Sunday, May 4, 2014
Despite grabbing a No. 4 seed in the NIT Tournament, USF was outmatched and eliminated in the first round, losing 71-63 to the Louisiana State University Tigers. With their early exit in the NIT, the Dons’ most successful season under head coach Rex Walters officially came to an end.
USF (21-12) started the scoring off on a jumper by junior forward Kruize Pinkins, but LSU picked it up from there, going on an 11-2 run to grab and cement the lead. The Dons showed resilience, however, staying on the Tigers’ heels for most of the first half. After LSU managed to jump out to an eight point lead with 4:28 remaining in the half, The Dons began to take over and eventually came within one point. Layups by senior forward Cole Dickerson and sophomore guard Avry Holmes, as well as a tip in by Dickerson off of a missed Holmes layup, reduced the deficit to two. The Tigers answered with a dunk by Jarell Martin, but Dickerson followed with a massive three-pointer to bring the score to 29-28.
USF began the second half down 33-30, and was able to keep up early on, scoring 10 points and trailing by no more than six for the first six minutes of the half. However, from this point forward, LSU dominated and went up 61-45, their largest lead of the game, with 8:15 left. The Dons clawed away at the lead, getting within six points at 68-62, but sophomore guard Tim Derksen’s layup attempt was blocked with 1:07 to go, and the Dons never got any closer.
Dickerson led the Dons in scoring with 24 points in addition to eight rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Dickerson was the lone USF senior this season, and his final game as a Don was filled with moments of individual excellence. He shot 10-for-20 from the field and carried the Dons on a night where they struggled offensively.
In a season that started with a rocky stretch, the Dons came on strong in conference play and overachieved in the eyes of many, earned themselves the No. 3 seed in the West Coast Conference tournament behind only Gonzaga and BYU. USF’s NIT bid was even more impressive considering that starting point guard Cody Doolin quit the team just five games into the season after his involvement in an altercation with another player.
Despite losing their rock-solid point guard, the Dons earned a 13-5 record in conference play, including a win against their longtime rival Saint Mary's, a team they hadn’t beaten since 2006.
After finishing the regular season with a 20-10 record, USF faced San Diego in the first round of the WCC Tournament and were able to pull off the win, 69-60. In the second round of the tournament, the Dons played the BYU Cougars, who had gone 2-0 against USF during the season. In a thrilling game that ended up going into overtime, the Dons fell to the Cougars by only two points with a final score of 79-77.
As you pass the wide variety of liquor stores and bong shops on Haight street while heading westward you may find yourself in an area that smells a little bit less like piss than what you have just seen. This is a tourists best indication that they have crossed over the threshold of Stanyan street and into Golden Gate Park.
No longer will your vision be crowded by homeless people sitting on the sidewalk but instead by homeless people sitting on the parks otherwise mostly green grass. Unless you want to answer their requests for money make sure to shuffle past them quickly while keeping your head down, silently praying that their attention will be caught instead by some other tourist who doesn't know better than to pause in their journey.
After making it past the initial opening to the park and those that surround it you will come upon a pond tinted with an unnatural shade of green. What you are now gazing at in mixed confusion and wonder is what many in the area refer to as "Hep-C Pond". Take some time to stare deep into its murky waters and wonder what combination of pollutants could produce this sickly of a color. Whatever you do though don't dip a toe in, it's called Hep-C Pond for a reason!
Continue on from here through a fake stucco cave that opens up into the larger section of the park and towards numerous different attractions stuffed with tourists. At some point in your trip along this path you will almost certainly be offered the opportunity to purchase any of a number of different substances by a friendly man and his cohorts. It is not uncommon to receive three or even four of these offers on your walk so make sure that if you're that type of person you've brought at least a little bit of cash with you.
After a short walk on the path after the tunnel you should see a large, open area overlooked by a hill. This is the famous "Hippie Hill" you've probably heard so much about. In addition to other groups of homeless the hill is almost always populated by packs of kids from the local high schools and colleges, many of whom can be observed smoking an unidentifiable substance that reminds you of your own college days. Those not smoking anything may also be on a trip of their own, but one that is very different from the one that you're on.
