February 9, 2010

Basketball and Beyond: Week 3

Each week for the rest of the season, senior James Feldeine will chronicle his experiences with the Quinnipiac men's basketball team.

After losing our first game in a long time to Mount St. Mary's, we forgot how losing tasted. We didn't like the taste of losing especially to a team we beat at home. But Coach Moore always tells us it tough to win on the road in any league. Personally, I had the worst game of my career (1-14 shooting) and sitting at the back of the bus for 6 hours in pitch black didn't help me. After a loss we cannot watch movies or talk on the bus because Coach Moore wants us to learn from the loss. The whole bus ride back to school I was killing myself about every shot I missed, but I have to give credit to their team defense. They really played me tough. In the back of my mind, I knew I had to bounce back quickly from that game because rivalry week was coming up and we had to win those games against Sacred Heart. The next couple of days, I stayed in the gym after practice to watch film and shoot about 300 jump shots each day.

Rivalry week is a big week for us; we knew Sacred Heart was going to be ready after coming off a tough loss to Wagner two days after we beat them. We knew it was going to be a tough match up with all their shooters and their best player coming off a 36-point performance on TV. I knew we were ready for the game because we looked focused in the days leading up to the game. We came out strong in the first half and never looked back. We kept on putting our foot on the gas because we had some fans in the crowd and we didn't want to let them down. It felt good to have fans travel with us to a big game like Sacred Heart. All the upperclassmen knew how crazy the fans get when we go there and they didn't let us down. For example, when I was shooting around at their basket they were already screaming names at me. They were trying to get in my head but that only motivates me to do well. And the outcome of the game showed it. I finished with 27 points and left with our fans being louder than theirs.

After the game, we finally had the taste of victory, but Coach Moore made it clear that they were going to come back tougher and stronger two days later at our place. He didn't let us celebrate too long because we had another battle and another step to take to get back in first place. The next day, we watched film on the good and bad of the game. I think that really helps us get better because we now know what each player likes to do in every situation.

I knew there was going to be a big crowd at Saturday's game, but I definitely didn't know there would be almost 3,000 people here. While I was warming up, I kept on seeing more and more people walk in and that got the whole team excited. We really get excited when fans come out and support us. We want our arena to be a tough place for our opponents to play and we're showing it this season. We haven't lost at home yet (fingers crossed). We had a great amount of students there and that really helped us get out of a drought in the second half. It was the first time that Jeremy Baker and I could wave to the crowd to get on their feet and get louder for us. And it definitely got louder and pushed us to pull off the come-from-behind victory. We have three more home games left and these are the last regular season games myself and the other seniors have. We would really appreciate if we have the same atmosphere for them while we are on this journey to host a few playoff games and possibly a conference championship.