Great job by the Daily Orange today doing an oral history of Gerry McNamara's epic run through the 2006 Big East Tournament. They spoke with players, coaches, family and other people who were there or watched. Ten years later, it still stands as a testament to just how good Gerry was and what a special time that was. Also, let's hope, it reminds this year's squad what's possible.
Here's five specific parts that caught my attention and I thought deserved some extra notice.
What it was like on the other side of Gerry's huge three vs. Cincinnati
Hicks: I was just like, ‘Why didn’t you listen to the coach?’ and Ced was like, ‘Uh my bad.’ And everybody on the team looked like, ‘Why did you do that?’ The locker room, he was so quiet. Cedric McGowan was by himself.
McGowan: I was devastated.
How Gerry's teammates felt about "Not ten fucking games."
Terrence Roberts: We would’ve probably won just as many games as we won without Gerry if other people just step up. Funny and a little frustrating because it was kind of like a slap in the face. Kind of like him saying I don’t believe these other guys could’ve got it done without this one guy.
Roberts later has high praise for Gerry and clearly holds no ill will. I think this was meant as an answer to "how did it feel in the moment," which was totally understandible.
On UConn's apparant lacksadaisical attitude before the game.
Ross DiLiegro, Syracuse walk-on: I remember seeing (UConn starter) Marcus Williams eating potato chips sitting on the scorer’s table before the game while we were out there stretching as a team.
Mike Hopkins: They’re sitting over there, Rudy Gay, they’re eating like granola bars and laughing and we’re working.
Kip Wellman: We just kept looking down and the Connecticut guys were just sitting on the scorer’s table eating, some of them didn’t have their shoes tied. As soon as that started spreading through the team and into the locker room, we knew it was on. They didn’t. They didn’t have a clue.
Realizing how much we missed out on before social media.
Jake Presutti: I just remember the famous Gerry ice bath. We were staying in the East Side Marriott … I went to his room and he was just sitting … and I walk in and this guy is just sitting in this tub of ice. What I remember is our trainer Brad Pike having to take four, five, six trips to the ice machine.
Mike Hopkins: I remember going up there … if Twitter was there I would’ve had Twitter all over it, it would’ve been Instagrammed.
How that run literally united Syracuse's past and present.
Mike Hopkins: To see a guy with that much heart, that much soul, willing to put himself, his body, on the line, by the end of the game I mean he was playing on fumes.
I remember going back in the locker room and there was like Lawrence Moten and Billy Owens and Derrick Coleman, and they were all there and those guys bring the swagger. Pitt was in the hallway because they were going to play the next game for who played us.
Todd Burach: It was the Mount Rushmore of Syracuse basketball just going nuts in our locker room.
Go read the whole thing here.