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Where do I begin today… ahh, yes. BIG F*CKING WEEK SO FAR. I had my boys here this weekend and it was an incredible couple of days. Basketball wise, the pieces are coming together and the wins are showing it. I don’t care if we win by 20 or 1 - a win is a win.
Let’s dive into the start of the Indiana game quickly. “Slow starts can’t happen. Someone has to snap us into a fast start.” That isn’t a thing. In terms of motivating a team, Coach Turgeon does that. When it comes to making people show up and start fast, sometimes it simply doesn’t happen. That doesn’t mean we didn’t come ready to play or don’t want it, sometimes that’s just how it goes and that was how it went against Indiana. The feel on the bench was calm, though. Usually when you dig yourself into a hole, especially as far as we dug ours in the first couple of media timeouts, you panic. This team doesn’t panic. That is what will make us dangerous. Watching our games, I always feel that there is a very clear difference in the amount of passion on the court (we dominate in that aspect of the game). If you watch basketball, regardless of the score, you can see that. We have a scary amount of drive.
We’re all thinking it, so I’ll just say it... Anthony and Bruno have something different inside them. I told Anthony after the Wisconsin game that he has something different going on. The dude simply hits big shots because he wants to and even more than that, he expects to. Some will say, “Everyone wants to take the final shot.” No no no… Not everyone wants to because deep down, they don’t always believe that they’re going to make it. There are a lot of people in the game that have to shoot big shots because the ball happens to be in their hands at that moment. Ant is the guy who wants the ball, wants that shot, and expects it to go in - every single time. And that is the difference - mentality. Skill has some to do with it, but in that big shot situation, you have to really want it. He’s got a dog inside of him.
Since we play at Michigan State this week let’s talk about that next. Their arena is nuts. It is similar to Purdue and Michigan where it is smaller than our arena, but let me tell you, that place is LOUD. I don’t know many arenas that are louder than MSU. It’s a challenge to play there, plain and simple. The lower bowl is filled almost entirely with students and the whole place is a wave of green and white. The fans go after you too. There are some schools that the fans just cheer loud but aren’t mean... MSUis not that place. They’re almost as mean as Maryland fans are to opposing teams - almost.
Quick story about our game there my freshman year - If you can remember the 2015-2016 season you have to remember one person in particular...Matt Costello. The white power forward, also known as Public Enemy Number One. This dude was an absolute bush league all star for his antics against us. You would have thought they won the national championship, the olympic gold, and the NBA championship when they beat us. It is one thing to look like a fool in the locker room celebrating, but it is another when you do it in front of the whole world on TV. I am 90% sure even his own teammates were a little on the side of “ok buddy...calm down a little.” Now crazy enough, I hear that Costello is a great dude off the court. On the court - I’d do anything to send an extra hard foul his way.
So back on this snowy day we had a close game brewing with the Spartans... close games were the usual for us that year, and this game we were at MSU and Melo was doing his THING. He went into “you can’t guard me mode” and led us to a 1 point lead with a couple minutes left. At that time Denzel Valentine and Forbes were on their team, and well, they are both in the league getting buckets now, so you know they were doing their THING as well.
With about 30 seconds left the game is in balance for MSU and Costello gets subbed out. This is when the debauchery started. This guy runs around the whole bottom bowl jumping around laughing and screaming. But not like a normal intense Bruno reaction, this was a weird giddy jump around that I’m positive made the whole place uncomfortable. He then runs to the sidelines and picks up Izzo and screams with him in his arms. I literally watched people in the crowd shut their eyes like ‘oh my gosh is this happening?’ and then he proceeded to run down the bench (still jumping in a weird way) screaming, laughing and hammering people down the line. And again, not like a normal, hard high five, I mean this dude was lighting people up one by one. You can tell he was out of his own body. You know I get it - celebrating is normal when you win -but this wasn’t a normal celebration, it was an uncomfortable one. For everyone.
