College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, March 22, 2013
In the end, basketball is a team game, and while it's popular and fashionable to single out individuals for exceptional performances, more often - almost always, in fact - winning comes down to the overall effort of five starters and various substitutes who know their roles, perform within a system and strive to achieve a communal goal.
When Florida Gulf Coast, a school that didn't even exist a little more than a decade ago, upset Georgetown, the #2 seed in the South region, Friday night, it wasn't just Sherwood Brown, or Brett Comer or Bernard Thompson playing at a high level - it was all of them, with their teammates and their coaches, through hours and days and weeks of practices and preparation that brought them to their shining moment in NCAA legacy.
It would be a mistake to single out one player from what may turn out to be the most exciting basketball game of the entire tournament, so we'll single out three.
Sherwood Brown, the acknowledged leader of the team, put up a game-high 24 points and also led the Eagles with nine rebounds.
Right behind Brown was Bernard Thompson, who poured in 23 points, with seven boards.
Feeding those two and scoring 12 points himself was Brett Comer, as gritty and heady a point guard as there is in the tournament, with 10 assists and six rebounds.
The Eagles put on a show of high-flying, high-level hoops that had the Hoyas first annoyed, then afraid, then amazed, as the kids from Florida Gulf Coast ignored the seedings and the hype, simply going about the business of playing hard, playing to win and having a good time.
And it wasn't just the players and coaches who enjoyed the show. All of America was treated to a performance of courage and determination that show remain in our basketball memories for a long, long time.
Congratulations to #15 seed Florida Gulf Coast. Winning one for the "little guy" is one of the greatest tributes anyone can make to the great, unnoticed, unrecognized people who are the fabric that keeps our communities and country together.