One of the underrated benefits of being a critically acclaimed and commercially unsuccessful blogger is that I get to randomly shout out people I admire and steal their images for my own benefit. Thus, I present Tupac, and title this post “Changes”.
My team in it’s current formation is not the team I used to coach. I have come to grips with this in stages, much I suppose like a recovering alchoholic. At first, I thought to hell with it, I am the arrogantone and we will win. See dismal loss to Orangewood. Next, I thought we are vulnerable, we have some issues, but play a little better, win the six battles that win the war, and all is good. See horrific loss to Hagerty.
Today, I had to drive to Tavares, and but for the moment when some snaggled-toothed redneck psuedo-hooker flipped me off after I executed beautiful sweeping pass on 441, I had time to ponder my team. We have changed. We have lost versatility and athleticism, but more than that simple confidence. In light of these changes, I must change. I must adapt tactics, and build confidence in the individuals and team.
Tonight’s game was at Evans, and with squad attrition, I added to freshman to the traveling party, Dallas Caviani and Jesus Santiago. I decided not to press early and focus on getting back into our zone. The first have was terrific for us. We led 18-9. Everyone on the floor was contributing. The good vibes continued into the second quarter, and when Barry Beasley hit a 3, we led 33-16.
Then trouble came. Evans scored the final seven points of the half to cut our lead to 33-23. I wasn’t happy. There is a huge psychological impact to finishing a half or even a quarter on a run. I still felt confident, but a bad tendency got the best of us right away. So many times this year, right when we had the opportunity to put a game away, we would lack the resolve to do so. An unfortunate series of turnovers, fouls and bad defense greeted us coming out of the half and the run extended to 16-0 cutting the lead to one 33-32.
This was still early in the third quarter, but the game was sealed to the extent we would not runaway with it. Until the final two minutes the teams traded baskets and the lead, but we could not put together a run of 3 stops to assert any control of matters. In the closing two minutes, Evans led by 4-6 points and despite several opportunities to score we could not. An uncontested lay up at the buzzer after we decided not to foul provided the final margin of eight at 69-61.
Consistent with the changes I felt necessary, I remained positive through the game. The players fought well, and in all honesty it was our best performance of this ghastly three loss week. We have four games left, and if we can grow and improve in our current formation we will win.