BROOKLYN, NY - The games have not started, yet the media days virtually signal the beginning of the basketball season. The summer and any false hopes of our baseball teams have ended. The air is a bit cooler, crisp, Halloween is coming, and our football fortunes are third and long. At least, basketball practices are in full swing.
The media days, such as the Atlantic Ten’s last week at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, afford a a chance to reconnect with colleagues and coaches.
A common thread at the media day was how special the Barclays Center is as a site for the Atlantic Ten championship. “I told our kids what a great experience this was in playing here,” said Saint Louis coach Jim Crews, “and that was before we went out and won the tournament.” Shaka Smart of VCU had his tournament “down the block” during the school’s CAA days. Smart doesn’t mind making the trip North noting, “I love it here. It is a great venue, a pro arena, and so special for the fans.”
The Atlantic Ten, a strong, high profile conference is also something special for the fan base which eagerly anticipates the games to start in earnest.
For now, the coaches are all upbeat and optimistic. After all, everyone is still undefeated.
La Salle coach Dr. John Giannini makes a point:
"Kidds R Us" (can't find a better caption for the Nets' locker room)
Outside the Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue:
A designer lounge at Barclays:
The media crush closes in on VCU's Shaka Smart:
A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade and St. Bonaventure athletic director Steve Watson share a moment: