April 1, 2010

NCDS: Matthew Graves, Asst. Coach - Butler ("Final Four - Superstitions and Collecting Pins")

By: Matthew Graves, Asst. Coach - Butler

"A Few Superstitions and Collecting Pins"

As I was thinking about something to write on our journey to the Final Four, I wondered what the players would take from the experience or better yet did they develop any superstitions along the way. I decided to send them a text and simply wrote "text me one memory or superstition that you have carried through during the NCAA tournament on or off the court."

For the next hour, I was entertained with the array of messages they sent back to me --obviously some predictable but others very humorous to disturbing.  Here are some of the responses that I received:

1. Grant - Not only eating at same restaurant but ordering same food before each game (note almost every player & coach did this)

2. Matt - Listening to Freshman Andrew Smith sing the same song over and over.

3. Shelvin - Playing 2k10 before every game

4. Willie - Wears the same pair of shorts underneath his game shorts every game.

5. Ron - Wears the same shorts, socks, shirt for shoot-around and game.

6. Zach - Has not shaved since playing in the conference tournament

7. Gordon - Gets drink of water and towel from our head manager (Eric) before every game and no one else.

8. Nick - Ties his shoes during warm-ups and chews one piece of gum only in 1st half 

9. Chase - During timeouts Nick makes me get the White chair and put it up everytime.

10. Emerson - Celebrating with Coach Stevens by doing the Chest Bump after every win. (Yes, Emerson is still claiming he jumps higher than Coach)

11. Joe Gentry (Radio Guy) - He and I have taken turns getting each other fountain Mountain Dew's during the tournament.

In addition, one of the items that we as a coaching staff have cherished is the game pins that you get for each round of tournament play. For those of you that don't know what I mean, look at all the coaches' suits in the game and they will be wearing a pin that allows them access to the game. We always look forward to getting those pins (I have mine in a display case at my house all the way back from 1997 as a player).

Well, it's time to get going. We are heading to Lucas Oil Stadium for the Thursday closed practice. It has been an unbelievable ride that will make lasting memories for all of us.

Here is to a few more days of superstitions and the coaches being able to collect just one more pin!!

Thanks to all of you coaches who have sent text and emails of congratulations. They are very much appreciated!!!

Go BULLDOGS!

Matthew

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