Guy breaks his nose and everybody expects me to freak out. We're talking about a bonafide upperclassman at Brad Underwood's school of Hard Knocks. The front runner for National Player Of The Year in my humble and qualified/unbiased opinion. I have absolutely zero doubts that he returns quickly with a Rip Hamilton mask, ready to skullfuck the month of March. If anything it's a chance for the rest of the team to improve in his absence - however long that is. But don't tell me it's going to hurt Ace Miller and Trent and Damante etc. going into tournament time. Iron sharpens iron and you know Underwood will use it to his advantage.
For more on the Illini - listen to Red Line Radio this week. We get into the loss after the 1 hour mark.
Elsewhere I don't hold a grudge against Michigan State for the injury because you have to play that hard to beat Illinois this year. End of the day we'll just have to see how far we advance in the tournament. Part of me thinks I end up sending Tom Izzo a gift basket for firing the boys up and preparing us to destroy the field.
Just the other day I was rewatching an '85 Bears doc and Gary Fencik was talking about how lucky they were to lose to the Dolphins. Mongo said they probably lose in New Orleans without it. Maybe that's a stretch but the sense is you get to refocus and get better after a tough loss. To me this is the perfect time, team and circumstances to bounce back from. Chip on your shoulder like you dream about and this kind of squad thrives under that shit. Nobody's nervous.
Great reporting out there. Listen' to Rico's podcast for more insight into college basketball. He does a phenomenal job with Barstool Bench Mob and he really knows his shit.