Friday, February 10, 2012

Keep it simple and get a shot

Bill Parcells said he refused to complain or make issue of injuries, experience and other peripheral items because what he found, is that when players hear or read that, it gives them an excuse for poor performance or losing.

So, that said, I hope the Black Bears didn't read Pete Warner's recent "analysis" of the ballclub.

Basically, what Warner wrote was: The Black Bears don't have enough experience, chemistry, talent and have too many injuries to contend in America East.

It read like a menu of excuses should the Black Bears care to dine at his whine and cheese factory.

I've seen enough America East games to not only believe the Black Bears are capable of contending, but to say, they should be contending. This America East, like each of the past couple of years, is there to be had. UMaine is not in contention, but that's not the point.

The point is continuing to fight and get better. Capitulate? Never, ever. You do that and a team will never improve.

I went down to Boston U. last night and watched as the Black Bears, minus Ali Fraser, fought back several times against a Terriers team contending for first place. I didn't see a juggernaut at Case Gym.

Of UMaine's top eight in the rotation, five of them (Gerald McLemore, Mike Allison, Andrew Rogers, Raheem Singleton and Fraser) are all players with plenty of America East battle scars.

Freshmen Justin Edwards is going through some customary first-year adjustments, but he's been an impact player and is the odds-on rookie of the year in America East. Freshman Xavier Pollard is providing some good minutes and plays with strength.

Jon McAllian is a veteran of the program and played what would have to be considered his best game as a Black Bear at Boston U. last night. Travon Wilcher and Kilian Cato have supplied some minutes in the frontcourt, too.

To say this team doesn't have enough experience is flat out baseless. Chemistry? Injuries? Those are excuses. Every team has injuries to deal with. Chemistry is a cop out.

Back to Parcells. You give people a reason to fail and, most likely, you know what's going to happen?

So don't listen, Black Bears. The doughnut-munching media want to give you an out. Don't take the bait.

Keep playing hard, play together (make simple plays and protect the ball on offense; that's my not-so-expert analysis) and dig in on defense every trip.

Keep it simple and get a shot.

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