Kyle Smithpeters' Blog

Kyle Smithpeters' Blog
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Southern Illinois' Klye Smithpeters will be blogging on through the postseason tournaments. Check back as Kyle posts from the road for an exclusive look "Inside the Game".
Sunday, March 6:

A sad day for the Saluki team and fans. We just took an L to a very inferior SMS team. We came into the game with strictly business on our mind. We really wanted to this win for us and coach Lowery.

This was a team that gave us a very good beating earlier in the year. The game started out well for us, probably the best half of the year. The attitude in the locker room at half was to keep putting it on SMS. We wanted to make sure that we finished them off quick and not let them back into the game.

The second half seemed as if it was going in slow motion from the very start. Our lead slowly dwindled as the clock slowly expired. I believe we came back out into the game with good intentions, but sometimes things just don't go your way. We couldn't really seem to get a flow to the second half. A lot of the shots that we hit in the first half and all year just didn't seem to fall.

We played a good 30 to 35 minutes of this game. It was about a five-minute break down that cost us this game. It was a shock and a bad feeling of trying to realize if this just really happened.

It hasn't sunk in yet, but that sick feeling in my stomach is still there. Coach Lowery came in after the game telling us not to let this one game bring down such a good season. He said we shouldn't be happy and look to improve and grow from this. Coach Lowery said we are 26-7, a whole lot better than 7-26. Coach Lowery did do a great job of lifting the team and telling us to use this as a learning experience to get better.

The sad thing is that coach Lowery will take the blame for the meltdown. This is so far from true. This coaching staff all year has prepared us before a game with great detail. We knew as a team what it would take to beat this team, and we the players just didn't execute that game plan well enough.

We still feel that we deserve to make the Tournament. It probably hurt our position, dropping us to maybe an 8 or 9 seed rather than a much higher one. We know we are a better team than that type of seed, but we will take it and do well. Now we play the waiting game until Sunday to see just what our future as a team holds for us.


Saturday, March 5:
Today we got up at 7:45 to go to walk-through and eat breakfast.
Playing a game in the middle of the day can really mess with how you may perform. We are so used to having all day to prepare for a game and cutting that down to just a few hours can really affect your rhythm sometimes.
We arrived at the game and were so surprised and happy to see such a large turnout of fans at the game. My roommate D. B. and I both thought that the crowd gave us a good advantage and helped with the outcome of the game.
We struggled a little the first half but got up in the second half by as much as 20. The lead slowly dwindled all the way to 3 with about five minutes to go in the game. There never was a scare of them beating us, but was a little close for our comfort. We won by 10 or so, but know we must play better in order to beat SMS tomorrow.
We were happy to see that SMS bet UNI. We really want to get a piece of them after the beating they put on us at their place. This was really the only team that broke our defense during a game. We have been trying to get as much rest as we can on our down time. Coach Lowery also spoke about how important it was to get rest when we could.

The team really seems to have the right focus on the game for tomorrow.  Everybody really wants to play well and have a good game.

The serious attitudes can almost always be broken by J.T. and his two accomplices T.Y. and Mike Dale. Their constant nagging about C.J.’s supposed box like head always brings the group into laughs. C.J. will come right back about J.T.’s hair, T.Y.’s vein that always pops out the side of his head, and Mike Dale’s large chin. This constant (jon-ning) as they call it, can last all day in some cases, but is all in good fun. Just don’t let them see you laugh about the jokes, because that means you are open for the jon-ning, and it can get ugly.
We all realize that tomorrow’s game will be physical and fought very hard. This will be a very good test of our character and court discipline for the post-season tournament that, hopefully, is in our future.
Friday, March 4:

Today we left for the MVC Tournament in St. Louis. The attitude of the team seems to be going in the right direction.

The talk on the bus ride up mainly was how well we need to play to get into the NCAA Tournament. Nobody really seems to feel that without an MVC Tournament win we will get into the NCAA Tournament. Stet and J.T. refer to Utah State to those who would dare to argue against their view. Last year, Utah State found themselves in a similar position as us this year, having a high RPI, and they also cracked the Top 25, but failed to make the dance when they didn’t win their Conf. Tournament. It was good to see Stet and J.T. make that case to the younger guys so they wouldn’t come in not expecting perfection in order to make a good tournament run.

The day has really wore myself and the rest of the team down. We left early this morning and arrived about 11:00 a.m. Darren and T. Y. had to come up early with coach for the MVC awards banquet. Darren said they were there for two and a half hours listening to speeches and more speeches by coaches and other award winners.

We went from the hotel to the Savvis Center for a 30-minute shoot around. It was pretty intense in the short time with us trying to get up as many shots as we could.

We then travelled by bus to a local college to finish practice. The intensity was good among the team, showing that we are ready to play tomorrow, regardless of the opposition we may face. The rest of the day consisted of going to eat supper and a team scouting report at 9:30 p.m.

We returned from supper at 7:30 p.m. and all went to sleep until the scouting report. The scouting report consists of the other team’s stats, player profiles and some sets they may run against us tomorrow. We discussed this, and then watched clips of film that are plays the coaches think will be important for us to see. This meeting usually lasts about an hour and 15 to an hour and 30 minutes.

With shoot around tomorrow at 8:00a.m., sleep is going to be crucial for all of us. Rest and sleep is going to be very important for us if we are going to perform well for three-straight days. Taking care of your body at this time of year is just about the most important thing you should do.