MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Want a tip on how to get a big smile to spread across the face of Tyrone Corbin?
Just mention his son.
He used to be known as Tyrell Corbin. Now you can call the Jazz coach's son and West High senior by the title of Utah's Mr. Basketball.
And Coach Corbin?
"Yeah, I'm Mr. Basketball's dad now," the Jazz coach said.
And, yes, he had an ear-to-ear grin on while agreeing that that might be his new moniker after his son was awarded the state's most prestigious hoops honor by the Deseret News.
"He's a good kid," Corbin said. "He's done well. He's pretty humble for a talented kid. I'm proud to be his dad."
Corbin said his son eyed the Mr. Basketball award since seeing Provo's Kyle Collinsworth receive the coveted golden-colored basketball trophy a year ago.
"He talked about getting that ball, so he's pretty excited about it," Corbin said. "I'm happy for him. He's pretty bummed out because he missed a layup in the state tournament, but to see him get the award is great for him."
Corbin was proud how the current best basketball player in the household helped his school taste success. The Panthers have been an annual playoff contender and won the 4A title when Tyrell was a sophomore after struggling through multiple losing seasons.
And West, Corbin said, was as good for his son as Mr. Basketball was good for the school's squad.
"His accomplishment is being a team guy," Corbin said. "He's a guy who's capable of scoring a lot of points, but he always tried to involve his teammates in it."
Added Corbin: "He wanted to involve his teammates. He wanted to have a chance to win as a team. This is a great individual award for him, but I think he'll attribute (getting the award) to the fact that his team was successful."
And, really, for all of West High, which hasn't been known for being a basketball powerhouse until recently. Via text, West coach Bob Lyman was among those Monday to congratulate Corbin for his son's achievement.
The elder Corbin acknowledged that he never received such a high award during his prep career in South Carolina.
"I'm really proud of what he's done and the guy he is and his team," Corbin said. "He's really happy of being part of West High's family and I'm glad to see the award not only to come to him, but for West to get some recognition out of it has been tremendous."
HOME COOKING: A surprisingly big chunk of Memphis' announced crowd of 12,668 was not there to support the Grizzlies.
About 135 or so fans, according to a Jazz spokesman, were there to root on Jeremy Evans.
The Jazz rookie hails from the tiny Arkansas town of Crossett, and many of his friends and family members made the four-hour trek to Tennessee to watch Evans play professionally in person.
The Western Kentucky product credited his mom, Gwyn Evans, for making arrangements for tickets, etc.
"She got it done and I'm happy they came," Evans said. He added, jokingly: "I'm sure some of them walked to get here."
About 40 people came to Memphis to watch Evans play the first time the Jazz visited here on Jan. 7, but he didn't get off the bench in that one.
This time, Evans thrilled his fans with a performance that included a soaring blocked shot, two sky-high dunks, eight points and six rebounds.
INACTIVE AND INJURED: For the second straight game, veteran center Francisco Elson was made inactive despite being declared healthy enough to play on his injured ankle and knee by the team's medical staff.
Previously, Evans was the player who usually sat out when the team had more than 12 able bodies.
"It's just a game situation. Francisco is still a little banged up, so he'll be out there tonight," Corbin said prior to Monday's tipoff. "We'll have to see when he gets completely healthy who we'll put on it (inactive list). It depends on the match-ups and how we feel about how things are going."1 comment on this story
That might not be an issue for a while, depending on whether or not starting point guard Devin Harris (sprained right hamstring) and rookie Derrick Favors (sprained left ankle) miss any additional games with their injuries.
Both Harris and Favors exited Monday's loss earlier after being hurt.