Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Season That Was

I'll admit, when I first heard about Klay Thompson being arrested for marijuana possession, I -- like many Coug fans -- sat there in disbelief and thought that someone was playing a cruel, cruel early April Fool's joke. There was no way our golden child of Cougar basketball was busted for pot just moments after a huge win vs USC. Unfortunately, as more and more details came to light, it was ultimately determined Klay would be suspended.

I was angry, sad, furious, and did I mention angry? Sullenly, I sat at work and considered asking for the day off. I texted friends who shared my sentiment. The Cougs started the year 5-0, later losing to Butler in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic. As Pac-10 play began, however, the Cougars lost their opening games in LA -- fashion capitol of the west coast -- in typical Coug fashion. They blew a lead against UCLA, and no-showed against USC until the final two minutes of the game. The rest of the season, great games would be followed by 20 minute efforts. Players were in and out of the line-up due to injuries and suspensions.

Last year, this would've been easier for me to swallow, but not this year. The starters for this year's team are four juniors and one sophomore. With the exception of Aden, all these players have been here and played since their freshman year. All season long, I've questioned this team's leadership, and clearly, the lack of leadership has cost this team a berth in the NCAA tournament. It's been a season of highs and lows. Unfortunately, most of the highs have been off the court.