Since the 12:00 PM mark yesterday I have been pretty discouraged by this Cardinal team. Then came the 10:00 PM mark when I started to ring in the new year with A LOT of Crown Royal and Moscato, pretty weird combination I know, but I thought A LOT!
I watched some highlight videos of last season and was more amped than ever to get this second half of the season started.
Cupcakes are out of the way, nothing but Big East foes and death row for Louisville. But I have been thinking, we can finish top of the conference easily.
I think a lot of us (including myself) were in panic mode yesterday. It was only our second loss heading into the New Year.
Really good start to the first half of the season considering that last year we had the same amount of losses going into the new year LAST SEASON. And the year we won the Big East and finished#1 team in the nation back in 2008-2009, we headed into that New Year(2009) with three losses so that's that.
I think when we look at our team record sheet we panic when we see:
0-1 in Big East conference play
1-2 vs. AP Top 25 teams.
11th in Conference Standings
We have only played one conference game against a really good Georgetown team, should we have won? Of course but is Georgetown an easy team? Hell no! Some teams just have other teams numbers. The last few years since that 2008-2009 season, Georgetown has had our number as well as Villanova.
And it goes the same for Louisville, Syracuse can't beat us and the last 2 years we are 4-1 against UCONN( would be undefeated if Kemba Walker didn't get every single call when he drives the basket, but lets not talk about past memories)
We still have 17 more games to play, that is plenty of time to come up big. I think playing nothing but cupcake teams to start the season then throwing a really NBA roster in #19 Vanderbilt in really rocked us because we wern'tused to playing hard competition but still came away with a W.
Then we play another valley of cupcakes then all of the sudden throw #12 ranked Georgetown at us and once again were used to playing cupcakes so we didn't adjust to the hard hitting Hoyas.
Then we head into the most hostile arena in the Nation to face Kentucky who has arguably the most talented team in the country and hold them to under 30% shooting and gave them their toughest if not second toughest game of their season.
The only thing I am sceptical of is Kyle Kuricand Chris Smith's Senior leadership going forward, Kuric has just as much heart as our Senior Savior Preston Knowlesdid last year, but looks a little hesitant to take that step being that last year Preston was our leader because he was the only consistent scorer on that team. This year, as we have seen, anyone is capable of having huge games for us and alongside Kuric, his co-captain Chris Smith has just as much scoring potential as Kuric.
But with so many big game threats on our team I feel that Kyle is scared to take that first step into leading us because of the big games from Russ Smithand Gorgui in the past couple slate of games. Almost feel like Kyle is scared to "mess any thing up," and throw every ones big scoring games off by just by himself taking the lead.
Are you still with me? Good. Take a breather, inhale........... EXHALE (repeat for one minute)
As far as our other younger players, Chane is still a monster but he went up against a much more physical Kentucky front courtand really couldn't get going with his early foul trouble. Gorgui should be mentioned with Davis as the nations top shot blocker.
I think that these players came together after yesterdays loss and said "we need to fix this," and I believe that Rick Pitino will have these guys heads on straight.
Honestly, I think we needed these losses desperatley; now that they have had a huge slice of humble pie and know what losing taste like, I feel confident that weather we have that ONE leader or not, this team will play the best TEAM basketball in the Big East in the remaining 17 games and will only get better.