My Eighteen Favorite Photos From the 2017-2018 Xavier Men’s Basketball Season

This was the first year that I was able to photograph the Xavier men’s basketball season for the team. It started with their Musketeer Madness pre season event, and then ended in the NCAA Tournament. This was a fun team to photograph, and I was lucky enough to be at a couple of very cool moments. Here are my eighteen favorite images from a fun season.

18. We will start the countdown where the season did. Musketeer Madness was a fun event where the team got to meet the fans, and then play an exhibition. It was here where I first learned just how much of a personality Tyrike Jones. had. Here his aviators give me a glimpse at the young man getting his autograph. This was a fun picture from a fun day.

17. During March Madness I was able to photograph Bill Murray. What a cool bucket list item to check off. I had some closer shots of him from pregame, but I liked this one because is just illustrates the fact that he always seems to stand out from the crowd.

16. At the end of 2017 I travelled up to Milwaukee to see Xavier open their Big East season against Marquette. They got the first of what would be many Big East wins on the season on their way to the Big East title. Here was one of the punctuation marks of that game.

15. One player that I wish that I could have photographed more was J.P. Macura. He plays the game hard, but that translates to amazing photographs. He was the kind of guy that would will his team to the win.

14. This is the tip off of the final game of the season. I liked the idea of getting the tip with the logo on the court. Being the second shooter allowed me the freedom to break away to make the picture.  Continue reading “Top 18 Photos From the 2017-2018 Xavier Basketball Season”

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My Favorite 18 Indiana State Basketball Photos From the 2017-2018 Season

This was really a tale of two seasons. The first half of the year was an interesting one in which the team really seemed to struggle. At the beginning of 2018 a coaching change was made, and this team really took off. That run at the end of the season was so much fun to cover. This team really started playing well, and that just makes for good photos. Here are my eighteen favorite images from the 2017-2018 season.

18. On senior day all of the seniors started the game. Freja Christensen got the nod on senior day, and seemed to be having some fun out on the floor. Here she dribbles through a screen looking to make a pass. It was fun seeing her get some minutes with her family in the stands.

17. Regan Wentland is a player that you never have to question her effort. She always gives her all, and is going to be a key player returning next season. Here she gets a shot up against Evansville to help give the team their first MVC win of the season.

16. I had to get one photo in here of Ashely O’Neal getting a three up. She was money during the season from behind the arc. When the team needed a big three they could count on Ashley to nail it.

15. This photo of Alexis Delgado was made during the final game that I shot for the team this year at Southern Illinois. It was basically a preview of a matchup that would happen one week later at Hoops In The Heartland. This team really battled back to finish fifth in the conference. From the way that the season started you would never have guess that it could have happened.

14. Ashley O’Neal has the nickname ‘Biggie’. I am sure that it has to do with her size, but you would never guess it to see her on the court. She is fearless in the way that she plays the game. Here the sophomore drives the lane against a much bigger opponent. It seemed like she would need stitches every game after going in the paint, but it never stopped her from doing so. She will be fun to watch grow over the next couple of years.  Continue reading “Top 18 Photos From the 2017-2018 Indiana State Women’s Basketball Season”

My Ten Favorite Images From the 2017-18 Xavier Women’s Basketball Season

This year I started shooting basketball much earlier than ever before in early October. It was fun being there during the Xavier Musketeer Madness. I have not seen a lot of midnight madness events as none of the other schools I am involved in have them. I was worried that I would be bored with basketball season even sooner with the early start, but for some reason this year I have had a blast making basketball images. From the start it has been fun. I saw this team the first time that they took the court this year, and I followed them until the last time that they left the court. Here are ten of my favorite images from this past season.

10. The countdown starts where the season started. That is in Cincinnati with Musketeer Madness. I loved the way that the teams were introduced to the crowd. Here Jada Byrd is introduced to the crowd at the Cintas Center. Those lights in the background were fun to photograph in different ways the entire night.

9. For the second straight year I have photographed the Xavier women’s team at Butler. For the second straight year the team won in Hinkle Fieldhouse. I loved this moment during the game as you can see just how hard fought that win was.

8. Here A’Riana Gray battles for a rebound during the Big East Tournament in Chicago. On the surface it does not look like too much of a battle, but the grabbing hands and flexed muscles really shows you just how much these two were straining.

7. This is the year of the anthem shot. It is hard to constantly get excited about photographing the anthem as I see so many during the year. When you are somewhere as cool as Hinkle Fieldhouse though you work the building into any shot that you can.  Continue reading “Top 10 Photos From the 2017-2018 Xavier Women’s Basketball Season”

My Favorite Eighteen Photos From the 2017-2018 Indiana State Basketball Season

It is really hard to believe that this season is over for Indiana State basketball. It really does not seem that long ago that they came to Purdue for the exhibition game. The game at Indiana to start the season also seems like just a couple of weeks ago. College basketball season used to seem like an eternity to me. This team made this season so much fun that I don’t want it to end. At the end of the year we said goodbye to four seniors. They will be hard to replace. The players coming back though have me very excited for next season. Until that can get here though here are my favorite 18 photos from the season that just finished.

