Friday, May 30, 2008

Game Log 5/30/2008: First boys' varsity level matchup

Happy with tonight, but also see how much I have to learn.

The conditions weren't ideal--it was damn muggy in there, and we were pinned back in the auxiliary gym, so I was stepping on substitutes' toes all night. Really, not much went wrong.

What I'll remember from tonight is how incredibly fast the game was, particularly in the first half.

With varsity girls and the freshman boys games, there's a little bit of time to sort of consider the call. I've been indoctrinated to let the play develop a little bit--don't give too quick a whistle--before figuring what the call is (if any).

Tonight's game didn't afford me that luxury. One of the teams was significantly quicker than the other, but the second team kept up, mostly by hitting threes. I feel like I called quite a few more fouls on the quicker team than on the slightly-slower team tonight. Maybe it was just the way the whistle bounced tonight, but it also might be something else. I'm not sure. There were occasions where I could feel my brain not going fast enough. "Okay...pick up the he se--(the collision happens while I'm sort of thinking about the play developing), player control, or maybe nothing...

But I do think I adapted a little as the game wore on. It was a little raggedy (it is May, after all), but the play was fairly high quality, and it was close late. I had a walk at one point that a classy coach didn't like. He asked "Which foot did he travel with?" I surprised myself with the immediacy, coherence, and confidence of my response: "He hopped on his right foot, coach." I get a little better at this every year. The other guy wasn't bad, but did do a little bit of play-by-play from hell, setting the American indoor record for "AND ONE!"s. I actually cracked a smile late in the game when he said "AND ONE!" before his player jumped up for the shot! I thought some snide thoughts, but on the way home I realized I should cut him a break. To him, "AND ONE!" is a cheer more than a complaint or suggestion. I still think he should wash his mouth out with soap.

Weird double foul late. Kids pounding like hell in the post. I didn't see an instigator, so I called both to get it to stop. Next time I'll pick it up earlier.

One call I want back...a no-call, actually...I was totally straightlined and missed a push. Nothing to do but point for White ball. My C partner (I was T) stepped in and said "No, I have a push." Fair enough, although I wish he'd done it earlier. But better to get it right, I guess. I had no angle at all. Probably a sign I'm not moving enough.

Partner I trust only had one suggestion. He felt I was a little too exuberant on a late out-of-bounds call. "Make it the same as the early ones," he said. I said "I thought that one needed a sell." He said OK. Wish I had video.

Speaking of video, I need to see myself. I hope I'm taped this weekend...I need to see my physical shortcomings. My running style and wacky posture probably matter more in the testosterone-fueled boys game than with the girls.

But it didn't hurt me tonight. It was a fast, tight, quality game, and I'm not sure that anybody could tell it was my first try. Can't complain about that. I feel damn I accomplished something nice tonight.

THINGS I DID WELL: Handled the day well. Partner communication. Coach communication. No physical pain!
THINGS TO WORK ON: Speed of the game. My brain simply needs to catch up. Also, protect shooters to the floor...there were one or two where my eyes went up.


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