Even when we got back to the hotel later that night (we got snowed in) we were having MSU fans come up to us asking what we thought of Costello’s performance out there - and they weren’t talking about his play in the game. I will never forget watching that. It was honestly indescribable. Luckily, as I mentioned earlier, I heard the dude’s a great guy. So I can dig that. He has earned a pass in my book. But don’t let it happen again, for all of our sakes.
Another quick story - They turn out the lights around the 4 minute mark in warmups and do an intro video for MSU. During that time you can do pretty much anything you want because it is almost pitch black. *Cue my freshman year and a bad habit of juggling basketballs (foot juggling) and kicking balls to teammates instead of throwing them passes*
As you can probably guess, I barely had enough skill to kick it at my target every third time, but when I did execute a pass, it always gave me the confidence to kick more. So anyway, the lights are off, the place is going crazy over their intro video, and a ball starts rolling out my way, niceee and slow with a little bounce goin’ (my favorite kind of ball to kick), to the top of the key. I kicked the ball pretty hard to Rasheed in the deep corner… Only the ball did not go to Rasheed in the deep corner, it went dead over his head and at least 20 rows up in the stands. As I found out after the game, I absolutely clobbered some fan in the face. No one was hurt bad, but the dude was apparently PISSED and got escorted out of the game for trying to come onto the court looking for who did it. Which like, in reality, give me a break buddy. What were you going to do if, say, I don’t know, Diamond Stone kicked it??? Were you really gonna confront him about it?? Yeah, I doubt it. Luckily, he didn’t find out the 6 foot white kid did it. When I saw the ball go into the crowd I immediately turned around like I had nothing to do with it. The dude never found out it was me and hopefully he never reads this blog. But if he does - I apologize. I thought I had it.
Speaking of Diamond, I have a great story about my guy that I’ll share with you guys in one of these upcoming weeks. Heck, I have a great story about that entire 2015-2016 team coming your way soon enough.
I have had a lot of people ask me about road trips and travel. Let me tell you… each one is the exact same. We have practice before at our home gym and then we all do recovery, shower, grab our Chipotle, and head to the bus. We have at least 2 hours after practice to get ready and do everything we need to do before the flight (this is an important detail for a little later in this paragraph). The bus then takes us 45 minutes to the airport and we all one by one get off the bus and head onto the plane. We charter which is nice because we simply walk from the bus right up the stairs onto the plane. This makes travel about 1 billion times easier so shout out to whoever’s plane we use.
When we get on board everyone has assigned seats. I have always sat in the same seat on the bus and plane. My freshman and sophomore year I sat next to Jaylen, Jared, and Melo. Last year and this year we have all gotten our own row. Both my sophomore and junior year I was in the row between Anthony and Kevin. This year I am the row between Darryl and Anthony. These seats never - under any circumstances - change.
Usually you don’t need to move much when you get on the plane because you used the bathroom at the gym or on the bus ride there and you have your food and drinks already with you. However, that isn’t how I roll. I am walking around and just playing with the sleeping bodies. Whether it is making a compilation sleeping video or rearranging people’s stuff, I am always doing something.
My freshman year I noticed someone (take a poll below of who you think it was) was never in his seat, and he wasn’t just gone for like 10 minutes, he was gone for almost an hour. At first I assumed he was up by the coaches watching film and stuff. After a few away trips of noticing this, I look back and see him coming out of the bathroom. I went back and asked him where he goes for all that time and the dude tells me he takes a dump every flight. Now these are nicer bathrooms than a regular plane, so I understand how it could be done sometimes when necessary, but this was literally an every time thing. The man would go take a dump every single flight for an hour. The flight attendants would literally move to the middle of the plane to avoid the smell and everyone in the back of the plane was always furious. An absolute power move if you ask me... Dude is a legend for it and is still talked about every time we enter a plane. Vote and leave an email address down below and I will send the first TB tshirt to one of you who answers correct..
Moving forward… The flight lands, Anthony starts breathing again, and then we get onto another bus and head to the hotel.
