Saturday, October 16, 1999

McIntosh makes XU debut


Roger Bacon grad waited a year to be a Muskie

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        He had been thinking about it since April. At least. All summer. Every day. Brandon McIntosh pictured coming onto the court at Schmidt Fieldhouse for Midnight Madness as part of the Xavier basketball team.

        No.20. From Roger Bacon High School. Cincinnati's own.

        It happened. After sitting out a year to concentrate on academics, his name was announced Friday night. McIntosh is a Musketeer at last.

        “I can't talk right now, I'm so excited,” he said before the first XU “practice” of the season. “I'm just so happy to be here. I made it. I'm gonna be all smiles.”

        The road was long and bumpy. McIntosh wanted to play at Xavier. Coach Skip Prosser said a scholarship was his, but he had to earn it in the classroom.

        At last year's Midnight Mad ness, McIntosh, dressed in street clothes, sat behind one of the team benches for the brief scrimmage.

        “It was terrible,” he said. “But I didn't come here for myself. I came to watch my teammates. It would've been selfish if I didn't come just because I couldn't play.”

        There were 2,203 fans (capacity is 2,300) in attendance Friday night for the final Midnight Madness at Schmidt Fieldhouse. Next year the festivities will take place in the new Cintas Center.

        Dayton Christian High School senior Romain Guessagba-Sato, who has verbally committed to attend XU, was in the stands. So were a few underclassmen taking unofficial visits, including Robert Hite of Winton Woods, perhaps the best sophomore in the state, and Kettering Alter's Adam Waleskowski, one of the top juniors in Ohio.

        Also in attendance: women's recruit Allison Lipinski of Garfield Heights, who already has verbally committed, Becky Heidotten of St. Louis Rosary High School and five underclassmen making unofficial visits. After lengthy pre-midnight festivities, the men's and women's teams were announced. The women's team's jerseys read, “Un-finished business.”

        After Kevin Frey blew kisses to the crowd and Maurice McAfee danced onto the court, the final name called was fifth-year senior Darnell Williams, who sat out last year with a knee injury.

        He slammed a ball to the court and met his teammates with chest bumps as the crowd erupted.

        Fans got their first look at 6-foot-8 freshman David West and 6-9 junior Marcus Mason, the new big men on the roster. Freshman Lionel Chalmers, who is ineligible to play this season, was also on the court.

        And so was McIntosh.

        “I know how it was last year,” he said. “I just keep in my head the fact that I didn't play. That keeps me focused and level-headed. You know, basketball can be taken away at any time by injury or anything. I've got to enjoy it while it's here, and I'm enjoying it right now.”

       



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- McIntosh makes XU debut

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