By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Furman
After last week’s “Greensboro experiment,” it took a while for my heart rate to return to normal. It certainly took most of the car ride back home, over the river and through the snow, and after that adventure in not cheering on press row, Saturday’s game against Furman was a lot easier to swallow.
Once the ‘Cats jumped out to a 19-0 lead (have you ever seen that before?), this one was less about the final result, more about the margin.
And after Stephen (someone outscored me?) Curry and Will Archambault, who put up a combined 54 points in the ‘Cats 86-51 win, make their way to the bench, the nearly 5,000 fans at Belk let them know they enjoyed it, saying thanks with an extended ovation.
Three minutes later, with the game firmly in hand, frosh Brendan McKillop enters the game in relief of senior Jason Richards, and the crowd once again roars its approval. Surely acknowledging yet another outstanding performance from the Cats’ floor general, who finished with nine assists and seven boards despite not scoring, it’s clear the applause isn’t for Jason alone. With seven minutes to play, this crowd is excited to see what Brendan will contribute.
And when fan favorite Can Civi checks in at the three-minute mark, the ovation is the loudest of the game, that is, until he takes it to the hoop, and with under 30 seconds to go, lays it in. This layup inspires undoubtedly the biggest ovation of the day, and as the students chant, “Civi! Civi! Civi!,” you can’t help but just feel good, can you?
I asked Civi’s roommate, Andrew Lovedale, about it after the game, about how it feels to watch these guys that practice so hard day in and day out get rewarded on the court and acknowledged by the crowd.
And while I left his answers on my desk (seriously, I lose a lot of stuff), he said something along the lines of, “It was fun.” And I’m pretty sure he even used the word “awesome.”
So while it would be easy to note the accomplishments and individual efforts of STEF- in and Archambault on days like Saturday - and surely the result wouldn’t have been such without them - players like Can Civi and Brendan McKillop tend to get lost in the box score.
And yet, the result wouldn’t have been the same without them either.
Our first official question comes from Judge Joe Craig, class of '78, who asks the following:
I'm Class of '78 and a huge fan of this very special team. I've only seen them in person twice this year, both games on the road -- At Elon, and then last night at UNC-G. I know you are superstitious and that some of the players are big on karma as well. Both games, I wore a dark red/black plaid shirt, and at halftime of both games, I nearly tore it off my back, thinking it was bad luck. But both games we stormed back and won. My question: should I keep wearing this shirt when I go to games, or leave it home in the closet?
I am, as you point out, somewhat superstitious by nature, so my immediate thought is that you've got yourself a seriously lucky shirt. Both the Elon and Greensboro road games were come-from-behind, heart-stoppers, and perhaps we can attribute some of that to your shirt (though surely, SteF-in Curry may object a bit). As for the team, I did an informal survey of which players are the most superstitious. Getting an athlete to admit to a superstition, other than the obvious, is tough, but it was nearly unanimous that the most superstitious on the team is athletic trainer Ray Beltz.
Thanks for the questions! Email yours to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will bring you the answers if possible.