Wow, has our team grown up over the past few months? Since the game at Pacific, we have really focused on becoming better in practice as a team. Coach Morrill challenged us to take responsibility for practice and since then that has been our focus; boy has it showed! Since then we have really turned the corner and are starting to become quite the basketball team.
After Pacific, we traveled to Wichita State to play in a very hostile arena, against a very good team. After a rough first half, we finally snapped out of it and guys really stepped up. It was a totally new Aggie team. Guys playing with confidence, believing they could play, it was awesome. Being such a young, inexperienced team, it was slightly expected that it might take a while for guys to get in the grove. I’ve seen it before in high school, sometimes playing-time fixes everything. I had faith in both our players and Coach Morrill to get this team rolling. We rallied back and really made a game out of it, bringing the deficit to four at one point, late in the game.
After our trip, the team went on to win four straight, which included a sweep of our home tournament. During that stretch, we really started playing well together. Players played roles and played for each other, it really has been fun to watch the team mature. As a team we have been growing closer both on and off the floor. Before Christmas we decided to get together and organize a secret Santa. It was really fun having some team bonding time and exchanging gifts. This led the team into a much needed four day break for the holidays.
After our break we were back to our regular schedule, with four days of practice before our game at Mississippi State. Since school has been out, we have virtually been living the life of a pro. Nothing but basketball and going out to eat meals with the team! It has been great not having to deal with school and having a lot of free time; and since most of the students are gone, we have started to hang out as a team more. I think that this has played a part in becoming a closer knit team.
After a solid week of practice, we left two days early to get to Mississippi on a charter, which was really convenient to fly from Logan straight into Starkville. When we landed we were greeted with some southern hospitality. Our bus driver gave a nice welcoming speech, and had some southern fried chicken for dinner. With an extra day we were able to spend a lot of time together, even catch a movie which was fun. Game day was very exciting, this time around, we came out with no fear on their home court. Being ranked 14th in the nation, MSU did not intimidate us. We played very physical and together; taking them right to the wire. Down two, with 14 seconds remaining, we had the ball with a chance to win or tie. Unfortunately we lost; and even though we had the game in our hands, it was once again a major step forward for our team.
With conference starting, we are striving to keep taking those steps toward becoming one of the many great Aggie basketball teams. What better way, then two home conference games in a week.
-- Morgan Grim