Thursday, March 5, 2009

Real World: Albany

After a three-hour bus ride from Fairfield, a few VitaminWaters, and a classy open bar banquet later, and 'The Mirror Boys' have retreated to the Crowne-Plaza in Albany, N.Y. to relax and unwind for the night. Tomorrow and Saturday (assuming the Fairfield women pull out tomororw's game) will likely bring 15 hours and change of basketball, so we're trying to recharge our batteries for the weekend.

Here's a rundown of what's gone on so far:
  • Player of the Year's were slam-dunks choices (Siena's Kenny Hasbrouck and Marist's Rachele Fitz). Same, at least from my perspective, for Coach of the Year (Siena's Fran McCaffrey and Canisius' Terry Zeh)
  • An upset of sorts for men's Rookie of the Year, as Rider's Novar Gadson was edged by Iona's Scott Machado. Our main man, Ben Doody of 'The Trentonian,' will likely have plenty of commentary on this award, so I'll defer to him on this. I found this to basically be a toss-up. I heard some of what Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey said at the banquet, and he seemed to take the decision in stride, a far cry from his defensive press-conference on Sunday in Lawrenecville.
  • Saw Fairfield and Co. at the Crowne-Plaza. Just about thirty minutes ago the women's team was assembled in the lobby, heading to a late-night walk-through and (presumably) a pep talk. I'm sure that head coach Joe Frager will have them ready to roll come 11:30am tomorrow. He even skipped tonight's banquet to continue preparation.
  • A nice - and relaxed - head coach Ed Cooley made an appearance at the MAAC Championships Awards Banquet, dressed completely in black. As a Giants fan, I couldn't help but think of the team's flight to Phoenix a year ago for Super Bowl XLII, when everyone (players and coaches... and even Easy E) wore black suits and ties to take a stand against the supposed "funeral" game against the Pats. Maybe I'm overlooking it, but there could be something there. Cooley loves rallying cries.
  • I'd also like to think that the team is taking on Cooley's relaxed mood. Most of the players were roaming the halls and grabbing a bite to eat at the restaurant in the lobby. We even saw Mike Evanovich get some alone time and take a dip in the pool. Hey, whatever works.
More to come in the AM, including live game coverage and pre-, halftime, and post-game video from the Times-Union Center for the Stags game against Siena.

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