One of the benefits of watching tonight’s game against DePaul in a sports bar on West 3rd is that I didn’t have to hear one word out of Mike Jarvis. One of the drawbacks, however, is that the level of beer consumption the environment inspired diluted the clarity of my in-game observations. In other words, there was a lot of screaming and yelling, I was three sheets to the wind during much of the second half, and all I’m left with are vague impressions of how we won.
Hold on, am I complaining about drinking beer? Slap me.
I do know this: we won, and we won with grit, energy, and determination. We now have on our resume a nice, reasonable road win over a modest but dangerous opponent. We need all of those we can get, since the UVA (11-8, 1-5) win is losing its value by the minute. We came out playing defense like it was November, but somewhere in the middle of the first half the guys remembered that A) we’re a damn fine defensive team these days, and B) we sure as hell aren’t going to be outrebounded by the likes of DePaul. Turning the ball over and being terrible three point shooters are also, unfortunately, long term personality traits of this team; but they’ve learned to win in spite of those flaws. Encouragingly, they also appear to be able to win even when Donte Greene and Jonny Flynn put up lemons in the same game. Granted, they won’t survive against the likes of Pitt or Georgetown without those two playing well, but this win shows the rest of the team has come a long way. K-ONG’s confidence and stability have grown by leaps and bounds the last couple of weeks, and you gotta love his scrappy play, defense, and highly effective rebounding. And Arinze Onuaku — wow. He’s worthy of his own post later this week.