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More thoughts on The aftermath of Dwight Smith’s injury

January 2, 2014

A little over two years ago, CSU hosted New Mexico at Moby. The Rams were in need of a victory that night and were shorthanded with an injury to starting big Will Bell. The Lobos were about the hottest team in the country having,moved,into,the atop 20 in,rankings and were being touted as a dark horse Final Four pick. They were led by Drew Gordon who had just earned National Player of,the Week honors for some absolutely dominating performances.

About halfway through the first half, Gordon fumbled the ball near the CSU bench and dove in an attempt to try to save it from going out of bounds. His effort failed. But I also noticed something strange at the same time. Not one Lobo came over to help Gordon up. The only person to offer his hand was CSU’s Pierce Hornung.

The same Pierce Hornung who left his DNA on every square foot of the Moby floor doing what it took to win games. He respected his teammates, he respected his opponents, he respected the game.

CSU went on to win that game against New Mexico in a very improbable fashion and it launched them toward an at-large NCAA bid.

And that act by Hornung did not go unnoticed by those on the CSU bench. I shot a text to then head coach Tim Miles telling him I had a good feeling about the game when I saw how the Lobos had treated their fallen player. He fired back a message saying,one thing. “You’re very observant.”

And so when I saw how the Rams bench reacted last night, it was more than just simple compassion for Dwight Smith having to hop on one leg to get off the floor. I saw it as a symbol of something deeper. I saw it as disrespect for a teammate and the game. And disrespect for Pierce Hornung who would never have let that happen.

And that disrespect is just flat out wrong.

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