Basketball season is here. And I am not ashamed to admit that I feel in no way, shape or form prepared.
Racer basketball brings life to Murray for four months of the year, although some might say it provides a shining beacon of hope for us all year long.
Here I am with the task of covering one of the hugest forms of entertainment and sources of income for the University. No pressure, right?
I feel lots of pressure. The season completely snuck up on me.
It feels like just yesterday the football team was kicking off for the first time in 2014 against Union College on that warm Thursday night. It was just three months ago that I watched a football game from a press box for the very first time, yet somehow last week I found myself sitting courtside with the local media for Racer Mania, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as CFSB came back to life for the first time since the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Soon, I will write about the best tradition in basketball this season. I’ll be the one filling in students with weekly stories and live tweets.
Me, the girl who hasn’t played basketball since seventh grade. The girl who admittedly doesn’t watch or know enough about college basketball.
Oh, and I can’t forget that our men are ranked No. 1 in the conference. Or that Cameron Payne is the OVC Preseason Player of the Year and on the 2015 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List.
Needless to say, I’m a little nervous. But I’m also excited. More than excited, really. And you should be excited, too.
This year’s team has unreal amounts of potential. While I can talk about it in my column, I promise to put the fan in me to the side and cover the team in a fair manner all season long.
With Payne leading the team at point and seasoned veterans T.J. Sapp and Jarvis Williams holding down the court, there’s no limit to what these guys will accomplish. And we get to follow along and grow with them throughout the whole journey.
If you missed the CIT last year, I feel so sorry for you. If you were lucky enough to experience the team’s run in 2011-12, I’m extremely jealous of you. If the thought of this season doesn’t bring joy to your hearts, you go to the wrong school.
Basketball is the essence of athletics here, and believe it or not, the reason many students choose to attend Murray State. We’ve been named the 52nd best program of all time, we’re ranked by ESPN as the 30th best program in the country, and we’ve had five-straight 20-win seasons and 27-straight winning seasons.
I have so many feels about this season. This column makes that painfully obvious. Like I said, I’m both nervous and excited. But something else underlies all of it.
When I watch the men’s team practice or even see the way they connect with each other in front of the media during interviews, I see greatness. I might be wrong, but I think they’ll find huge success this season. And I’ll be courtside the whole time, doing my best to make sure you feel like you’re right there with me.
So bear with me as we start this season together. I may be just a journalist with a fan suppressed on the inside, but I see big things coming.
Column by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor