This is going to be a quick one, so I apologize in advance.
It's almost 9PM and the Baylor/Texas A&M regional final game is on TV. Sydney Carter has more points than all the Baylor Bears combined and Britney Griner just attempted a drop-step dunk going baseline. Let's just say it's one heck of a game and it's going to be tough for me to get a lengthy blog written and turned into our sports information director at a decent hour tonight.
The 2011-12 season officially started today. We brought the remaining nine players into the Old Gym for our first official post-season court workout. I must admit, it was a bit weird without the presence of our three seniors, but it was also pretty exciting to get the new team out on the court together for the first time. The mood in the gym was extremely intense and it was fun from a coach's perspective to see our players compete.
Here's some quick thoughts on your Jays:
Alyssa Kamphaus must learn how to be a presence inside without Kellie Nelson in the paint anymore. There is no reason she shouldn't dominate every practice or workout we have considering the size of next year's team.
Carli Tritz has to now take her game to the next level and she will continuously be reminded of that everyday our team is together.
McKenzie Fujan has to make plays for us next season. She is physically ready to do so and more capable than any other player on our roster.
Jasmin Corbin, Ally Jensen and Jordan Garrison all have to improve their shooting percentage and become a trio of threats for us from behind the arc.
DaNae Moore has to take her performance at Northwestern and set that as the standard for every game during her senior season.
Sarah Nelson has to find her identity without her big sister leading the way and establish herself as the best Nelson to have ever played the game at Creighton.
And I'm sure I speak for everyone related to the program when I say I can't wait to see Riley Norman back out on the court again...
Just so we're all on the same page - this year's post-season will last about four weeks. The players will have team court workouts twice a week, strength and conditioning workouts with coach Dan Bailey three times a week and open gym a couple times a week as well when they can squeeze it into their schedules.
What we do now sets the tone for the summer...
Speaking of tone - this Baylor/Texas A&M game is proving to be a BATTLE. I'm watching an A&M team that is simply tired of losing to Griner and Co. (Baylor has beaten Texas A&M three times already this season) and will not be denied on either ends of the floor. They are relentless on the boards, matching Baylor's size with toughness and effort, and they just simply look like they want to win the game more.
When you're the underdog - playing like the Aggies right now is key to winning a basketball game. Playing forty minutes hard, smart, and together.
Who knows what the outcome of this game will be, but boy is it fun to watch.
Why can't our Bluejays play with this type of intensity? One day I sure hope we can...
I know this quote is a bit extreme, but there is tons of truth in it. I also think our players can relate at the moment and find some type of meaning in these words:
"Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy."
Lord only knows what type of identity this team will develop a season from now, but we sure are going to work hard to find it. Only time will tell...
Keep it up Bluejays. It'll all pay off for you in the long run - if it hasn't already!