18. We will start the countdown at the end of the season in St. Louis. At this point of the year we have good close ups of everyone so I decided to go wider for the game to show the atmosphere of the game. Here I liked how this worked out as Tyreke Key puts up a big three. This true freshman really came in and contributed this past year. It will be fun to watch him grow as a player. As a true frosh he hit many big time shots for the Sycamores.

17. Next year the Sycamores will rely heavily on Emondre Rickman now that Brandon Murphy is gone. Here he battles at Indiana to start the season.

16. Speaking of Big Murph here he is on senior day taking it all in one last time. He was truly fun to shoot for the last couple of years. This might be my favorite picture of him over my time covering the team.

15. This year I played with this tunnel concept quite a bit. I have a few favorites from the season, but here senior Demonte Ojinnaka gave me a pretty good look as he walked through. The lighting is crazy in the tunnel so I created a lightroom preset just for in here. I like the look it gives me.  Continue reading “Top 18 Indiana State Men’s Basketball Photos From 2017-2018”

What to Do When You Have Some Extra Time

This past weekend I shot part of two tournaments. I shot the Friday events at the MVC Tournament in St. Louis, and the opening day of the Big East women’s tournament. When you are at a tournament you end up with some downtime to fill. I will usually fill that downtime shooting if there are spots on the baseline available. Why not? Tournament time is full of action and emotion so why not soak all of it in while you can? During the MVC Tournament I saw almost an entire baseline open for the Bradley and Drake game so I walked out of the media room to shoot a little of it. It allowed me to make sure that my settings were dialed in, and also get warmed up a little. The great finish was also very fun to photograph.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun week to make some photos. I had the four main jobs that I was assigned to do along with some of the fun shots like you see in this post. You can view some of my favorite pictures from last week here on my Exposure page.

Downtime At The Big East Tournament

While in Chicago I had some time in between my men’s game and my women’s game. Butler and Providence were playing a heck of a game at the time, and there were only two photographers on the court. One on each baseline. How can that be? I made my way out onto the floor and started playing a bit. With no outlet for my images I decided to play the how low can I go game. I started lowering my shutter speed until I could not make a usable image. The image above was made at 1/20th of a second, and involved a lot of luck. Everything was moving but the ball here, and the Big East logo was facing me. These are the fun little accidents that you can only get by trying.

The Xavier Women’s Basketball Season Concludes in the Big East Tournament

Saturday night my stretch of four games in three days in three cities came to a close with the Xavier women’s basketball game against Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament. Earlier in the season my first on court basketball action was the Xavier women’s scrimmage at Musketeer Madness. My last shoot of 2017 was the Xavier women’s game at Butler. As I have said before if my basketball season ended in Chicago on Saturday it would be a good bookend to the season. The two teams I started with for 2017-2018 were the two teams that I ended it with.

4 Games, 3 Days, 2 States, 1 Great Time

As I said above this game was part of the conclusion of a crazy weekend for me. It started Thursday with the Indiana State women’s game at Southern Illinois. After that game I drove into St. Louis to get prepared for Arch Madness. That day I shot my game for Indiana State along with parts of a couple of other games for fun. When Indiana State lost the game it meant that I would have to drive to Chicago to cover a Xavier doubleheader. That was a fun day first covering the Musketeer men clinching the outright Big East title. Then at the same venue preparations began for the start of the Big East Women’s basketball tournament. I shot part of the very exciting Butler comeback, overtime win over Providence. Then the final game of the weekend came around with this last game of the year for Xavier. As I walked out of the stadium I realized that I really had no clue where I was at the time. The entire weekend seemed like a huge blur. It was a fun blur though that resulted in some images that I really liked.

The Week In Photos

As I said above last week was very rewarding for me. I usually don’t get too much into basketball season. I think that I feel that way because I used to shoot a lot just to shoot. This year I did that far less, and it felt great. Since the start of 2018 I only shot one game for fun, and that was a Purdue men’s game. They were super fun to watch this year so that is just a very cool privilege to do that. When I shoot those games though my images don’t really mean anything. They don’t get looked at, and at the end of the day I feel a little weird even being there if I am not shooting for anyone. With teams that enjoy my images though it really gets the creative juices flowing, and it is far more fun for me. Last week was an absolute blast, and I hope that my weekly collection of my favorite images shows that. You can view my favorite images from last week by clicking here.

Xavier Finishes the Regular Season at the Top of the Big East

Saturday I was in Chicago to photograph Xavier as they tried to claim the outright Big East conference title. I had not seen the Musketeers in person since they played at Marquette at the end of the year. That was a great trip and a great game. This is a fun team to watch play basketball. After the game I thought that something might happen in the locker room, but I was not prepared for the water that ended up in the air. The TV interview for Coach Mack gave the team enough time to come up with the water plan. I knew that I (and my equipment) would get drenched so I ditched one camera and rolled the dice with the other one. It was well worth it as I made one of my favorite pictures from a fun weekend in the locker room.

