Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday (#2) - Jon Prins

Hey Panther fans, today was an exciting day for Davenport men’s basketball team. We started off the day with a little fun at the indoor water park that is right down the road from our hotel. After that we went back and had this amazing BBQ ready for us to eat, cooked by our wonderful host Doug and Cassie. Once we got done eating we had practice at the College of the Ozarks for an hour and went over some of Oregon Tech plays and what they do well. After practice we went back to our hotel to get cleaned up for a final four banquet putt on by NAIA. The banquet was outstanding in every way starting with the food to the incredible lodge. Today was a great day to be a Panther!

DD found a comfortable spot :)

The Fab Four banquet was held at the Big Cedar Lodge...the boys were checking out the gorgeous view.

A new banner to bring home...the boys have another one in mind, though.

The Secret Behind Every Great Coach

Head Coach Burt Paddock's wife Carrie gives us an inside look into her role as coach's wife.

The Secret Behind Every Great Coach…is the Wife!
I wish I could say I didn’t know what I was getting into when I married a Coach, but coming from a basketball family myself, I did.  My dad is a retired HS girl’s basketball coach and my uncle was an assistant at Purdue.  I still blame my mom for letting me go through with the marriage.  (She REALLY knew!)
My husband and I have 2 girls, Hannah and Rylee, but our family doesn’t stop there.  We have graduated players, current players and their families that we consider “our family”.  It’s hard not to welcome them into our family.  They are all amazing individuals with different stories.  It’s hard to believe we have been part of the program for four years! Most of our seniors this year were freshman (our babies), which makes this year even harder to let them go! When we were offered the position at Davenport (I say “we” because it’s always a family decision and when we don’t have to pick up and move the decision becomes easier!).  We brought James Nelson with us from Grand Valley.  We were so excited to bring him along, but with that came high expectations from James.  It didn’t matter what happened on the court it was always James’ fault.  I was definitely on James’ side and I would get on my husband for being so hard on him!  Lonnie was recruited by the previous staff, but there was something my husband saw in him but I have to say I wasn’t so sure of the little fella. (Sorry Lonnie) I would be on the edge of my seat worrying about how he would survive out there. Now my attitude has turned a complete 360, I get mad when he takes him out!  He bewilders me with his quickness and his ability to drive to the basket!  We wouldn’t be here in the final four without him.  Then there is Hump…our quiet one but wears his emotions on his sleeve! I just want to hug him every time he gets down on himself! He is so talented and has brought so many things to the team.  Our last senior Mace, I am so sad but ever so grateful to have him on our team for a year.  (Our 3 year old has become obsessed with him.)  I tell him often that I am so glad he is finally wearing the right uniform!  All the players are remarkable and always acknowledge the girls and me with a hug, high five or knuckles win or lose.  We really appreciate that more than they know!
I was asked to include in this blog about what our game day looks like at our house and specific duties I have as The Wife.  Well, game day preparations start way in advance.  I have to scout out the closet and drawers to make sure all his game day gear is ready to go.  My husband is VERY superstitious and he has his favorite game day undergarments that must be ready!  Also, I need to plan ahead so his shirts and pants are done at the cleaners on time.  (This full-time working mom of two doesn’t do ironing!)  He better not make me mad because I might add a little more starch to his shirts!  Then I pick out the outfit and get the clearance from him, of course.  Right now, he won’t wear chocolate brown, lost in that to Cornerstone.  All of those shirts are at the end of the rack and won’t see them until next year.  If they are lost in again the following year, I take them to Goodwill!   I don’t even try!  The outfit has to be all on one hanger, he never can get the pants over the hanger correctly!  As he is getting ready, I do a lot of listening and make sure everything that comes out of my mouth is worded just right (it’s a little tense).  We stay positive and focused!  Our “routine” has been the same since we have been down in Branson, but I have more opportunities to put a motherly/female perspective in the mix of things.  A lot of times I get shot down, but every once in a while I have a good idea! ;)
Lastly, I send him off with a “Good Luck, I love you and stay focused on your team!” The rest is up to him…..but I will be there cheering him and the team all the way!

Food, Food, & More Food

The boys certainly have not gone without since being in Branson.  They have been eating very well, whether it's an Italian restaurant or homecooking from one of our honorary coaches - Mrs. Foreman.  Here's some pics from a few of the meals.

Honorary Coaches - The Foremans - have provided a lot of meals for the team and their families.

Reaching the Fab Four - Lonnie Fairfax

With a 68-54 win over Cardinal Stritch on Saturday, Davenport reached the NAIA National Tournament Fab Four for the first time in program history.  Senior Lonnie Fairfax shares his thoughts on reaching this point in the tournament.

Being in the final four means a lot.  At the beginning of every year, all teams make goals to get to this point and even further.  We set those goals and are accomplishing them so far.  Looking back at last year, the feelings were completely different at this point.  We were preparing to head back to Michigan, but this year we get to be a part of the FAB four banquet that is held every year for the final 4 teams left.  We also know that being a part of the final 4 teams is a very big deal, but that wasn’t our initial goal from the start so we still have more work to get done.  We can’t be complacent with just making it here.

The team plays their semifinal game on Monday at 9:00 p.m. EST against #2 Oregon Tech.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Typical Day

The boys have had a similar schedule each day.  They wake up around 8:30 for breakfast and then head to the gym around 9:20.  They get about an hour at a local school for drills, shooting, and walk throughs.  After that comes lunch.  After lunch they will have study time.  Later in the afternoon they will be able to unwind with naps or video games before dinner.  On game days they will watch film and go over the scouting report.  Pasta has been the food of choice for their pregame meals.  They then head to the gym and get to warm-up during halftime of the game before them.  Once it's game time they get 20 minutes of warm-up before it's go time.  Tonight is round two as the Panthers face IU Southeast!

Wednesday - JaVontae Ford

We just experienced the NAIA Division Two parade at College of the Ozarks. It felt good to be back and just to see all of the sponsors who takes care of each team. Our sponsor is Baymont Inn & Suites, which is ran by the Foreman family. The Foreman family has been so good to us, with making us feel at home and giving us some home cooking each day. We got to see all of the teams who will be or has already participated in the 2012 national tournament. Right before participating in the parade and we also had the chance to watch a WHAC team, Indiana Tech, fall short to St Ambrose and afterwards we watched the hometown team take on #1 Northwood University. Now back at the hotel, the we have a little free time to do whatever and then lights out at 11:30 pm as we have a big day tomorrow. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sponsorship & Parade of Champions

One of the perks of attending the national tournament is that during your stay you have honorary coaches who take care of you during the tournament.  The Davenport team is blessed to be sponsored by Doug & Kassie Foreman for the second year in a row.  They have already spoiled the boys with two wonderful dinners and really take to heart their job as team sponsors.  Below are a few pictures from dinner and the team with the Foreman's along with some shots of the team at the Parade of Champions on Wednesday night.

Learn more about our sponsors here:

Some of the boys enjoying dinner