Tech has played in some noteworthy college basketball arenas this season alone — Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, VCU’s Siegel Center and Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. This was a little different.
“When we were here for shootaround, I kind of looked around because this place is so huge,” center Ben Lammers said. “I’ve played in some big stadiums, but this is one of the biggest ones I’ve played in. It’s been fun.”
The immensity of the arena, which seats 19,812 for basketball, caught Lammers flush.
“Just the size, mostly, how tall it is and how far it goes back,” he said. “Because, I mean, a place like UNC and all those places hold 20,000 some people, so I’m somewhat used to this, but this seems like so much space.”
The entire trip has been different than most trips. After a week of spring break that included Tech’s win at Ole Miss on March 21 in an NIT quarterfinal, the Jackets flew to New York on Sunday. They’re staying in Times Square and have been permitted time to go exploring.
“There’s so many places to go to,” he said. “They give us enough time to walk around and explore a little bit and try to see New York City, which is nice. Sometimes you go to these cool places, but you can’t do anything because you’re always playing basketball.”
Among his discoveries — an ice cream shop called 10Below.
“It’s almost like they start off with milk and they pour it on this cold slab and spread it out a lot and scrape it off and it would come up in rolls,” Lammers said.
The Tuesday win affords the Jackets more time to explore and another night in the Garden.
“Just the air,” forward Quinton Stephens said. “You can’t help but love playing here. It’s a basketball player’s dream.”