Well, two games, two wins, and a trip to Vegas on the horizon. It can’t get much better than that, can it? But hold on, the cats aren’t necessarily going out there to vacate and drop in on a cirque du soleil show. The boys are going out to the desert to play some ball against good teams. We have our hands full in our first game against a 4-0 K-State team. After struggling in our first two games against VMI and North Carolina, I believe we are finding our rhythm. Patrick Patterson, our go to guy, showed us he is still capable of being the player we thought he would be coming into the season. Notice I said “capable” in my last statement. Patrick had his best game of the year against our worst opponent of the year. Kansas State has true division one guards and solid big men. The question is, will are guards be capable of getting him the ball as efficient as they did against Longwood. Only time will tell.
I am really encouraged by the play of Darius Miller thus far. His demeanor on the court is unprecedented for a freshman. He is not only a skilled player, he is a confident player and knows his limits. At first I was surprised and shocked to see him start so soon over Ramon but I think it is a great idea. Our bench play has been far from stellar the first few games. Bringing Ramon off the bench provides experience, solid defense and the ability to put the ball in the hoop.
I thought Coach G had stopped the hard practices on game day, but in a Larry Vaught article he states that Coach G is still putting his guys through a “grueling practice” on game day. Personally, I really don’t see the point in this. If you have ever played basketball, you know practice is a lot harder on your legs than a game. Some people will make the argument that it will pay off in the long run and make us a tougher team. Well readers, it is one thing to play tough, but it is another thing to play smart. I a firm believer we lost the Gardner-Webb game last year and the VMI game this year because the guys just didn’t have the legs to keep going. The first thing that goes when your legs get tired is your jump shot. Jodie scored 39 points against VMI with 7:30 left in the game. Jodie shot the ball several times after the 7:30 mark but failed to drop a bucket. Jodie shot 1-8 behind the 3 point arch and as a team we shot a combined 5-22 against Longwood. I know for a fact we are better shooting team than this but as soon as the legs go, your shot goes. So, hopefully all the gym time is used up and we are forced to do our walk through in the hotel ballroom.
This is a big road trip for the Cats. After a sluggish start to the season, this is a chance to get our name back on the national scene with two big time games. With good performances in Clark County, the Cats could give themselves some much needed confidence and momentum going into the remainder of the non-conference schedule. Two wins could be huge, but two loses could be even worse. After losing a close game to UCLA and another to Memphis my senior year in Hawaii, it was a long flight back to the Bluegrass. We knew we had a lot of ground to make up.
I smell food coming from the office kitchen so I am going to wrap it up here and say Happy Thanksgiving and let’s hope for a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner for the Cats in Vegas this weekend!