The Boys of Summer

  • In my youth, when the sunshine came, and the asphalt courts would cook up in the summer, I would gather several players and we’d get off the hot asphalt in search of a game on cooler concrete. One of our stops was at a private swim club that had a really killer full court concrete setup. It was great to play on summer concrete, especially with a basketball that was a virgin to concrete, because it was a clean ball, no blackened tar melted on it. We managed to always finesse our way into this facility, but we had to win the court from the guys at the club.

    We were toughened players. We had spent most of our lives playing constant basketball on either concrete or asphalt. The “boys of summer” (as we used to call them) were not that seasoned. And they were usually a few years younger.

    We always came in there and thrashed the boys of summer. And we did it without playing dirty. We simply overpowered them in all facets of the game. When you have that much physical superiority over someone, the last thing you have to do is play dirty to gain an advantage.

    I look at that game last night and I experienced Kansas as the “boys of summer.” We were treated like the submissive youth. We were the submissive youth.

    One thing about being young… elders are always treated with respect. And if you don’t respect them, they quickly teach you a lesson, usually with ease. We were taught a lesson last night. Not sure if we will take the lesson to heart and get something out of it.

    This was the same lesson instructed to us by Kentucky, Temple, ISU and OSU. We lose when we play the role of submissive youth. The lesson can come as a 32-pt blowout or a 1-pt heartbreak loss. The key is not the point margin, but the loss. Last night, we were beat by a completely inferior team.

    The moral of this story takes us back to the summer country club basketball courts. The “boys of summer.” Remember? Well, after several years of us coming over and beating down these guys, several actually grew out of their youthful submissiveness and the chore for us became much tougher every year. Before long, these guys with their upscale summer attire would match us step for step, point for point. The advantage was gone. They were still the same guys… a few years younger. The difference was that we experienced them in the window of their manhood breakout.

    Men no longer give in to the role of submissive youth. Men come to fight.

    We have a very talented team. And we have enough of the pieces to contend with anyone. But we can only be successful if we drop the submissive youth role. We will continue to win games based strictly on our talent. However… we have no shot at the big prize in March if we don’t pass through the tunnel of manhood between now and then. The big prize won’t be won by a team of boys who can overwhelm the field with their talent.

  • @drgnslayr I can dig it.

  • @KansasComet

    The vision of the “boys of summer” came to me in the second half, when a WVU rebound came in the vicinity of Perry. There was a WVU player on the other side of Perry and where the rebound went, and he actually jumped over Perry, extended his arm completely over Perry’s head, and snatched the rebound, even without fouling. Perry didn’t even have to get the rebound, he just had to react and jump to draw the foul.

    This is the play that triggered my flashback. It was summer ball all over again. Before the boys of summer flipped into men, they subordinated their efforts to us probably because we were a couple of years older, and we clearly looked tougher. It doesn’t take much for boys to give in.

    That play was extreme. If anyone in here has video capabilities to capture that play and post it in here as video… please… please… please… do!

    We’ll title that clip as the “boys of summer” and we’ll keep it floating on this site as an active chip for these guys to focus on manhood between now and March. I’m not sure what it takes to get them there. A few years ago it took losing TRob’s mom. Look what that team did. We didn’t have a single McDs AA on that team.

    The focus here on out shouldn’t be about talent. It should be about manhood.

  • @drgnslayr You say Perry got caught flat footed? Much like the entire team was near the paint and got caught flat footed as Staten scored. Is it a sign of lack of maturity? Possible. More experienced players (grown men) probably know what to do in that situation. It is a learning experience and a painful reminder of how young this team can appear at times. Thanks for a pretty cool post.

  • If I understand what you’re saying there were about 10 boys of summer moments in that game related to rebounding. Some appeared to be fouls, some didn’t. Some the balls were already in their hands, but ball security seemingly wasn’t valued.

    Right at the start of the 2nd half there was a defensive rebound where Ellis grabbed with an authority. It was as if Self had told them that the Mountaineer mascot with the rifle had the authority to shoot someone who lost another defensive rebound.

    No one seemingly rebounds with authority anymore. I used to love guys snatching a ball down and slapping it into their 2nd hand with a shout. It’s my ball they seemed to be saying and you’re not going to get it from me. I was waiting for someone to grab a board last night and swing his elbows around to clear the pesky little ball hawks away.

    I will say this. A lot of those ORebs for the Hillbillies came on missed three pointers, classic missed shots for offensive rebounds. It’s still frustrating to see it happen repeatedly during our match last night.

  • @wissoxfan83

    Self was on them about rebounding… and their submissive attitudes told them to go camp underneath the basket… where rebounds don’t go.

    Positioning for rebounding is about screening off as much space as one can, so if the ball goes in that area, it’s all yours. We didn’t do that. We didn’t seal off anyone, and worse, we camped underneath the goal. If you can stand to watch the game again, replay it and you’ll see. The shots came off the glass in a typical fashion and the WVU guys weren’t stuffed underneath the goal. They were just loose in the paint, where the rebounds went. In order for us to fight for rebounds, we had to get our collective asses out from underneath the goal and go put some body on WVU players.

    This game really lacked fouls. Look at typical WVU games. There are usually a lot more fouls called because WVU will come in and fight for territory. Other teams are willing to fight back. That is the formula for heavy contact and fouls being called. We didn’t fight for territory… we succumbed to their wishes. So our submissive reactions created plenty of buffer… and fewer fouls were called.

  • @drgnslayr Self said in post game the guards really hurt us not blocking out.

  • My wife rarely cusses.

    I’ve never heard her say the “P” word more than last night. She called everyone on our team (except Frank) the “P” word all through the game. I definitely got a chuckle out of that.

  • Okay… I’m outta here.

    I’m off to replay the game and will take a video of my DVR. I’m on a big game hunt for that clip where the guy pretended Perry wasn’t in his way for the rebound… and Perry wasn’t in his way!

    I’ll be back soon with my trophy catch.

    Not sure how to do this… but I’m not coming back without my trophy.

    I want to hang this trophy over our website for the rest of the season.

    This will represent the “chip”… this is how I define this team until proven otherwise. One good game won’t erase it. Identity comes over time.

  • In my asphalt hoops days, I ran around saying “Adonis Jordan for Three.”

    I never quite lived up to my own expectations, there!!

  • @Blown LOL - I used to say " Sidney (Moncrief) for three " .

    I still don’t know why Sidney…

  • @Blown Adonis, didn’t you lose a tooth or teeth last year? I think you must be still working on your dreams!!!

  • Well… that was mostly a waste of a couple of hours.

    The camera capture of taking video off my TV screen is a losing proposition. And it was tough to FF through the footage to find what I wanted.

    I’m going to see if I can set up a better capture system. Something where I can obtain quality footage, edit it down to clips to run in here.

    Imagine how groovy our site will be if we can put up our own footage?

    Don’t know that I have lots of time to put into this… but I’ll jump in head first and see what happens for a bit.

    If anyone has a rescue for me, please jump in here with the info!

  • @drgnslayr I can’t help my friend - it’s all I can do to get through the game as it happens. I sure as heck don’t want to watch that garbage again!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    @Blown Adonis, didn’t you lose a tooth or teeth last year? I think you must be still working on your dreams!!!

    Yes, fortunately they were saved !

  • @drgnslayr The male “P”, or the female “P” ? lol

  • @nuleafjhawk she was yelling, “You stupid PROCRASTENATERS!”

  • @nuleafjhawk

    The female “p”… you know… like the purple “p - - - - - s!”

  • @drgnslayr

    One of your best.

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