Day One: Dec. 19, 2010
It what has been a whirlwind week for the Lady Tigers, who play five games in ten days, Clemson is taking to the Bahamas for the 2010 Sunshine Shootout. While in the Bahamas, the Lady Tigers will get a taste of the nation’s elite teams, as Baylor and Syracuse enter with a combined 18-1 overall record this season and national rankings.
Following the game against Oakland, the Tigers went home for a couple of hours to rest before heading back over to campus to leave for Atlanta, where they would stay for the next day’s early flight. A stop for a bite to eat at Outback Steakhouse in Anderson, and the team was on the way.
The flight to Nassau took off a little after 8:30 am on Sunday, so the team was a little groggy for the 5:30 departure from the airport hotel. All players adhered to Coach Coleman’s policy of business attire during travel – after all, it is a business trip.
Though it was an early morning, Hartsfield airport was already bustling. The Lady Tigers crossed paths with fellow ACC member Georgia Tech, who was headed to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of games.
Clemson, however, had its own business. A short stay at the gate, and the plane was off for Nassau, only an hour and 32 minute flight from Georgia’s capital city. The team landed shortly after 11:00 am, and after grabbing the bags, it was a quick trip through customs, and the team was off to the hotel (And for the record, 73 degrees and sunny was exactly what the doctor ordered).
The trip to the hotel was an adventure. While accustomed to large charter buses in the state, the Bahamian roads chuckle at the thought of one of those monsters. The teams piled inside of two 26-passenger vans. It took exactly one second to realize that the cars travel on the left. However, this law appeared to be more of a suggestion as a native driver flew past van one to the right hand side, to a movie-seat-intense swerve back to safety on the left side of the street as oncoming cars let that driver know what they thought of his activity.
After checking in to the Sheraton Cable Beach Resort rooms, it was time to take in the buffet, and the term “all-inclusive” quickly entered the vocabulary. The team stopped in one of the resort’s four restaurants for a quick bite, and headed off to practice.
The Lady Tigers practiced for a little over an hour an a half in the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium, over in the athletic complex of the island. The Tigers worked on several aspects of their games, including scouting Monday’s opponent, #2/#3 Baylor.
After some down time at the hotel and some exploration of the area, the Lady Tigers held a video scout before dinner, calling an official end to the day. Be sure to check out coverage of both games at ClemsonTigers.com and watch the preview of the game here:
Day Two: Dec. 20
It’s gameday in Nassau for the Tigers as they prepare for #2/#3 Baylor at 8:15 on Monday night. Monday was much less hectic of a day as compared to Saunday’s travel extravaganza.
The team was able to get breakfast in the hotel restaurant with a buffet of outstanding selections from fresh fruits, eggs, meats, chesses, breads, and a partridge in a pear tree. With few activities planned for the day, the girls were able to get breakfast at their convenience, and recover from Sunday.
Some walked the beach, while others visited the local markets in the morning before lunch. There were deals to be had on many local sundries and delicacies, and the cultural interactions are always a highlight.
The team reassembled for lunch around noon, and then were off to shootaround at the gym. The Lady Tigers scouted, shot, and walked-though for about an hour. Playing a team of Baylor’s caliber requires intense focaus and a strong willingness to compete, points hammered home throughout the day by coach Coleman. Coleman feels as if there is little pressure on the Tigers, and that it may be that only the young women in Clemson’s locker room that believe they can take down Baylor. Don Munson talked to coach Coleman about this and other points here:
After shootaround, the team had roughly an hour of down time before heading to a pregame meal of pasta, baked potatoes, salad, grilled chicken and fresh fruit. Clemson will depart the hotel to head to the arena at 6:45 pm, as there is an earlier game in the gym at 6:00 pm. Check back at Clemsontigers.com after the game for coverage of Clemson’s showdown with Baylor!
Day Three: Dec. 21st
Tuesday was an early day for the Lady Tigers, who arose to a 9:00 am practice time. Many of the players grabbed a quick bite on the way to the bus. Such is the life in tournament play, as Clemson was ready to put the previous evening’s loss to Baylor behind them.
Up next is Syracuse on Wednesday, the 22nd, and preparations began at practice. After working on some scouting and shooting, Clemson headed back to the hotel to take in some of the Bahamian weather, which settled somewhere between 70 and 75 degrees throughout the day.
The team had the afternoon to themselves, and many of them chose to participate in a snorkeling trip at Paradise Island. The highlight of that was a stingray, which made an incredibly close swim-by of its visitors.
Other members of the team went to downtown Nassau, where they looked at the shops, ate some local food, and took in the beautiful scenery.
Most of the team returned ot the hotel around 4:00 pm, where they napped, showered, and got ready for dinner. Assistant Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin is a native of the Bahmas, and the team was treated to dinner with some of her family.
The meal included traditional Bahamian dishes, including chicken, fish, conch fritters, coconut water, candied carrots, and other delicacies. The families who hosted the team made us feel extremely welcome, and coach Coleman got up at one point and made sure that the hosts understood just how grateful the staff, players, and family members were for the hospitality.
After dinner, the team went over to the Baylor-Syracuse game, which Baylor won, 77-43. The Tigers will play Syracuse on Wednesday at 8:15 pm, and will have the benefit of a day of rest. Syracuse is ranked #23 in the AP poll this week.
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