Exhaustion. Pure and utter exhaustion.
After 17 conference games, a grueling out-of-conference schedule, and a lack of depth off the bench, Dave and I are simply beat. Also, I think Brian Laing may be slightly tired as well. The man has played virtually every single minute of every single game, and he routinely matches up against players twice his size. Last night was no different. For a good five minutes against Syrcause, Gonzo opted to have Laing defend the biggest man in the world, Arinze Onuaku, whose last name has more vowels than some entire languages.
But back to us for a minute. Dave and I have done everything for this team. There was the drive to WV, sure. My intrepid Acela ride to DC, of course. And don’t even get me started on the hour and a half subway ride out to St. John’s. But even home games proved a struggle for us. Though a great bargain at $1.50, the PATH train leaves much to be desired. It also sometimes doesn’t leave at all, with its passengers enclosed, growing frustrated, staring at each other, thinking to themselves, “What burdens my fellow man carries…” And now, they’re hiking the price to $1.75!
Simply put, our team is wearing down. During last night’s game, we could barely muster a cheer. Mostly, the pain is in my knees. But I did pull it together for a split second to scream at Eugene Harvey. Here is the transcript of that “conversation:”
Ben: HARVEY, ARE YOU LISTENING? YOU ARE THE POINT GUARD; THE LEADER OF THIS TEAM. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO START PLAYING LIKE I KNOW YOU CAN.
Eugene: (stony silence)
In hindsight, maybe I was being too harsh on Nunu. But in hindsight, Nunu would be putting up 20 / 20 every night. And the bottom line is this: he’s just a little lazy. A little self-satisfied. A little too nonchalant.
Eugene, if you’re listening this time, do me a favor: START ACTING CHALANT. Because we’re going to need you against Rutgers. And that is one game we cannot lose. Dave and I have worked too hard this season. You owe it to your “seniors.”