February 18, 2013

On the road with Tech

You are now a full-fledged member of the 2012-2013 men's basketball team.

It's 7 a.m. two days after a demoralizing 91-67 loss against No. 17 Oklahoma State. At home. It's been about 12 hours since you left the United Spirit Arena from a second day of intense practices, film sessions and conditioning while preparing for a tough road game against West Virginia who already handed you a 77-61 loss in Lubbock two weeks ago.

You're one of the lucky ones. After doing your homework, as one of the four members of the team to be named an Academic All-Big 12 First Team member Thursday, you have 8 a.m. class.

Hopefully you packed last night for the West Virginia trip so you can get an extra 10 minutes of sleep before showering, dressing and getting to class. You better go or else there will be extra running in your future.

It's now 10 a.m. on Friday morning. Did you make it through your classes without falling asleep? Your day is just beginning, partner. You need to get across campus to the United Spirit Arena, collect your basketball gear and get on a bus that's headed to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

You will then get on a chartered Boeing 737, fly about 1,500 miles, ride another bus for about 45 minutes from the Clarksburg, W. Va., airport to the West Virginia Coliseum where you will immediately commence a one-hour practice. After that you'll finally go to the hotel.

But you shouldn't get too comfortable. You've lost an hour traveling to the Eastern Time zone and after dinner there's still a film session before bed.

But hey, you will get a custom Firehouse sub sandwich and all the Gatorade G2 you can get on the plane ride. And you're allowed to get whatever sleep you can on the plane.

The joys of putting your heart and soul into a game you love.

This is the expansive story of Red Raiders' extremely bittersweet trip to West Virginia.

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