It’s really a shame there aren’t more seniors in the college game.
They know systems, they lead and – most importantly – they don’t get rattled. Kyle Fogg and Jesse Perry didn’t get rattled.
Not when Perry was struggling from the field (1-6 FGs) and lost amidst the Mike Dunlap 1-1-3 Zone.
Aside: Arizona shot its way to victory using the three point basket. They were 14-29 (48%) from distance, 11-31 (35%) from inside the arc. Who remembers how frustrating the 1-1-3 was when it wasn’t working and teams rained three balls on the ‘Cats? I for one certainly do and, while it worked when it worked, it was frustrating. That was a lot of open threes tonight and lots were hit. Bear down.
Not when the mood got chippy and players had to be separated. And not when the Wildcats went down eight with seven to play and the Johnnies fans were finally making an appearance.
That’s what you’ve gotta love about seniors; because when your team needs a play (Fogg draws charge, Nurideen Lindsey fouls out) they get one. Or your team needs a different look (Perry 3-4 FGs in final seven minutes) to once and for all pull away.
You can’t quite coach that stuff. You can most certainly teach every little thing about your system; run the offense, help on defense, multiple in-bounds, a press break, set play 1, set play 2, etc. You can write all the X’s and O’s you want, but when push comes to shove, when the lights are on and the clock ticking, someone has to make a play.
What Perry and Fogg demonstrated Thursday night in the Garden is that it’s going to be just fine for this team to take its time learning. That Josiah Turner can figure out the college game and Nick Johnson can relax a little. That Angelo Chol doesn’t have to be the front court messiah and Sidiki Johnson can study hard and get a good grade in Team Hoops 101.
Perhaps it’s befitting I write this on a night that Tim Tebow blows up the NFL, but there’s something to be said for the intangibles. For simply knowing you’re going to get it done.
On Thursday night, one team had two seniors while the other had none. One team got it done. In November, on the road, I like the win. I love the seniors’ play.
It also doesn’t hurt to have freshmen: