BlogTourney Central

Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

The Swarm Of The Blu-Tang Killa D

Late, Friday night…

Really late.  Enter The Wu-Tang bumps through a pair of ear buds.  A-10 Talk is in Brooklyn, and we’ve just had a ruckus day of quarterfinal basketball action in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Rewind it back,

  • The Player of the Year floated home a game winner at the buzzer to advance the seed.
  • An inter-city rivalry lived up to the billing in a three point game that dashed the hopes of a would-be dark horse.
  • A heavyweight fight broke out between the Most Improved Player and perhaps the league’s most underrated player.
  • The best defensive unit in the A-10 never flinched, and ground down an offense that only the night prior had been deadly from the floor.

A basketball tournament is one of the best environments we have in sport to find out who the baddest dude on the block is.  Friday’s fight card looked promising on paper, and the undercard was a masterpiece, but it was the main event (according to tip times), Rhode Island and George Washington, that featured the league’s big dog.

Last week, Rhode Island’s Hassan Martin was named to both the A-10 All-Conference Second Team and A-10 Defensive Team.  He led the league in both FG% (64.0%) and blocks – dismissing nearly 4 shots per game during A-10 play (12.0% of opponent’s attempts).  Quite simply, he is the authoritative force powering the ninth best defense in the nation.

To be fair, Martin was saddled with foul trouble in the quarterfinal matchup, and didn’t get to roll out in quite the manner the stage beckons – yet the sophomore found a way to be involved as only bad dudes can.

By causing serious delirium.

Hassan finished with 5 blocks against the Colonials, good for more than six of the other seven teams that played Friday night.

The Staten Island native is an alumni of the borough’s, Curtis High School.  According to the school’s Wikipedia page, other notable alumni include both a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Victoria Secret model.  But what’s pretty obvious to people under the age  everywhere, is that the school’s most prominent graduate is Bobby Digital, aka the RZA.

If that doesn’t make a nickel bag of sense to you, check out this clip from Jim Jarmusch’sCoffee and Cigarettes.

Cinephiles with a keen eye will, no doubt, pick out from that scene Rhode Island assistant coach Luke Murray’s less nattily dressed father, William James.

Bill Murray in Wes Anderson’s, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou


Clearly, the RZA and Wu-Tang Clan are kind of a big deal (as is the Murray Clan) and , like Martin, the Clan hail from Staten Island or, as they’ve famously dubbed it, Shaolin.

The Wu-Tang Clan folding some laundry.


This connection (the Shaolin one not the Murray one) has prompted Rhody fans on Twitter to use the hashtag, #ShaolinSwat when tweeting about Martin.  As a side note, A-10 fans can look forward to two more years of #ShaolinSwat vs. #MoSaysNo (for VCU’s dominant shot rejecter and fellow All-Defensive Team member, Mo Alie-Cox).

Given Martin’s penchant for burying opponent’s shots into chambers unknown, we’ve decided to fire up the #ShaolinSwat counter.

Friday night’s reading is as follows,

The Hassan Martin #SaholinSwat Counter



Protect ya neck, Atlantic 10.

Hassan Martin dunking on dudes.


Jeff Horne is a Richmond native and basketball lover. You can follow him on Twitter, @jeffreyphorne.
  • 860
  • April 7, 2015
There is no battle between #ShaolinSwat and #MoSaysNo. Martin averages over a block better PER GAME than Mo. Had 35 more swats than Mo this year despite playing three less games. It's really not even close; VCU fans just wish they had a big man like Martin on their team.