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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7:00 PM
Delaware
Newark, Del.
August 25
5:00 PM
American
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August 25
2:00 PM
Davidson
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August 25
5:00 PM
Howard
Washington, D.C. (at American)
August 26
12:00 PM
Santa Clara
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August 26
5:00 PM
American
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August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Shaw Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Appalachian State
Cooper Field
August 28
1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Shaw Field
September 1
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
Shaw Field
September 1
8:00 PM
Stanford
Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
12:30 PM
The Citadel
Arlington, Va. (The Pentagon)
September 1
2:00 PM
Rider
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September 2
10:30 AM
Columbia
Arlington, Va. (Ft. Myer)
September 2
3:30 PM
Army West Point
Arlington, Va. (Ft. Myer)
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4:00 PM
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San Jose, Calif.

Mountain West Network
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1:00 PM
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Cooper Field
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12:00 PM
UCLA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:00 PM
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Shaw Field
September 8
4:30 PM
Coppin State vs. Buffalo
McDonough Arena
September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 8
7:00 PM
James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 8
All Day
Spiked Shoe Invitational
State College, Pa.
September 8
All Day
Spiked Shoe Invitational
State College, Pa.
September 9
6:00 PM
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 9
11:00 AM
Buffalo vs. James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 9
1:00 PM
Coppin State
McDonough Arena
September 9
4:30 PM
Coppin State vs. James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 9
7:00 PM
Buffalo
McDonough Arena
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 12
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 15
11:00 AM
Arkansas State
Houston, Texas
September 15
2:00 PM
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Cooper Field
September 15
4:30 PM
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September 15
TBA
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September 15
TBA
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September 16
1:00 PM
Marist
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September 16
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Xavier
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11:00 AM
Rice
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September 16
TBA
Penn
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September 16
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Bedford Cup
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September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
September 17
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 17
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 18
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 19
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 20
4:00 PM
Stony Brook
Shaw Field
September 20
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 22
3:30 PM
Blue & Gray Intrasquad Meet
McCarthy Pool
September 22
6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
September 22
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.
September 22
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 22
All Day
Battle at Beantown
Boston, Mass.
September 23
1:00 PM
Columbia
New York, N.Y.
September 23
4:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
September 23
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 24
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Shaw Field

BEDN
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September 24
1:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
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1:00 PM
Longwood
Farmville, Va.
September 24
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 25
All Day
The Patriot Invitational George Mason
The Chantilly National Golf Club - Chantilly, Va.
September 26
All Day
The Patriot Invitational George Mason
The Chantilly National Golf Club - Chantilly, Va.
September 28
4:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
September 29
2:00 PM
Temple
Cooper Field
September 29
5:00 PM
Potomac Relays diving
McCarthy Pool
September 29
5:00 PM
Potomac Relays swimming
Washington, D.C. (American University)
September 29
6:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena
September 29
All Day
Paul Short Run
Bethlehem, Pa.
September 29
All Day
Paul Short Run
Bethlehem, Pa.
September 30
2:00 PM
Harvard
RFK Stadium
September 30
1:00 PM
Marquette
Shaw Field

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September 30
1:00 PM
Delaware/St. Francis Pa.
Newark, Del.
September 30
6:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena
October 1
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Shaw Field
October 1
1:00 PM
LIU Brooklyn
Cooper Field
October 4
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.
October 5
3:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
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October 6
3:00 PM
Butler
Shaw Field

BEDN
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October 6
2:00 PM
Liberty
Cooper Field
October 7
1:00 PM
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
October 7
6:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena
October 8
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
October 8
All Day
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The Warren Golf Course - South Bend, Ind.
October 9
1:00 PM
Duke
Shaw Field
October 9
All Day
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The Warren Golf Course - South Bend, Ind.
October 11
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
October 12
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 13
7:30 PM
Villanova
Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
October 13
6:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
October 13
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 13
All Day
Wisconsin Invitational
Madison, Wis.
October 14
12:30 PM
Lehigh
Bethlehem, Pa.
October 14
1:00 PM
Towson
McCarthy Pool
October 14
2:00 PM
DePaul
McDonough Arena
October 14
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 14
All Day
Pre-National Meet
Louisville, Ky.
October 15
1:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
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October 15
1:00 PM
Lehigh
Bethlehem, Pa.
October 15
2:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena
October 15
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 16
All Day
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Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
October 17
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
October 17
All Day
The Georgetown Intercollegiate
Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
October 19
3:00 PM
Marquette
Shaw Field

BEDN
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October 19
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 20
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 21
2:00 PM
Fordham Parents Weekend
Cooper Field
October 21
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 21
12:00 PM
Uconn
Storrs, Conn.
October 21
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
October 21
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
Watch
October 22
12:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, Conn.
October 22
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 23
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 24
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 25
2:00 PM
Providence
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 26
2:00 PM
Xavier
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 27
2:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
October 27
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 28
1:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
October 28
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
Watch
October 28
11:00 AM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 29
1:00 PM
La Salle
Cooper Field
October 29
2:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
November 1
2:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
November 3
4:00 PM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 3
6:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
2:00 PM
Lafayette Homecoming
Cooper Field
November 4
10:00 AM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 4
6:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 10
6:00 PM
Marquette
Milwuakee, Wis.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 11
12:00 PM
Bucknell
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 12
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
November 14
7:00 PM
Howard
McDonough Arena
November 16
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
November 17
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 17
6:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
November 18
1:00 PM
Colgate Senior Day
Cooper Field
November 18
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 18
6:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena
November 18
All Day
IC4A Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
ECAC Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 19
TBA
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
November 19
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.