Every person on the planet has gone through the experience. You have just arrived on the campus, it's not one of the first or second weekends when you go out. Those are always the relatively safe periods. You are young, inexperienced, and wary of the dangers that surround you and wait to pick you off. So you lie low, take it easy, and don't allow yourself to be trapped in really compromising positions. But after a couple of weeks of lying low and not being a moron you start to get that itch. You start to want and yearn for that quintessential college experience, you want to go out there and just cut loose without constantly worrying about the consequences. You think to yourself, I got this, I know whats up, I can handle the roughest night this place can throw at me.
That's when the real shit happens. Because the moment you let your guard down bad things happen. You start drinking way too much and wind up digging yourself into a massive hole. Bad decision piling upon bad decision, all of them culminating in the proverbial straw that brakes the camels back. At that point there is nothing left for it, you have to puke. Winners are made in the low point after you puke. The question is, do you let your bad decisions defeat you or do you rally back and try to overcome them? losers quit, winners rally.That same scenario played out this afternoon for the Bearcats. They puked all over themselves in the first half. They seriously couldn't have played worse. That first 20 minutes challenged some of Mick Cronin's earlier teams in terms of sheer ineptitude of play. It just doesn't get
At the start of the second half the Bearcats were certainly up against it. Down 16 at the half they came out in the second half, Maalik Wayns nailed a 3 to put UC down 19. UC came down had a disjointed possession but got two from Yancy Gates. Then on defense Ibriahima Thomas committed his fourth foul, argued the point, was T'd and ejected for his troubles. The end result of all those foul shots was a 21 point deficit with 18;26 to play.
That was a desperate spot as far as I am concerned. This team has some veteran presences with Rashad Bishop, Gates and Thomas, but for the most part no one on this team is accustomed to being the kind of ball busting leader that you usually need to climb out of this kind of hole. I really thought that this would turn into an ugly ugly blowout. I was thinking 30 minimum. Instead Dion Dixon takes over the controls of the offense and UC starts making baskets which allows them to set up their full court pressure which really slowed down the pace of the game and gave Villanova fits. That defense forced misses which allowed UC to get out and run which in turn led to foul trouble for the Wildcats. All the Villanova starters finished the game with at least four fouls. I am not happy with the loss, but I am really happy with how the Bearcats battled after they dug themselves a massive hole and all in all I think UC acquitted themselves quite well in the toughest circumstances they have faced all year. The mentality that this team has to turn and fight when things get difficult will surely serve them well in the future.