November 18, 2009

The morning after, the morning after hoops

We were discussing the effects of having one-and-done players in the Lounge, got me to thinking this morning after the opening of the men's basketball season.

Right off the bat (appropriate phrase, I think, as we were off all night long), let's get this out of the way: this team simply isn't yet ready. Not that it's going to be a very good team once it does get ready, but at this point what we're watching is more practice and scrimmages to turn a fine bunch of young men - most exceedingly young - into an actual basketball team.

In actuality, there really wasn't a good deal of reason to expect that they would be ready. All the injuries this team has sustained have cost half the players at least a week's practice time. That's harmful in many ways, not just to the injured players, but to the entire team, trying to learn to become a team, needing to practice together and against one another. It's especially disruptive for so young a group.

What we saw Monday night was the team where it should have been in time for its first exhibition game. As it was, in that first unofficial contest, it really wasn't a team yet at all, just a group of players running around trying to remember what the coach wanted them to be doing together.

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