Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gardening 101....the first seeding

So we played our first game of the Canadian exhibition tour last night. I wanted to blog about it last night but was really tried and turned in right after dinner. There was a ship on the river that set off fire works late last night that lit up my entire room. It was nice and must be a tradition here because there were hundreds of folks sitting out by the river enjoying the event.

Well, we lost the game 85-78 but it really gave me a chance to learn a lot about my team. First of all, I knew coming into international play that the officiating would be a challenge so my main focus was to allow the returning guys to blend with the newcomers to form their personality. I believe each year, each team develops it's own personality from the core or the stronger players. The way we play and the discipline of the approach is always the same but each team has a different personality. We are here without 3 players and Gene Johnson (probably out for the season and expected to have surgery soon) and Marquise Kately (knee soreness) didn't play. Please don't interpret the details as an excuse cause they are not. It's really, really early and it's important to learn your team now, introduce things, get valuable tape( to teach from cause tape don't lie) and allow the young guys to get their feet wet. We did some very good things out there and I was please overall with the effort and the fact that they didn't quit. We actually led by 12 or 13 in the first half but the score keepers continually jacked up the score board and the time. Hey part of it....I didn't respond to any of it because the purpose of the games was exactly what I stated earlier. Desmond Thomas, Sean Thomas, Kevin Thompson and Ameer Ali did some really good things and showed a lot of toughness. We clearly haven't been through pre-season conditioning or individual workouts and it showed. The fellas are definitely out of shape but trust me...they will get there. The good thing is that the players all realize it and made the same comment. Growth baby....that's what we're looking for! Buford Foote and Troy Smith, the JUCO transfers did some nice things and will contribute nicely this year. Rogers Barnes, Jermaine Bolden and Reggie Holmes did the bulk of the scoring and were good leaders as well. Oh yeah big Rodney Stokes showed signs that he has grown as a player but got a big gash under his eye and had to leave the game. Probably will get a couple stitches and might not play today.

Both teams made 32 field goals, we made 2 more 3 pointers than them but they were 14-23 from the free throw line and we were 5-8. Enough said right? We do have to learn to play better defense without fouling. I don't like losing games or anything for that matter but I know you have to keep these things in it's proper prospective. We're planting seeds baby...just gotta water and nurture them now. We play at 1 p.m today against the home/host team who got beat up by Southern Illinois last. SIU literally put a physical beating on them. They, meaning SIU, are a really tough team and play extremely aggressive and that's why all of their guards were fouled out of the game. But they held on and won so now it's our turn to go at Windsor University. Let me go check on my seeds cause before you know it, it'll be harvest time! Yeah...that's what this whole process is about!

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