Was up early for day two of this experience… we had our sports information meeting at 8 am. So I jumped in my little rental car and drove over to the arena for the meeting and tour. And again, I was reminded of the nerdiness that is our profession — and sometimes, the pure snobbery. The Tennessee SID – who proudly stated that she has been to every NCAA Tournament since the tournament began (which means you’re old, lady!) – said that she had never been to an SID meeting at the tournament didn’t provide drinks and food until today. Well noted, Tennessee. Thanks for sharing that statement.
Anyway, got a tour of the facility and then hung gave myself another tour to find our locker room. As I made my way back around, I ran into our head coach and women’s administrator. She wanted me to stay for the administrative meeting, which ALL of the coaches would be at (including Pat, Sherri Coale, Robing Pingeton – Illinois State coach – and others I had never heard of). So I hung around… almost ran into Pat Summitt in her bright orange jumpsuit and then was told I could leave. Fair enough!
So I am now back at the hotel, tired, and waiting for our practice to get here, which isn’t until 5:20. We do interviews tonight and then are done until tomorrow. I’m hoping I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off tonight… we’ll see!
PS. Ran into the Illinois State SID who I interviewed with last May and met the guy they hired… nice guy. What a random run-in, though!
Did absolutely nothing after returning from the 8 am meeting. Came back to the hotel and took a nap, watched the tube, crawled out around 12:30 to get some lunch and then back to the room. Basically watched more TV until it was time for us to leave for practice. All day today was practice at Mackey Arena where the games will be held. All teams have specific practice times and before practice, have a scheduled interview slot where the coach and two players meet with the media before tomorrow’s game.
The interviews went well… basically it was all the Tulsa reporters asking the questions, but the girls and Jerry (head coach) did very well. It’s hard to answer the question of “How do you prepare for Tennessee?” There is no answer to that question. We have not played ANYONE remotely close to a Tennessee-type team all season. So its hard to give the girls an example of who they play like — and when you play in The Summit League, its even tougher!
I did get some pics of the Lady Vols practicing… and when our girls were walking into the gym, coach Summitt stopped from walking out of the gym to say hello to them.
During practice, I sat and talked with Krista Blunk and Kim Anthony – both who work for ESPN and who will be the play-by-play and sideline reporter for our game tomorrow night. Basically they asked about each player, the team, the coach to try and get a feel for what they would be reporting on tomorrow night. So, anything you hear about our girls tomorrow night, can be attributed to Allyson Hills! 🙂
So tomorrow is game day. Our game isn’t until 8:30 pm so its going to be a long day. I plan to get up and go to Mass with a few other Catholic staffers… then possibly going to the arena to watch Oklahoma play… I have nothing else to do! And I have to check out Sherri Coale and see if she really has gained alot of weight — according to my roomie, she has filled out and was busting out of her shirt at her last game. Interesting.
FYI: Game time is set for 30 minutes after the 6 p.m. game, so we’re shooting for 8:30 on ESPN2. Our bench is on the left and I will be sitting directly next to them on press row. When I tug at my ear, that means I’m saying hello to you all! 🙂
Picture A: Heading to practice…
Picture B: Rachel, Janae, Coach Fink with media
Picture C: Coach Pat Summitt and Candace Parker