Side Note: If you don’t understand the Anthony comment above, then you must not know that he hates flying. The dude gets like REALLY nervous on planes. It could be the shortest or smoothest ride we’ve ever been on, and when he gets off the plane he’s on the phone with someone talking about how he “just got off the craziest flight” and it was “really bad.”
When we get to the hotel we all have our assigned roommates. My first couple of years it was Jaylen and Melo, then it was Dion ‘Big Wiley’ Wiley, and now it is Josh Tomaic. After we drop our bags off we go shoot at the arena for a little (shooting games and things like that) and then head to dinner. Dinner is usually at a really nice restaurant, so we’re used to getting stared at when we all walk in wearing hoodies and sweatpants. It is pretty hilarious actually. However, out of all the people there, I am sure we are the most polite even if we look the most out of place. We pride ourselves on that. After dinner we hit the stretch room and walk through plays, then it’s bedtime. Travel days are always long, but in the end we always end the day feeling prepared. We are confident on the road again.
As always, I appreciate you guys coming in this week to read! Remember to subscribe, spread the word, and keep asking questions. This website is pretty cool, it puts all your responses to my posts into a spreadsheet so don’t worry - I’m hearing you guys!! If you’ve questioned it, just know that I’m reading all of your comments and responses.
“I was at the Seton Hall game up in the bleeders cause I’m a poor post grad and some dude starts acting tough like he’s a 20 year division 1 coach. Generally complaining about every play we ran and any time we missed yelling about how coach Turgeon needs to be fired. I legit stand up, turn around and ask this dude “Are you even a Maryland fan? If so, shut the hell up”. Dude sat quiet until the end of the game and had to get one more comment in. I was with my pops who didn’t want to see me fight a stranger but just know that the real fans ride with you guys no matter what. It’s always the haters who are the loudest. Good luck the rest of the year! “
I thought this was a good way to end this post. Austin Reece, and all other fans out there like you, you are the man. Thank you!
We’re getting closer and closer to merch! I’m excited to show you guys what I have planned. Lets keep this train moving. But first... pass me a towel buddy, it’s cold down here.
Indiana: Started the game slow as a turtle (no pun intended). The first couple of minutes we simply could not figure it out. On top of that IU wouldn’t miss a shot. Romeo is a stud. Morgan is great too. However, the start of games do not matter, it is the end that matters. We brought it back quickly and absolutely bombed them in the start of the second half. It really shows how tough our team is mentally. This win is 100% because of the Nebraska win. We know what we are capable of because of that. We know we could win every game no matter what happens. We expect to win again. I believe, for some of us, we almost lost sight of that expectation because of a tough season last year. I believe fans even started to lose that feeling of being winners. Now we have it again, and it f*cking tastes good. Thank you to everyone who has kept riding with us through the storm.
Wisconsin: Another huge win. I am sorry but the talent level in that game was just different. We lost a 21 point lead because Bruno was in foul trouble and they hit 9/10 threes at one point. I do not care who you are, if you lose one of your best players to foul trouble and the other team shoots the way they did to get back into the game, there are few things you can do to stop them. I’d like the say we absolutely 100% shook those dudes in the first half. But as I said above, it is not how you start it is how you finish. And we finished like dump… but still won. I still believe close games are what will give us the most learning experience. This gives us more experience than 100 blowouts ever could. We won’t allow this to happen again because we felt the fear of losing. Without Anthony taking over and controlling the court we probably would have lost that game after having that 21 point lead. We now know what to do and what teams in the BIG10 are capable of, and will apply more pressure next time when our foot is on their jugular.
TERRELL TRILLION TRACKER
Still the same. I probably won’t play the rest of the year. If I am being honest.
We got a couple against IU. At one point I was out in the middle of the floor touching the free throw line when the ball was on the opposite end. I was out of my mind amped up. The towel was flowing nicely. Felt good in the hand whipping the way it was.
Wisconsin didn’t have any bench warnings. They move on offense so much I couldn’t say much to the dude in the corner like I usually can. Don’t worry though, we’ll make up for this this week.