shutdown into place. He said,  “I cannot fathom how Senate Democrats, knowing the severity of the issues in question, acted with such insensitivity using our children and our military as pawns, putting party over country. ... (click for more)

Elderly Man Dies In House Fire In Cleveland

An elderly man died in a house fire in Cleveland on Friday night. Neighbors said they were able to pull a woman from the flames at the home at 685 4th St. SE, but were unable to save the man. Fire crews went to the scene shortly after 7 p.m. The cause of the fire is being investigated. (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It is said that a 15-year-old in Minnesota, where just like the rest of the United States prayer in schools is prohibited, was tasked with writing an essay. He turned in his paper and, as it was returned with an A-plus, it is only fitting that something this clever should begin this week’s edition of The  Saturday  Funnies. Those who enjoy the Funnies understand that ... (click for more)