Made ya look, didn’t I? I love fun titles like this because it draws people in for sure! 🙂


Well, perhaps, but it’s how I feel right now.

A little context: one of my favorite podcasts is the Washedup Walkons (I’ve written about them before) and I love the way they just say things the way they are. Last Friday, the Iowa Hawkeyes had an awesome chance to really create a heck of a season. A month ago, they had 3 wins against 4 losses and were coming off a blowout loss to Ohio State. Everything and I mean everything, about the team was being questioned, so they did the obvious thing a team would do, win the next four games and put themselves in a position to return to the Big 10 Championship Game.


They only had to win on Friday to make that happen.

They did not win.

One of the Walkons’ favorite phrases is, “They shit the bed,” when referring to a player or team that did not perform anywhere near expectations. Friday, the Hawkeyes shit the bed, playing way down to their opponent, getting behind 0 – 24, and eventually losing 17 – 24. The team they played, fired their head coach five games into the season and had not beaten Iowa since 2014. Needless to say, disappointment is reigning supreme in Iowa.


During the last four games in our season, my team has lived dangerously, playing down to their opponent. We’ve got a pretty good team, and in our first two games, we really played well. We lost both games, but we completed with teams that these girls were blown out by as 7th graders. Since then, we’ve played down to our opponent, badly. In our last game, we were behind by 6 points at the end of the third quarter, only to win by 2 to a team we had NO business losing to. I said over and over, you give a team confidence, they will keep coming at you harder and harder. Break a team’s confidence early, and you drive out that notion of a comeback. However, for as much as we’ve lived on the edge, we’ve won our last four games, going into the Thanksgiving break at a respectable 4 – 2.


And as Marlin said in Finding Nemo, Good feeling gone.” because that dangerous living came home to roost tonight. The team we played against tonight was not better than us. They had more size, but we were the quicker team, the more aggressive team, and the team that gave the illusion of being ready to play. In the first two quarters, we looked it too. We were aggressive to the basket, we were on the floor for loose balls, we were helping on defense, all things I preach constantly to them. We got to the free-throw line eight times, making only one shot. That was definite foreshadowing for things to come.

In the second half, we took a large crap in the bed. We were careless with the basketball. We settled for jump shots. We didn’t help on defense, allowing the other team to shoot layups. After they scored the first 8 points, I called timeout, did some diagraming, and sent them back out with a plan. The other team then scored ANOTHER 8 points in a row (a 16 – 0 run), and we were in trouble. Our conference changed their rules so 8 grade could press all the time and play zone. We don’t play zone, but we do press. I’ve got a team that is pretty independent, and unless I say otherwise, they have the green light to press whenever they want. So they started to press, and suddenly we had life.

We get the lead down to 8, and quickly as we had the momentum, we revert back to poor form. One girl drives to the basket between three girls and gets the ball stolen. Another comes down, and before we start our offense, she puts up a three-point attempt and misses. Then, we drop back on defense, and forget our assignments, allowing an easy layup.


We just had dug a hole that was too deep to get out of. And the thing that made me the angriest, we had to foul at the end of the game to stop the clock. If you aren’t going for the basketball, if you just slap at a girl and aren’t making that attempt, then the referees can call a flagrant foul, which means the girl who got fouled not only gets two free throws, but her team gets the ball back too. We had back-to-back flagrant fouls in the final 15 seconds. The thing that infuriated me the most, we talked about fouling during a time-out and how you HAVE to go for the ball, not just wack a girl


Part of that game is on me. We don’t have “plays”, it’s just a read-and-react kind of offense, so I can’t call out “one” and girls know what do to, but, we have girls who can play this style. This team’s problem, they take mental breaks and we took one for about 3 1/3 minutes in the third quarter. Before and after that little nap, we played solid basketball. It goes back to what I said to start the game, you cannot let a team that you are better than get that feeling they can play with you. If they get that confidence, suddenly, their intensity level goes up, and you are in a dog fight.

We allowed this team to play with us in the first half, and suddenly, they were just clobbering us. We made it close, but in the end, used up so much energy, that we had little in the tank to finish the game.

However, we are still above .500 (4 wins against 3 losses) and have a winnable game this Friday. I asked the girls after the game, what they expect to work on. “Defense and shooting,” they all chimed in.

They know.

They understand.

They will get better.

I’m just sad I’ll only have them as players for three more weeks.

But until then, I’ll be their biggest cheerleader and their harshest critic.


Because I love the game, I love this team, and anything less is not giving them what they need as a team and players.

So, lace up ladies, we have practice tomorrow!