Doin’ The Charleston: Bill Rohland
Throughout the men’s basketball team’s trip to the ESPN Charleston Classic, the GoMason Blog will feature entries from a variety of Patriots who have traveled with the team to the Palmetto State. And to set the scene for the trip, there’s no better person to turn to than the voice of the Patriots himself, radio play-by-play announcer Bill Rohland.
As the Patriots prepare to play in this year’s edition of the Charleston Classic, many of us will be passing along our experiences of the trip on the blog. I pulled the short straw, so I get to give our first impression of being in Charleston, South Carolina.
One of the best perks of working with the Mason men’s basketball team is getting to travel to different areas of the country, and specifically to different college campuses. Just today, I am able to add two more schools to the list of over 100 colleges I’ve been to with Mason as the Patriots did their shoot around at College of Charleston and then practiced at the Citadel.
The Citadel is an interesting campus, with nearly every building have the same design and look. Some of the players commented on the “castle” look of the buildings and the military uniforms of the students walking around campus. The Citadel has a great place to play their games. A field house style gym with seats right on top of the floor and I’m told it gets crazy loud for games, which makes sense, because attendance is basically mandatory for students.
The guys have looked good during the shoot around at College of Charleston and practice at the Citadel. Lots of good work getting done and even Sherrod Wright, who is out after shoulder surgery, put up easily over 100 shots during shoot around (and yes…the jumper looks great).
Coach Larranaga was able to spend a little time catching up with legendary College of Charleston coach John Kresse after the team’s shoot around this afternoon. Kresse took the Cougars from NAIA to Division I during his 23 year career and won 560 games during that time, including the 1983 NAIA National Title. Coach Kresse is a class act, making sure to shake hands with everyone before talking with Coach L.
Thursday’s game will be a good challenge for Mason starting out this tournament. Charlotte is a solid A-10 program (one of four A-10 teams Mason has on the schedule this year) and will be bigger in the post than Harvard was in the first game of the season. Their guards will be quick and not afraid to shoot the 3, as evidence of their 56 attempts in the first two games of the year. I’m looking forward to the match between two of the quicker guards in this tournament, the 49ers Jamar Briscoe and Mason’s Andre Cornelius. Andre might have a little extra motivation playing the college from his hometown of Charlotte. Tip off is scheduled for 8:30 Thursday and you can watch the game on MASN or listen online on gomason.com.