Game #9-195: South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Manhattan JaspersDecember 22, 2012 5:30 pm
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Between the first and second games of the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational, I committed two egregious violations that went undetected by the Barclays Center staff. Or maybe, they were just being sympathetic.
First, being very hungry on my Saturday odyssey in the City, I ate some smuggled Fig Newtons. I actually wanted something a little more substantive, but then I got to this:
Alas, the Carvery wasn't open, either. I shudder to think what the prices were there.
The second violation was to upgrade my seat. Gary Moore, who with this mention sets a new Mid-majority record I believe, was sitting in Section 26 and invited me down. Problem is, the Barclays Center - not unlike the Mohegan Sun - seemed to have almost as many security guards
as patrons Saturday afternoon, and my first attempt to make it to Section 26 was rebuffed.
When I tried 10 minutes later, following another group down, I made it to freedom, I mean Section 26.
Look, I don't want to start ripping on a facility that's only months old, and we know they didn't make the Barclays Center with anything resembling the Mid-majority in mind. Surely, there are probably people that pay these exorbitant prices for things every night the Brooklyn Nets
are home, and at most concerts that sell the place out, but for the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational, featuring Hofstra, Manhattan, and LIU Brooklyn, you'd think common sense might prevail.
For the first game, my $25 ticket (cheapest available) put me in a section with some other locals that also weren't all that pleased about the price. We know we hate black curtains, they are somewhat understandable under the circumstances, but with the number of empty seats, the number of people that probably can't afford great seats for Nets games, and the fact that there are three local teams playing, wouldn't it make sense to lower the price just a little to try to fill the place a little more? Or a lot? I'm delusional, I know.
Anyway, it was a dream doubleheader for Gary, who used to work for Hofstra before recently taking a job at the University of
South Carolina, who just so happened to be playing in the second game against Manhattan. As such, he had plenty of insight on the Gamecocks, who are led by former Kansas St. coach Frank Martin, known for his intensity
. On the opposing bench was Steve Masiello, known for his brashness
Yet both were somewhat subdued for the majority of the contests, maybe it was the surroundings of the Barclays Center, maybe it was a bit of humble pie of sorts. The Jaspers came in at 3-6 and were still without leading scorer George Beamon, while the Gamecocks were a much healthier 7-3, but that included a beatdown the last time they were in New York to St. John's and a home loss to Elon.
(We got to learn a new rule early in the game as well. Manhattan was mysteriously charged with a time out without anyone going to the bench or anyone actually calling it. It took a while, but we got the explanation. It turns out that if a coach thinks that an opposing player committed a flagrant foul that went undetected by the officials, they can ask the referees to review it on the videotape. But, as in football, if the replay shows nothing, the coach that asked it to be looked at is charged with a time out.
It led to an interesting sequence a minute later where Manhattan scrambled to get a loose ball and two players called time out only to have Masiello be incredulous because it was the third in the first 10 minutes for the Jaspers and he didn't ask for it. There was a time, Steve, when coaches couldn't call time outs at all. But I digress.)
South Carolina immediately raced to an 11-3 lead, but Manhattan battled back and the hot shooting of Shane Richards gave them the lead, back-to-back superhoops doing the trick. Masiello did get into it when his team was on defense, trying to get his zone to be more active and get hands on balls, just like his mentor Rick Pitino did at Kentucky (and now at Louisville).
Problem was, they were horribly outsized and when Brian Richardson answered Richards with consecutive #superhoops, South Carolina took a 36-30 lead at the half. Even though the Jaspers were being outrebounded 23-9, it was still a marked improvement from when I saw them six days earlier across the street.
The Jaspers kept battling early in the second half, a 10-0 run that involved another Richards superhoop and some much-needed inside work from Roberto Colonette put the Jaspers up 41-38 with 14 minutes left, and gave me hope that I might see at least one Red Line upset in this tripleheader.
But two Manhattan fouls in 20 seconds was followed by what seemed like a quick technical foul on Masiello, and the Gamecocks were suddenly up four. Manhattan battled the rest of the way, but never truly recovered. Down 59-48 with 4:45 left (you can tell by the score that Masiello's biggest problem without Beamon has been scoring points), the Jaspers slowly began to chip away, and what crowd there was tried to help them.
Richards and Mohamed Koita connected on superhoops and Manhattan had the ball down 61-57 with a minute left, but a turnover (and steal by Brenton Williams, who played well for South Carolina) sealed their fate.
The final result probably didn't make either coach terribly happy. Masiello at least could see his team fight until the end without their best player, although I'm sure the 3-7 record (with Columbia and Stony Brook left before conference play resumes) is something no one involved with Manhattan wants to look at for very long. Martin can be happier with his mark, but beating a hobbled MAAC team (although the Gamecocks weren't at 100 percent either) by six doesn't inspire too much confidence heading into the SEC schedule.
Gary was leaving, so I wished him well and thanked him for the company and basketball talk, and then left Section 26 not to return. At least on this day. But by the time the Atlantic-10 Tournament rolls around in a few months, I'll have devised a good scheme to get down to some of the empty lower level seats for the early rounds.
In fact, if you've got any good ideas, pass them along.
SOUTH CAROLINA 63, MANHATTAN 57
SOUTH CAROLINA 8-3 (0-0) -- D. Harper 4-8 5-6 13; B. Williams 5-11 4-5 17; L. Jackson 4-5 1-2 9; E. Smith 1-5 1-1 3; M. Carrera 4-7 4-6 13; B. Richardson 3-13 4-5 12; R. Slawson 2-4 3-6 7; M. Kacinas 0-1 0-0 0; D. Leonard 0-2 0-0 0; L. Chatkevicius 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 20-49 17-25 63.
MANHATTAN 3-7 (1-1) -- R. Brown 4-5 2-10 10; E. Andujar 2-3 0-0 4; S. Richards 6-12 0-0 18; D. Kates 2-8 8-10 13; R. Stores 0-5 0-0 0; M. Alvarado 0-3 0-0 0; M. Koita 2-4 0-0 5; R. Colonette 2-2 1-2 5; C. Jones 0-2 2-2 2; R. McCoy 0-1 0-0 0; A. Lacey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-45 13-24 57.
Three-point goals: SC 6-20 (B. Richardson 2-7; E. Smith 0-3; D. Leonard 0-1; B. Williams 3-8; M. Carrera 1-1), MAN 8-24 (M. Koita 1-2; M. Alvarado 0-1; E. Andujar 0-1; D. Kates 1-5; R. McCoy 0-1; R. Stores 0-2; C. Jones 0-1; S. Richards 6-11); Rebounds: SC 31 (L. Jackson 11), MAN 21 (R. Brown 9); Assists: SC 10 (L. Jackson 3), MAN 16 (M. Alvarado 6); Total Fouls -- SC 19, MAN 21; Fouled Out: SC-None; MAN-R. Brown.
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