Take the magic and obsession of being the lowest team to get to “Sweet 16” from someone who tried to be the closest. Holding this week in relative isolation for a week in Indianapolis will only help Oral Roberts as he prepares to play in Arkansas.
Michael Fly, now the head coach of the Gulf Coast of Florida, was the assistant of the 2013 “Dunk City” team, which became the number 15, which came out of the first weekend of the tournament.
Eight years later, Fly recalled how, suddenly, the famous new fans jumped in the car; for a week, the media noise suppressed the staff, the players, and finally reached them.
In court, Oral Roberts follows the same path as the FGCU, which infuriated Seed No. 2 (Ohio) and No. 7 (Florida), who played Saturday night against the Razorbacks No. 3.
Off the field և on the eve of the tournament, as a precaution against COVID-19, entry to the Golden Eagles will be limited. They will mostly be in their hotel և practically.
In the case of the FGCU, then-coach Andy Anfield և team came into the limelight in Fort Myers, Florida, Philadelphia’s first և second round և in Arlington, Texas.
“I thought that was the biggest challenge of the whole situation,” Fly recalled on Monday. “I still remember the return. There were hundreds of people standing at the university. I went to work one day, Sports “SportsCenter” was broadcasting from the arena, Այսօր “Today” show և “Good morning America” were there. You could not park anywhere. “People were attacking the bookstore, looking for anything with the FGCU logo.”
Minutes after Oral Roberts’ 81-78 victory over the Gators on Sunday, coach Paul Mills said he was happy his team was in position rather than returning to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a few days.
“The controlled environment, as the NCAA says, is awful because we can avoid the excitement that comes your way, people are pulling you in a number of different directions,” Mills said.
As FGCU was a relatively new school, only in its second year of Section I, almost all media inquiries were satisfied. Plane, remember, he was an assistant, he said he did more than 20 interviews.
“I have no idea what coach Anfield was up to while we were trying to win another game,” said Fly.
Fly said there were no restrictions on players; Sherwood Brown, Chase Filler, Eric McKite, Bernard Thompson, Brett Commer were ready for interview.
“Going to Sweet 16 at this level is quite a challenge. We wanted them to absorb it and enjoy it, but it was difficult,” he said. “Everyone took the media requests right and left, but they were trying to get ready to play for a really good team in Florida.
“I remember we had a closed practice for the media. When we opened the door, you would think that LeBron and Heath were here. That was crazy. “
Burning everything was the brilliant style of basketball FGCU. Dunk City became the brand, և players had to turn the ball over to the edge with Comer so that his teammates could collide. They were combined dozens of times in the first two games of the tournament.
“In the two games we won against Georgetown and San Diego, we played like we did all year,” said Fly. “We had a sports team, obviously we would hit barns when we had the opportunity, we would take advantage of the transition opportunities.”
In the first half, everything started well against Florida in the game against Florida. The FGCU led by 11 points in the first half, և Fly said he remembers thinking the Eagles would win again.
But Florida made key adjustments. Trapping Komer, forcing him into an unassuming turnover, the Gathers went 23-2, taking the half-time to take control, to win 62-50.
“Looking back at the movie, there were a few plays in the Florida game that I thought our guys almost tried to do some great performances because all they heard all week was this is the funniest team of all time, Dunk City. »: Fly said. “I thought we tried to force some lobbies to do something, not to try to win the game because there was so much noise.”
Even if Oral Roberts manages to curb distractions this week, the Golden Eagles will receive extra attention. Good on Mills, who said his players deserved it, that it was a good thing for the school.
“I am glad that the school, with its mission based on its faith, is going to pay attention,” he said. “And so, from that point of view, it’s good that sports provide this platform.”
Fly’s message to Oral Roberts players. “Do not believe in your real advertisement, do not read your press pieces, try to stay as closed as possible even when everyone around you goes crazy in that next game.”
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