By using the latest in Fake alien time-bending technology, I was able to record the pregame meeting of the Volunteers from right before game time. Below is a transcript of that meeting.
Bruce Pearl and assistants enter the locker room. His players and assistants settle into their seats in front of the white board. Bruce writes on the board:
Keys to Beat the Kats
Bruce: It’s like what I’ve been telling you guys all year long. Determination. Heart. Commitment. Its about great commitment to excellence across the board, all game, EV-ERY play. Any questions?
Wayne Chism: Yeah, uh, coach. I was wondering what we need to do in defense against Patrick Patterson. We really didn’t go over anything yesterday or the day before.
Bruce: Right. Okay. Taps fingers together. Here. Turns quickly around and draws on the white board.
Bruce: I think we need a complete team effort to stop Patterson. Just like our keys. Wayne, if Patterson gets the ball, you gotta defend him with effort. Capital-E effort, Wayne. I want the guards out top to come down on Patterson with heart. Need to OUT-PASSION Patrick. Now, they’ll rotate, and that’s when we’ll have to have MORE HEART. Bruce turns around and updates the diagram.
Tyler Smith: Tyler squints at the diagram. Uh, so you want me to rotate out on the screen to defend the shooter?
Bruce: No. I want you to OUT-HEART them. OUT-HEART-HEART-HEART them!
Tyler Smith: Oooookay.
Bobby Maze: Coach, in the tapes that we watched the other day, I saw how difficult DeAndre Liggins can be on guards bringing the ball up. Should we have JP and Cameron lag back, just in case?
Bruce: Bobby, its not about DeAndre. Its how you grow, how you mature, how you use your intelligence.
Bobby Maze: Bobby looks perplexed. Right, but-
Bruce: You need to be the tough kid. I want you to not be afraid to fail, I want you to dive on the floor for the ball, I need you to be the guy that when you’re staring DeAndre down, you don’t look away. OUT-STARE and OUT-HEART. THAT’S what I want from you.
Bobby Maze: Right.
Brian Williams: Coach, are we gonna open up in a 2-3 zone? Sometimes the Wildcats look-
Bruce: Gotta have that defensive intensity, gotta have those transition buckets, gotta hit our open 3 pointers and gotta hit the floor for loose balls. GOTTA out-PLAY and out-HUSTLE those Wildcats.
Brian Williams: So, a zone then?
Bruce: You know I love you, New York Guy. Show us that Bronx determination, Brian. Get us a win!
Brian Williams: Coach, I-
Bruce: Bruce is very excited and slightly bouncing on his toes. Gonna get us a win, Brian! Gonna get me a victory FAT GIRL, Brian! I love a fat girl, I always told you that Brian!
Steven Pearl: Dad.
Bruce: Look, itsnotaboutme, I get WAY more credit than I deserve. Its all about you players, you guys are special, CAPITAL S-P SPEC-IAL, and itsgonnatake-a SPECIAL effort this SPECIAL night for SPEC-IAL PLAY from you SPEC-IAL PLAY-ERS.
Bruce spins around and writes “4. Special Plays from SPECIAL PLAYERS” on the white board. As he underlines the words “SPECIAL PLAYERS” 15 times, the players and assistants anxiously stand to their feet. Associate Head Coach Tony Jones whistles for the player’s attention.
Tony Jones: Alright guys, let’s, uh, play with the effort Coach Pearl wants us to have. And let’s just keep doing what we’ve been doing. Push the ball and try to force turnovers. Don’t worry about anything, we’ll let you know when if we change up our strategy, okay?
Bruce: Bruce is nearly talking a mile a minute while actively jumping off the floor. We’ve gottalotof work to do. Hey, somebody hastoknockofftheCats, right? We AB-SOL-LUTE-LY have enough to beat Kentucky. HEARTDETERMINATIONDECICATIONCOMMITMENTFOCUS!
Coach Pearl’s enthusiasm sweeps up the team as they start jumping in time with the coach. Bruce screams “FAT! GIRRRRRRRLLLLLLSSSSS!” as he leads the team out of the locker room and towards the stadium floor.