March 22, 2013 - It's that time; the Hoyas are dancing, cutting a rug in the ultimate collegiate tournament, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships. First up is a 6:50p tilt this evening with Florida Gulf Coast, in Philadelphia. TBS is the cable outlet tasked with broadcasting the game, while Rich Chvotkin will man the radio call, delivered by WTEM 980 AM.
To a man the Hoyas expressed confidence in preparation and a motivated state on Wednesday, before boarding their bus for the City of Brotherly love.
"We've had a couple of days to lock in on them" said head coach John Thompson III then. "So I think the guys are focused, and understand what this time of year is about".
Star forward, sophomore Otto Porter, Jr. noted "focus is the key" when dealing with the tournament. "We have to be extra focused, we have to be ready to get out and play as soon as we get out on the court…leave it all out there on the court".
Freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera hasn't experienced the Big Dance previously, and admitted to "A lot of anxiety", yet "is ready for it". To ensure so, Smith-Rivera plans to "Try to get some rest. Try to keep myself calm. I think right now I'm so ready to play, I'm just trying to get as much rest as I can".
Last year's 3rd round loss to NC State, a certainly winnable contest also motivates the Hoyas. For the record, G'Town has had successive early tourney outs, including losses to VCU (2011) and Ohio (2010).
"I just remembering that feeling…and I've never lost that feeling" shared junior guard Markel Starks of that crushing, Wolfpack defeat last season. " I can just imagine how those seniors felt, just emotionally in that locker room, that ignites for you for the next year, that ignites your for the upcoming season.
"I did promise myself if we were in this situation again, we wouldn't be in here with sad faces".
Sophomore guard Jabril Trawick concurred: That definitely wasn't a good feeling…knowing that was the last game I was going to play with Jason (Clark) and Henry (Sims)…We definitely talked about that".
Thompson apparently revisited that moment, as Trawick indicated "Coach asked us, 'How did you like that feeling last year?' We are definitely trying to get deeper in the tournament this year".
To make that happen, the Hoyas, a second seed, today face 15th slotted Florida Gulf Coast, winners of the Atlantic Sun tournament and owners of a 24-10 overall record, 13-5 in-conference mark. Coach Andy Enfield and his lot are sure to be ready for the Hoyas. Best believe the converse is also true.
Just what do the Hoyas (25-6, 14-4) expect from the team and Brett Comer, a sophomore guard mentioned frequently? See our Premium Court message board for the answers, coming from Thompson, Starks, junior forward Nate Lubick, Trawick and Smith-Rivera.
During the contest, our real time, in-game chat will surely be jumping. Be sure to join it.