One of the best aspects of covering mid-major level college basketball, at least within the MAAC, is that most of the players remain unspoiled by the adulation and trappings related to the high-major level.
For a few years, early in my journalistic career, your blogger covered Army basketball. It was so long ago that Mike Krzyzewski was the coach at West Point. Dealing with the program there was a breeze. Every question drew a "Yes, sir" response and politeness.
And, then, I've spent the past 25 years around MAAC basketball thinking that my regular contact with coaches and players wasn't that far removed from those days around Army hoops.
The point of all of this is that one of my all-time favorites, someone who hasn't even been on the court for the past two years, will be moving on to post-collegiate life soon.
That would be Cory Magee who served as a Siena "student assistant" coach the past two years after suffering a variety of concussion-like symptoms from an elbow to the head during preseason drills prior to the 2008-09 season.
Magee, a hard-working 6-foot-7 post player, initially committed to Canisius and, then, opted out of that commitment after a coaching change to come to Siena.
Your blogger is honored to have been the first reporter to have written an extensive piece about Magee during his freshman season, writing about his thoughts about playing against Canisius for the first time in his college playing career.
The memory is of sitting in an airport talking for about 20 minutes with an articulate young man with a great sense of humor, and Magee's demeanor has gone unchanged over the years despite the premature end of his playing career.
But, maybe, another career will be the result. Magee, a true college basketball fan and historian, has a dream now of becoming an analyst some day.
If that ever happens, the foundation will have been his last season as a non-player when he wrote a weekly blog offering for the Albany Times Union. His pieces have been well-written, thought-provoking and offered a rare insight to the inner workings of a college basketball team.
There are a number of players throughout the league doing blogs for their respective college's web sites this year, but Magee's has been far and away the best this viewer has seen.
His most recent, and last, blog item about reflecting on his and his teammates' time at Siena, after their college basketball careers ended with the recent first-round NCAA tournament loss to Purdue, is outstanding and I hope you'll take a look.
Here's the link: