Jan. 12, 2010
Hey Wildcat fans!
It was tough week for us. We went on the road to play Minnesota and Purdue and lost both games. At Minnesota, we came out strong from the tip and held as much as a 16-point lead during the first half. The lead dwindled in the second half and when it came down to the final seconds, they hit a big shot to seal the deal. At Purdue, the roles were reversed. They came out in the first half and built an 11-point lead, but we made it a one-point game with a few minutes left on the clock. Again, they hit a few shots that forced us to foul to try to get back in the game. We never did.
We have a bye game this Thursday, which allows us to take a solid five days to re-focus for our next home game against Minnesota. First let me say it is nice to play a team you just lost to so quickly because the loss is fresh in your mind and you still have that thirst to prove yourself with a win. Secondly, our team is starting to recognize how important the small details are. Those little details may seem trivial to some, but can be the difference in a game. Details like rushing over to help up a teammate who took a charge, running on and off the court during games, being the first one to give someone a high-five when they do something great, or being the first one to encourage a person when they could have done something better. Basically, all the details that bring a team together and as our coaches like to say, "the things that show you trust your teammate and show you are willing to go to war with your teammates." I don't want it to sound like we are not good teammates for one another. We are. We joke and have great times and are there for one another no matter what challenges life throws our way. But you lose back-to-back, the high energy cheering that was once easy can sometimes become difficult. It is easy to be there when everything is grand, but it is harder to bring that same intensity when things are tough. Now we are focusing on bringing the same attitude and intensity to a win as we do to a loss. The belief is that if we stay consistent we will get a win and get back on track.
For every game we play there is TONS of preparation involved. One assistant coach will be assigned to scout our upcoming opponent. They will spend days watching countless hours of game film, breaking down the other team's tendencies and writing up a report to give to the players. Every player has their tendencies, even simple ones like if the player is left-or right-handed. Whichever hand they are more inclined to use we are coached to force them to use their other non-dominant hand. Other tendencies may include knowing if the player would rather shoot the jump shot than drive. If they are a shooter, it is all that more important you know where your man is, and that you have a hand in their face every time they catch the ball. If they like to drive, you have to be in position to cut them off. A few days before the game we get a packet called a `scouting report,' that is full of information on our opponent. The first page breaks down each and every player's tendencies and the next page talks about their team tendencies on both offense and defense. Along with the scouting report, our coaches will put together a bunch of video clips so that we can visually see what they wrote up in the scouting report. The day before the game, we will run through the other team's offenses and defenses so we can figure out how we are going work through any challenges they may present. Like I said, a lot of work is done before the tip even goes up.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time, Go 'Cats!