Maybe many people didn’t notice.
Or maybe they all just plum forgot. They’re old guys, those seniors.
Three seniors on the men’s basketball team had career nights on Saturday. Terrence Leather, Brian Swift and Marlyn Bryant all left a little piece of their legacies on the court, all as the door of their final season closed a little more.
Leather accumulated his 1,000th point as a Bull with a dunk. Swift had his first double-double in four years without even trying. Bryant overcame his previous 18 points by notching one more for 19 and new career high.
But these three seniors — the nucleus of the starting line up, who are more than disappointed they will miss out on the Big East next year — hardly even noticed what they were doing when they did it.
Swift just shrugged his shoulders when Leather turned and asked him if he had a double-double. They laughed and smiled like they had just found a $10 bill in the pocket of their pants after doing the laundry.
Leather, who strolled into the press conference after his fellow seniors, came in with a presence about him; a confidence on his shoulders that communicated that he knew what he had done that night, even though to him it seemed as big of a deal as waiting in line at the bank.
“I got a 1,000 tonight? I didn’t know.”
But he knew.
How couldn’t he? To regulars it was the greatest thing since the microwave oven. Eventually he reluctantly said how the record felt.
“I guess it’s a good feeling. I don’t know. I guess it’s good.”
So Leather will guess, while Bryant, who sat on the other side of the much shorter Swift at the press conference, loved being asked the questions and talked up a storm, since it is usually his high-scoring counterparts who get the buzz.
“Tonight was just one of those nights. The ball was coming my way and having a good point guard like Brian Swift, because he was just basically distributing the ball all around. So I think this was his first double-double too,” Bryant said.
Somebody is probably wondering, what’s wrong with these guys?
They should be celebrating, they should be getting ready to go party tonight; they should be more talkative and joyous.
The most joking they did was when Leather turned to Swift and Bryant and asked, “You gonna join me?”
The guard and the forward laughed, but shrugged their shoulders yet again, obviously consumed by thoughts of something else.
What was it that bothered these players on such a great night?
The empty stands?
The barely .500 record?
The fact that they have to bend down to fit through most doorways?
Not even close.
What they knew — what they have known all along — is that career records that will be trivia questions for years to come won’t mean jack if these three seniors don’t do one thing and one thing only: Make the Conference USA tournament.
So maybe they really didn’t know or maybe they just forgot.
They are seniors, you know, and with old age comes that inevitable forgetfulness that all the elderly eventually become.