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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Miami, Fla.
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12:00 PM
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2:00 PM
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Memphis
Miami, Fla.
February 14
12:30 PM
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February 14
3:00 PM
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High Point, N.C.
February 15
3:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
February 17
7:00 PM
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6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Colgate
Greenville, S.C.
February 17
2:00 PM
Furman
Greenville, S.C.
February 18
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 18
11:00 AM
Towson
Spartanburg, S.C
February 18
1:00 PM
USC Upstate
Spartanburg, S.C.
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1:00 PM
Maryland
Cooper Field
February 18
2:00 PM
Notre Dame
Dallas, Texas
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February 19
3:30 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

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106.7 FM
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2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

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February 19
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 22
7:00 PM
DePaul
Verizon Center

CBSsn
106.7 FM
February 22
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Baltimore, Md.
February 22
11:00 AM
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Arlington YMCA
February 22
4:00 PM
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February 23
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Long Island, N.Y.
February 24
8:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

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February 24
4:00 PM
USC Upstate
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 24
11:00 AM
Eastern Michigan
East Madeira, Fla.
February 24
1:30 PM
Loyola
East Madeira, Fla.
February 24
12:00 PM
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Washington, D.C.
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Staten Island, N.Y.
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Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
12:00 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

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106.7 FM
February 25
2:00 PM
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Spartanburg, S.C.
February 25
11:00 AM
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East Madeira, Fla.
February 25
1:30 PM
Army West Point
East Madeira, Fla.
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12:00 PM
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February 25
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Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
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Staten Island, N.Y.
February 26
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

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February 26
12:00 PM
Dayton
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 26
11:30 AM
Brown
East Madeira, Fla.
February 28
6:30 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

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106.7 FM
February 28
2:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
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2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
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2:30 PM
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10:00 AM
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5:15 PM
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College Station, Texas
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12:00 PM
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Verizon Center

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106.7 FM
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First Round
Milwaukee, Wis.

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March 4
2:30 PM
Boston College
Port Charlotte, Fla.
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3:00 PM
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College Station, Texas
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5:15 PM
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College Station, Texas
March 4
12:00 PM
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Cooper Field
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3:00 PM
George Mason
Cooper Field
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Boston, Mass.
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All Day
ECAC Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Quarterfinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

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March 5
10:30 AM
Ball State
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 5
10:00 AM
Prairie View A&M
College Station, Texas
March 5
1:00 PM
UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
March 5
2:30 PM
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San Diego, Calif.
March 5
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Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
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Boston, Mass.
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Boston, Mass.
March 6
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Semifinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

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March 6
All Day
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Las Vegas, Nv.
March 7
9:00 PM
Championship
Milwaukee, Wis.

