One of the first things Florida coach Billy Donovan did upon boarding the USS Bataan was ask about touring the gun turret.
Forget the wind, the open-air backdrop, the chilly temperatures and potential court condensation.
This was bigger than basketball, and Donovan knew it.
"To be on this ship, sharing a moment like this, means more than I can ever express," Donovan said.
No. 10 Florida and Georgetown were thrilled to be part of the once-in-a-lifetime event - Friday night's season opener on the deck of an amphibious assault ship.
Both teams toured the 844-foot Bataan on Thursday, posing for pictures and talking to everyone wearing a uniform and taking part in the Navy-Marine Corps Classic. Donovan even invited three former Navy basketball players assigned to the Bataan to help run shoot-around.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III was equally taken back.
"For these kids to get the opportunity to come here and meet the sailors and the Marines that are on the Bataan," said Thomps...