DONNIE MARSH - Men's Basketball

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February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day! Now we can finally talk about the most anticipated game of the season to date. The game on Saturday versus Memphis at Bartow Arena sets up to be very important for both teams. With Memphis' win last night over Houston and our victories over UTEP last Saturday and Rice last night, we find ourselves in a tie for 2nd place in the league. A win on Saturday night would extend our home winning streak to 12 and would pull us within one game of first place. It would also give us a signature win over the number 1 team in the country. That could be significant as the season progresses. I know it has been hard for our guys to remain completely focused on the games leading up to this one. Against Rice we "escaped" with a nine (9) point win that was truly a struggle. We played without Robert Vaden who was nursing an injury. We made the decision following warm-ups that Robert would not play. It was our feeling that we could get through the game without him because the focus would be on the defensive end. If we could create enough pressure to turn the Owls over - they average 20+ turnovers per game - we could score from our defense. It proved harder to do than we anticipated and with a sub par performance from a couple of guys we count on it was made even more difficult. Our depth proved to be crucial as down the stretch we had several guys make plays to seal the win. In the first half Ed Berrios carried the load with five (5) threes. We did just enough to come away with a very important victory.

Last Saturday we extended our home game winning streak to 11 by beating a tough & talented UTEP team. I wanted to commend everyone who attended the game as the announced crowd of 5949 sounded like about 7,000! It was an impressive atmosphere but I am sure this coming Saturday night's crowd will top it. Thanks to everyone for creating an atmosphere that helped our guys get it done. We're counting on you to exceed that against Memphis! As we all know by now the game is a sellout!

17-7; 7-2 looks good, but we have work left to do. Consecutive home games against the two teams at the top of the standings along with, us give us a chance to make a huge statement. We need you to help us make that statement. Let them know that the best home court environment in the league is Bartow Arena! See you Saturday!


Donnie Marsh
Assistant Head Coach

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