University Of Maryland Men’s Basketball

Jersey Checks

First things first… New Tilted Bench logO!

tilted bench logo.jpeg

After an 80 minute warm-up, some dunk attempts, a whole lot of trey balls (Reference Section) that put my PPW (Reference Section again) through the roof, and then sitting for 2 hours watching - it is tougher than you think to go in and play the last 4 minutes of the game. Right around the 12 minute mark in the second half, the “Put in Tuh-Rell” chants start up in the crowd (and it’s not Tuh-Rell by the way, people... it is Tear-Ol. Like tear a piece of paper and OL like the Olson Twins).

Anyways, let’s get back on track. So at about the 12 minute mark, we start getting the “Terrell” chants. I have had a lot of people ask me if that is weird or a bad thing... Absolutely not. Start putting the heat on Turge early. Let him know what the people want to see. Anthony, Bruno, and those guys are all fun to watch for a while, but what is better than the white kid coming in with no regard for life, just trying to make something happen late while up 30. Also, let the record show that I have never lost a game that I’ve played in. I will get the stat on what my record is, but the bottom line is that I’ve never played in a losing game. Boom baby.

Two things happen at the 12 minute mark when people starting yelling. One - I must consume all snacks and gum that I brought to the bench. I get hungry sitting there, so I always have pretzels, animal crackers, cheez its, etc. In warmups if you are ever in the stands and need any gum, I am literally stacked with packs of it in my socks at all times. Second - this is also about the time I do my first ‘jersey check’ of the game. A jersey check is for the guys that do not take off their warm-ups. For me, it’s a 50/50 chance that I put my jersey on in the first half under the warm-up. There have been a few times that I have forgotten to throw the jersey on and didn’t realize until late in the second half, but, was saved by the jersey check. Simply put, a jersey check is a quick glance under the warm-up just to make sure you threw the game jersey on.

Let’s talk about when this originated… I forgot my jersey my freshman year. The whole game I had nothing on underneath my warm-up and we were up 10-15 points the whole game. Being up 10-15 is limbo for me. We either go on a run and go up by 20+ and I surely go in the game, or we stay the same and I don’t. Needless to say, I was freaking out when I realized I didn’t have my jersey on. I ended up sprinting to the locker room at the Under 4 and threw it on, and thank God I did because I ended up playing the last 45 seconds. Could you imagine??? Turgeon would have just given me the look and I would have taken a walk to the locker room without hesitation. But honestly if that did end up happening I don’t see him getting that mad at me. Stories later on will prove his tolerance with me doing stupid stuff. However, that very moment is when jersey checks became a regular thing (I average 5 or 6 jersey checks a game).

Once you have secured and come to terms with the fact that you are wearing your jersey, you need some big plays on the court so that you have an excuse to stand up on the bench. Standing up after big plays is my stretching process. Never, and I repeat NEVER will I sit there and actually stretch before going out on the court. Not in 1,000,000 years. But I will stand up, hit a few fist pounds, towel wave to loosen the shoulders, and then occasionally jog to half court at media timeouts to shake some the ice off.

Now, when Turgeon starts walking down the bench, the number one rule we have in the South Pole (Reference Section) is to NEVER look the man in the eyes. Trust me, it gets weird. The thought process typically looks something like this: “I know you aren’t going to put me in until the final 2 minutes, up 30, but I hit a couple shots this week in practice... so maybe he’ll throw me out there early.” (The answer is always no by the way. He will not call my name early). But still, I will never make eye contact with the big dog until under the last 4 minute media timeout.

When he finally does call my name for the glorious last run of a game, I have a couple thoughts in my head while walking to the scores table…

  1. Don’t pull a hammy.

  2. Don’t get put on an island (Reference Section! If you don’t know what an Island is, you won’t understand the next story).

  3. THEY ARE GOING TO FULL COURT PRESS YOU.

  4. I should have used the bathroom at half time.

  5. Let’s rock and roll.

Quick Side Story about being stuck on an island: My freshman year of high school basketball in Indiana (the best high school basketball state in the USA I might add) I played against Yogi Ferrell (Mr. Basketball in Indiana and future NBA player) who went to one of the high schools down the street. He played on the same team as Trevon Bluiett (another NBA player). In the middle of the game I got put on a switch and ended up on Yogi, and the ENTIRE gym (a couple thousand) started yelling “Island! HE CAN’T GUARD YOU. HE CANNOT GUARD YOU.” Even my mom was yelling “ISLAND WORK”... Needless to say, they cleared a whole side. My helpside defense might as well have been in Italy, cause he just played with me on the right wing. Cross, cross, behind, between, in and out … The typical island work. I felt like Wee Man out there getting shot with paintballs the way everyone was yelling... Video below.

