One more year. A regular season championship and tournament championship. That's really pretty good. So why do I feel disappointed. You all know the deal...Dangit. As successful as the year was, ever since the loss at the Pit by New Mexico State, this one was a season not quite running on all cylinders. In the end, it was a nice season and we were again rewarded by good heart, but a lack of follow through.
You know what's frustrating? Louisville wasn't that good this season. They have some very good talent, but they simply aren't that good or that deep. Michigan State will likely wipe the floor with them.
Here's what I saw last night:
-The coaching staff made some odd line-up changes- several that didn't work. Where have we seen that before?
-New Mexico is tough on defense until they get caught up in the one and one matchups and get picked
-Fenton sparked a nice comeback and was quickly put on the bench. The same thing happened to Bairstow.
-The Lobos did miss 3 pointers they usually make. Several wide open looks by Snell simply wouldn't fall (my apologies Beso for mentioning the obvious excuse)
-The very talented Kendall Williams showed his "old self" and as was said so well-making spectacular plays and incredible mistakes like taking the ball inside and forcing it up towards the basket with no apparent plan against 3 or 4 defenders
-Freshman PG Greenwood had trouble against quick defenders but did show good character.
-Drew Gordon played huge. He did his job and should be commended. It was great to see him come back after hurting his knee. He could have impressed some NBA scouts with his play. His move from UCLA was a good thing for both him and Lobo basketball. Good for him
-The team showed good signs down the stretch coming back from 15 down, but somehow weren't convinced themselves that they were going to win
-In the after-game interviews, neither coach Pitino nor any players interviewed gave any acknowledgment to the Lobos. They mentioned other teams they played but not New Mexico. It was as if they knew they were going to win and weren't entirely sure who they just beat. It was somewhere between annoying and interesting.
New Mexico basketball had some very good moments but every now and then simply didn't run right. Boy, how many times has it been? Something like forever. Forever sucks. The losses don't get any easier.
Now what? Well, fortunately we all have a lot of practice dealing with the "agony of defeat." Until the Lobo Midnight Howl next year... I guess we pine for the loss of Gordon and hope for Alex Kirk's comeback and the addition of another 7-footer. No top recruits. Liberal amounts of hope combined with a pinch of sober reality are needed for this Lobo fan thing.