Saturday afternoon was fun in Diddle Arena for the first time in a couple weeks.
Not many folks got to experience the fun, as there were only 3,000 fans at Diddle today.
But those that were there had a joke pulled on them by Head Coach Ken McDonald. In the final seconds, with the students chanting “Serg-io, Serg-io, Serg-io,” McDonald pointed down to injured junior guard Sergio Kerusch to put him in the game, and as Kerusch raced towards the scorer’s table, McDonald grabbed him and sat him back down.
McDonald, Kerusch and the rest of the team got a good chuckle out of the move.
However, it wasn’t the only smiling happening. There was an abundance of grins. And hustle, too.
For the first time in a couple weeks, Western looked comfortable. It looked like there was chemistry again.
Freshman guard Jamal Crook provided a spark with his hustle. He also added what he called an “outstanding” line of 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and numerous hustle plays that didn’t show up in the box score.
Crook and fellow freshman guard Caden Dickerson could become key players in the month of February. They are both starting to play more like sophomores and less like freshman.
In addition, watch senior forward Jeremy Evans and senior guard A.J. Slaughter. I think they’re both beginning to realize that things are coming to an end, and they’re going to do everything in their power to go out on their terms.
Sure, New Orleans is struggling, and you can’t base a lot off of 20-point win over the Privateers.
But Western was getting desperate. They were looking for anything they could get. And while McDonald said it wasn’t quite the complete 40 minutes he was looking for, it was a step back in the right direction.
The way Western was going, they need every step in the right direction they can get.
McDonald made a good point that there is still a lot of basketball to play, a lot of time where either Western’s season can head back in the wrong direction or where they can get back on track towards their goal of a berth in the NCAA tournament.
The teams that do the best in the postseason are those that really find their stride in February and carry it over to March.
Meaning the next 28 days will be very interesting.