Team/bench attitude

It’s been pretty amazing for me to watch the bench players actions and attitude the past weeks. The guys always seem into the game, clapping and cheering and encouraging the starters.

To have such a short bench and have several players who rarely get even scrub time, and have them look so positive and involved is pretty incredible to me. Of course, after the season there may be some different stories and feeling that come out. I have no idea who will be wanting to leave or encouraged to leave.

Muss talks about the love in the team and the great attitude and I’d love to have some more insight as to how he manages to continue to win and keep these non-players seemingly content and happy.

The NCAA tournament is glory time. And it’s really fun for everyone. Travel to unique venues, different towns. It’s first class treatment. It’s what they all dream of and they know their roles by now and are relaxed with them. I have never seen any player who doesn’t enjoy that whether or not they are playing or they are not. They pull together for the tournament. One other thing, they are with their brothers (teammates) non stop for the tournament. It’s a bonding experience. If you look at the sidelines of the other teams, you see exactly the same thing. They pull together for a common cause. Winning does that and no one wants it to end.

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As always - very good analysis Clay

I can certainly understand the whole tournament thing.

I’m also referring to back to late January and then February, when the bench rotation reduced drastically. Guys like CV and KK and Kamani. Some who never get any playing time. In the past, you might see a guy not clapping or standing up. This year, I haven’t noticed that at all.

I was thinking the other day about Mike Watley.

Who’s he? Well, that’s kind of the point. He was a freshman guard from Fort Worth on the 1978 Hogs. Never started but got a decent amount of PT (9 minutes per game in the regular season). Then just before the tournament he quit. Wound up transferring to Evansville where he finally started in his senior season. Career average 5.2 ppg. And by quitting he missed out on the Final Four.

I remember Watley was able to transfer to Evansville without penalty because a plane crash killed Evansville’s team. Quitting the team before the NCAA tournament was a total bonehead move. “If I ain’t startin’, I ain’t departin’.” I don’t know why he thought he should have been starting. He tried to come back later but Sutton said no. There were a couple of other transfers a year or so earlier that were head-scratching but not boneheaded (Lawson Pilgrim to Hendrix and Trey Trumbo to Western Kentucky). Both had successful basketball careers at their destinations, but being a former Razorback means a lot in Arkansas.

The Auburn bench seems to always be in disarray. When their winning its not bad but when they get down its a cluster.

I’d forgotten about the Evansville crash. That stuff used to happen way too often. I guess the most recent one in the US was Okie State. Then there was the Brazilian soccer team flying to a major tournament in Colombia.

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