March 31, 2004
This year, we were picked to finished seventh overall in our conference and weren’t even supposed to make it to the tournament. Well, after the first 12 games of the season, we were undefeated and ranked third in the country. As we who play the game all know, the preseason *opinions* and rankings don’t mean anything, it’s where and how you finish the season that matters. Which brings us to where we are now * on our way to the NCAA Final Four.
The last time Georgia Tech was in the NCAA Tournament was my freshmen year (2000), and that was a short-lived experience, getting knocked out in the first game of the first round. This year, we’re doing slightly better, to say the least. And what better way to finish a college career than to go out with a bang.
The first two games were held in Milwaukee against the University of Northern Iowa and Boston College. The experience is still hard to believe (but not to accept). The team plays with so much passion, pride, intensity and more than anything, like a family. It reflects in everything that we do, on and off the court.
When we are relaxing in the hotel rooms, we are usually cracking jokes, watching movies and overall having fun. Coach Paul Hewitt always emphasizes how we should make the most of the opportunities we get and enjoy ourselves. At the same time he makes sure that we don’t take anything for granted, constantly reminding us that he will get chances to do this over again, but we, as players, only have four years, five at the most, so we need to make the best of every day and every opportunity.
I think, more than anything, we understand how important it is for us to remain focused on the task at hand. We know that we can’t stay up at all times of the night and expect to perform at our very best in the games. We understand how important it is for us to take care of our bodies in terms of what we eat and drink, and making sure that we get treatment for our aches and pains. At this point of the season, we must continue to do what it took for us to get here, and that involves hard work, both mentally and physically, and discipline.