While we have been pumping out posts regarding the recruiting scene we at the Crier also like to have fun. BOC gave me a great idea for a recurring post for the Crier. We have personal accounts of some memorable games/moments in Friartown. We have had the pleasure of being apart of these moments one way or another and we should totally talk about it. So the first edition of this post we have a doozy for you. The John Xavier Game!
The date was January 17th 2009, it was a Saturday and MLK Weekend. The Crier was finishing his Winter Break as a freshman at PC. Sorry if you have heard this before but the people need to get a little background information here. Being handicapped I could not manage the physical requirements of being a student manager for the hoops team— those guys do a ton of shit, truly the real MVPs of any hoops program. However in high school I kept stats for our hoops teams (St. John’s Shrewsbury) and I knew I still wanted to be involved when I went to college. So the deal was I would help with a bunch of office work including stuffing recruiting mail outs, keep stats at practice, assist with the Summer Caps and in return I got free tickets to the game. Not a bad deal!
Being on Winter Break meant I wasn’t going to have to work the game and it meant they could give me three tickets to the game instead of the typical one. Living in Shrewsbury the trip to The Dunk was a quick and convenient one, hop on Rt 146 and go South. So I thought to myself it would be a fun evening to take my twin sister Jaci and my best friend and at the time future brother in-law Pat (thats a long story, not for The Crier). Boy was it ever!
The Friars were hosting the 14th ranked Marquette Golden Eagles, a team that featured two future NBA stalwarts in Jimmy Butler and Wes Matthews. The second half gets under way and most of The Dunk crowd has yet to fill back into their seats. Remember the Bud Light Express Lane was yet to be invented so the beer lines were long. The Friars had a 5 point lead and looked destined to out gun the Golden Eagles that night. Jeff Xavier (X MAN) drives to the lane and catches an inadvertent elbow from sophomore reserve Joseph Fulce and the unthinkable happens.
The Crier was busy being an irrational fan that was screaming for a foul and missed John Xavier’s AI step over the PC bench. If that plays happens today with replay it is a F1, two free throws and the ball please. Next thing I know as Geoff McDermott is shooting the free throw some guy with a lunch bag is on the court getting in the officials face. I couldn’t believe what I was watching unfold! My sister half jokingly says “What is going on here is this the halftime show?”. The moment only lasted 10 seconds before Dunk security escorted Johnny X off the court but it felt like a lifetime.
While The Crier supports a safe viewing experience at the arena and most of what I am about say is mainly in jest but do you really blame John? If my brother gets popped in the face with no call you bet your bottom dollar I am walkering my ass onto the hardwood demanding some answers from the zebras. John Xavier ends up getting jailed and held without bail for the incident due to violating his parole due to a prior drug conviction. If I had priors I probably wouldn’t have done it but I’d be steaming mad. Did he really have to be held without bail though? Maybe we could have given him a free pass his brother just got drilled in the face.
The Friars would end up blowing a 13 point lead and give up 91 points in the process. Classic Keno Davis matchup zone defense right there! If Marshon dropped 21 and McDermott had 15, 17, and 5 in the Cooley Era we are not losing to Woj and Marquette let me tell you. Jeff Xavier ended with 10 points and probably a pounding headache.
Even though the Friars blew the game that night the 10,000+ all got their money’s worth. That was something I had never seen at a game and probably will never see again (probably for the best). What a moment! It would be my first experience of how memorable Marquette PC games turn out to be. The Bat at the Bradley Center? The Davante Gardner 3/4 court heave that didn’t count? The Cartwright-Rowsey duel? The Cartwright at the Fisrev Forum the next season? PC Marquette always delivers and it certainly did that night in 2009.