Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hockey takes away the sting of bad basketball loss

One Sunday, two games. The first was painful and the second could have been but had a happy ending.

At this point I don't think any of us know which version of the basketball team will show up. Each iteration of the team has its own challenges, but sometimes they compete and look ready. The other times it is like they are playing in slow motion and overwhelmed by the situation. Sunday's loss to Duke falls into the overwhelmed category. The team started okay, but one Duke run was all it took for the wheels to fall off. Turnovers were an issue in the first half. We also couldn't even get good shots off. The refs didn't help, but they weren't the reason we lost. I could list multiple gripes about what went wrong, but the thing that is still gnawing hours later is the tempo in the second half. We were down 20+ and the team was still working the possessions and passing the ball around the perimeter. I didn't expect a furious comeback but it would have been nice to try it. Or chuck more 3s! Or do something! Part of "teaching these guys to win" is about playing for 40 minutes. If we are down 30 and there is still 15 minutes left, the guys have to play with a sense of urgency. To fight for everything. That sort of intensity will carry over to other games and pay dividends down the road. It is the sort of killer instinct we might be missing.

That intensity is part of the Hockey team's culture. They kept the pressure on in OT and scored the game winner with minutes left. The win left BC in fourth first place [My mistake. Thanks for the heads up] within Hockey East, which will be critical come playoff time. The team's next game is Tuesday.

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