PHILADELPHIA -- By now most everyone with electricity has heard about Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield’s wife, former model Amanda Marcum. The two met by chance when Enfield gave Marcum and a friend a lift to a 2003 NCAA tournament game in Boston. Their first date might be one for the ages.
They went to an NIT game on the Queens campus of St. John’s. Enfield hoped to impress Marcum by taking her out to a nice dinner before tipoff, but when he got to Queens, he realized he didn’t have a clue about where to eat.
He decided to hit the student union, figuring there would be a chain restaurant there. There was.
“The only thing that was open was a Taco Bell,” he said. “I got her a nice little burrito and we sat behind the bench and I figured if she still likes me after Taco Bell and a basketball game ...”
Roommates turned frenemies
If one was a snorer, we will not find out. If one was a slob, they aren’t spilling the beans.
It could be a different story on Sunday, when Duke and Creighton go head-to-head for a shot at the Sweet 16 and Kelly guards one of the nation’s best scorers.
That the two players -- one is from North Carolina and plays in the ACC, the other is from Iowa and plays in the Missouri Valley -- know each other personally speaks to how small the basketball world has gotten.
Between high school summer-league teams traversing the country and all-star camps like the one in Chicago, there’s little anonymity among most of the nation’s top players anymore.
“Ryan was a great roommate -- always reminded me what time we had to leave or be in the lobby,” McDermott said. “I got a chance to pick his brain a little bit because we kind of play similar. When we got to the gym, I saw some of his moves and he taught me some of them. It will be cool playing against him.”
Steve Fisher knows FGCU
While the rest of the world tries to figure out just where Florida Gulf Coast is, San Diego State coach Steve Fisher is already clued in about his round-of-32 opponent.
He actually has a condo in nearby Fort Myers. (Yes, feel free to ask why a man who lives in San Diego needs to have a condo on another beach.) He bought it back when he got his first head-coaching gig and has held onto it since, making at least one visit a year there with friends after the season ends.
Fisher watched the university literally rise from the swamp and even toured the campus.
More important for this NCAA tournament, Fisher knows what the Eagles are all about. He’s thoroughly uninterested in their seed or their underdog status and more interested in their personnel and how they play.
“If we were playing a shirts and skins game with all 64 teams and you brought all the teams out there and watched them warm up, you’d be hard-pressed to say, ‘Well, this is a team that’s not supposed to win,” he said. “They’re good. They’re talented. They’re well-coached and they played terrific last night.”
“We’re not the Yankees. [Seth] Curry doesn’t come back every year. We still don’t have [J.J.] Redick. [Christian] Laettner left a long time ago. If he was Mariano Rivera, we’d still have Laettner.” -- Mike Krzyzewski on comparisons to his team’s dominance -- and perceived national dislike -- with the New York Yankees.
Editor's Note: To read O'Neil's feature on Florida Gulf Coast's Brett Comer, click here.