News 12 at 6 o’clock, October 15, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The Augusta State men's basketball team went all the way to the national championship, and they're looking do that and more this time around. We go one on one with head coach Dip Metress on the first day of practice.
“Students are head over heels as Augusta state kicks-off it's first basketball practice of the year...
"Yeah,” said head coach Dip Metress. “There is unbelievable anticipation…never been more excited about a practice in my coaching career."
The team is fresh off a stint in the final four, and they are looking for a slam dunk this go around.
"Last year is over,” said Coach Metress. “We start working on pursing the next championship."
Christenberry Fieldhouse has become known as one of the toughest places to play in the Southeast, and Coach is hoping to keep it that way. He is looking to pack out all 2000 seats.
"Yeah, I joke about it,” said Coach Metress. “When I first got here it was like Halloween, people were dressed as blue seats. There were a lot of empty seats in the arena. We're just hoping to get Saturday night crowds on Wednesday."
That's nothing compared to last season's feat. The final four showing, and a trip to the national championship raked in more than $8 million in free advertisement for the university.
"If it's all true there were a lot of people tuned in that Saturday," said Coach Metress.
There was something to the tune of 2 to 3 million people watching that Saturday.
"For the first time you'll see Augusta State basketball t-shirts out there,” said Coach Metress. “You'll see a national finalist t-shirt out there on campus."
But that is all history now.
“You can't have the baby without the labor pains,” said Coach Metress. “There are going to be a lot of labor pains here in the next several days.” He said he hoped for another successful year.