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first_imgJon Mettus is a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jmettus.– 30 – Comments One morning in the fall, I walked into the football auditorium in Manley Field House for Dino Babers’ press conference. Q was inside. “What the hell are you doing here?” Q said, and walked out.My first women’s basketball game this season, he ended the press conference and pretended to hit me. I don’t think I flinched.My coverage of Q and the Orange has spanned three seasons and four different states. I saw the ACC championship loss, the national championship loss and several monumental wins.One thing I learned is Q likes to poke fun (mostly at me) and never lets a (my) bad question slide.“Could you have asked for a better start,” I asked, referencing SU’s 7-for-7 open to a game.“No, not if you make seven in a row,” he responded before sarcastically calling me a genius.“You could ask for eight in a row,” I said.“Me and you, man,” he said. “Me and you. One day.”I doubt I’ll ever know what he meant by that … or what any of this meant. I don’t even know if he knew my name. We’ve debated strategy and talent of players. He’s told me he liked me and said that he didn’t.We’ve gotten into an argument over which suit — Q is known for his flashy dress — he wore to which postseason game. That was the only time he ever admitted I was right about anything, only to take it back a few minutes later.Sometimes he passed on answering my questions entirely just to make a point to me. Published on April 25, 2017 at 11:29 pmcenter_img Syracuse women’s basketball head coach Quentin Hillsman marched around the Carrier Dome with two clenched fists in the air as his team celebrated on the court. The Orange had just hosted its first NCAA Tournament games and won both, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. Naturally, I thought Hillsman, who I (and most people) refer to as Q, would be in a good mood.Not exactly.I was sitting courtside next to Syracuse’s play-by-play radio broadcaster Brian Higgins. Q was ushered over for the on-air postgame interview. But first, he had something important to say.“Which one of you Daily Orange dumbasses picked us to lose?” Q yelled.I knew he was referring to me because even though I predicted an SU win, I pegged the team as the most likely high seed to lose — a requirement in a list of postseason superlatives my beat partners and I wrote.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLetting Q know it was me didn’t prevent the repetition of the question and set a mini-rant in motion. “You are an idiot,” Q continued. “You thought we were going to lose on our home court?”I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or defend myself. I couldn’t tell if he had been planning this since he read it in The D.O. or it was spontaneous. I didn’t even know if he was joking or serious.But then he grabbed my face and kissed my forehead. “You know what? Thank you. You gave us the motivation. You’re coming on the plane with me,” Q continued, referring to SU’s impending trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the Sweet 16.This isn’t a story about some crazy trip with the team across the country. That never happened. But other reporters have joked about writing a story on my relationship with Coach Q, so I’m doing that here. I can’t say I’ve had any particularly good or bad interactions with Q. They’ve all just been peculiar. Our relationship is unlike any I’ve had with other coaches or witnessed of others.It likely got its start during winter break of 2015-16 when I stayed in Syracuse to watch the Orange blow out four teams in six days. It seemed like SU made a lot of substitutions one game, so I counted and asked Q about it. He thought I missed two.The next day, he started the postgame press conference by asking me how many substitutions they made that game. He’s always had something to say since then. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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