Moving on from here you'll most likely find a large drum circle blocking the path forward. In addition to people banging on drums, garbage cans, and other "instruments" there should be people dancing to the uncoordinated mashup of noise as well. Push your way through this crowd and past Hippie Hill as a whole.From this point the best thing to do is to just forget about everything you've seen and keep walking deeper into the park. Despite everything you've just encountered it actually does have some redeeming qualities and there are in fact quite a few nice things to see. If you can manage to do that your time in Golden Gate Park should be one of the highlights of your day.
For many years coffee has been considered more like cheap beer than fine wine, something you drink for its effects rather than how it actually tastes. Now however, a new type of coffee is beginning to gain popularity among those looking for more than a caffeine fix. Third wave coffee is coffee that focuses more on things like the beans and how they’re roasted, as well as other factors that enrich the flavor rather than the buzz it gives you.
Colin Gallagher, a bartender at Bar Agricole, a third wave coffee shop in the Mission, says that the difference in quality between third wave and other types of coffee is extremely apparent, “It’s not mass produced, most of it is grown organically, it’s as organic as you can get, they have specific people that go, they’re called green buyers, they go down to different countries in Africa, South America, Central America and basically visit all these coffee farms and find who has the best production, who makes the best coffee, stuff you really wouldn’t see if we just had Starbucks and Peets.”
Gallagher points to knowing where your coffee comes from as one of the biggest advantages of third wave coffee and something that you just don’t find at larger chains, “I don’t know where they’re getting their coffees, it’s sort of just a blend of mass production things. It’s also that you’re supporting these really tiny farmers. It’s coffee that you would never get a chance to try with huge these corporate machines that aren’t focusing on smaller producers.”
One of the main differences between third wave and other types of coffee is the price point. While it depends on the place you decide to go to a cup of third wave coffee will probably cost a bit more than your average cup of Joe. Gallagher says that while the price will range anywhere from two to five dollars for a cup the average is usually around $3.50.
Third wave coffee may cost more but Gallagher believes the quality of the product warrants the increase. “It’s really not that much more for the quality you get. Some people just want a cup of coffee, throw the cream and sugar in there and call it a day and certain cafes adhere to that, we made a bunch of coffee and here it is, it’s cheaper, but if you want the whole spiel, if you want to nerd out on it, if you want to know where it’s from, if you want to know the producers, if you want to know about everything then it’s a little more expensive but only like a few dollars more.”
While some people may be driven away by the higher cost Colin feels that the number of people who really care about their coffee is going up, increasing the amount of customers they have as well, "There’s more access now because there’s a few different coffee roasters in the city that are doing nicer things, that are focusing more on small farms and small production. Yeah, I’d say there’s more people drinking it, there’s more people appreciating the smaller craft and the craft of roasting these really nice coffees.”
Niko Escudero, a sophomore media studies major at University of San Francisco says that he has also seen an increase in the number of customers at the third wave shops he frequents, and that this has also been accompanied by a diversification of the customers themselves. “I’ve been going to four barrel since I was a freshman and it seemed like there was a very particular crowd there the first time, a lot of the hipper San Franciscans, and now it just seems like anyone will go in there for a cup of coffee and spend time in there, families will be in there, young high school kids will be getting their lattes and stuff whereas before it would have been almost intimidating to go in there.”
Niko says that while he does enjoy a good cup of third wave coffee he only drinks it about three times a week out of his four to five cups a day. A lot of the time he is drinking it mainly for the effect rather than the taste, leading him to other sources.
While there may be some coffee drinkers who have moved away from non-third wave coffee entirely some still think that other establishments can be perfectly good as well. Devan Stegman, a freshman design major at Adirondack Community College says that while he will spring for a more expensive better brew the less artisanal stuff can have its benefits also, “I might pick Peets also because it’s a name I trust and my dad always used to say it was good. Plus I know I can find it most places and it is generally fairly affordable.”
That doesn’t mean he’ll drink anything however, there are some brands that don’t get his approval no matter what the price or convenience, “I could just never settle for something like Folgers.”