It's tournament time, friends. I'm excited. Mizzou opens play tomorrow night against Colorado State in a familiar venue, Rupp Arena. CSU is a tough draw. They're an experienced team that shares some of our strengths. However, should we survive and advance, the U of L awaits us in the Bluegrass State. I think we got one of the toughest draws in the tourney.
I'm hopeful, however, as I look at our chances. We are truly one of the deepest, most talented teams in the nation. We just haven't finished games. If you look at our schedule, we've only been soundly beaten in three games: at Ole Miss, at Florida, and against Louisville. In every other instance, we've botched the ending and have given the game away. If we can shake that trend of freaking out at the end of games (come on, Flip), we'll be in good shape.
A lot has changed since our first game against the U of L. We now have a capable second ballhandler and back-up point guard, Keion Bell. We didn't have that the first go-around, and the Cardinals' press ate us for lunch. We'll be more prepared this time. I do think we are more talented than Louisville. Can we handle their press? Can we finish a game? We'll see. But first we have to take on a well-coached, veteran CSU team.
My distant second-favorite team has always been Indiana. My brother-in-law is now the planter/pastor of Redeemer Community Church in Bloomington, Indiana, the home of IU. I get the privilege of visiting there this weekend. I'll get to watch the Crimson and Cream play while we're there (and they better let me watch my Tigers, too). Indiana is such a well-coached, talented team, that it's hard not to root for them. It will be fun to root for them while on Hoosier soil! By the way, don't try to rob my house. It will be guarded by a scary dog and a tough single dude.
Upward Season Finished, Parkade Season Starting
Our Upward Wildcats team finished this past Saturday with my team playing a great game, short two of our best players. JHL played outstanding basketball. He and his buddy Demorrion Calhoun rallied the team to tie at the buzzer. It was a blast coaching those kids.
I also recently started coaching Hadley's team at Parkade Elementary. Gordy Bryan and I are working together on this. We have some great kids. We'll start playing games the week after Spring break. There is so little time to prepare! But I'm excited.