Forgive me for not doing any Sunday news roundup today. I am just not in the mood to read any articles in the traditional media. My feelings are somewhat mixed this Sunday. I am disappointed over last night, but incredibly proud of our basketball program.
Obviously, it goes without seeing by objective measure this has been an amazing season. Coach Howland and our boys far exceeded the expectations we laid out before the season. What this team has accomplished in last two seasons which is compiling a 62-12 record, two Final-4 appearances, two Pac-10 regular season championships, and a Pac-10 tourney championship, is nothing short of remarkable, considering where this program was just two years ago. Sure some blowhards (with the IQs of SuC fans) will try to argue that results from last two years are not surprise, given the talent on UCLA roster. But they are simply not taking into account how Coach Howland has done more with less.
However, there are some things from last night's game that are bugging me. Bugging me a lot. Here they are:
Referees: Coach Howland and our players too classy to mention it. I will. Those doofuses did affect the game. Something was seriously wrong in a game in which our players were getting called for breathing too hard in first few minutes of the first half, while Noah was getting away with elbowing (and literally slamming Mata out of the way for a put back dunk). Pretty much by the half way point of our first half 3/5 of our starting line up was wiped away with foul trouble. Sure thanks to Shipp we hung in there, and if came out gave a good effort right out of the gates in the second half, we would have had a shot, but it was a shame how the referees decided the complexion of the entire game. The referees should never have than kind of impact at the Final-4 level game. Just because we have to go through that kind of nonsense dealing with amateur, unprofessional, clueless Pac-10 crew during the season, doesn't mean we had to be subjected to that BS in a Final-4 game. Oh well I guess.
Effort around the Rim: I mentioned all week how rebounding was going to be one of the three main keys to last night's game. I get Mata and Luc were in foul troubles in first half. Still. Getting out rebounded by a margin of 25-42 left a really foul taste in my mouth. I was deeply disappointed at the effort we showed around the rim. I think we have a group of warriors who were capable of putting forth a much better showing. Not sure what happened there. Did they get intimidated? Did they get psyched out by Noah's clown show or did they get thrown off rhythm by all the shitty calls? Whatever it was I really thought we were going to persevere through the adversity and then come out strong in the second half. Didn't happen and it is still bugging me this Sunday.
- Classless Gators: I wanted to write this post by congratulating the Gators. They are a special team. And they will have their place carved out in college basketball history (should they win tomorrow night). But man they were bunch of classless a**holes. It was great to see AA be the first one to extend his hand. It was the right thing to do considering he is the guy who currently carries the torch of Wooden's program. We wouldn't have expected anything else. But my stomach is churning picturing Noah and rest of the Gators' freak show through out the night. That makes it very hard to wish them well tomorrow night (Go Bucks I guess) and through rest of their basketball careers. Whatever.
I hope our boys can ride into the Sunset with their heads held high because they had an awesome season.
Photocredit: bluejoe while in Sacramento (click to enlarge)
And they can look forward to perhaps even more memorable run next season.
We will keep the show going here on. God knows we will have plenty to discuss in the coming days, weeks, and months, which will include AA's future (brain tells me goodbye AA, heart tells me he wants another (title) shot), Love's arrival, spring practice, and the future of our underachieving football coach.
So with that once again congrats to our Ben Ball warriors for giving us a great season.
We are so proud and appreciative for all the wonderful memories from 2006-07.
Thank you AA, DC, Shipp, Luc, Lo, AA2, Roll, Westbrook, Keefe, Wright, and rest of the boys.
Thank you Coach Howland.
We will be back for more.