Nov. 9, 2005
Unbelievable...That is the only word that can begin to describe the feelings and emotions of Sunday. Winning the conference championship is such an amazing experience and I could not be more proud of our team. It is such a gratifying feeling to know that all of your work, sweat, and dedication over the past fours years has finally paid off. When that final second expired (and after I got up from underneath the dog-pile), I looked at Kelly and said, "We did it, it took four years, but we did it." Just thinking about Sunday gives me such an emotional high that I can even try to put it all into words. Since the game, a lot of people have asked me if I ever thought that we were capable of this. They ask, why come to a school with such a young program? My response was simple. I came because I knew we could be something incredible. I wanted to belong to a program that would only continue to grow after I left and one that I could look back upon and say, "Yeah, I was a part of that;" and, I wanted to be the first. This season was filled with a lot of firsts. It was the first time we beat a nationally-ranked opponent (Auburn); it was the first time we beat SMU; it was the first time we won the conference tournament; and it was the first time we got an automatic bid into the NCAAs. I am so proud of this program and where it has come from and where it is going.
This weekend we face Cal (University of California, Berkley) in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Are they ranked in the top ten? Yes. Are they good? Absolutely. Are they going to beat us? Not without a fight. I have no doubt in my mind that if we come out with the same heart and determination that we showed throughout the conference tournament we'll give Cal a run for their money. On paper they might be the better team, but we're not going to just roll-over and give them a win. Who knows, maybe when it is all said and done we'll be adding Cal to the list of ranked opponents we've beaten this year...