St. Francis Brooklyn (56) vs. University of Miami (FL) (79) 11/23/2022

Game #106 of 363 29% complete

As I start my seventh season of Operation 351, my hope is that normalcy returns from the COVID days allowing me to schedule games without the fear of cancelations. I had some good trips planned last year that fizzled while impending news of COVID ravaged teams. I had to guess when and where this would be happening in hopes of getting my money back on flights and hotels. I still hurt from the canceled 4 day- 4 game trip to Wisconsin which would have completed the state and done a good run of the University of Wisconsin schools and Marquette. Oh, the lost trips to the breweries also were painful.

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It is unusual to have only one game on a trip. However, this was one night out of a weeklong family trip to Key Colony Beach which is a 2-hour ride from the arena. It was a chance to spend time with my daughter Hope, son in law John and two grand kids, Jack, aged two years and Lily, 3 months. John, although not a huge basketball fan, was kind enough to accompany me on the trip considering that he had spent a few sleepless nights with the young ones. Hopefully, Jack will push my wheelchair to my seat as I complete my last game in the year 2050. 🙂 That is if the NCAA will stop adding teams each year to Division 1.

We were very impressed with the campus on the way to the arena. With palm trees and a modern architecture look to the buildings, John remarked that perhaps he should have come here instead of Wake Forest 10 years ago. Since this a was buy in game and with many of the students away for the Thanksgiving holiday, the atmosphere was very subdued with no band and a smattering of students.

St. Francis held their own for the first 10 minutes, but the athleticism and height of the Hurricanes was too much for the Terriers to handle. Miami was hurting from their thrashing from Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten matchup last game, so I guess playing the small Terriers squad was a welcome sight.

Seeing Miami coach Jim Larrangna on the sidelines brough back nightmares when George Mason beat my beloved UConn team in 2006 on the way to the final four. Miami player Nijel Pack, the transfer from Kansas State, led the way with 23 points. At only 6 feet tall, he was very proficient in finding room for his smooth jumper.

Ted Wilcox led the Terriers with 18 points. I think that they will make some noise in the Northeast Conference. Many of the kids are from the playgrounds of New York City and showed some impressive moves.

Throughout my travels, I see so many players coming from the private academies in Connecticut. Putnam Science Academy and St. Thomas More each had a player on the squads tonight. My guess is that these players need to bone up on the academics in order to qualify for D1 basketball.

I have two pet peeves here from tonight that I would like to point out.

  1. Having cheerleaders throwing t shirts into the crowd and your seat is not in within 10 rows of the court. Bring in the air gun!
  2. Not having real ice cream for sale. Dipping Dots are not real and don’t make sense.

I will conclude with some photos from our excursions in Key West.

Turtle Hospital:

A view from the back of our rental:

A sunset cruise with Minny the boat dog:

The Dolphin Research Center:

And of course, to the spot where it all began for us Parrot heads:

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