Spokane: Practice makes perfect

By Lindsay Schnell - March 17, 2007

It's an off day here in Eastern Washington and teams have been filing in and out of the press room to answer all our lovely questions. Which, as you are probably aware, translates to approximately 45 mintes of cliches.

Practice was closed to the media, but I stuck my head in Oregon's practice to watch them hoist a few shots. Then I was afraid Ernie Kent might see me and put ME in a headlock (he did this playfully to an Oregonian reporter Wednesday, evidently) so I scooted out of there.

Press conferences were ho-hum for the most part. The biggest story of this site is Winthrop's upset. The intersting thing though, is that the media has now tabbed them a threat but the Winthrop players are saying they're still an underdog. Gurad Chris Gaynor put it this way: "For lil' Winthrop to be here, it's something special."

The Ducks don't really agree.

"We don't necessarily buy that 'lil' ol' Winthrop' thing," said guard Bryce Taylor.

I tend to agree with Taylor -- there's no doubt the Eagles belong here (as Taylor put it " ... uh ... well ... they went 29-4 and 14-0 in their conference ... ") and they won't be sneaking up on anyone.

It should be a great game, and might turn into a bit of a track meet. And I know we're not supposed to be pulling for any particular team, but if Winthrop wins, I think we might get to see their post-game song.

Torrell Martin, who is clearly the jokester of the Eagles, has a saying that he's semi-famous for: "need that." However, when Martin says it quickly it comes out more as "needat." Martin explained that it's "basically when you're in dire need of something, whether it be a steal, big block or shot. Perfect scenario, Chris Gaynor yesterday we're up one and we in desperate need of a shot and he shoots it and I'm just looking like, you know, need that. And that's basically what a means. it could be in anything: out of shoes, you need a new pair of shoes ... you know, need that."

Gaynor went on to explain that Martin is the creative one of the bunch and came up with the song they sing after games. We then asked them to hum a few lines, but it was a no-go. But Martin said if they won tomorrow they might sing a few lines. So we have that to potentially look forward to.

Rest of the press conferences were more of the same, though no one matched Winthrop's enthusiasm. That is one thing you have to love about Cinderellas or underdogs -- they have yet to be corrupted by cliches and make no effort to hide how much fun they're having.

I didn't catch much of Texas' press conf, but I'm sure it was more of Kevin Durant saying how he's not the most important part of the team *ahem* and that he is totally fine not touching the ball on every possession. Talk about rare: the best player in the game is actually NOT selfish! (Kobe Bryant, are you reading this?) I, like most of America, believe Texas will pull out a win tomorrow, but it could be closer than people are anticipating.

Alright I'm off to see if I can catch any of USC's press conference. I will post complete previews for tomorrow's games later this evening.

One thing I have to note before I go though: unless VCU pulls something off, it looks like we might not have a bonafide Cinderella in this year's tourney. Quite the change from last year, wouldn't you say?

Posted by Lindsay Schnell at 06:31 PM on March 17, 2007

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