The first Navy-Marine Corps classic was cancelled last night after the court on the USS Bataan became too slippery for Florida and Georgetown:
There were 3,500 fans at Mayport Naval Station and the game was being broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. Roughly 1,000 military personnel were in attendance. The game tipped off at 9:15 p.m. and was called at 10:38.
Florida led 27-23 at halftime in a season opener that will not count in the record books. The game will not be made up, and the stats will not count. After the 20-minute halftime ended, city and game officials huddled with Florida coach Billy Donovan and Georgetown coach John Thompson III near midcourt. After meeting for 10 minutes while the players warmed up, the game was called.
The crowd was told over the public address system that the game was over. Both coaches then spoke to the fans over a microphone.
The Navy-Marine Corps Classic basketball game was played aboard the deck of the USS Bataan.
“It’s dangerous down here,” Thompson told the crowd.
Donovan voiced his concerns as well while speaking to the fans.
“This is very disappointing,” Donovan said. “The floor is just too wet, and we don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
Another game aboard a naval vessel was canceled earlier in the day because of court condensation. Ohio State and Marquette were scheduled to play aboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
“I never noticed anything in the first half,” Florida junior forward Erik Murphy said. “I never slipped. I noticed a couple times when play was stopped kids were drying the court, but I didn’t think anything of it. When we came out for warm-ups it still seemed OK, but if you look at the floor now, they made the right decision.”
Ah, next year. You gotta protect your athletes. Sailors don’t have to work on hardwood, we have non-skid.