Swimmers bare all for game against Auburn
That’s how sophomore forward Patrik Auda described Friday night’s student section.
The sold-out section was the rowdiest the Prudential Center has seen all season.
With blown-up cardboard faces of head coach Kevin Willard, seniors Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope, and former Auburn football star Cam Newton – with dollar signs replacing his eyes – the students played their part as the sixth man in the 81-59 win over Auburn.
“Our student section probably won this game more than any of us did,” Willard said. “They really came out and gave us an unbelievable jumpstart. They were a great distraction to Auburn. “
The buzz around the locker room echoed Willard’s enthusiasm.
Inspired by their captains, the Pirates put the win over the Tigers on the shoulders of the student section, which was led by the swim team standing in the front row, in their Speedos.
“I loved it. We all loved it,” Theodore said. “They were the sixth man for us tonight. They played a big part in us winning this game. They were awesome. Did you see the thongs? They are my boys.”
Pope seconded his fellow captain’s remarks on the contribution of the swim team.
“They had those guys rallying at the free throw line,” Pope said. “They had a guy holding someone’s leg with a Speedo, another time they had three guys rubbing one guy’s leg, rubbing it. It was insane. It was crazy.”
Even from the bench, Willard said, he was distracted by the student section.
“The one guy had the hairiest legs I’ve seen in my entire life,” Willard said. “I couldn’t have shot a free throw down there either. He’s supposed to be a swimmer. Don’t they shave their legs or something? I’m going to have nightmares over that.”
Despite all the hysterics over the swim team, Auda took the time to acknowledge the student body as a whole.
“I want to thank everyone who came out,” he said. “They were a lot of my friends. It was awesome, pretty amazing. I’ve never seen something like that. I’m really happy they all came to support us.”
The Pirates return to action on Saturday night when they host Wake Forest. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.
Tim LeCras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.