Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Cincinnati

IN THE ZONE
Thursday, November 26, 2010; 7:30 pm
Travis Jarome (
email)

Before I start, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and at this time of the day, I hope each of you were able to enjoy the day. Although we were not able to enjoy with our immediate family, the Trojans women's basketball team was able to enjoy the day with our second family - each other.

Today started off like any other on the road, a nice early wake-up call followed by breakfast in the hotel. I can honestly say, and head coach Michael Murphy made the same comment, that this breakfast reminds us of the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. The girls were able to enjoy a variety of foods; including a heathly helping of fruit.


After breakfast, the team boarded the bus to the Cintas Center - which is on the campus of Xavier University - and is only five minutes from where we are staying, the Kingsgate Marriott on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Walking into the area, it became apparant quickly that we were now in the best arena we would play in all season long. The arena is huge, seating over 10,000 with LED boards throught and a huge scoreboard (digital) mounted over the court. Walking around the concourse while the team was practicing was an eye-opening experience with the Hall of Fame area on one side, the X-Store in the middle and pictures throughout on the walls. The arena was complete with suites and each concession stand had no less than 2 flat screen televisions mounted above for the patrons.

After a nice practice session, the team came back to the hotel to change and get ready for our Thanksgiving team meal. We traveled to an Italian restaurant named Buca di Beppo for a nice Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, bread and dessert. You couldn't ask for anything better when you are away from home.

The Trojans take on fifth-ranked Xavier (3-0) tomorrow afternoon at 2:05 pm (EST), a team that was a basket away from the Final Four last season. And for those that don't understand how close they were to the Final Four, a missed lay-up and a foul sent the Stanford Cardinal to the national championship in which they were dismantling UConn in the first half, before the Huskies were able to pull away in the second half. THAT IS HOW CLOSE THIS TEAM WAS TO THE FINAL FOUR!!

This will be the first meeting between the two schools in their respective history and can be heard by clicking here.

I also need to mention a special thanks to Cincinnati-natives Mike Frigge and Tony Ferrante in the Troy University Athletic Department, who prepared me for the trip here and gave pointers throughout.

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