How would you have described this game in two words before it was played? Very winnable? Must win? Golden opportunity? Now, how would you describe it in one word after the game?
Okay, so let’s get to it…
Men and Boys - During his post game, Ed Cooley made mention on several occasions that they were playing like babies on the court against grown men, and that he didn’t do enough to teach the value of toughness and brute on the court. Truer words never spoken, as we were constantly battered around and the game stopped on several occasions to deal with on court injuries – most of which were Friar related. Toughness is hard to teach, for example when I used to compete in Tae Kwon Do tournaments I used to stand with my hands behind my back in practice while people went through a line kicking me in the chest. It sucked and it was awful to go through and definitely my least favorite part of my training, but it taught me to be desensitized to being hit so rather than focus on the hit I could focus on the fight. It took years to develop this, and we don’t have years – we have days in between games. It’s one thing that will take longer to develop on this team, but the important thing is that coach has recognized it and is working to correct it. Reason number 103248 why Cooley is awesome.
Rebounds and Turnovers - Don’t even get me started. 20 offensive rebounds for the Pirates and 28 points off turnovers? I mean, I’ve never taken a hammer to my giblets but I would imagine that it feels the same as looking at that stat.
Bryce Cotton - If I was dishing out chowdah (and I’m not because I just don’t see the point of awarding four different awards for when we only play like 6 players…gets kinda old I feel, so that’ll have to be readjusted) I wouldn’t penalize Cotton because shooting is one of the hardest things to deal with. Even a phenomenal shooter like Ray Allen absolutely screwed the pooch in the finals 2 years ago after he shot a lights out performance in game 2. He couldn’t hit anything to save his life. It’s not that he wasn’t getting looks and it’s not that he was doing something different with his shot, it’s just that they weren’t falling. When the Celtics have that problem they can look to their bench or their other shooters but we don’t have a bench and we’re limited on shooters. I don’t blame Cotton because he did everything right, the shots just weren’t falling and on a team as thin as ours that usually means death by loss of Big East game. Speaking of…
This game was winnable: We had it. It’s not like the Syracuse game where they just couldn’t miss if they tried, and it’s not like the St. Johns game where we just looked lost and confused, this was us playing well for the most part and not being able to capitalize. Cooley said last year that one thing he needs to teach this team how to do is how to win properly, because the wins that had been coming in from years past with coaches past (not pointing fingers) weren’t the right ways to win, they were just outscoring opponents and didn’t show any real discipline for the game of basketball. In life you either get lucky or get you get good, but in order to become good you have to develop into it. Right now we’re seeing that development. The losses suck sure but it’s building towards a much better end result that we as Friar fans not only hunger to have but deserve to have. Look at it this way – with St. Johns we had no chance, with Georgetown we kept it close but couldn’t really get within full striking distance, with Syracuse we showed we could hang tough and even with their talent we can still keep it a respectably close game, and most recently we saw a team that got the game within a point with 3:04 left on the game clock. Maybe we could’ve gotten lucky and won, but we’d still have to learn this lesson in the long term, and it helps us become better. Like Wesley Snipes used to tell me, some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill.
The wins will come - maybe saying we could win 7-8 games in the Big East was bold on my part, but I stood by it and I still do. It’s possible and I know we will win games, just how many is up for question as the Big East as a whole is just…fucking confusing I guess is the phrase I’m looking for.
So that’s that, we have a game on Tuesday against Louisville and I know this much – it’s another chance to win, and Cooley will not let another chance to win slip by. Some motherfuckers are always trying to ice skate uphill, but not Ed Cooley and not his Friars.