Last Saturday, my buddy (an occasional poster on these boards known as Trojan Hating Greek Guy) and I took in the win over Indiana at Arco. On the way out of the arena, we were having some fun guessing what kind of quotes would come out of the IU locker room in reference to the Hoosiers' horrendous offensive performance. This has become a bit of a running joke for us every time a non-conference opponent gets their first crack at trying to score on a Ben Howland defense. In fact, the last two games prompted me to look back at the seminal quotes that began this running joke. I offer you, quotes from our fallen opponents in last year's NCAA tournament:
"It's disappointing because we've got guys who can play better than that," Belmont coach Rick Byrd on the performance of his players in round one last year. (If only they had chosen to play well in the NCAA Tournament.)
"We work on that shot all the time in practice, and he makes it all the time." Alabama coach Mark Gottfried on Ronald Steele's attempted game winner against AA. (Especially when the water boy is guarding him, he makes like 80% of those.)
"We just had, gosh, there were a couple of shots that just rimmed out." Gonzaga coach Mark Few on the Zags offense during the miraculous Bruin comeback. (Gee willikers. I just, golly, I don't know why we missed so many shots. Shucks, I think Ben Howland might know that there voodoo.)
"We picked the wrong day to miss 15 one-footers. We just couldn't make a basket. Please, make a basket. Make a free throw, a hook, anything. Kick one in." Memphis coach John Calipari after the Bruins locked down the Tigers "high powered" offense. (It was as if we had been pushed around battered and out hustled, forced out of position and off balance until shooting a one-footer felt like heaving it from half court. It was like that except we were just missing for no reason.)
"I've never seen Glen Davis miss five or six gimmes around the basket. He missed some baskets he normally makes, and he got a little frustrated." LSU coach John Brady on the lackluster performance of the would-be Bruin crusher Big Baby. (would someone please redefine the word "gimme" so it doesn't include shots against the outstretched arms of Ryan Hollins and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute after being pounded all day by swarming Bruin defenders)
Sorry for the lengthy post but I just wanted to share these quotes and suggest to anyone who has taken offense to opponents and mainstream media "experts" not giving Ben Ball its due, take the same approach that Trojan Hating Greek Guy and I have taken; view these people with an unspoken jovial condescension. Every time Jay Bilas, or whoever, calls someone else the best defensive team in the country smile and imagine patting him on the head and saying "you know a lot about basketball don't you, don't you" as you would to a puppy dog.
In short, let them hate and underestimate us all the way to a championship.