Game #9-536: Indiana State Sycamores vs. Creighton BluejaysMarch 9, 2013 2:35 pm
St. Louis, MO
"You've already quit," Greg Lansing tells his Indiana State team in the first half. I think the score was 29-11. Or something to that nature. Top-seeded Creighton, which lost to the Sycamores by double digits earlier in the year, was throwing down the hammer in this Missouri Valley semifinal game. The Bluejays won Arch Madness a year ago, and as they prepare to bolt for the new Big East next year, they certainly want to win this thing again.
So they're not playing around. From the start, Creighton obliterated Indiana State. It's hard to believe Lansing's team won the MVC Tournament two years ago and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, not with this poor performance.
Lansing chews his team out. They can't score. Can't rebound. Can't defend. Doug McDermott is scoring in every way possible, like he's Superman or something, and the Sycamores are helpless. They're getting lost on screens and letting Dougie have his way. Lansing even tried to have his players switch on all screens at one point, but that didn't work.
That's where we stand in the first half. Lansing thinks his team has quit, and things never get better. The final score was ugly. Indiana State looked defeated, and to the casual fan, it appears the team really did "quit."
That's the thing about sports, though. Too often, I think fans get on athletes for "quitting" or "giving up" or "not playing hard." In most cases, they come up with even more creative and vulgar adjectives and verbs to express their disappointment about a team that's getting it's tail whipped. In this case, I think Lansing was just using an expression. He didn't think the team had stopped trying, but they weren't competing.
That's the difference. That's the critical, game-changing thing to remember here. Players don't quit. They might stop competing, they might get intimidated or they might back down in the limelight, but they very, very rarely quit. You think Jake Odum put in hours and hours and hours and hours in the weight room and on the track and in the arena getting shots up to quit? You think Manny Arop transferred from Gonzaga and traveled two time zones to Omaha to quit? The team, as a collective unit, couldn't stand up to mighty Creighton. They do not have as much talent as the Bluejays, and when they began to play poorly, they had no chance. Mentally, they were buried.
But I do not believe they quit. The next time you accuse a Division I athlete of giving up, try to think about what it's like to be them. They're getting out-muscled and embarrassed in front of thousands of fans and a television audience, and it becomes a snowball effect. Maybe they're scared. Maybe they just want to count the minutes until they can get the heck out of the arena. That kind of thing happens, but the one thing I'll never accuse a player of is giving up in the middle of the game. I'm sure it happens, but I'm not ready to get in the mind of an athlete and accuse him (or her) of that.
Just some food for thought. Keep it in mind the next time you want to play armchair quarterback.
CREIGHTON 64, INDIANA STATE 43
INDIANA STATE 18-14 (9-9) -- M. Arop 5-11 3-4 13; J. Odum 1-3 3-3 5; D. Brown 0-3 1-2 1; J. Gant 1-4 3-4 5; R. Mahurin 1-7 0-0 2; L. Eitel 0-3 0-0 0; J. Kitchell 0-5 2-2 2; K. Smith 1-5 0-0 2; D. Cummings 2-4 0-0 5; B. Burnett 2-4 4-4 8; R. Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-49 16-19 43.
CREIGHTON 26-7 (13-5) -- J. Manigat 2-7 2-2 8; A. Chatman 2-4 0-0 5; G. Gibbs 2-3 2-2 6; D. McDermott 8-10 3-3 25; G. Echenique 5-6 0-0 10; A. Dingman 0-2 0-0 0; W. Artino 2-7 0-2 4; A. Yates 0-1 2-2 2; E. Wragge 0-0 0-0 0; N. Johnson 1-2 0-0 2; A. Olsen 1-1 0-0 2; T. Stormberg 0-0 0-0 0; G. Groselle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-43 9-11 64.
Three-point goals: INST 1-13 (L. Eitel 0-2; R. Mahurin 0-4; M. Arop 0-1; J. Kitchell 0-1; D. Brown 0-1; B. Burnett 0-1; D. Cummings 1-2; K. Smith 0-1), CREI 9-18 (D. McDermott 6-7; J. Manigat 2-6; A. Chatman 1-2; A. Dingman 0-2; A. Yates 0-1); Rebounds: INST 22 (M. Arop 4), CREI 28 (D. McDermott 9); Assists: INST 6 (J. Odum 3), CREI 17 (G. Gibbs 5); Total Fouls -- INST 13, CREI 18; Fouled Out: INST-None; CREI-None.
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