Which player drinks Dr. Pepper before every game? Whose high school nickname was “puppy dog”? What does water polo have to do with anything? Here are the quirks, customs, and quasi-secrets of five Northeastern basketball players.
Player: Caleb Donnelly
Weight: 181 pounds
Class: Redshirt junior
Hometown: Hudson, New Hampshire
Nickname: Donnelly posted big numbers for Northeastern’s club team, quickly earning the nickname “Agent Smooth” in honor of his deft scoring touch. In high school, his friends referred to him as “puppy dog”—a smaller version of his 6-foot-6-inch, 300-pound older brother, who was known as “big dog.”
Pre-game meal: Chicken Parmesan with penne pasta.
Music: Donnelly’s favorite artists include Eminem and Blink 182, but he’s taken to listening to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” in pre-game warm-ups. “It helps me stay relaxed and in the zone.”
If not basketball: Donnelly was thrice named team MVP of his high cross-country team. “Basketball is my favorite sport,” he said, “but I used to be better at running.”
Favorite NCAA tournament moment: When he’s not fine-tuning his 3-point stroke, Donnelly is studying game film. He recently re-watched highlights from NBA sharpshooter Stephen Curry’s masterful run in the 2008 NCAA tournament, where he scored 128 points in four games. “Some people like watching movies,” he said. “I like watching games.”
Player: Scott Eatherton
Weight: 234 pounds
Class: Redshirt senior
Hometown: Hershey, Pennsylvania
Music: “I don’t have a favorite song. I listen to a variety of stuff.”
Favorite food: Grilled BBQ chicken with ranch and rice pilaf. “I eat it three times a week. It’s easy to make.”
If not basketball: Eatherton played ice hockey until his freshman year of high school. “My dad coached me when I was younger,” he said, “and when I got older I had to choose between hockey and basketball.” Good choice.
NCAA moment: When No. 14 Bucknell defeated No. 3 Kansas in 2005. “I’ve always watched March Madness,” Eatherton said. “It’s always exciting when the Cinderella teams knock off the top teams.”
Player: Quincy Ford
Weight: 225 pounds
Class: Redshirt junior
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida
Nickname: Ford’s most common nickname among his teammates is “Q,” although some call him “Q man.”
Music: His taste in music depends on the day. Recently he’s been listening to gospel and rap to get pumped up before games.
If not basketball: Ford joked that he could play water polo, for which he certainly has the height and strength. But while his father played soccer, Ford noted that he’d most likely play football.
Favorite NCAA tournament moment: One of the greatest moments in NCAA tournament history was Kansas’ Mario Chalmers’ 3-point shot with 2.1 seconds left in the 2008 championship game against Memphis. The bucket tied the game at 63 and propelled the Jayhawks to victory. “That game was crazy,” Ford recalled.
Player: Reggie Spencer
Weight: 222 pounds
Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Nickname: “They call me ‘Country.’”
Food: Fried pork chops.
If not basketball: Track, either discus throw or triple jump.
Player: David Walker
Weight: 196 pounds
Hometown: Stow, Ohio
Nickname: Some Northeastern fans have taken to calling him “Skywalker,” an apt sobriquet for a player known for his high-flying dunks.
Pre-game beverage: “Everyone knows I need my Dr. Pepper.”
If not basketball: When he was younger, Walker played football and probably would have remained on the gridiron if not for his basketball prowess. What position would he play? Wide receiver.