Mercer will be without Brown against Volunteers
By MICHAEL A. LOUGH
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The locker room occupied by Mercer and the hallway outside were pretty full for about an hour Saturday as the Bears dealt with what comes from knocking off Duke in the NCAA tournament and becoming media darlings.
But one key player remained at the hotel.
Senior center Monty Brown is out for today's game against Tennessee after suffering a concussion in the first half of Friday's win over the Blue Devils.
He played only four minutes and was 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. His absence meant Daniel Coursey played about eight more minutes than normal Friday, finishing with 17 points and four rebounds in the Bears' 78-71 win.
"That definitely hurts us," Mercer guard Langston Hall said. "But we have other bigs that are ready to step up, in Darious (Moten) and T.J. (Hallice) who are going to come off the bench and play just as hard as Monty.
"It might impact the game in different ways, (and not) have a big body to bang with."
Mercer had the first practice session of the day and the first media session, as well, with an open locker room for those not at the general gathering.
And the Bears were loose, to say the least, between going back and looking at Kev
in Canevari's now legendary postgame dance to Anthony White Jr. video bombing head coach Bob Hoffman's TV interview afterwards to assorted harassment of each other.
It never stopped.
Finally the players left the locker room to head for the bus. Bud Thomas and Coursey were going at it as they filed out.
Thomas: "Course, I swear ..."
Coursey: "Yeah, you swear ..."
And the rest was lost in a chatty team departure for lunch, film sessions, some intermittent media obligations and no doubt reviewing a little bit more of how Mercer became a sudden national sensation.
It was hard to stop enjoying the win Friday night and get to sleep.
"Definitely," senior Jake Gollon said.
"Phones kept lighting up the room. It was like daylight in there."