1) Marginal celebrity sighting No. 1: Bob Novak, wearing blindingly bright Terrapin red and sporting a bit of a pot belly. Throw a white beard on him and I swear kids would have been jumping in his lap and asking for PlayStations.
2) Gut punch for Mason. Maybe I would have gotten this wrong last year, but Jai Lewis pretty obviously is the most missed of the three departed seniors. Jesus Urbina and Darryl Monroe were brutal. Sammy Hernandez is gone. Mason was reduced to using four guards for long stretches.
"We settled for a lot of perimeter shots early which is exactly opposite of what we want to do," Jim Larranaga said. "We clearly have to develop another inside guy, because Will Thomas can't just carry the load himself all the time. He's the only guy we have playing near the basket, and the rest of the guys are all perimeter players, and we've got to get some other guys to step up in that direction....Our front-court guys are not scoring. And what'd we have, 20 at the half? We're not going to be able to win like that. And if Will is getting double- and triple-teamed and we don't have another post player to go to, you've got to put a guard out there who can hopefully stretch the defense with three-point shooting. And it's not that we want to settle with three-point shooting, but we want to give Will some more room to operate."
And a very weird moment at the end of the Mason game, when Folarin Campbell made a meaningless three-pointer and then immediately looked at the ref to make sure it would count. Poor taste.
3) Marginal celebrity sighting No. 2: Various Washington Wizards, including Antonio Daniels watching his former coach Larranaga, Etan Thomas watching part of the Mason game, and Caron Butler watching virtually the whole GW game, due presumably to his friendship with Karl Hobbs.
Caron was wearing a blue and gold Yale jacket and a random "C" hat, pictured here. He said the Yale jacket was "just something different," and he didn't know what the "C" hat was, he just bought it for the "C." Can anyone identify?
4) So Bucknell's players finished their game with Northern Iowa on Saturday around 3:30, got on a bus around 4:30, stopped for dinner at Ruby Tuesday (which was a real steak-and-potatoes treat), got to the hotel around 9 p.m. and had a meeting at 9:45. No shootaround on Sunday, either. Maybe the hectic schedule explains why several Bucknell players were standing in line to get concessions after their game. Or maybe they were just hungry. One guy got a hot dog, soda and pretzel, and another got some Cracker Jack. What their plans for Sunday night? "Go to sleep," Donald Brown said. Maryland, on the other hand, stayed in a hotel Saturday night. Seriously. I gotta expense a hotel next time I cover a game in College Park.
5) Parrish Brown has an excellent tattoo on the inside of his left forearm. He claimed no reporters have ever asked him about it, which blows my mind. He got it the summer before he arrived at Maryland. It's a scroll with a long Michael Jordan quotation, taken from Slam magazine, about his summer routine.
Although I'd have to guess the exclamation marks are added:
For me the summer is never about taking time off. It was about putting time in, reinventing myself! Also my game!!! Working on you'r [sic] game so you'r [sic] game doesn't look like work that's what I'm loyal to!
6) Marginal celebrity sighting No. 3: Washington Nationals pitcher and former GW star Mike O'Connor. "I didn't think it was looking good in the first half," O'Connor said after GW had pulled out the win. "Kind of a crazy ending." In baseball news, O'Connor reports that he's staying in Montgomery County this
summer winter, that his arm is getting better every day, that he has yet to speak with Manny Acta and that he has never had a problem with being recognized excessively (including yesterday, when he sat in the GW section).
7) Did the GW band play "Born to Run" before Karl Hobbs arrived? If they play that because of his offense, that's pretty cool. Although, in that case, a more appropriate tune might be the Crash Test Dummies' "Overachiever."
8) Speaking of GW, it would appear the elder statesmen in the athletic department don't read blogs. "What's this stuff with the blog, I don't read this stuff," one official told me. "I'm looking for that blog, I can't find it," another said. So one little corner of the sports universe is still safe from this scourge.
9) Gary Williams saw John Feinstein on his way into the post-game press conference, after that bruising loss to Notre Dame. "Three Big 10 officials, did a good job," Williams said to Feinstein. He wasn't being genuine. Classic.
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