Saturday, March 25, 2006
It's more then basketball
Here are some thoughts and quotes about the dissappointment of Morrison!
"I felt for him," Afflalo said. "He's a great player. There's really no reason for him -- outside of the fact that he's a competitor and wanted to win -- he has no reason to cry.
"He should definitely keep his head up. That's hard to say when you won the game and your opponent lost. But I really just wanted to see him in a good mood."
Though, I can feel for him, now one is going to be smiling after a team comes back from leading the whole game and at one point by 17 points. They are not going to be cracking jokes or smiliing about this one after the game.
"I hate losing, period," an emotional Morrison said afterward. "I mean, anything, especially basketball. Obviously I'm going to let it all hang out. And that's what I did."
Though the Zags were in control the whole game the last few seconds of the game will be recalled by Morrison statements, "I was on the other side and I heard foul," he said. "I assumed they were trying to foul J.P. They didn't call it. That's the way the NCAA Tournament goes. They got the ball and scored."
It sank in immediately in the Gonzaga locker room. There, some 30 minutes after the game was over, those in the room still sat silent. The players in one room, still in their uniforms, not saying a word. Coaches and staff members in another room, sitting in a row of folding chairs, stunned at what they had just witnessed.
Head coach Mark Few couldn't help but think about the what ifs.
"We actually had the ball in the people's hands that we wanted," Few said. "We just had -- gosh -- there were a couple shots that just rimmed out."
Especially from Morrison. One shot, in which Morrison drove down the lane, Few said the All-American makes, "95 out of 100 times." Then there was the fadeaway that Few said he has seen the junior make "a thousand times." And a wide-open 3 by Raivio.
"Either of those shots would have probably effectively ended the game," Few said. "They didn't go. We've been making them all year. That's why we're here. Because guys make those shots."
With this all said and done, the game over...I still like the characert of Morrison admitting the truth...which it all came down too!
Morrison, his head down, his words brief, explained the game's final minutes like this: "I missed the shots."
"This team has been so incredible this entire year, winning games like that and digging 'em out, making big shots, getting that last big stop," Few said. "It just finally caught up to us at the end."
Which is why Morrison laid at center court, his face down, his body numb, his emotions flowing. And why Afflalo felt for his basketball brother. The two had traded words, elbows and passions for the better part of two hours Thursday night. But in the end, they were two human beings.
"They had enough guts as a man to come over in their moment of victory, pick somebody up off the floor," said Morrison. "If I could thank them, I would. That's just a sign of great people and great players.
"It's more than basketball."