As the time ticked down on our season, I was pleased to say that the team didn’t quit fighting. I can’t begin to say how proud I was that we continued to battle. If we were going down, we were going down swinging, and it wasn’t until the final minute when the loss was imminent.
I took a few days as a break from PantherU because I wanted to make sure that my season-closing blog was right on the money. It’s not that I had anything bad to say; more like I wanted to say it the right way.
There was a point, with about three minutes left in the season, where I just couldn’t watch anymore. We kept jacking up threes, 33 of them total, and didn’t get the ball into the post nearly enough.
Northwestern’s 1-3-1 defense stymied us just as much as it did against Boston College in the second round today; two victories have the Wildcats further than they’ve ever been in their school’s history.
Good for them. I hope they win the NIT. They beat us fair and square in a game that wasn’t decided by the officials. Their corner threes, which were open all night, stopped every run we attempted to make.
And that’s okay. The only tough pill to swallow is on their side; had John Shurna not suffered a concussion mid-season, they may have been in the NCAA Tournament as an at-large pick.
I wish we had gotten it into the post more. I wish we had knocked down just a few more threes. But, in the end, I didn’t need to wish for a strong effort, because the team gave us that.
No one is more disappointed than I am to see this season end. It’s been a ride, from the depths where even I was starting to question (albeit to myself) where we were going, to the highs that reaffirmed my faith in our coaching staff and their ability to light a fire with what looked to be no kindling.
I am only disappointed in the fact that we have nearly eight months to wait for games that mean something again. I can’t wait to see what our coaching staff will do to figure out how to replace our departing seniors. I can’t wait to see the incoming recruiting class, the best in our school’s history, come in and play.
And I cannot wait to come back to the Cell in November, ready to hang banners.
We Are Milwaukee.