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The Marty Glickman Classic

December 2, 2001 Columns No Comments

The Marty Glickman Classic: What New York-Area College Basketball Needed

by Adam Shandler

Time-out. First Half.

Fordham Fan: Fordham! (Clap-clap)
St. John’s Fan: Sucks!
Fordham Fan: Fordham! (Clap-clap)
St. John’s Fan: Sucks!

Time-out. Second Half:

St. John’s Fan: Johnnies, baby! Yeah!
Fordham Fan: Safety school!

Saturday, December 1st was a gorgeous, 75-degree day in Manhattan. Gotham’s denizens were out in full force, taking advantage of the uncharacteristically warm day by Rollerblading, chucking Frisbees, and sipping tiny cups of coffee outside of swank corner cafes.

Me? I chose to spend the entire afternoon under Bat Cave darkness at Madison Square Garden.

It was the inaugural Marty Glickman Classic (Yes, the inaugural classic. Fellow oxymorons, unite! You logicians are wincing, I know!). The double-header was created to honor the memory of the late legendary sportscaster who passed on in early 2001. With halftime documentaries played on the Garden’s suspended scoreboard, Mr. Glickman’s memory was indeed honored. But, given all that has happened in the last few months, I saw these games as more of an appreciation of New York-area college basketball.

And its fans.

There’s no doubt that after the tragic events of September 11, New Yorkers of all kinds – color, faith, socio-economic backgrounds‚Ķeven schooling – came together to console one another and celebrate the unity of the city. Frivolous activities like basketball were tossed on the backburner and helping the city recover was the highest priority.

You wouldn’t know it by the lingering stink in the air downtown, but NYC is inching towards normalcy. And somewhere in the tight corners of what we call normalcy, fellow New Yorkers rank on each other, trading unoriginal drunken barbs about how their alma mater/basketball team in Queens is better than the one in the Bronx.

I heard everything short of Nyah-Nyah, Nyah-Nyah.

The civilized man, educated in decency, etiquette and respect might scoff at this infantile, sophomoric behavior. But this is New York, and harmless dissing is welcome amongst opposing fans. In fact, some of it is even evaluated.

Over the past couple of months, the best of New York has publicly announced that it’s “okay”, and that you should be too. Broadway wants you to see shows. Restaurants want you to eat. Stores want you to drop coin. And college basketball wants you to come to the games, where you’re free to rip into your neighbor in the next seat who might be wearing a different colored sweatshirt.

New York college basketball and its fans. It’s good to have you back.

Oh, the games. I almost forgot.

Game 1 featured Colonial contender Hofstra battling last year’s MAAC champion Iona. This game was about as ugly as the girl your friends keep telling you “has a nice personality.” Both clubs combined for a total 45 turnovers (Iona coughed up the ball 23 of those times) and Jeff Ruland’s Gaels shot a nauseating 27% from the field.

Down 25-23 at the half, the Flying Dutchmen (notice how I call them the Dutch. They will ALWAYS be the Dutch!) outscored Iona 44-29 in the second half for a 67-54 win. Guard Rick Apodaca led all scorers with 21 points. The junior from North Bergen also tallied 6 rebounds, 5 assists but it was 12-14 shooting from the line that sealed the deal for Hofstra. Junior point guard Joel Suarez hit two buckets and grabbed one of his two steals to incite the second half charge to victory. Suarez finished with 14 points.

Dyree Wilson led all Iona scorers with 17 points, 8 rebounds.

Hofstra exacted revenge for last year’s 61-60 loss to Iona in New Rochelle.

Unsolicited commentary:

– You could count the number of people in the stands without taking off your socks and shoes. Some fans choose to remove their socks and shoes anyway.

– Iona is off to an 0-and-5 start. They are raw, but they have talent, and if you’re patient they’ll be “good enough” to win the MAAC. That’s the only way I see the Gaels getting a trip to the dance, cause an at-large bid just ain’t gonna happen.

– Hofstra Freshman Kenny Adeleke, the CAA Player of the Week, had 14 points, 8 boards in the win. This kid, who originally signed with DePaul, could be starting by Jan. 1. His strength and fearlessness will certainly be called upon when the Dutchmen face Syracuse at the Dome (December 4, 2001).

In the second, more populated game, St. John’s overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Fordham, 76-67. Guard Marcus Hatten poured in 31 points for the 4-1 Red Storm. Smush Parker led Fordham with 18 points, 7 assists. He also leads all NCAA scorers named Smush.


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