North Texas 76 Troy 59 – 1.3.12

So this’ a win?, Mmmmmm
So this’ a win?
So this is what makes life divine
I’m all aglow, Mmmmmm
And now I know
The key to all heaven is mine
My heart has wings, Mmmmmm
And I can fly
I’ll touch ev’ry star in the sky
So this is the miracle that I’ve
been dreaming of
Mmmmmm
Mmmmmm
So this’s a win?
– Cinderella’d

Something like that eh? In some other Sliders universe this team is undefeated and Tony Mitchell is on Sports Illustrated because he is averaging 40ppg. In this weird Biff Tanner-rules-the-city timeline we have a six-and-ten squad full of injuries and underwhelming games.

That’s why when we beat the worst team in the Belt the collective base is excited. I don’t blame you or them. In fact, I’m right there with you. So what happened? Well, Troy took the role of Struggling Offense and proceeded to score zero points for about seven minutes. Tony Mitchell was dominant offensively and defensively, got to the line, blocked shots, got dunks. This game could definitely have gotten to blow-out status if we had the full complement of players.

The ten point leads could/should(?) have been fifteen. But those are the kinds of complaints we would have if we had more wins than losses. As is, we had bench players playing starter’s minutes. Still won. At this point we cannot expect much beyond that. It’s very Prodigal Son eating slop ya know?

So now we have ULM on Saturday. This two-game dance is the opposite of the WKU-MTSU one. Those were two roadies against the cream. These are two homies dealing with the dregs. After this outing I fully expect a similar performance in the next one. Unfortunately that puts us –gasp!– in the middle of the pack. This last week-plus has merely been an expectation readjustment period. We are too talented to lose against the worst teams but not enough of a disciplined (read: not well-coached) team to beat the best ones.

Surprised anymore? Me either. The good news is that all we have to do is re-frame the conversation here to start feeling good again. If we had the flip of this cast — That is to say if we had a scrappy undertalented team that executed well — we would be saying things like:

“All we have to do is catch a team on the right night and we can beat these teams.”
“We may not be the biggest or strongest but if they don’t take us seriously they are in for a surprise.”

Now tell me, how do these sentiments not apply with a superiorly talented squad? Without Chris Jones we probably don’t always have the most talented team. We will always have the most talented dude on the floor, though. Start sleeping and Tony can get 30 and 13 with a few posters on ya.

Usually I’m a believer that you are what you are and you can’t flip a switch. Honest assessments of this team predict zilch but I can dream. That’s where the fanatical part of being a fan comes in, right? Irrational hope and convoluted scenarios?

I can dig it. Give me two for the bandwagon in first-effin-class.