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March 7
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 7
5:30 PM
Houston
Houston, Texas
March 7
1:00 PM
UC Irvine
Irvine, Calif.
March 7
3:00 PM
Robert Morris
Cooper Field
March 7
TBA
Long Beach State
Long Beach, Calif.
March 7
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 8
2:30 PM
Central Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 9
2:00 PM
Utah State
West End Club (Los Angeles, Calif.)
March 9
TBA
Utah State
Marina del Rey, Calif.
March 9
TBA
Loyola Marymount
Marina del Rey, Calif.
March 10
5:00 PM
Lafayette
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 10
2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Marina del Rey, Calif.
March 10
All Day
GCU Invite
Phoenix, Az.
March 10
All Day
NCAA Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
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NCAA Championships
College Station, Texas
March 11
2:00 PM
Lafayette
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 11
12:00 PM
Hobart
Geneva, N.Y.
March 11
1:00 PM
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
March 11
All Day
NCAA Championships
College Station, Texas
March 11
All Day
GCU Invite
Phoenix, Az.
March 11
All Day
NCAA Championships
College Station, Texas
March 12
10:00 AM
Lafayette
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 12
All Day
GCU Invite
Phoenix, Az.
March 15
3:00 PM
Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Md.
March 15
11:00 AM
Rider
Nationals Academy
March 15
2:00 PM
Rider
Nationals Academy
March 16
11:00 AM
Wagner
Washington, D.C.
March 17
6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Boiling Springs, N.C.
March 17
10:00 AM
St. Bonaventure
Wilmington, N.C.
March 17
5:30 PM
UMass-Lowell
Wilmington, N.C.
March 17
11:00 AM
Xavier
Washington, D.C.
March 18
2:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Boiling Springs, N.C.
March 18
10:00 AM
UNC-Wilmington
Wilmington, N.C.
March 18
3:00 PM
St. Bonaventure
Wilmington, N.C.
March 18
12:00 PM
Duke
Cooper Field
March 18
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
March 19
1:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Boiling Springs, N.C.
March 19
10:00 AM
UMass-Lowell
Wilmington, N.C.
March 19
2:00 PM
Hofstra
Washington, D.C.
March 19
11:00 PM
Hofstra
Washington, D.C.
March 21
11:00 AM
Williams College
Washington, D.C.
March 22
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Shirley Povich Field
March 22
3:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
March 22
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
March 24
10:00 AM
St. Johns
Flushing, N.Y.
March 24
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Flushing, N.Y.
March 24
All Day
Slomin Autism Invitational
PGA National Resort - West Palm Beach, Fla.
March 25
1:00 PM
Brown
Providence, R.I.
March 25
4:00 PM
Brown
Providence, R.I.
March 25
12:00 PM
Creighton
Guy Mason Field
March 25
3:00 PM
Creighton
Guy Mason Field
March 25
11:00 AM
Marist
Poughkipsee, N.Y.
March 25
12:00 PM
Marquette
Cooper Field
March 25
1:00 PM
Uconn
Storrs, Conn.
March 25
All Day
Slomin Autism Invitational
PGA National Resort - West Palm Beach, Fla.
March 25
All Day
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
March 25
All Day
Delaware
Princeton, N.J.
March 26
12:00 PM
Brown
Providence, R.I.
March 26
11:00 AM
Creighton
Guy Mason Field
March 26
12:00 PM
Bates College
Washington, D.C.
March 26
All Day
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
March 26
All Day
Slomin Autism Invitational
PGA National Resort - West Palm Beach, Fla.
March 29
3:00 PM
Navy
Shirley Povich Field
March 30
6:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
March 30
All Day
Bryan National Collegiate
Greensboro, Nc.
March 31
3:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
March 31
All Day
Bryan National Collegiate
Greensboro, Nc.
April 1
2:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 1
12:00 PM
Providence
Guy Mason Field
April 1
3:00 PM
Providence
Guy Mason Field
April 1
1:00 PM
Temple
Cooper Field
April 1
3:00 PM
Denver
Denver, Colo.
April 1
All Day
Bryan National Collegiate
Greensboro, Nc.
April 1
All Day
Temple & St. Josephs
Philadelphia, Pa.
April 2
1:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 2
12:00 PM
Providence
Guy Mason Field
April 2
10:00 AM
Navy
Washington, D.C.
April 2
TBA
The Citadel
Washington, D.C.
April 2
All Day
Bryan National Collegiate
Greensboro, Nc.
April 3
All Day
East Carolina Intercollegiate
Brooke Valley Golf Club - Greenville, N.C.
April 4
3:00 PM
Cornell
Shirley Povich Field
April 4
All Day
East Carolina Intercollegiate
Brooke Valley Golf Club - Greenville, N.C.
April 5
2:30 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
April 5
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
April 7
3:00 PM
NYIT
Shirley Povich Field
April 7
1:00 PM
Temple
Philadelphia, Pa.
April 7
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 8
1:00 PM
NYIT
Shirley Povich Field
April 8
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.
April 8
3:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.
April 8
12:00 PM
DePaul
Washington, D.C.
April 8
1:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Cooper Field
April 8
1:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
April 8
All Day
Princeton Invitational
Springdale Golf Club - Princeton, N.J.
April 8
All Day
Yale & MIT
Derby, Conn.
April 8
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 8
All Day
Columbia & Harvard
Overpeck Park, N.J.
April 9
12:00 PM
NYIT
Shirley Povich Field
April 9
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J
April 9
All Day
Princeton Invitational
Springdale Golf Club - Princeton, N.J.
April 9
All Day
Hoya Invitational
Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
April 10
All Day
Hoya Invitational
Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
April 12
4:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Emmitsburg, Md.
April 12
2:00 PM
Cincinnati
Cooper Field
April 13
3:00 PM
Creighton
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
4:00 PM
Creighton
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
1:00 PM
Villanova
Guy Mason Field
April 14
4:00 PM
Villanova
Guy Mason Field
April 15
1:00 PM
Creighton
Shirley Povich Field
April 15
1:00 PM
Villanova
Guy Mason Field
April 15
2:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.
April 15
2:30 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
April 15
All Day
Holy Cross
Princeton, N.J.
April 15
All Day
Navy
Washington, D.C.
April 15
All Day
The Rutherford Collegiate
Penn State Blue Course - State College, Pa.
April 16
All Day
The Rutherford Collegiate
Penn State Blue Course - State College, Pa.
April 16
All Day
The Rutherford Collegiate
Penn State Blue Course - State College, Pa.
April 18
3:30 PM
Mount St. Marys
Emmitsburg, Md.
April 18
6:00 PM
Virginia
Charlottesville, Va.
April 18
7:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Emmitsburg, Md.
April 20
11:00 AM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.

Senior Day
April 20
All Day
Big East Conference Championship
Callawassie, Sc.