Once you get out there, all you hear the whole time is “Shoot!” “Shoooooot!!!!!” I could have just gotten a defensive rebound, yet everyone is already telling me to shoot. You honestly feel a little like the fat kid coming into a 4th grade C team game for the final 5 seconds to make an uncontested layup when everyone claps and makes him feel like he is on the team. However, I do love the role I have on this team and I wouldn’t change it... Except to maybe be a starter and the best player on the court. But you know, there are only so many of those.

Another Quick Side Story before I go: 4 years ago we were playing Rutgers at the Crib (Reference Section). The Rutgers Coach pulled out all of his starters and put in his bench players (they were losing by 25+). Coach Turgeon sees this and does the unthinkable... puts us in way ahead of schedule for the final stretch of the game. I’m talking like 3:45 on the clock. Out of nowhere there was a loose ball that went out of bounds,. I hear the horn and see Corey Sanders and co. started checking back in (Rutgers starters and best players at the time). They went full court kamikaze press like you couldn’t even imagine. At one point I thought one of our own cheerleaders was guarding me because those dudes were everywhere. Corey Sanders was pinching my sides, grabbing my hands, yelling “He don’t want it! He don’t want it!” And I sat there thinking “Well no shit, Corey. Who the f*ck would want to be stuck in a corner getting sandwiched by a 6’7 and a 6’4??”  Don’t worry though, I split that double team, dribbled across half court, and watched that time drop ever so slowly as I counted my trillions. To this day I remember Corey walking past me as time expired, thinking “Yeah, that’s 4 trillion. F*cker.”

P.S. New stat to keep track of after this week: Bench Warnings. As a mob we have gotten 5 through 3 games so far - exceeding any other bench in the country, I promise you that. We are putting the over/under at 30 this season. You aren’t really a bench warrior unless you get all types of bench warnings.

P.S.S. What do you think of the new logo?

Anyway, enjoy your day friends. But first, pass me the towel buddy, it’s cold down here.

xo Andrew


Reference Section:

Trey Ball - Three pointer. But a better way to say it. “Billy just made a three pointer” …Or “He just buried a trey ball in his f*cking eye” …Got the difference? Good.

PPW - Points Per Warmup. I count how many buckets I get in warmups and I lead the country with just over 90 PPW. I live for PPW.

South Pole - The very end of the bench. It is cold down there, that is why everyone has warmups on.

Crib - Home court.

Island - When they clear an entire side of the court and you’re in a 1 on 1 situation with that other guy. Note that everyone will be screaming “Take him!!” “He can’t guard you!” and things of that nature.

Season Update:

Monday night we opened up at home in the X Center against Delaware … We played 28 really good minutes stretching the lead well above 20 and then let up. With so many new guys it is tough to put 40 straight minutes together this early in the season. I would also like to say that it was not a 6 point game. We manhandled them nearly the entire time and regardless we came out 1 and 0.

Friday night we played Navy after a long day touring at the Naval Academy. It was awesome, first off. Those guys are absolutely dogs, so much respect for what they do. And the game was just what we needed. The veterans classic is rarely a blow out and we did just that. Everyone played well in the second half and we showed what our defense can actually do when we turn up the heat a little. Side note - all of the “fans” that just yell at us to stop shooting and pass the ball inside blah blah blah … you don’t help anyone. For example, this guy was yelling the ENTIRE game “throw the ball inside, you guys suck, this is awful.” and he had a sweatshirt with Maryland across his chest. Anthony hit a dagger three to go up 12 and the dude didn’t even clap. If you call yourself a fan of Maryland, be a fan just cheer for us, don’t boo and all that. That isn’t a fan. And like that guy - you end up just looking stupid.

Last night we put a stomping on NC A&T. Those guys were good too. They almost beat UNC Greensboro who went to the tourney last year and almost beat Gonzaga (UNC returned all 5 starters by the way) and almost beat Wake Forest at Wake. Lost to UNCG by 9 and Wake by 12. That was a convincing win for 40 minutes. We are so close. Just wait. Keep cheering, don’t become that guy booing and stuff. We are going to prove a lot of people wrong this year, but more than that, we hope we prove the real fans right.

Terrell Trillion Tracker

4. I got a minute of time yesterday. I promise you this… I will fire until I cannot fire anymore on my last game of the year. I’m talking 20 shots in 2 minutes.

How I felt out on my island…. Wee-Man's 'the Human Cheetah' from Jackass 3.5..

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Thankful

"The Shot"