I've read Plaschke's column this morning on our team's supposed "Elitist Attitude." I won't link to it -- everyone who wants to read it can find it.
I've also read the posts of some on BN blasting the MSM for criticizing us because, after all, we're winning, aren't we?
With respect to all members of our community -- not the posters, just the posts -- and to the paid writers and pundits of the MSM, I disagree with a lot of what's out there ... and here's why.
As Coach himself has taught, "Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
This does not mean, as ESPN would have us believe, our wins would somehow be "better" if we blew every team out by 25-30 points.
This also does not mean that a win is somehow less satisfying or more meaningful if it involves scrapping and fighting and duking it out for 40 minutes of so-called "ugly" basketball.
Don't get me wrong -- winning at this time of year feels a whole truckload better than losing.
Have we played our absolute best ball of the year the past 2 games? In some glorious stretches of the game, OH YES WE HAVE.
Have we played our absolute worst ball of the year the past 2 games? In the 2nd half of the Western Kentucky game, YES.
We HAVE lost focus in stretches of both games.
We HAVE allowed the pressure and aggression of opponents to get the better of us, from time to time.
And WE HAVE DOMINATED quality opponents in rebounds, in shooting percentage, in toughness, in resolve, in large chunks of contests.
I BELIEVE in this team.
I am GRATEFUL for all they have done this year through injury, changing roles, tough competition, and media scrutiny...
I have FAITH in this team.
And I KNOW their "job" is NOT DONE YET.
If we start thinking that winning is all that matters, then we become little more than Trojans.
But, if we play as if we truly value playing the right way...
... with consistent effort...
... with confidence instead of cockiness...
... with poise and patience over the need for praise and publicity...
-- with speed, skill, strength and smarts, without settling on temporary leads...
... THEN WIN OR LOSE, we will have succeeded.
What I want is this team to play in a fashion that will render them invulnerable to regret, whether the regret be from us or within themselves.
I want them to end this season THREE GAMES FROM NOW from now, with 100 TOURNAMENT WINS in the school ledger, but most of all, with the knowledge that they gave their very best in the games that count the very most.
Plaschke wrote that the Bruins "need to show something to themselves and fans."
I don't agree. They don't need to show me or us anything. I have ridden the roller coaster, and loved the ride.
But what I would love even more, is for them to play the way I pray for before every game.
I try not to pray for our team to win, but rather for them to play to the best of their ability, health and experience... without injury, without fear, without hesitation.