Young Team, The Mental Game

For a week I have been reading “this is the test”. Sound travels throw the walls, and who doesn’t want to do well in a test? Pressure on a young team, not good. We came out and played hard as usual and managed to lead at the half. But you could tell it was hard to maintain that lead. By then the message was in, “we are as good as you and our big man is every bit as good if not better”. By the second half the formula was set for the two teams. Their strategy: to double Gafford and force him to give up the ball and let others beat us if they can. The difference maker in this game was their big man. It was easier for them to feed him the ball because he moved around more, and when he got the ball scored, passed to open man for a “three” or made free throws with a soft touch. As the reality set in, we missed more easy shots at the basket, turn the ball over and missed free throws until the final miss. We are going to see this strategy (Shut down Gafford, let others beat us) from every team we play from here on. We need another big man to step up if we have bigger aspirations by the end of the season. Young guys fought to the end, what was lacking, the mental focus. Did not do the little things, like taking care of the ball, finish the lay-ups, and making free-throws, the difference makers.