Following yesterday’s game Harrow was asked about the results of the game and he said the he, Archie Goodwin, and Nerlens Noel all played with energy. Those who didn’t need to “buy in”.
Harrow’s transformation this year has been pretty remarkable as he has made the shift from pariah to where he is now trying to step up and be a leader. He’s exactly right too. The time is now for the other guys to buy in or face several more disappointing losses. This team has the pieces to be an elite team but too often guys are content to take a play off or get beat on defense all without displaying the refuse to lose mentality that has made Cal’s teams great.
The Cats have certainly ran into some bad luck this year. Against Baylor they couldn’t buy a bucket. Against Louisville they couldn’t hit a free throw. Yesterday a guy goes for 40 and seemingly couldn’t miss. All while different injuries and illnesses have limited the bench’s depth. Still that doesn’t make up for the lack of effort that has been displayed at times this year.
First up is Kyle Wiltjer. Kyle is limited by his own athletic ability but getting up just two shots and grabbing just two rebounds in twenty minutes is something that cannot happen. Coming into the year many assumed that Kyle would be the teams leading scorer but he has struggled to make an impact in several games. If the team is going to transform then Kyle needs to buy in and adapt to find a way to put points on the board.
Next is Alex Poythress who remains an enigma. First half he was solid finishing with 9 but in the second half he only had one basket to finish with 12. We need two halves from the guy. How can you dominate on one play and get dominated the next? Poythress needs to buy in but at this point can we count on that happening? He is what he is.
This team is now at the crossroads. Play the way we know they can and they enter the NCAA tournament with a chance to do some damage. Drop some more games and they’ll be trying to reach New York to play North Carolina in the NIT championship. Ryan Harrow is right, it’s time to buy in.