After last night, the final remaining players from the Rick Majerus era have played their last game at Chafeitz Arena. Seniors Mike Crawford and Reggie Agbeko went out on a high note last night, as the Billikens won 70-55, as Crawford threw down a dunk and Agbeko banked in a three-point attempt. Over the course of their four years, the two seniors have seen the best of Billiken basketball, as freshmen on the 2013 team that went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and the worst, having spent two years playing under Jim Crews.
Through trials and tribulations, one thing remained constant: Crawford and Agbeko always represented the school exceedingly well and gave nothing less than 100 percent effort. Both seniors fought through adversity this year, as Crawford has dealt with a hamstring injury that has greatly impacted his practice time, and Agbeko continued to play hard after coach Travis Ford inserted freshman Jalen Johnson into the starting lineup instead of Agbeko. Agbeko didn’t just gracefully accept the demotion, but insisted on breaking the news to Johnson and continued to mentor him throughout the year.
Indeed, it’s through actions such as that, or Crawford’s vocal leadership on defense, as well as both seniors’ consistently high effort level, that Agbeko and Crawford will continue to impact SLU basketball as they transition into the Travis Ford era. Crawford’s resilience after his injury is still one of the most impressive things I’ve seen this season. Despite struggling with his normally dead-eye jump shot due to the injury, Crawford has still found ways to impact the game positively, whether it be on defense, or driving to the hoop or hitting clutch game-winning shots.
Crawford and Agbeko deserved a proper Senior Night send-off, and last night certainly was one. One only needed to see the smile on Agbeko’s face, and, really, the entire team, after sinking the only three-point attempt of his career(assisted by Crawford no less!), to know that. There were so many opportunities for these two to give up on Billiken basketball, and they never did, and contributed to the program in a multitude of ways.
Photo from Slubillikens.com