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Bball Gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by McNuggetsMan, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. McNuggetsMan

    McNuggetsMan Member

    I am a former sports reporter who is getting back into deadline writing as a stringer after more than a year writing online columns. Basketball was never my strongest sport. This is a piece I freelanced last night. Any feedback on improving my basketball writing would be much appreciated.

    NEW YORK – Jamon Gordon’s bark has plenty of bite.
    After delivering a rare pregame speech to his Virginia Tech teammates, the senior backed up his words with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the Hokies’ 80-61 victory against Seton Hall in the Aeropostale Classic at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
    “When I talk, I show up,” said Gordon. “I am not going to talk and not show up. When I go off on the team, I know I am going to have good game.”
    Gordon got the Hokies (8-3, 1-0 ACC) off to a fast 11-1 start with seven points in the first three minutes. Seton Hall (6-2) slowly clawed its way back into the game thanks to 13 first half turnovers by Virginia Tech and trailed by only seven at halftime, 38-31.
    “That was hard to watch,” head coach Seth Greenburg said. “It was easy to pick out the uniforms today. That orange really stood out but we kept throwing it to the guys in the white jerseys.”
    The Hokies defense more than made up for any offensive miscues, however. Leading 42-36 early in the second half, Virginia Tech went on a 20-0 run and completely shut down the Seton Hall offense for nearly eight minutes. The Hokies had five steals during that stretch, including two each by Gordon and Deron Washington, and seemed to tip or deflect most Seton Hall passes and shots.
    “We kept the game in front of us,” Greenberg said. “We didn’t get spread out and we contested shots.”
    Washington, whose long reach and athleticism made him one of the most disruptive Hokies, led Virginia Tech with four blocks and was second to Gordon with four steals.
    “We felt like they couldn’t do anything to stop us,” said Washington, who had also eight points and nine rebounds. “We were getting every deflection and knocking down every shot. We were in the zone.”
    Virginia Tech has been in that defensive zone for the last six games. After a 1-2 trip to Orlando, the Hokies have focused more on shutting down penetration in the lane and have worried less about outside shooters. That strategy was especially effective against the poor-shooting Pirates, who hit just 27.7 percent from the floor.
    “They like to penetrate and we are not going to let you penetrate,” Gordon said. "They don’t have many jump shooters. That helped us out. They missed a lot of easy shots and we just grabbed the rebounds and pushed the ball.”
    Eugene Harvey led Seton Hall with 18 points while Stan Gaines had 12.
    “I think (Virginia Tech’s) length and athleticism took us out of our game,” Pirates head coach Bobby Gonzalez said. “I think we stepped up in class playing in this game.”
    The Hokies return to the court Saturday at home against Campbell before breaking for the holidays. Some players, however, are already looking forward to their next ACC game on Jan. 6 at Duke, Gordon said. Stopping his teammates from looking ahead, however, might be the topic of Gordon’s next pep talk.
    “Everybody is waiting on Duke,” said Gordon, who scored his 1,000 career point early in the first half on a layup. “Everybody wants to get to Cameron (Indoor Stadium). We can’t do that. If we focus on Cameron, we might get another VMI (who upset the Hokies in 2004) around here.”
     
  2. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Once I got past the first two paragraphs, I thought it was pretty good.
     
  3. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Agreed. The gamer was well done.

    I know you're on deadline, but instead of something about his bark and if it had bite (cliche), use the lede to set the scene with his pregame speech. Ask him a follow up question about his pregame speech. Use that to set a scene then drop in the lede quote "when I talk, I show up..." etc.
     
  4. McNuggetsMan

    McNuggetsMan Member

    Thanks. That helped a lot.
     
  5. bballscribe

    bballscribe Member

    Great job. I enjoyed it, and I thought it was very well done. Thorough and precise.
     
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