[Moderated by Matt Jones]
I hate that my first post to the site has to carry such a negative tone, but I HAVE to have a venue through which to vent about the absolutely horrid week in sports I just had. I’ll admit publicly that I still haven’t digested the fact that Notre Dame sent their JV squad to the National Championship last Monday, and I’ll further confess that I am still subject to a lot (no seriously, A LOT) of grief stemming from Hurricane Saban which struck the city of Miami on January 8th. Then came the Vandy game which, to be completely honest, I have chosen to block from memory. It’s been discussed, time to move on. On Sunday, I was forced to watch Peyton Manning end his season on behalf of Joe Flacco and the Ravens. Yes you read that correctly, Joe Flacco, Not Tom Brady, knocked Peyton out of the playoffs.
And then there was Saturday, aka the Elston Turner show…. just, wow. OK, I think that’s enough negativity for one night.
Saturday at Rupp Arena was undoubtedly the most tragic happening in this series of unfortunate events, and a lot has been said about the aspects of the Cat’s game that is lacking. Yes, this team is still searching for identity, and yes, this team still shows their youth. However, there was one absolute gem that could be taken from Saturday’s game: Nerlens Noel is a grown man, and is starting to show signs of becoming the go-to guy on this team.
It’s been stated a few times, but let me repeat his stat line one more time: 15 points, 11 rebounds, 7 blocks, 6 assists, and 4 steals. Homeboy about messed around and got a QUADRUPLE-Double. Although the the performance by the newest cat killer Elston Turner was a total work of art, it’s a real shame that it had to shadow the effort put out by the Wildcat Center. Let’s be honest, the freshman phenom put up video game numbers and seems to be the only player on the team that gets the admiration of his coach. Nerlens is heading in the right direction, and is becoming exactly what this young team needs so desperately: A leader.
His, is an example that the rest of the team would be wise to embrace whereas the bubble team rumors are becoming louder and louder. It’s never too late to turn the season around, but this young team cannot drop any more games at home and are going to have to conquer hostile environments on the road if an NIT showdown with North Carolina is to be avoided.
Keep the faith…
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