Game #9-022: Central Connecticut vs. Fairfield StagsNovember 10, 2012 8:00 pm
I wasn't entirely sure how involved I was going to be with #TMM9
, especially after I heard about the team format that would be used. I wanted to contribute, but I didn't want to be the dead weight that held anyone back.
A few serendipitous things came together, though, to persuade me to join in for another go-around with the Mid-Majority team. A freelance job popped up almost simultaneously with the start of sign-ups for the Ninth Season, making it easy to justify putting some of that money toward the price of membership.
Once I signed up, I realized that I needed to throw myself into the effort. I thought about what I wanted to get out of being a team member.
I came up with three goals for the season. As chance would have it, I made progress on two of them on the first day.
The first thing I wanted to accomplish during the 2012-13 season was to learn more about the teams in my area. As a native of Indiana, I'm more comfortable talking about the Horizon, Missouri Valley and MAC than the Northeast, America East and MAAC. I don't really know much about the mid-majors of New England. So this season will be spent scouring the northeast, from my home port of Connecticut, in search of new teams, players and traditions I would otherwise be unaware of. (Hey, kind of the whole point of the site -- what are the odds?)
My second goal is to get to know the members of the Mid Majority community. It's nice to see people on Twitter and have some vague ideas about who each person is, but I'd like to meet the faces behind the handles, to know that there are actual humans writing these stories, not just an elaborate Robot army.
Which brings me back to my first day of the 2012-13 season and the final Connecticut 6 matchup between Central Connecticut State and Fairfield.
As mentioned in "Anatomy of a Comeback,"
I was getting a little restless during what was at the time an exhilarating matchup between Yale and Sacred Heart. After taking to Twitter in search of entertainment, I received a message from the captain of @hickorypfences
"Are you in Hartford?"
A few awkward tweets later, I made my way to the bleachers where he was sitting. We watched the Sacred Heart comeback and split up during the 30-minute intermission between games -- my phone needed some charging if it was going to make it through almost eight hours of basketball -- before meeting up prior to the CCSU-Fairfield tip.
The thing that impressed me most was his knowledge of the teams we were watching. While I was fumbling through "Okay, Fairfield is the red team," he was telling me about which players were new to the team, who was out at the start of the season and how good each team was expected to be. I know it wasn't exactly a breakdown of their True Shooting Percentage in November night games, but I was trying to take in as much as I good, wanting to pass a crash course in Stags 101.
Plus, it's just nice to have someone to sit with and talk to during the game. I'm sure I was annoying every time Fairfield's 7-foot Croatian freshman Josip Mikulic put up a 3. (He actually made two of the seven he put up en route to a 12-point debut and MAAC Rookie of the Week honors, although I'd suggest spending more time closer to the rim when you have a four-inch height advantage over everyone on the other team.) But there were no complaints.
I'm looking forward to crossing paths with @hickorypfences
again and hope to add to my ledger of Mid Majority meet-ups throughout the season. It's one of the reasons we all do this, I hope.
Oh, and since most preseason tournaments are built award giving out awards, I have a few of my own to hand out from this game.Best Mascot:
Lucas the ... reindeer? Best Student Section:
CCSU. For a non-home game, the Blue Devils' faithful had a solid turnout, even arriving early to take in the end of the Yale-Sacred Heart game. They were loud; had light-up blue devil horns, which amused me; and a Big Head of Kyle Vinares, who came through for his fans with a team-high 18 points in a losing effort.
Not to take away anything from the Fairfield fans, who were vocal in their own right. The Stags also have a vocal pep band that does not take criticism lightly -- as indicated by the late-night tweet telling me "Don't hate."Time-and-a-half Award:
Apparently I'm destined to lead teams to overtime
, as two of the three games in the Connecticut 6 went to extra time. I may need to budget more time in my games schedule.Best Organizers:
I want to recognize the people who set up the Connecticut 6, just because they didn't hold the event on a boat.
Oh, the third thing I want to achieve as a member of #TMM9
: to become a better writer and storyteller. I'll have to get back to you on how that goes. FAIRFIELD 64, CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 63
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 0-1 (0-0) -- M. Hunter 5-12 5-5 16; A. Burbage 4-8 0-0 12; K. Vinales 8-23 0-1 18; M. McMillan 2-5 1-2 5; J. Efese 3-7 4-4 10; K. Cumberlander 0-1 2-2 2; T. Allen 0-1 0-0 0; B. Peel 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-59 12-14 63.
FAIRFIELD 1-0 (0-0) -- D. Needham 7-14 1-2 18; K. Matthews 6-14 3-4 15; C. Nickerson 2-4 4-4 10; M. Barrow 3-7 1-2 7; J. Mikulic 5-11 0-0 12; D. Wade 0-2 0-0 0; A. Sidibe 1-2 0-0 2; M. Gilbert 0-1 0-0 0; J. Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-55 9-12 64.
Three-point goals: CCT 7-16 (A. Burbage 4-6; K. Vinales 2-7; M. McMillan 0-1; K. Cumberlander 0-1; M. Hunter 1-1), FAIR 7-18 (D. Needham 3-8; C. Nickerson 2-3; J. Mikulic 2-7); Rebounds: CCT 27 (J. Efese 8), FAIR 38 (D. Needham 8); Assists: CCT 9 (M. McMillan 4), FAIR 16 (D. Wade 4); Total Fouls -- CCT 13, FAIR 16; Fouled Out: CCT-M. McMillan; FAIR-M. Barrow.