Dr Pepper Classic: Sights and Sounds

December 30th, 2007

-At Wright State’s walk-through today it looked like a hospital on the side-line. There were some crutches on the press table, trainer Tony Ortiz’s medical bag was sitting out on the table and injured player Gavin Horne was also sitting on the table with his ankle in an inflatable boot that was hooked up to what appeared to be a car battery. It is called a Game Ready—Accelerated Recovery Unit device that compresses a sprained ankle to force the swelling out of it. The boot part of it is filled with ice and cold water and the battery provided power to circulate the cold water around the ankle. On the sideline across the court sat John David Gardner who was hit in the eye in the first game and suffered a concussion. His right eye is almost swollen shut. It will be a few days before he plays again.

-Three-quarters of Wright State’s walk-through was spent on defense which is not surprising for a team known for its hard-nosed defense.

-Chattanooga’s walk-through was light running, stretching, shooting and then some light work on defense and offense.

-I asked Chattanooga’s assistant coach Brent Jolly which Wright State player he would take if he could have one and he said Vaughn Duggins because they could use another shooting guard.

-When I asked Wright State assistant coach Mike Winiecki which Chattanooga player he would take if he could have one he said that for his team’s needs he would take reserve player Kevin Goffney for the spark he provides when he comes into the game.

-Chattanooga coach John Shulman sent a case of Dr. Pepper over to Wright State coach Brad Brownell after he complained that he couldn’t get a bottle of Dr. Pepper at the Dr. Pepper Classic. Shulman was teasing Brownell as they passed each other because Brownell did not know if Wright State was a Pepsi or Coke school. For the record, Wright State is a Pepsi school and Shulman is happy that Chattanooga is a Coke school.

-When Brownell was asked what worried him most about the Mocs this was his reply:
“Their size, rebounding and athleticism are problems. They are very good at home; they feed off the crowd and really get after you. They do a lot of things to disrupt you. We have a lot of young kids that are going to be thrown into the fire and we have a little bit of a short bench tonight. It will not be a game that is an easy flow where you can get in and pass the ball around. It will be a game where they are up into you, they are trapping you, and they are forcing you to make decisions. It will be a pretty hostile environment and our kids will be challenged by it. They are a terrific offensive rebounding team. If they can do that and turn you over, those are the two things we have to do a better job against to win.”

-Shulman was asked the same thing and this was his reply:
“They defend, I don’t like playing against teams that defend, and that is what Brad’s do. They probably have about 65 offensive sets and in one day you can’t prepare for all that. They are very methodical about what they do offensively, they do a nice job making free throws and they know how to win games. They beat Butler that is why they are 43rd or 48th in the RPI depending upon who you listen to. To win we need to play our way and our way is fast. I don’t think they want to play fast. We need to make it loud and a little bit crazy and use our athleticism. We need to use our depth and do some neat things on the glass.”