It’s official… We’re making moves, people! I’d like to start by saying thank you all for coming back week after week and supporting the kid, it means a lot! I’m excited to let you all know that next week I am going to have my first round of tshirts made. If you are down for that and would like to buy, you MUST fill out the form below or on the “Merch” tab in the sidebar. Once you fill out the form, I’ll reach out with more information about the designs, etc. I also want to talk to those of you who are interested in towels and other forms of merchandise as well. Works? Beautiful.
Game day. Everyone has a different way of preparing and getting ready for a game. In all of my years of playing basketball, I’ve never met two people who get ready the same way or who have the same game day rituals and superstitions.
I always joke that I haven’t been nervous before a game in my 4 years of being here. I simply do not have a reason to. The best part of my gameday comes before we even walk onto the floor. After shootaround (about 5 hours before the game) we have our pregame meal as a team and then everyone goes their separate ways to prepare for the game. Like I mentioned above though, everyone does this differently. For instance, Coach Turgeon does the EXACT same thing every single game day. He cannot kiss his wife the day of a game, he has a cup of ice water in the car, he walks the exact same path, and he has his pregame sheets of paper in the exact same order. EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. The man is as superstitious as they come. Pretty nuts right? He isn’t the only one… Almost all of us are superstitious. You have guys like Stix, Ivan, Bruno, and Darryl who take naps in the lounge, then you have psychos like Anthony that can’t sleep and just sit in the locker room for 5 hours straight. Like literally just sits there… in a folding chair... in an upright position. Other guys like Reese go get a lift in, and then you have guys like me…
My routine is simple; I go grab myself a water, a plate of steak and fruit, and a bottle of ketchup, and I head to the hottub. This isn’t like a hot tub in your backyard that gets cool after a little while. No, this thing is cranked up to a solid 105.8 and let me tell you people, it is more than lovely. It’s like being at a 5 star resort on an island... I have a plate of steak with some fruit, a cold bottle of water and I’m just laying there in a jacuzzi. Half the time I’m not even in the water because it gets that hot, simply just laying on the side of the hot tub thinking about what we are going to do during and after the game. After that, I go take my shower, get dressed, and head out to the court for a gunning session in the deep right corner.
Game time is a simple place for me. I simply get to be a fan at a Division 1 basketball game. I get asked all of the time if I like the junk games more than tough games because I know I will get to play... Absolutely not. I hate playing the teams we beat by 50. Those are the legitimate most boring games of all time. And when they occur I make sure I have a snack and meal placed under my chair so I don’t lose my mind in boredom. I am not talking like crackers… No I have a legit steak or pieces of chicken placed under my chair. That turns a miserable game into a decent game. I don’t consider myself a player come gameday, I am a fan. I want to watch good basketball… Now I want us to win by 100 every game. But if you think playing the school of Computer Science blah blah is more fun than playing UVA you are just a nut.
When I get asked the question ‘is it worth it to be a guy who never plays?’ Simple answer - Yes. Extended answer - F*ck yes. You know when you workout and you are by yourself? Yeah, I don’t. Everything we do is together as a team. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that nothing is too difficult when you go through it with your teammates. In that pregame huddle before games, we talk about that. We have battled together already. We have each others backs. In the summertime, we wake up at 7 almost every day. We go to the gym and we absolutely grind. Our strength Coach, Kyle Tarp, puts us through workouts that test who you are as a man and as a team. There is not such thing as quitting. And no I am not talking about running for days or things of that nature, I am talking pushing your body to limits and strengths you didn’t think you had. If I am alone I quit pull-ups at around 12… With my team I can push myself to 20… I can hold a pushup for an hour… I can do things I never thought were possible because I am tested, motivated, and through this program - built for it.
Quick Story about Lifting - We were doing a thing called squat eccentrics (for those who are unfamiliar - check the reference section below). I had around 250 lbs on my shoulders and down holding this thing for 6 seconds. I had a spotter there, of course, but I was absolutely grinding. The secret to the exercise is to create tension throughout your entire body - makes sense, right? (A tight, pumped up ball explodes off the ground faster than a ball with no air in it, yeah I call that tension). So going off of this logic, I was squeezing and tense throughout my entire body, but I didn’t calculate everything correctly on this day. It all started with not allowing myself enough time to change clothes, take my pre-workout dump, and do all of my essentials (reference section) before heading to the weight room. The putting clothes on and doing the essentials are required (at least I think clothes are required…) and if I missed those the whole team would suffer because of me. Therefore, I did what was required and just skipped the dump part... I think we know where this is going... I am holding 250 on my back, creating tension, pushing pushing, and BOOM. I sh*t myself people. Some believed it was premeditated to get myself out of the workout, but I can assure you this was not a planned occurrence. It was a miscalculation that put myself in a very shitty situation (punny). Embarrassed? No chance. I am around these dudes 24 hours a day, no such thing as being embarrassed around them. I was simply confused. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. Everyone was going nuts. I shut the practice down and Kyle called it a day midway thru the lift - making me a hero and a legend that day.
So yeah, that happened. I pride myself on the small things that people will never forget. Most people will certainly never forget about that.
We go home next week for Christmas Break. We get the 23rd - 27th off and I’ll be heading home to Indiana for that stretch of time! It’s going to be excellent. There will be more fortnite played than any human could ever imagine, and of course, I am going to absolutely run Indianapolis for that 4 day period. They might even end up renaming the city after me once I’m done with the place, who knows. If you are in the area and want to have a good time… Shoot me an email.
Other big news! You can also shoot me an email if you are a player somewhere and want to be featured right here on TiltedBench. There’s a ton of stories to go around, and I think it would be pretty cool to feature some other players from around the country or world who want to share some of their experiences. So spread the word! And have your people reach out to me if they’re interested. I am going to have Jaylen Brantley here soon talk about his Running Man challenge days and things like that. This can be a college player tribune almost. So tell your buddies. But first... pass me a towel buddy, it is cold down here.
Eccentric - You are doing Bench, Squat, Military press, Rear Foot Elevated and you go down for 6 seconds… So instead of going down fast it has to be extremely slow and when you get to the bottom at the 6th second you explode up… Unfortunately, I exploded in a variety of ways.
Essentials - Step on the scale, drink your water, take your fish oil pills and calcium pills, and then you get an iPad and click on the human body where you are most sore and explain why. This gives coaches an understanding of where you are that day and what needs to be done to get the most out of you on this day in particular.
Loyola Maryland: I ate steak that day midway through the first half and drank a gatorade with pretzels at around the 12 minute mark in the second half. We won by 23. Our defense was not what it usually is and we allowed those guys to shoot 47% for the game. That is not who we are and that will change this Saturday against Seton Hall.
Terrell Trillion Tracker
Another 3 trillion against Loyola Maryland bringing my total up to 6. That is what was needed. I am well ahead of the field in the race to the belt and I believe this is my year. It has to be.