Going Wide Again

I really liked the photo that I made with my 11-24mm lens the night before during the anthem, but I didn’t feel that I nailed it. The cool scoreboard of Wintrust Arena gave me a chance to redeem myself a few short hours later. I really like the way that this one came out. Maybe I will get a chance to do this again during the big dance.

Breaking Records

Saturday Trevon Bluiett set the Xavier record for career three pointers. He really is a fun player to watch, and I was glad to get the chance to photograph him playing again. He really is a dynamic player that is not done doing big things.

A Quick Turnaround

When I got back to my hotel Friday night in St. Louis I knew that I had only a short time before I had to be in Chicago. An 11 am start comes quickly. I was a little tired, but the photos that I made were completely worth it. I never dreamt that Indiana State would lose, and I would have to make that road trip up north. Every story has a bright side though, and even though I was bummed for Indiana State I was happy to have a fun day with Xavier ahead of me.

A Season Bookend

My basketball season really started early with shooting Musketeer Madness for Xavier in October. With no more basketball on the books this could have been the last time that I make images for the season. With tournaments coming up that could all change, but if it does not this was a cool way to bookend the season. I started it photographing the men’s and women’s teams for Xavier in Cincinnati, and it may have ended with both teams in Chicago. That is pretty cool if you ask me.

The Week In Photos

Last week was another fun and rewarding week making images. This is a weird time of the year because I am at the end of basketball season and baseball is starting. I want baseball season to get here so bad, but this is the best time of year to photograph basketball. The emotion really comes out naturally as more is on the line. This was the most fun that I have ever had during a season photographing basketball. This week is part of the that reason why. Take a look at my favorite photos from last week here.

Indiana State Opens Up The Final Weekend Of The Regular Season At Southern Illinois

Last night I made the drive down to Southern Illinois to see the Indiana State women’s basketball team one more time this season. It has been a pleasure to photograph them this season as they have turned the season around. They had a rough start to the season, and their coach was let go. They then rallied to finish in the top half of the conference and earn a first round bye in the MVC tournament.

Shooting On The Road

This year I have shot on the road more than any other year. That is not including that my ‘home’ games are two hours away from me. Indiana State built money into the budget for me to follow them around and that is a good thing. They really do value photography in a way it seems a lot of colleges do not right now. Video seems to be king right now, and I don’t see many schools that send photographers on the road. I love shooting in new places. It is fun to walk into an arena and figure out things that you could do with the stadium. Depending on how events unfold today here in St. Louis I may have one more road game to shoot this year.

SIU Arena

One draw to shoot the game last night was to see SIU Arena in person. I love these basketball arenas built in the 60’s. This season I have photographed at a few new arenas, and I love to find the little things that make each place home for their respective teams. They do a great job of remembering the past here. I found many pictures of Bruce Weber hanging up all around the stadium in one form or another. I never did see any young Matt Painter photos though.

What Day Is It? And What Am I Doing Today?

As I write this it is Friday morning, but my internal clock has been telling me that it is Saturday all morning so far. When your season has had women’s basketball on Friday for the entire season you start to mark time that way. A Thursday game on the last weekend of the season already has me messed up, and this weekend is just starting. My schedule really is dependent on what the Indiana State men’s team does tonight. If they win I stay in St. Louis and I get to tour the city a little more tomorrow. If they do not win then it is an early morning drive up to Chicago for a Xavier doubleheader. No matter what I think that the week in photos that comes out probably Monday morning will have plenty of content. This blog may write itself for the next week or so. Okay I have to go and explore the city a little now.

Seeing Carver Arena In Person

I will admit that part of the drive to shoot the Indiana State game against Bradley was to see Carver Arena in person. I love an arena with a little identity to it, and this one had that for sure. If you stood on one end of the arena and faced back at the court you were treated to a small history of the Bradley Braves basketball program. The other way had the Peoria Rivermen signage up. I was at the game early so I decided to go up and make my arena photo. In the old days getting to the arena two hours or more early for the game would get you an empty court. Now for some reason someone is always on the court doing something. This was made over two hours before the game started, and still I had to try and wait out people on the court. I still like my empty arena pictures from new places though. I try to get these at every new arena that I visit. I would like to get this with a full stadium, but I am usually a little busy when it is full.

The Week In Photos

This weeks edition of my favorite photos is basically a recap of my four games in five days with the men’s and women’s basketball programs of Indiana State. Four wins makes for some fun photos. This week I still don’t have final plans for yet, but I do know at some point I will be in St. Louis for the Indiana State game Friday. The way that the schedule is looking right now this might be my last week of basketball so I had better enjoy it. You can view my favorite photos from last week here.