Men’s Basketball Heating Up at Just the Right Time

It’s probably way too early to talk about the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament that will take place a little later this year, but let’s do it anyway because hypothetical situations are fun.

The Men’s basketball team is probably still reeling from the Jacksonville loss they suffered on Jan. 2, but it’s not that obvious, which is a shocker given the team’s youth. Most young teams get all caught up in their “great start,” and then when the tough loss comes, the team falls faster than a penny dropped from the Empire State building.

Instead, this team dropped their heads after the tough loss, picked themselves right off the maple wood court, and got right back to business.

If this sounds all too familiar in my commentaries, it’s simply because I am always baffled by the composure of the Florida Atlantic sports teams, whether it be women’s soccer or men’s basketball.

Right now, as I write this on Jan. 10, the men’s team sits in second place, just one game behind Samford. Let’s go to that hypothetical situation, and play with it a little.

If the playoffs started tomorrow, the Owls would be a #2 seed in the conference and play a #7 seed, relying on the fact that the conference tournament invited eight teams from the A-Sun last year and this year will be the same. The #7 seed right now would be University of Central Florida, who I wouldn’t want to play first round given the bitter rivalry we’ve developed with them over the years.

Samford sits above us in the Atlantic Sun Conference with one less loss than us, simply because we lost to them in overtime 68-66. Hold the phone, don’t give up on us yet; we play Samford again on our court on Feb. 16. Like I said, it’s a little early to be talking Tournament games.

The attendance is up at men’s basketball games lately, which is good. This is directly connected to them having a better team this year than in the past two years and already having won more games then they did all last season.

Samford is not that good. After our crushing victory over Georgia State back on Jan. 5, I am totally convinced that the Conference is ours.

Having said that, it’s also ours to lose.

If any of you went to the GSU game, which was many of you based on the crowd there that I saw, I’m sure you’d agree that we are playing nearly our best basketball in three seasons right now. We finally buried Georgia State and their pretty blue jerseys and their historical coach, Lefty Driesel, who by the way is the worst loser I have ever seen. I have the utmost respect for him and all his years of coaching, but I wish everyone could have seen him when time was running down in the second half and our victory was clear.

He turned into this big baby and all I wanted to do was run down to the sideline and give him a sucker to make him happy or ask him if he lost his “baba.”

Lefty, you’re a great coach but crying does nothing for you. Guess you just miss Conference Player of the Year Shernard Long just a little too much since he graduated last year.

We will take the Conference, but it won’t happen until everyone comes and watches the men’s team destroy Samford on Feb. 16.