Editor's Note:  UNC Asheville Athletics Communications Director Mike Gore will be blogging as the men's basketball is on the road for the next eight days as the Bulldogs play Ohio State, Northeastern and St. John's. Here is the first blog.


We left Asheville at 8:10 a.m. on Friday via bus and got to Columbus about 5:15 p.m. Hit heavy traffic as we were coming into Columbus.


It was after lunch in Parkersburg, W.Va. that we hurt about the terrible tragedy in Connecticut. Everyone on the bus was glued to the TV as we heard about the details of the shooting. Just hard to believe something like this could happen.


Our practice was at 7 p.m. We used the practice court as Value City Arena's main floor was being used for a hockey game between Ohio State and Miami, Ohio.  The Buckeye hockey team is ranked 5th in the nation.


It was a good practice as our guys seemed focused and ready to play against a great, great Ohio State team. Coach Easley went over the scouting report with the guys and explained what the Buckeyes do on offense and defense.


A visitor to practice provided a real thrill. Former NBA star and one of the best to ever play at Ohio State, Jim Jackson, watched the Bulldogs work out. Jim will be doing color on the Big 10 Network's broadcast of the game today. I had the pleasure of sitting with him and talking to him about our team.


As practice ended, Coach Biedenbach introduced him and asked Jim to say a few words. Jim gave a wonderful 10-minute talk to our guys about enjoying the experience of playing college basketball. You could hear a pin drop when he talked. He told the team to enjoy these years as the best years of your life and that once you're through playing, that's it, you don't get to play anymore. He explained what a special bond you have as teammates. Jim talked about how he was still close to his teammates from more than 20 years ago.


It was a great way to end a long day. Dinner was afterwards and we just got through with breakfast. Noon starts make for an early start to the day. We will fly to Boston later tonight. So another long day.


I'll have another posting tonight once we get to Boston about today's game and the trip.