Out of Leftfield – No Guts No Glory

No guts, no glory.

In a span of nine days, Tim Folan ’03 and Drew DeMuth ’03, captains of the men’s basketball team, each recorded the 1,000th points of their respective careers. They may have achieved the same feat, but the roads they traveled to get to that level are very different. Yet, despite the differences, the will that both young men display shows that character can overcome many obstacles.

Folan, a 6’4″ small forward from Maryland with a smooth stroke when hot, can make Larry Bird look like an ordinary shooter. As a first year, he was the MVP of the Williams Tip-Off Classic and showed flashes of brilliance in a tournament loss to Springfield. He was voted captain last year by his teammates, and was second on the team in scoring. All was grand for Folan entering this season, as he looked forward to leading the Ephs (#2 preseason ranking) to a storybook season.

And then came the injury. In the fall, Folan’s back started acting up, and it sidelined him for the beginning of the season. He tried to give it a go, but anyone who has attempted to play a sport with a back injury knows that it is more painful than listening to a Celine Dion song for more than 10 seconds.

But, after countless hours of icing and rehab, Folan was finally cleared to play after missing the first five games of the season. However, given the team’s fast start, he had to swallow his pride and come off the bench rather than assume his usual starting role.

It was a slow adjustment, as Folan had to shake off the rust and grow accustomed to being a sixth man. While he is still not completely 100 percent healthy, Folan’s recent play has indicated otherwise, as he upped his scoring average to 10 points per game and is shooting nearly 50 percent from three-point range.

In a recent loss to Amherst, Folan single-handedly got Williams back into the game by drilling three 3s in a span of less than two minutes. After the third bomb, as he backpedaled down the court, Folan threw both arms up and looked up towards the sky. Everyone knew right then that the man was back.

“I’m so proud of him,” Ephs Head Coach Dave Paulsen said. “He has worked so hard after returning from his back injury. He comes off the bench for the good of team chemistry. He is just such a tremendous captain and leader of our team.”

DeMuth does not possess the shooting touch that Folan has. He is not the quickest guy on the court and is not the most skilled. But his work ethic and effort are so great that first-year investment bankers look lazy compared to him.

A relentless rebounder who spends as much time in the weight room as he does terrorizing opposing centers, DeMuth has a motor of intensity that doesn’t stop until the final buzzer has sounded. Before games, he dons a scowl that could make Tony Soprano quiver in his Bruno Magli shoes. On the court, he has played with a broken nose, numerous bruises and floor burns.

But no matter what the obstacle, DeMuth keeps on going. Ask anyone on the team who the hardest worker is, and all respond by calling the name of #50. Voting him as a captain for two straight years was a no-brainer.

An all-NESCAC selection last year, DeMuth has had another solid season in 2002-03. He is third on the team in scoring (12.0 ppg) and second in rebounding (8.7 rpg). But when it comes to effort and grit, DeMuth is second to none.

“It was great to have him get his 1,000th point,” said Ben Coffin ’04, who plays alongside DeMuth down on the blocks.

One is a bruiser in the paint, the other a sharp-shooting slasher. DeMuth and Folan may play different styles of basketball, but the heart and determination that they have showed over the past four years are perfect examples of the way the game should be played. These milestones are well deserved.

Congratulations, boys.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Quote of the week (courtesy of Sports Illustrated): Jerome James, Seattle SuperSonics center, responding to coach Nate McMillan’s charges that he is selfish: “I don’t have the first clue who he is talking about, because all I worry about is Jerome.”

Play of the Week (two weeks ago): Colleen Hession ’06 firing the ball off the face of a Wesleyan player as she was falling out of bounds to keep possession for the Ephs. And she was fouled.

Top reason to not look forward to baseball season: ludicrous Red Sox fans’ claims of a possible World Series title.

Top reason to look forward to baseball season: Not having to listen to Sox fans anymore by the time August rolls around as the Yanks go up by nine games in the standings.

Jaypo, NESCAC baseball misses you already.

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