I think I am glad I was able to deal with all the great traumas in my life–my failures, my decades of depression, my disappointments, and my inability to meet the expectations of others–out of the public eye. With that perspective, a few impressions:
I look at Grimes, and it is obvious he is clueless about how to be that fluid 1st rounder, and how to fix things when the game is going too fast. I see a guy who would have benefitted from expecting to develop more gradually, but modern cbb doesn’t allow that anymore.
I look at Dedrick, who has put up AA stats this year despite inconsistent passing to him and with no help in the post where he has been forced to play as the only big, and I see people questioning his effort? or his character? And I think, wow, has he ever complained? Is his stoic expression more important to people than his single-handedly keeping us as competitive as we have been?
I look at Mitch and wish he had been allowed to play the small forward position, and I marvel at his ability to stay enthusiastic. Despite having to come in as a 1.5 ppg undersized player expected to turn it around in the middle when everyone is floundering.
I look at Charlie Moore, and the only flaw I see is that he tries too hard, goes too fast, and tries to change every game with boneheaded “hero” shot selection. His passes would have led to twice as many assists but for the team’s crappy shooting.
And Vick. I look at Vick, and like everyone I wonder what is going on. If it is a mental issue, it is largely beyond both his control and his own understanding. If it is emotional distraction from outside, I can only hope he can learn to deal with it–maybe getting out of the glare will help. I see someone whose face alternates reflecting either a wild fierceness or a bizarre disconnect to the game around him. I see someone whose talent belies the ropes holding him back. And I wonder how heavy it may be for him, knowing at times he is the savior of the team and at other times the anchor dragging the team down.
Finally, I see fans dealing with seeing a team of lofty expectations appearing to dismantle as we watch. Disappointment, anger, cynicism, hopelessness and helplessness all combining to just sap the joy out of us.
I know 2 things, going way back to my very first post a couple or three years ago: those kids are out there trying so freaking hard, and they are vastly more crushed than we are when they lose. So, I am going to do what I can to remind myself that there is always a lot of fun watching KU, and that I can be both disappointed and appreciative for the team, and that if this year is a bust I guess reality had to come sometime. Almost a decade and a half of championship ball (conference AND an NC) is something no other fanbase has ever had. I refuse to let the possibility of it ending get in the way of my unbridled pride in the kids who have made it possible. I hope I never join KU’s enemies by thinking of ANY KU team as losers.