When the schedule came out last fall, Ben and I used our favorite Seton Hall magnet to pin it on our then condiment-overloaded-yet-otherwise-empty refrigerator and circled the January 14th matchup with Georgetown. With friends, family, and a bit of history awaiting, two words came to mind: Business Trip. Before long, our bags were packed and we were awaiting our bus that would literally bolt us down to our nation's capital to do exactly that...to take care of business.
Well, let's just say our business plans got a little derailed. With friends and family in the stands - even the YouTube sensation "Coach Gonzo" managed to sneak into the Verizon Center seemingly unnoticed - Ben and I were preparing ourselves for another thrilling and emotionally draining basketball game. Unfortunately, the Hall forget to show up, exhibiting the worst effort we've seen all year. Lacking any sense of identity and direction, we acted more like a bunch of Fat Cat politicians in the middle of a filibuster, making the Hoyas out to be a team full of James Carvilles.
Normally, this is where we would try to point out a few positives like Hazell making itrain or Herb seeing double-double. Maybe Keon finally had his breakout game or Stickie got his groove back. However, Thursday night's fiasco left us speechless...a first for a bunch of Fat Cat politicos. There was, however, one revelation that came out of the Georgetown game: we are a team that lacks an identity.
For years, Seton Hall teams have been out sized, outnumbered, and often out-talented. What we lacked in size and talent, we often made up for in heart and determination. We played a frenetic style of basketball that at times helped make up for our players playing out of position. Expectations were low, and when we occasionally exceeded them all was right in the world. We played with our backs against the wall and we loved every second of it. That was our identity.
Now, with this year being now, expectations were high and the pieces were seemingly in place for what could have been a successful season. Three transfers, improved returning players, and an emboldened head coach helped set the bar high for this year. Talk of the NCAA tournament was rampant and we were getting publicity from a myriad of sporting news outlets.
However, we forgot one thing. We are Seton Hall. A team that thrives when it is playing with its back against the wall and everyone has counted it out. A team that relies on creating chaos rather than relying on pure talent. The recent game against Georgetown featured a team we had not seen before. One that became complacent with its supposed talent level and forgot how to fight. One that lacked an identity.
Hopefully next Thursday the fight will be back.