One more game for seniors

Published 8:12 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Troy University men’s basketball seniors thought they played their final game in a Trojans uniform March 8 in a devastating loss to the South Alabama Jaguars in the Sun Belt Championship tournament.

The four senior Trojans get to play at least one more game this year, as the team will face the College of Charleston in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational at Trojan Arena tonight at 7 p.m.

“It feels so good because we are not even supposed to be practicing anymore,” Josh Williams said. “Being back on the practice floor, this kind of feels like a movie. You know how at the end of the movie you are thinking, ‘No, they played too good for them to just lose like that.’ This just feels like a dream or a fairy tale come true.”

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Williams, the only senior who has been at Troy for all four years, said the senior Trojans are getting something not many seniors get to experience in an athletic season.

“This is like a double Senior Night. You normally only get one chance at that, so it is really exciting and we have all kind of emotions going on in our heads.”

The Trojans (19-12) will have to push those emotions aside and worry about a Charleston team (26-8) that took two games from NIT-bound Davidson and one from the SEC’s South Carolina this season.

“They are one of the most talented teams to ever come into Trojan Arena,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “They have a bunch of good athletes and we have not played a team this year that likes to fast break as much as Charleston does. If we hit our shots this should be a very entertaining game.”

Senior Tom Jervis is just glad to get to play another game.

“The loss to South Alabama was devastating and we were shocked,” Jervis said. “It was heartbreaking for us, but when we found out we got into this tournament we were relieved to get a second chance.”

Fellow senior Kenny Ware is just happy to be back out on the court practicing for a game.

“We are so happy to be back out on the court playing with each other once again,” Ware said. “The mood out here is so energetic and everyone is trying to get back in shape and stay sharp.”

Senior Mario Telfair decided he would make a change before the Trojans host Charleston. Telfair, and fellow Trojan Trayce Macon shaved off their dreadlocks for the game. Kenny Ware has said he will shave his, but he wants to surprise the team and fans.

“I just wanted a change and that is all I wanted,” Telfair said. “I just wanted something different.”

Telfair said he is glad he has at least one more game with his teammates.

“I love playing with these guys and it feels real good to have another chance to play with them,” he said.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in the first round of the CBI. If the Trojans win they could host the second round as well, but that would depend on where the team was ranked when the teams are re-seeded. All games will be played on campus sites and the championship is a best-of-three scenario with a home-away-home setup with the higher seeded team getting homefield advantage.