Sunday, March 22, 2009


I heard a great story in the locker room on Saturday. I'll try and paraphrase it here.

Coach Gary Waters has a notebook that he calls a 'vision book' where he writes down goals, both long term and short term. He showed the book to a potential recruit early last season. The recruit looked at Waters and basically told him that the goals were too lofty. Waters stood by his benchmarks. A week later CSU went out and beat Florida State in OT. The recruit, after finding out the result, explained to his coach that the victory against FSU was in the vision book. The kid must have thought Waters was a basketball prophet.

I liked the story because it shows what kind of a coach and leader Gary Waters is. He believed when very few did. It hit me after the game that this senior class for Cleveland State all bought into coach Waters' vision and built a foundation for future CSU teams. The foundation starts with J'Nathan Bullock. Without #35 there is no HL championship and no NCAA Tournament. George Tandy and Cedric Jackson found CSU after choosing somewhere else first. Chris Moore and his hard word. Renard Fields, the forgotten senior at times, was there through the tough times as well.

When the final buzzer sounded I was already thinking about the emotions that would be spilled out in that tiny little locker room in the corner of American Airlines Arena. I feel like I know the people in that room, even though I don't. I took some video but it's not really worth posting. There were no national writers in the room. All the video cameras and journalists were 20 feet down the hallway in another locker room. When asked about his altercation with Cedric Jackson, Chase Budinger couldn't remember his name or number.

We'll remember the ride that CSU took us on. How they thoroughly pounded a team that was ranked number one in the country. And how they let us hang out with them for the tail end of their incredible journey. Thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to CSU. I'm a die hard Butler fan, but I'm very proud of CSU for getting a W in the NCCAT when we fell short, let alone against Wake.