(Editor's note: Maryland's Shay Doron, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, will share a diary with ESPN.com throughout the season.)
Nov. 30, 2004
Last week we flew to the University of Colorado tournament (the Coors Classic) to play two games: LSU and UPENN.
We flew out Wednesday. I was one of the lucky people -- I did not have classes that day because it was Thanksgiving week, so I had a pretty easy day before I had to be at practice. After practice, we had about 30 minutes to get showered and ready to get on the bus to go Reagan National Airport. They showed Anchor Man on the plane, which was a movie I wanted to see.
Once we arrived in Denver, we drove about 40 minutes to Boulder and we had dinner on our own, so I went with my father and my sister, who flew out to watch the games and to get in some skiing.
The next day, we woke up and ate at the hotel's all-you-can-eat buffet. I had the same thing all four days -- two eggs sunnyside up, bacon, a bagel and French toast. It was really good.
We were prepared to play LSU -- the No. 2 team in the country. The returning players had a chip on our shoulders and were extra excited because LSU knocked us out of the NCAA Tournament last season.
After breakfast on Thursday -- Thanksgiving Day -- we watched film on LSU. We saw the Lady Tigers run some of their plays and how they guard against screens. Practice was not too hard, but we did play 5-on-5 to see what it would be like to play with the altitude. It was tough to play in those conditions. You feel like you cannot inhale enough air and the air seemed to run out very quickly.
I spent Thanksgiving with my family while the team went out to eat together since no one else's family was there. We went to eat at the house of an old teammate of mine, so it was great home-cooked food. The team went to a Thanksgiving buffet. They said there was a lot of food and a huge dessert table with about 15 different options. They seemed to like that the best.
That night, we watched top-ranked Tennessee play Texas as a team in the hotel lobby. Texas went on to win that game and we figured LSU was now the No. 1 team in the country, which was awesome that we had a chance to play them.
Thursday was game day. Finally. We had been waiting for a chance to play LSU again since the buzzer went off ending our season last year. Before the game, I put on my headset and tried to relax because I was excited and even a bit nervous. Once tip off came, all that went away. It was tough to play because the whole game I felt out of breath from the altitude. We are a team that plays fast-pace basketball, and it affected us in that aspect as well. Still, the score was tied with LSU with eight minutes to go -- and then they began to slip away. LSU ended up winning by about 13.
We were all very disappointed because no one had a great game. But there was no time to be sad and down because less than 24 hours later we had to play UPENN. We were all tired, angry, sad, and disappointed, but we had to be prepared to play so we would leave 1-1 and not 0-2.
The next day, I woke up early and did some shopping. I needed a new winter coat. The one I had was not so good for getting around campus on my moped. We ended up beating UPENN the next day.
After the game, I spent one last night with my family and we went to dinner. We had a 6:15 am wake-up call the next day, so we didn't do much after that.
We have to get ready to play Loyola on Tuesday, which means Monday, we were back on the court practicing. Our day off was our travel day on Sunday. That will have to do.