So in the last Kolumnalu, I left Grant White '14, who we'll call the Pride of Vermont (PoV), his forced love of riding pine and our men's basketball team so I could make a little comment on the relationship between NARPs and athletes, but I just can't seem to stay away from covering the court for too long.
So this week we're going to go back to our ballers. Just to recap, the last time we checked in on the team, four weeks ago, they had a record of 4-2 overall, and 0-1 in the NESCAC, something I'd call aiiiggghhhh.
But I love the team, just a great bunch of guys, and so I wish I could say they went on to break records and set it off like Jada Pinkett, but that wouldn't be true.
The team instead stayed on the same not-too-bad path, ending up with an overall record of 14-10 (3-6 in the conference) and a 'CAC quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Williams.
Now, even though I'll admit I'm not the greatest mind when it comes to basketball, as a part-time bandwagon fan of the Knicks—Billups to my boys Carmelo and Amare—and a full-time fan of our men's team, I think I've stumbled upon the answer on how to get us to the top. Play the freshmen.
Now yeah you're probably going to call me biased, and well, I am, but I still think I have a point.
But before I say why, let me introduce you to the set of first year characters on the team.
Starting off, we've got Straight Shooter (Matt Mathias '14) and Frederic Weis (Andrew Madlinger '14). Now while these two guys have gotten minutes, I would still say they could get a bit more. But before I get to that, let me introduce you to the man who has been riding as much pine as PoV.
He goes by many names, but here in the Kolumnalu he will be known as Swag Daddy (Evan Kulak '14). While some of you may have seen him balling hard in practice or pumping iron with PoV after the game—with his shirt off, of course—most of you probably know him due to the first part of his name, swag.
The man rocks that swag so hard that some have said that he's got a 20-pound weight on each shoulder. I've even heard rumors that he's a part-time swag coach for aspiring swagger jackers. Lil' Wayne has even made him a yet-to-be-released tribute song titled "Swag Daddy Go Hard."
Hopefully these stories (or actually, these facts) have helped to give you a picture of the man, or rather, the legend. To put it simply, Swag Daddy and PoV, and sometimes Straight Shooter and Frederic Weis, have been chilling on the sidelines for the season.
You could argue there are good reasons for this. One, they're young and new to the game. I would agree, if it weren't for the fact that both are older than 18-year-old Erik Akkersdijk. If for some reason you don't know, Akkersdijk is the current holder of the record for fastest time to solve a Rubik's cube.
And as the saying goes: if you're older than the record holder for solving Rubik's cubes, then you're old enough to get on the court.
Then you could also say that maybe they're not quite good enough. But that's where I can't even pretend to agree.
In the quarterfinal against Williams, the team was pretty well beaten, trailing by 18 at the half and 20 by the end of the game for a final score of 62-82. But the score doesn't tell the whole story, because at some point around the middle of the second half we were in an even worse position.
Down by 30, demoralized, the unthinkable happened.
Coach Gills (Kevin Gilbride) sent in PoV and Swag Daddy. Instead of things getting worse—which would've been the case had these two not been ready—things got better.
Swag Daddy started things off with two nasty steals, the first of which I've heard was number 11 on ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day.
PoV joined in, breaking toward the hoop, getting ready for a windmill dunk but, due to his characteristic modesty, instead went for a smooth layup. All this in only four minutes.
While they didn't save the game, they did make the loss more respectable. And so, next year, I ask you Coach Gills, why not just let the boys play? Or rather, swag?