On Controlling your Destiny
Random Thoughts from da Coach
Purple Reign Toomler
Posted Mar 8, 2004


You hear it a lot from coaches, "our team has to control its own destiny."

Coach Roy notes that for the first time in a long time, that coach's cliche came true for the Court Cats Saturday.


It was so close we could taste it.
Jitim Young came out on fire, scoring the first 7 points and eventually hitting for 20, including a 3 pointer that kept the Cats in the game at the end. It seemed like he was personally willing the Wildcats to win the game, that the Cats were destined to finish fourth in the Big Ten -- the highest finish in the standings I can remember.

But dismal shooting from the field [35%], 5 for 23 from the arc, and a big rebounding edge by the Wolverines were the Cats' downfall as they lost only their 2nd Big 10 Game at home.

So what's all this "destiny" stuff...

Instead of winning and controlling their own destiny, NU wound up hoping for a Purdue win. Had that happened, the Cats would then own the tiebreaker over Iowa and would draw the first round bye in the Big 10 tournament, but you all know that. So much for controlling destiny.

Unfortunately, the Boilermakers are not the same team at home this year, so the Hawks squeeked by Purdue and that simple win propelled the Iowa Hawkeyes into 4th place and the Thursday bye by virtue of wins and tiebreakers.

The Iowa win dumped NU all the way down to the 6th seed, and a 5:05 PM game Thursday against Penn State. At least its on National TV [ESPN2].

But instead of sitting in the stands Thursday, scouting our next opponent, the Cats will once again face Penn State, a team that beat us on the road last time in overtime. By the way, we shot 42% from the floor and 23% from the arc in that one. From press reports, Penn State does not think they are a "team of destiny" this year.

So if you believe that the Jiitm Young Wildcats are a team of "destiny," propelled by the pure will of Jitim and his teammates' desire to get him to a post season tournament, then a 4 game sweep of the tournament is a destined certainty.

And if the Cats are truly a "team of destiny," they will breeze past the two "state" schools, Penn [State] and Michigan [State] to face any one of three teams they've beaten this season in the quarterfinals.

The Cats' Destiny takes over and you can figure another game with Wisconsin and then a chance at the rubber game with Illinois. I certainly hope that's the way it works out -- I've left both Friday and Saturday afternoon open so I can watch the last two games of the Big 10 tournament. You see I believe NU is destined to be there....

I sure hope the Cats do too.

-- da Coach

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