The loss of our Lady Boilers bb team Thursday evening at home against Michigan State was truly a tough loss. First I would like to say, that for those who are fed up with the lack of effort on the men's side, perhaps you should give watching our women's team a try. Even though they have lost 5 of the last 7 conference games, they are exciting to watch. Despite problem areas like too many turnovers and of late, some lapses in good defense, this team really works hard and gives it their all. Michigan State was hitting 3's like crazy, 7 of 10 in the first half, and then driving to the lane for layups. We should definitely not be giving up both. The Spartans also played stellar defense and hit some really tough shots. It seemed like everything they threw up there went in. However, when I looked at the box score at the end of the game, we shot almost as good as they did. In fact, we made an amazing comeback in the first 15 minutes of the second half. We really played down and dirty and hit some clutch shots. Down 63-61 with 5 minutes to go, I had the feeling we would pull it out. We have shown the ability many times this year to play clutch down the stretch. It just wasn't meant to be. We didn't score in the last 6 minutes, which is unheard of. Sam O missed a layup. Courtney missed a wide open three. We threw at least 2-3 passes right to them. We got called for travelling. It just wasn't meant to be. With the game as competitive as it is, a 20-8 record still isn't bad. But it is not what our goals were. If we lose tomorrow to Illinois, we will be playing on the first day of the Big Ten tournament for the first time in a long time. We should beat Illinois at home. But we should have won all of our other home games too. Illinois can be a dangerous team. Our season isn't a total loss. We could still make a good showing at the Big Ten Tournament. The main concern is seeding in the NCAA tournament. At least we are a lock to get in. If we get in the 8-9 game it is at best one and done. I had hopes this team could make it to either the sweet sixteen or elite eight. Those seem like a long shot at this point. So what happened? Well, we miss the tall shooting guard. Brittany Rayburn was a nightmare matchup because she could shoot over almost every guard. While I like our guards, Dee Dee is 6 feet tall and has a great skill set, but shooting lights out isn't one of them. KK, C-Mo, and April don't have that kind of height. Bridget Perry should help us as a tall guard next year, as well as Torry Thornton at the 3 or 4 position. Injuries have also hurt us. Although that is no excuse against the Spartans as they have 3 players out with ACL or Achilles injuries. But the knee injury and surgery experienced by Chantel hurt us this season. Sam O has been playing through increasing pain on her shooting shoulder. While she is playing great anyway, one must wonder what her season would have been like without that nagging injury suffered against ND. Torrie has redshirted due to double knee surgery. I still don't think Liza Clemons is over her shoulder surgery. My mom and I have had shoulder problems and we can attest to the difficulty of recovering, let alone in playing in the rough and tumble Big Ten Conference. We still do have a lot of upside. We have speed, lots of shooters, usually good defense, lots of experience. Taylor Manuel and Drey Mingo have had solid seasons. Sam O has been a rebounding machine. Perhaps big AJ should watch some of her game film. The girl flat out goes for those rebounds and can pull them right off of the rim. Her whole game is awesome this year full of stats. KK and Courtney and Dee-Dee have been playing together for a long time. April Wilson has been steady in her reserve role. Not sure why we are not getting much at all from Camille Redmon or Joslyn Massey. Maybe just not ready for prime time yet. It seems like Hayden Hamby is going to take a while as well. If we can pull out the win on Senior Day, we still could improve our NCAA seed with a good showing in the conference tournament. We're not ready to cash in on this season yet.