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UAA Basketball Road Weekend Blog #5: Sam Borst-Smith, Rochester

UAA Basketball Road Weekend Blog #5: Sam Borst-Smith, Rochester

At least one student-athlete from each Association school will blog about a UAA basketball road weekend this season.

Sam Borst Smith, University of Rochester

Being a part of the UAA is indeed a blessing. At the Division III level, it is unusual for schools to travel to such diverse geographical locations to play conference opponents. We are lucky enough to do so, and personally, the UAA has given me the opportunity to travel to cities that I have never been to before.

This past weekend, we traveled to play both NYU and Brandeis. After a long bus trip downstate, we arrived in New York City around 11 p.m. Thursday, with a big day ahead of us starting in the morning.

For us, a typical Friday schedule looks something like this:

-       9:30 a.m.: Team breakfast

-       12:00 p.m.: Team shoot-around

-       3:00 p.m.: Pregame scout/film (we also watch film/scout on Thursdays)

-       4:30 p.m.: Pregame meal

-       5:45 p.m.: Leave for the game

-       8:00 p.m.: Tipoff

After the pregame scout Friday, many of our newcomers left the hotel to see the city with our coaching staff. For some of them, it was not just their first time seeing the “Big Apple”, but also taking the subway.

There is something special about playing in New York City, especially on a Friday night. During my four years here, games against NYU have always been big for us, due to the great number of Rochester alumni who come to the games. As expected, there were many familiar Rochester faces in the crowd. Fortunately for us, we were able to leave the city with a great team win. 

On Saturday morning, we left our hotel and drove to Westport, CT.  Both the men’s and the women’s team were lucky enough to have breakfast at Mack Montague's house. It is very rare for us to have a meal at a teammate’s home.

We left Mack’s house and headed towards Brandeis. Saturdays in the UAA are always travel-heavy. For us, here’s what a typical Saturday schedule looks like:

-       8:15 a.m.: Team breakfast

-       9:00 a.m.: Bus leaves hotel

-       1:30 p.m.: Arrive at hotel

-       1:45 p.m.: Leave for lunch

-       2:45 p.m.: Scout/film

-       4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Practice

-       6:00 p.m.: Team dinner

-       8:00 p.m.: Return to hotel

Sunday games in the UAA are always tough. Traveling, early wake-up calls, and even potential problems like delayed flights make these games about “who wants it more.”  In most cases, the team that puts forth more effort come game time walks away with the win. 

From the time we’re awake, we’re always on the go, as shown below:

-       7:30 a.m.: Wake-up

-       8:15 a.m.: Team breakfast

-       9:15 a.m.: Pregame scout/film

-       10:15 a.m.: Leave for game

-       12:00 p.m.: Tip-off 

-       2:00 p.m.: Post-game social

-       4:30 p.m.: Bus leaves

-       11:30 p.m.: Bus arrives in Rochester 

We left Brandeis with another great team win, completing a weekend sweep. Our team was able to walk away from the weekend better as a collective unit. 

I strongly believe that these UAA weekends tell teams much about themselves. Whether it means leaving with two great wins, a tough loss or travel mishaps, the UAA definitely builds character.

For all you underclassmen, take advantage of the time you have left! I have been blessed enough to play in the UAA alongside many of my best friends, sharing memories that will last a lifetime.  Go explore each city, make the most of your experiences, and when it’s all said and done, leave it all on the floor. It flies by quicker than you think.

Sam Borst-Smith, a senior guard, currently leads the UAA in steals and ranks in the top-10 in scoring, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point field goals, and assists. For the season, he is averaging 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 3.0 steals per game for the fourth-ranked Yellowjackets.