Baby steps. That's what last night's win compartmentalizes to, a step forward for a basketball team that could simply use a win.
And my goodness, didn't that whole game have an odd feel to it? It's like reaching into that bag of potato chips that was lost on top of the fridge. You open it up, take a handful of chips and bite down. The half-stale, half-fresh crunch isn't ideal, but the chips are good. You devour them.
It's almost impossible to work through the meaning of keeping an undermanned team at arm's length, but never really putting them away. VCU never really struggled, but never cruised. Never threatened, but never were threatened. You can dig into 1,000 worm holes and 1,000 statistics, every one of which is accurate, and every one of which doesn't matter.
So we will put a check mark in the box that says WIN and move on. It was a step forward, if only a baby step. That did the job, and we will be sailing soon enough.
A quick story: as the players emerged from the locker room, JeQuan Lewis stopped to chat with an assistant coach. Lewis had one question: "I didn't have any turnovers, did I?" Two things stand out to me in that simple question:
First, Lewis wasn't concerned with anything numerical; he as playing basketball and the numbers would fall where they may. So many times we get caught up in thisandthat and forget that the baseline item is for the guys to play basketball. They are at their best and playing freely when their mind is unemcumbered by mental limitations.
Second, Lewis set another career high in points. He also hit a couple (more) big shots. However his mind was on a tenet that is being preached by the coaching staff–value the basketball. This is also an unselfish trait. Lewis has the basketball in his hands, a lot, when he is in the game. His mistakes are big mistakes because the other team gets the ball. This being the most important aspect in his mind last night shows a maturity and team-first attitude.
No, I don't have an answer on Juvonte Reddic, and my answer will not be knee-jerk.