They Don't Sell Coffee at the Sun Dome...

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It's about an hour before tipoff and I'm sitting courtside at the Sun Dome in Tampa for tonight's BIG EAST Conference game between the Hoyas and South Florida.  Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and I'll be here providing as much insight as I can before getting ready for post-game work.
We arrived in Tampa last night around 9 pm.., a bit later than we anticipated because we took a stop in Savannah, Georgia to refuel.  I'm not sure what that was all about but the "short" stop in Savannah turned into an hour before we left and we got to our hotel around 9 p.m. 

Funny part of our hotel was that I noticed a bunch of kids wearing "Whitman soccer" t-shirts and there were kids from Bethesda - where I live - in the hotel for a youth tourney.  Then we noticed that the Fordham and UAB softball teams were here for a tournament.  When I was in the business center, one of the UAB players noticed my Georgetown sweatshirt and told me that her high school principal was Jonathan Wallace's father.  A small world.

I went over to shootaround at the Sun Dome this morning at 9 a.m. with Senior Director of Communications Bill Shapland.  We met the team there and then the television crew - Rich Hollenberg and former Fairfield head coach Tim O'Toole - sat and chatted with Coach Thompson for a bit.  It's the first game both of these guys have done one of our games, but these guys are pretty familiar with us.  Hollenberg, shocker, is a Syracuse grad and O'Toole was an assistant coach there for a bit.

Since we had an early shootaround, we had most of the day free, which was pretty nice.  It allowed me to get a good run in this afternoon.  We've had some nice weather in D.C. lately, but nothing like what I had today here - 80 degrees, sunny and just gorgeous.

I met Shap and Associate Athletics Director Brian McGuire, as well as Rich Chvotkin and Ticket Manager Steve Alleva at 4:30 and we came over here for the game.

One of my normal pregame duties - it doesn't really fall under job duties I should say, but it's something I know I have to do every game - is to find coffee.  When Coach Thompson does his pregame radio interview, Director of Security Greg Roberts and I usually hit the press room for a cup of coffee for Coach.  Surprisingly, the Sun Dome doesn't have coffee in their press room, and they don't sell it at the concession stands.  Well, they do, but only at halftime. 

After some running around, I found the facility manager for the building and he got me his private stash and I was able to get a few cups for Coach, Greg, me and assistant coaches Mike Brennan and Robert Kirby.  Where there's a will, there's a way....

Okay, we're at 34 minutes until tip, I'm going to get some dinner and be back.  Side note, congratulations to Emily Jones from the women's track & field team, who won the 5,000-meter run at the BIG EAST indoors today, as well as the men's DMR team  (Ayalew Taye, Austin Perron, Andrew Springer and Toby Ulm) won a BIG EAST title as well.

We're about ready to tip things off here. I'm sitting by Rich Chvotkin tonight, which is always entertaining.  I had a chance to get a bite to eat and sat with Director of Athletics Lee Reed, who spent the day visiting with donors.  We have a great group of fans sitting here behind the bench. 

I'm also seated next to Lou Grillo, who is an officials observer for the NCAA.  After the teams exchanged handshakes, JTIII came over and extended his hand and I thought he was looking to me, but embarrassingly , he wasn't.  Tarik El-Bashir, from the Washington Post, was sitting behind me and got a good laugh out of that.

When the teams came to the floor, Austin Freeman - as he has done now for the last four road games - came by and gave me a fist bump.

We're at the first media timeout of the first half and the Hoyas lead 12-8 but USF will have the ball after a foul on Nate Lubick.  A note of interest, Chris Wright's three-pointer gave him seven points for the game and 1,342 for his career, moving him past Jeff Green for 19th all-time in scoring at Georgetown.

It's now about 2:15 in the morning.  I'm home and sitting in my living room.  I have to update stats on the website before I go to bed and I'm also uploading the post-game video from tonight's press conference.  I should give a shout-out to Director of Ticket Operations Steve Alleva, who has filmed every post-game press conference for me when we're on the road.    It's funny, because I was walking off the floor tonight and heading to the locker room, I saw Steve and realized I didn't have my flip cam with me until I saw him.  It's just one of those things where you really rely on your co-workers to help you out on the road...and I'm thankful to Steve for helping me with that every game.

When I've done these "in-game" blogs, I notice that I'm rarely able to finish them, let alone do much of them in the second half.  Part of that is because I'm usually trying to write my recap and have it finished almost as soon as the buzzer sounds.  Honestly, once the game is done, my thought process shifts to the press conference and then getting home. 

It's now nearly 3 a.m. and I've finally finished my post-game duties while watching the first half of the game on tv, thanks to my wife, Cassie, for recording the game.  I always like to watch the game back just to hear what the announcers say about us.

The trip home was rather uneventful.  We arrived at the charter terminal and found out the plane wasn't there, which was a bit of a concern.  But one of the guys at the terminal worked for Delta and he drove in us in a van to the plant, which helped me and Shap (and Rich and Steve) quite a bit of hassle.    The pilot said the flight home would take two hours and he was right on and we landed just before 1 a.m. and I was home around 1:40.  My duties for the night are done and the post-game press conference is posted on the site so it's time to call it a night.

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