If Only It Were Vacation…

We’re not looking back. Yes, I missed a pile during my one-week hiatus/sojourn/re-programming, but really, until the opening tipoff it’s all prep work. Look for oddly-timed catch-up posts and I ramp back up.

First up is your life lesson, and I’ll reach to one of the world’s greatest philosophers for help: “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.” No matter the crap laid in front of you by even the most ignominious dullard, keep moving forward. There’s nothing you can do about the past. Learn from it, but let it go. You can only control today, and tomorrow. Focus your energy there. (Other than Old Satch, can you tell I’ve been reading some eastern philosophy lately?)

That said, I’ll use the philosophy of looking forward to set up one of the better transitions  ever used on this blog. I was fortunate enough to chat with Delaware coach Monte Ross the other day.

One of the things I wanted to talk to him about was their season-ending loss to Nor’easter in last year’s CAA tourney. If you remember, Delaware trailed by some ugly score of 50-25 or 58-30. After winning five of 29 games, it would be reasonable to think “pack it in” would be the next play call.

But the Hens played HARDER the final 10 minutes of their season and lost the game by only 10. I left the Richmond Coliseum that day impressed and with a mental note that I carried with me about seven months.

Um, why?

“We teach them to play with passion, heart, and desire every day,” Ross said. He also said a few things about nobody being able to stop you if you want to play hard.

Fine–good to hear but not really groundbreaking material. Then…

“We tell them to fight through it and overcome, because if you give up on a BASKETBALL GAME, how can you respond when a real trial comes along in life,” Ross continued. “We’re trying to teach the natural reaction to fight.”

Monte Ross is the right man for that job at Delaware.

Couple other tidbits: Ross said the biggest compliment he paid Brian Johnson was that they forgot Johnson was a freshman last year. He also said Herb Courtney didn’t rest on his laurels and worked his tuchus off over the summer. Ross is also pleased at the prospect that Courtney can get off the floor a little more this season, which will make him a better player.

Pau Geli was cleared by doctors for full contact about a week ago.

***

This is a legit question I haven’t had much time to ponder. So guards, especially ballhandlers, are THE most important player on the floor in college basketball these days, right? At least that’s what the really smart guys who create conventional wisdom say. (You bet your bippy that was a shot at a couple of folks.)

So what does this say: the CAA last season had three freshmen point guards who all averaged 30-plus minutes per game (Janning, BJohnson, Curtis).  VCUs Eric Maynor was a sophomore. Towson’s CC Williams was a junior but in his first season of D1 basketball.

What does that bode?

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~ by mglitos on September 13, 2007.

4 Responses to “If Only It Were Vacation…”

  1. Interesting stat about the guards. It seems the level of player being recruited in the CAA is just getting better and better every year.

    Not to be combative, and not to take away from the talent of the named guards, but let me point out that w/the exception of Maynor (possibly the league’s best player) each of those guards come from a squad that was in the bottom half of the league last season – giving them more opportunity to collect minutes. No matter how good players like Mason’s Tate or Long of Mason, or one of the baker’s dozen of guards Grant signed are, they aren’t going to get the opportunity to play long minutes unless the game becomes a blow out since the line-ups are set.

    The point then, are the lengthy minutes of the freshman simply a result of their play, or is it also impacted by the lack of depth/impact players of the teams they’re on?

  2. Very valid point, but I guess I’m asking this question: because those guys were able to get so many quality minutes and great experience, how much better will their teams be this year? If quality guard play is the key, I’m wondering about closing the gap between the top teams and the bottom teams…

  3. uh 5th’s not bottom half

  4. What about Schneider at W&M? I’m guessing he didn’t hit the 30 minute threshold, but was probably fairly close.

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