Well that about sums it up, let’s get to it after the jump…
What happened? After losing the previous night to Iowa State I had hopes that this Friar team would turn it around. I even went so far as to predict a win. I was wrong. I was very wrong. The Friars took the first strike with a Vincent Council three ball, before UNI answered back with a three of their own. It was all downhill from there. At one point it looked like we might’ve had a chance to reclaim the lead, coming within 6 with ample time left in the second, but as soon as the gap closed it widened again. Outside of Vincent Council and, to some extent, Gerard Coleman and LaDontae Henton, there was not many bright spots. Credit to Lee Goldsbrough for hustling his ass off and not giving in, he was part of the reason we hung for as long as we did. Bilal gave a two minute contribution and then was a nonfactor for most of the game, and I don’t even remember Kofane. It was painful.
What was the hype? After our first loss of the game people were expecting a comeback performance, either because we expect more from this team now that Cooley is at the helm or because we’re all victims of learned habit and saw ourselves constantly losing game 3 in a 4 game tournament only to rebound and win the fourth game. We expect more heart and passion from this team, and yet somehow the message didn’t get through. Friar fans were treated to a humiliating loss on national television and are left wondering, with Tuesday’s game against Holy Cross on the horizon, what can be done to redeem this team? One concern is that this team’s defense just isn’t good, but that’s not a product of the coaching – if you look at the players the set up for defense is there and they’re running it, but they’re not defensively trained enough to execute it to perfection. Since you need to know how to execute a defense in order to, you know, make it effective, a lot of people were left screaming “aw what the bloody f…!?”
stat Quote of the game came from Cooley when interviewed about his teams performance. I don’t have the game DVR’d so I can’t quote him directly but he talked about how if they don’t want to play in Ed’s system they won’t play, and he’s very, very displeased. I’d rather hear that than “you know what? we’ll turn it around.” Don’t lie to me. Telling me we’ll turn it around insults my intelligence and makes me very angry (GODFATHER REFERENCE FTW!). This team looked awful and Cooley knew it. Maybe they’re tired from a lack of depth, maybe they can’t live up to the Ed Cooley standard; I don’t know. What I do know is that they either live up to Cooley’s expectations and start playing like they want to win, or they don’t play. Bryce Cotton, who made it ran for the first three games, went flat like a deflated balloon these past three. Cooley benched him. Goddamn right.
Most Frustrating Moment of the Night: *takes another drink* do you really want me to get into this?
Chowdah? You know what, if we even had 4 performers worthy of Chowdah I’d be more inclined to hand it out, but this game was awful. Council earns the most props, followed by Gerard and Lee. Henton gets credit too because even though he was a freshman he has the stones of a senior and the basketball IQ to match. He’s starting and playing significant minutes for a reason, and going forward he will be a serious part to the winning ways of future Friars teams.
I leave you with this – people on Scout often sight how I’m painfully optimistic (I’m actually doing a blog post soon that will explain why I am that way, but for now just take it for what it is) and even after a night like last night I still woke up this morning a fan of the Friars, along with the rest of Friartown. It was painful and embarrassing and difficult to sit through last night, but as a community we got through it. That’s what matters most. We’ll have another game (it’s on Tuesday at home) and we’ll have another after that. The program is still standing and we still have the leadership and guidance of Ed Cooley. Things will be better in time, it’s just a matter of weathering this storm.
See you Tuesday Friartown, until next time keep your head up. Word is born.