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Online trash talk riles Columbia College men's basketball team

Monday, March 4, 2013 | 8:22 p.m. CST; updated 9:08 p.m. CST, Monday, March 4, 2013

COLUMBIA — #ItsWar

The handy tools of the Internet age have revolutionized the way athletes communicate with the world and with each other — and how they trash talk. 

As if the Columbia College men's basketball team needed any more reason to be hyped for Tuesday’s American Midwest Conference tournament championship, its players have taken notice of what they call disrespectful messages being sent out into cyberspace by their opponent, No. 2-seeded Park University, from across the state.

“Park has been tweeting and making Facebook statues about how badly they want to beat us,” Cougars guard Tanner Sutton said after Columbia College’s semifinal win Saturday night. 

“One of the guys wrote ‘Every time I think of 30-0 I hate it. It puts a bad taste in my mouth. We’re coming for you Columbia College. Can’t stop thinking about you.’ Stuff like that.”

It’s not that Cougars players haven’t mentioned their team’s success on social media throughout the season. They often tweet the results of their games and their record. 

Saturday night, Columbia College guards Devin Griffin and Chantel Stanciel retweeted a Cougars fan with the handle @ooochiecoochie who wrote “My 1,777th tweet goes to the Columbia college basketball team........they don’t know how to lose."

On Sunday, Cougars guard Derrick Dilworth tweeted, "The only thing is on my mind this month is getting another ring to add to my collection, then spring break #focused" to his followers. 

After Columbia College clinched a perfect regular season Feb. 24, forward Ben Bowman tweeted “30-0!! Undefeated season baby!!”

So they are talking about it, in ways that could be construed as bragging. But Sutton feels that what Park is saying is worse because his teammates aren’t mentioning anyone else’s name. He said it reminds him of high school.

“We’re not saying any disrespectful stuff like that,” he said. 

And because of that, he said there is more incentive to win Tuesday. 

“Not only to go 33-0 and to stay undefeated before nationals, that would be sweet,” Sutton said. “But to get all that out of their head.”


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