The Post Game Show

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Case Of the Disappearing Student Journalist

To the faithful one or two readers of the Post Game Show, I would like to apologize for my disappearing act over the last month. It has been neglectful of me to not update the Show, but school calls, and I had to answer. But your favorite student sportswriter is back, and armed with update material.

That Championship Feeling

This title is stolen from the Philadelphia 76ers' 1983 Championship Season video, and it fits the feeling that has gone around Delaware State University for the last four weeks. The beloved Hornets men's basketball team made it to the promised land, winning the first MEAC championship in school history, and earning an automatic invite to the Big Dance, where they lost to Duke 57-46, giving the top-seeded Blue Devils one tough test. But before we discuss how the Blue Devils could've easily blown that game, let's sing the praises of a team who found a common ground with coach Greg Jackson, and decided to win a championship on the strength of the respect and admiration they had for eachother, realizing they were all they had.

The MEAC tournament was definitely the Hornets' Songs In the Key of Life, Blueprint, and Kiss of Death all rolled into one. The first game was an absolutely beatdown of Bethune-Cookman, born of frustration over the MEAC post-season awards banquet dissing DSU, giving Jahsha Bluntt only a second team spot on the All-MEAC squad, and Jackson being shafted out of coach of the year honors. Unfortunately, The Wildcats had to pay for the conference's slights the first game. From the time Aaron Williams threw down an alley-oop from Darrin Shine, it was set in stone that DSU would be here the whole week.

The semi-final game was the toughest in many observers minds, and that was with MEAC pre-season fav South Carolina State. Thurman Zimmerman was a non-factor for the third time against DSU this season, fouling out without scoring a point in his final game. Bruce Davis was the unsung hero, scoring 12 points and just getting to bucket at will against the Bulldogs' weak interior D. This game was the one that everyone was concerned with, and the Hornets flew by quickly, and made the championship game for the first time in 12 years.

So, it was DSU. It was Hampton. Pirates/Hornets. Hornets/Pirates. I'm sure these two knew eachother well. The game is now the stuff of legend, courtesy of Aaron Williams' acrobatic putback jumper with 1.6 seconds remaining that proved to be the winning bucket, but on Hampton's side, they will always wonder why no one passed Big Bruce Brown the rock in crucial situations. Brown, who is 6'11", 280 pounds in case you were wondering, was throwing a full-scale temper tantrum on one late possession, screaming and begging for the ball, when he had Hornet center Aaron Fleetwood on him. Fleetwood is a tall kid himself at 6'9", but Brown outweighs Fleet by a good 70-75 pounds. Finally, they passed Brown the ball, and he hit that half hook over a helpless Fleetwood. That should've been the last five minutes of the game, but apparently the rest of the Pirates felt content to jack up jumpers and let DSU back into the game.

Some felt Hampton coach Bobby Collins should have lost his job behind that bit of brain carmp, but he is expected to return for the '06 season. Greg Jackson, meanwhile finally got the respect he deserved, winning outstanding coach award of the tournament, and getting to cut down the nets on the biggest level of college hoops, after doing it in the CIAA several times with North Carolina Central.

The team sojourned to Charlotte, North Carolina to play the beloved Duke Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA tournament. DSU actually tied the game at 28 late in the first half on a Tracey Worley putback shot, but Duke played like Duke from there on out, and that ended the upset hopes, and the dream season. But it was something that will be remembered here in Dover for a long, long, long time. This team brought together students, staff, alumni, and adminstrators in a way that I can't recall since I've been a student at DSU. It was wonderful to see.

And who knows, we might be doing it again next year.


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