You might have forgotten about it. Enrico did. They announced it like five months ago. But tomorrow is finally the day College GameDay comes to you from the Palestra.
Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and my close, personal friend Jalen Rose will be on the air leading up to the Temple-La Salle tip at Noon. The ESPN crew is in town honoring the Palestra as part of the network's week-long "My Home Court" series, showcasing famous arenas around the county.
For those interested in attending the GameDay portion of the program and holding up some ridiculous signage, the Palestra doors open at 8 a.m. The show starts at 10 a.m. I'd give you plenty of poster suggestions, but I'd probably get fired so maybe just DM me.
Should you feel the need to drop funds on a commemorative T-shirt, the Temple bookstore is hawking that T-shirt you see on the right for 20 bucks. Temple will also be -- unsubstantiated tweets have led me to believe -- selling them at the Palestra tomorrow. I have not seen any game-specific La Salle threads, but if they exist and someone wants to send a pic our way, we'll put it up.
Also, the bus is here:
— Penn Athletics (@pennathletics) January 17, 2014
As for the game itself, the Owls' eight-game winning streak over the Explorers is certainly in jeopardy. La Salle has won its last four straight, while Temple has dropped its last five in a row and may or may not be without starting point guard Will Cummings Saturday. Tyrone Garland, of Southwest Philly Floater and Dunk fame, cares not:
"[If Cummings doesn't play] that'd be a good advantage for us," Garland said. "I have no mercy for them. … We haven't beaten them in about five years. So we really want this one for the university. Whatever it takes. If they don't have all their players, we have all ours, so we're just going to come to play."
Actually, since the game is on ESPN 2, there will be plenty of commercials. Temple coach Fran Dunphy mentioned it as part of his strategy. If he only has eight healthy bodies, he'll be utilizing frequent commercial breaks to rest his guys. Temple sophomore Quenton DeCosey has played 197 of his team's last 200 minutes. He hasn't come off the floor in the last three games. Thursday at practice he was wearing an Under Armour Batman t-shirt. I was psyched for him. It was awesome.
Quotes on the Palestra because everybody loves the Palestra:
Asked if he was pleased to see the Palestra getting national attention, Dunphy responded: "Oh sure. It's part of the fabric of Philadelphia basketball, and that's why ESPN asked us to play this game there. It wouldn't be College Gameday if it was at the Liacouras Center or the Gola Arena."
To Dunphy's point, his counterpart up on Olney Ave. thinks all the Big 5 schools should be making arrangements like this more often.
"I hate to politicize," Giannini said, "but I think all the Big 5 games should be at the Palestra. It's neutral court, so no one's at a disadvantage, it keeps alive an incredible tradition, and frankly the atmosphere is far better than anything you're gonna get on a home court. When the house is split, there's a reaction every single play and it makes it really unique.
"I would move any home-and-home series to the Palestra on a consistent basis."
::Everyone excluding the Villanova fans nodding::
::Drexel fans sitting in the corner looking pissed off::
::Jalen Rose and I having just a fabulous time::
>>Garland, La Salle will have 'no mercy' for Temple [CSN]