A Banner Night in Charleston

Nov. 24, 2010

            When Rob, Drew, and I tell the story years from now, we’ll probably embellish a bit.   We’ll say that on our sixth annual road trip from the San Francisco Bay Area to a Hoyas away game, we stole a tournament banner right out from underneath the noses of a wave of vicious security personnel armed with shotguns and Dobermans.  Just to make ourselves seem a bit more cool.

 

            The truth is that the security guards helped us take it down.  In our defense, it was attached pretty well and none of us had scissors or a knife.  I think the security guards figured that giving us the gigantic banner displaying an updated Charleston Classic bracket was actually the fastest way to get us out of the building so they could lock up and go home.  They were probably right; our road trip crew was definitely soaking in the positive vibes even after the team had finished celebrating with the tournament trophy on the court.

 

            On second thought, we won’t need to embellish, as the truth is pretty cool in itself.  After securing the banner and a quick side trip to a quick-e-mart for a marker, we waited by the bus for the team to depart the arena.

 

            Markel Starks was the first player we saw.  He came over with a gigantic smile and happily signed, but when we asked if he’d fill in “HOYAS” in the winner’s spot on the bracket, he asked us, “Don’t you want Chris to do that?  He was MVP.” 

 

            Markel had a good point.

 

            One by one the players exited and signed (except for a couple, who must’ve already been on the bus).  Chris signed and wrote in “HOYAS” in the winner’s spot.  Austin was still carrying the trophy.  Most interesting, though was the fact that (aside from some good-natured complaining that Julian took the best spot on the banner to sign) you can tell this is a Team, in that sort of sense that makes you know that you should capitalize the word.

 

            In fact, I had been planning this post all week and the blog kept changing in my mind.  On Thursday, the focus was going to be on Austin Freeman’s dominance.  He wasn’t necessarily the player with the best numbers against Coastal Carolina, but it really was a man against boys.  When he chose to, he simply dominated.  No one could stop him, either from outside or inside.  At that point, my mind was made up:  Austin would carry us this year.

 

            On Friday, it was a different story.  Against a better-than-most-people-think Wofford team, the Hoyas generally kept a comfortable lead by pounding the ball inside (in sharp contrast to the three-fest that was the Coastal game).  But every time that Wofford challenged, it was Chris Wright who responded.  He simply controlled the game.  Add in twelve assists from the first game, and the story was that this team would be carried by Chris Wright.

 

            But after the NC State game, it’s clear this team is deeper and is more of a complete team that most of the fanbase had supposed, including myself.  It’s not just the burgeoning emergence of Henry Sims – whose snazzy passing and active defense reminded my friend Rob of Jeff Green in Sunday’s game. 

 

It’s not just the fact that we go five deep in quality at the guard position at minimum.  Despite the fact that our big three are all guards, there’s not a huge drop-off when players like Markel Starks and Vee Sanford enter the game.

 

It’s not just that Hollis Thompson is obviously transitioning from a shooter to an all-around scorer.  He slashed to the hoop several times during the tournament, showing a new part of his game.

 

It’s not just the energy and rebounds that Nate Lubick adds.  It’s not just the defensive intensity that seems a step up and the higher pressure defense.  It’s all of those things and more. 

 

            And that’s why we were standing around at 10 pm or so waiting for John Thompson III to come out and sign a “stolen” banner.  He was smiling and gracious, thanked us for our support and signed. 

 

            We’re hoping we get to do this exact sort of thing again fairly soon.  Maybe, say, once in March and again a month later?  See you there.  We’re bringing scissors next time.

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Greene (MSB ’99)

Drew McGowan (MSB ’95)

Rob Lartigue (COL ’96)

 

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December 16
L, 86-79 (OT)
Syracuse
Capital One Arena
RECAP

CBS
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 6
All Day
George Mason Invitational
Fairfax, Va.
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 13
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 13
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 19
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool
January 20
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 21
2:00 PM
Depaul
McDonough Arena

CBSsn
January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 26
7:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 28
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS2
February 2
6:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 3
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
Watch
February 3
12:00 PM
UMBC
Catonsville, Md.
February 3
2:00 PM
Seton Hall/Providence
Berkeley (N.J.) Aquatic Club
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 9
TBA
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
4:00 PM
Seton Hall
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
106.7 WJFK-FM
February 10
3:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cooper Field
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 11
2:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Arlington, Va.
February 13
3:00 PM
High Point
Cooper Field
February 16
8:00 PM
Depaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
February 16
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
1:00 PM
Robert Morris
Moon Township, Pa.
February 17
3:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
3:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
February 18
10:00 AM
Navy
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 21
6:30 PM
Xavier
Capital One Arena

FS1/FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 21
10:00 AM
Day 1
Geneva, Ohio
February 22
10:00 AM
Day 2
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
11:00 AM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 23
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 23
10:00 AM
Day 3
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
12:00 PM
Providence
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 24
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 24
10:00 AM
Day 4
Geneva, Ohio
February 24
12:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 24
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
2:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
February 25
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 25
11:00 AM
William & Mary
Williamsburg, Va.
February 26
7:00 PM
Marquette
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 27
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
February 27
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Cooper Field
February 28
3:30 PM
Johns Hopkins
Cooper Field
March 3
TBA
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.

FOX
TBD
March 3
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 3
1:00 PM
Hofstra
Hempstead, N.Y.
March 3
1:00 PM
Delaware
Cooper Field
March 3
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 3
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
12:00 PM
Dartmouth
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
12:00 PM
Nova Southeastern
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
4:00 PM
Northeastern
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
March 6
TBA
Lynn University
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 7
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 8
10:00 AM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 8
12:00 PM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 9
2:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
2:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 10
12:00 PM
Hobart
Cooper Field
March 10
3:00 PM
Penn
Cooper Field
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 11
12:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 14
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
4:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
10:00 AM
Middle Tennessee State
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
March 17
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
March 17
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.