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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January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
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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
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CBSSN
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January 27
1:00 PM
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January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
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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
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February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

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

BEDN
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February 3
12:00 PM
UMBC
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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 3
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
2:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
10:00 AM
Memphis
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina State
Fort Myers, Fla.
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.
Yates Field House
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
4:45 PM
Florida Gulf Coast
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 10
7:00 PM
Ball State
Fort Myers, Fla.
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 11
11:15 AM
LIU Brooklyn
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Yates Field House
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 16
12:00 PM
Michigan State
Columbia, S.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
10:00 AM
Mercer
Columbia, S.C.
February 17
3:00 PM
Southern Illinois
Columbia, S.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 18
12:30 PM
South Carolina
Columbia, S.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
9:30 AM
Pittsburgh
Conway, S.C.
February 23
2:30 PM
Coastal Carolina
Conway, S.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
9:30 AM
Pittsburgh
Conway, S.C.
February 24
12:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Conway, S.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
12:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Conway, S.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 2
1:00 PM
Lafayette
Nats Academy
March 2
3:00 PM
Lafayette
Nats Academy
March 3
TBA
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.

FOX
TBD
March 3
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 3
12:30 PM
Columbia
Nats Academy
March 3
3:00 PM
Howard
Nats Academy
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
11:30 AM
Dartmouth
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
3:00 PM
UMBC
Nats Academy
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
9:00 AM
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 5
9:00 AM
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
4:00 PM
Northeastern
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Lynn University
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
March 7
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 7
8:00 PM
Arizona State
Tempe, Ariz.
March 8
10:00 AM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 8
12:00 PM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 9
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 9
7:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Phoenix, Ariz.
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
Iowa
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 10
6:00 PM
Minnesota
Phoenix, Ariz.
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 11
11:00 AM
Iowa
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 14
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
11:00 AM
Eastern Illinois
Charleston, S.C.
March 16
3:30 PM
Jacksonville State
Charleston, S.C.
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
11:00 AM
Jacksonville State
Charleston, S.C.
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
Arlington YMCA
March 18
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 18
10:00 AM
Texas
Charleston, S.C.
March 21
4:00 PM
Navy
Shirley Povich Field
March 21
3:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 21
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 23
5:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 23
11:00 AM
Marquette
Yates Field House
March 23
TBA
Rhode Island
Yates Field House
March 24
3:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 24
12:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
March 24
2:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
March 24
11:00 AM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
March 24
12:00 PM
Florida
Cooper Field
March 24
1:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.
March 24
2:00 PM
Boston University
Arlington YMCA
March 24
All Day
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
March 24
All Day
Occoquan Challenge
Fairfax Station, Va.
March 24
All Day
Delaware
Washington, D.C.
March 24
All Day
Occoquan Challenge
Fairfax Station, Va.
March 25
1:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 25
12:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
March 25
All Day
Princeton
Washington, D.C.
March 27
3:00 PM
Delaware State
Shirley Povich Field
March 28
2:00 PM
Kent State
Nats Academy
March 28
2:30 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.
March 28
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
March 29
6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 29
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Nats Academy
March 29
2:00 PM
St. Johns
Nats Academy
March 30
4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 30
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Nats Academy
March 31
1:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 31
12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
March 31
12:00 PM
Denver
Cooper Field
March 31
All Day
Class of 2004 Cup vs. Harvard
Boston, Mass.
March 31
TBA
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 3
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Hanover, Md.
April 4
3:00 PM
Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Md.
April 4
3:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 4
11:00 AM
St. Francis Brooklyn
Washington, D.C.
April 4
2:00 PM
Denver
Denver, Colo.
April 6
3:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 6
3:00 PM
George Washington
GW Tennis Center
April 6
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 6
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 7
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 7
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
April 7
3:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
April 7
12:00 PM
Butler
Cooper Field
April 7
3:00 PM
Providence
Cooper Field
April 7
All Day
Yale & MIT
Cambridge, Mass.
April 7
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 7
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 8
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 8
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
April 8
All Day
Harvard & Columbia
Cambridge, Mass.
April 11
3:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 11
4:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 13
3:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
2:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
12:00 PM
Butler
Nats Academy
April 14
2:00 PM
Butler
Nats Academy
April 14
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
April 14
2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Nashville, Tenn.
April 14
TBA
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 14
All Day
Knecht Cup
Mercer Lake, N.J.
April 14
All Day
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 14
All Day
Stanford Invitational
Redwood Shores, Calif.
April 15
1:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 15
11:00 AM
Butler
Nats Academy
April 15
All Day
Stanford Invitational
Redwood Shores, Calif.
April 17
6:00 PM
UMBC
Baltimore, Md.
April 17
6:00 PM
Towson
Nats Academy
April 18
6:00 PM
Virginia
Nats Academy
April 18
3:00 PM
Uconn
Washington, D.C
April 19
3:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 19
3:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 20
3:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
April 21
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
April 21
12:00 PM
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.
April 21
2:00 PM
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.
April 21
12:00 PM
Villanova
Washington, D.C.
April 21
12:00 PM
Villanova
Washington, D.C.
April 21
12:00 PM
Marquette
Washington, D.C.
April 21
3:00 PM
NJIT
Cooper Field
April 21
All Day
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 21
All Day
Penn & Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
April 21
All Day
Cherry Hill Invitational
Camden, N.J.
April 21
All Day
Class of 2006 Cup vs. Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
April 22
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
April 22
12:00 PM
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.