The BenJo

SoCon Champs - 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015

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Re: The BenJo

Postby dude on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:56 pm

Tyler Berg could be great when he got fired up. Seemed like he could be a little out of it sometimes. I think that and injuries maybe held him back a little. But a big-time talent who had some great games.

I defend the inclusion of Ian Chadwick. He was a really great shooter. Not great teams always in those early D1 days -- but he pretty much carried the team for a while, if I recall things correctly. He was really, really good.

I think Justin Stephens was on track to be an all-time great before injuries ruined his career.

Eric Marshall -- RIP -- was a big-time player. Injuries affected his overall output, but he was really, really good when he was full strength.


A couple of old-timers:

Wayne Rice -- he could flat-out play. A terrific point guard.

Sidney Thomas -- undersized even at the D2 level, but what a competitor. I saw him play in high school a bunch of times....just wore people out in the paint.

Brad Painter -- OK, a bit of a stretch. But he was a darn good player. Great foul shooter and tough all-round contributor. And a friend of mine, so I'm partial.

Mario Harper -- if only for that shot he made against Furman in the 91-92 season!!
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Re: The BenJo

Postby woffordgrad94 on Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:18 pm

I remember that Furman game where Mario Harper, who rarely ever scored, made the winning basket at the old Greenville Memorial Auditorium like it was yesterday! We celebrated far into that night, as knocking off the Paladins was a BIG deal to our little D-2 team. You are right about Sidney Thomas...not a big guy, but a huge competitor and a huge heart. I look so fondly on those early 90s teams- some of Wofford's best D-2 teams. The Dogs won over 20 games twice while I was a student-and we only played 28 games in those days. Harper, Thomas, Matt Allen, Matt Forness (who could go absolutely wild from three point range), Brad Painter, Jerome Hall, Gary "Two" Morton, Seth Chadwick, and of course Greg O' Dell! By the way, in addition to being a very solid contributor on the court and an excellent free throw shooter, Brad Painter was one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet.

And it was terribly unfortuatw ehat happened with Justin Stephens. He ould have definitely been one of the school's best ever. That performance he gave against a great Memphis team in his first college game was tremendous.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby walliver on Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:04 pm

Will the JRIS actually be finished on time.
I remember attending both last games at Snyder Field.
The Benjo actually opened two months late, also.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby youngterrier on Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:04 pm

It's come pretty far so far this year. The volleyball season doesn't start until, like, September and I would be very very surprised if we didn't the building finished by then
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Re: The BenJo

Postby woffordgrad94 on Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:28 pm

I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think we might have Georgia Tech coming in to play at the JRIS next season.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby Atldog7 on Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:01 am

Yes, I believe Tech and Harvard are heading to us next year. We will have to wait and see who else we can get down here. Would love to see MY and RJ pull some strings with some big-time programs. Would be easy road trips for Clemson, USC, and even some of the Triangle teams. Would love to see us renew a rivalry with C of C but not a lot of benefit for either team except for a good test for each other.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby woffordgrad94 on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:45 am

I like the idea of playing a nonconference game against College of Charleston. I love nonconference games against other mid-majors. We don't get any attendance playing Allen or Virginia-Wise. So let's play someone fans are interested in seeing. And if we MUST play a sub-D1, and having one as a confidence builder and for getting young players on the floor would be okay, make it someone close by or one of our old rivals- someone like Newberry, Limestone, Lenoir-Rhyne, or Erskine.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby walliver on Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:43 pm

Atldog7 wrote:Yes, I believe Tech and Harvard are heading to us next year. We will have to wait and see who else we can get down here. Would love to see MY and RJ pull some strings with some big-time programs. Would be easy road trips for Clemson, USC, and even some of the Triangle teams. Would love to see us renew a rivalry with C of C but not a lot of benefit for either team except for a good test for each other.


USC didn't enjoy their visit to the BenJo, so it's unlikely they'll return.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby Atldog7 on Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:50 pm

Different era, different coach for USC - you never know.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby woffordgrad94 on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:47 pm

We could probably get Wake Forest or Vanderbilt in one day.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby boulder3m on Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:04 pm

We will have to pay dearly, either in cash or non-paid appearances, to get the big names into the JRIS. Not that it can't be done, but if you figure that the school gets about $20,000 to play a game at a "name" school-after expenses-then you have to give up a lot to get them into your place. The benefit is that you sell season tickets. So, if you have a game or two with name programs, and it can buy you a sell-out of season tickets for the JRIS, then there is a reasonable trade off. It will ultimately be up to the community to show its support with its pocketbook. If Wofford is a reasonably well known mid-major team then other programs don't mind paying us to play. If you are a season ticket holder at an ACC or SEC school your non-conference schedule probably includes a couple of "name" schools and a bunch of mid-majors. The season ticket holders grouse about the weak schedule, but they all do it. They love the programs in the region because they don't have to pay much in travel expenses, but their own season ticket holders have to pay for games they either don't want to see or don't attend. It's the law of the jungle. So, if Wofford wants good teams to come visit the JRIS it needs to see out the JRIS not just with single game tickets, but with season tickets. Cha Ching!
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Re: The BenJo

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:35 pm

Two separate issues here.

1) Wofford needs a splash game to open the new building. A big name to draw interest and provide a memory. This is a one time deal so I have mo problem in stretching the budget to make it good. Win or lose, how cool would it be to bring in a ranked team to play the first game? I was at the first game in WCU's Ramsey Center against NC State and even as a kid I remember the atmosphere being electric. Western lost that game, of course, but the Wolfpack won the ACC championship that year and how many SoCon schools can tell the tale about the night Jim Valvano came to town with guys like Vinny Del Negro and Charles Shackleford. The point is that this is probably a once in 30-50 year thing for our school and doing it right is important even if the money is tough.

2) Wofford also needs to leverage the new facility into better home schedules. ACC/SEC visitors will still be few and far between, but there's no reason we couldn't have 3-4 decent mid-majors annually. Yes, our guarantee budget would have to go up, but with better quality comes better opportunity to draw fans. I don't think it should be out of reach to have some home and homes with teams from the CAA, Sun Belt, MAAC and Ivy. Maybe even an occasional American or A-10 team. I agree with the preference of our old D-II rivals instead of the Toccoa Falls, Allen and UVA-Wise type teams, but even still I don't think we should play more than one of those per season. The bottom line is that we need to step up our game a little and spending more money ought to help fan interest and attendence. It will also help our program's reputation, media coverage and reputation, I believe.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby Ruckus on Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:31 pm

Just a little neat bit of news I have recently learned: the floor of our locker room in JRIS will be made of the parquet floor from the Benjo. We are salvaging it (or part of it) and will literally be the ground upon which we prepare. I think that is really cool with lots of sentiment and meaning behind it. I know Coach Young loves the Benjo parquet hardwood floor and have heard several interviews where he extolls its virtues as one of the finest playing surfaces in the country despite being in a very modest facility. To see that become part of our grand new facility moving forward is special.
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Re: The BenJo

Postby fgs44 on Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:37 pm

I believe we will be able to get some attractive programs on a home and home basis with the new arena--I am not sure how expenses figure into it, but I believe I have heard some conversation about being able to schedule home and home with programs that we were unable to in the past--
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Re: The BenJo

Postby Ruckus on Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:59 pm

Just heard we are playing USC in the JRIS next year, along with Gatech and Harvard.
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