ALOHA Hoyanation! The 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational is now here. I've been wating for this game for most of the summer, but first things were first. I hear some folks saying this Hoyas versus Kansas will be their first test. I disagree, the season has already began. The young Hoyas were fortunate to have had the opportunity to pass many tests before the regular season began. It started this past summer in Kenner League play. Right away in Kenner action the Hoyas five freshman (The Fresh Five) Otto Porter, Jabril Trawick, Mikael Hopkins, Tyler Adams and Greg Whittington were tested. I think they're biggest game.
Some people say, "it's just summer league." That's cool, but we must remember it's about development, bonding and having team chemistry. The one major thing I saw right away was the "fire in the their eyes," I didn't see the "deer in headlights look on the faces of the freshmen. It showed in their play. It was good to see them play an win big against some of their Alma-mata Jeff Green (Celtics), Jonathan Wallace, Tyler Crawford Greg Monroe (Pistons) and current Hoya red-shirt freshman Aaron Bowen the second meeting was the championship where the past beat the present but the young Hoyas' took Jeff Green and his mob to two overtimes. In my eyes, the first test was passed. A great sight to see right away. The Hoyas are a very competitive mob there's no doubt about it.
Last season's end it was time to go back to the the drawing board and figure such a tough task out. Putting the pieces to puzzle to make it one. The Hoyas know this. Also the Hoyas have been put through the test in China good and bad, but they've overcome and moved on. This test was won. Ask me how? '"Extra" team bond, team chemistry, trust was established in August and only get better.
Now where here in Maui ready to duel with the Kansas Jayhawks, this is not a test, this is the Hoyas third game game. November is Hoyamania month! Last season, the Missouri win was dubbed as the best non-conference game win "ever" in the history of the men's D1 college basketball for the the month of November. Both team's have had two games with the Hoyas winning both of their first two games. Kansas has one win and loss from the Kentucky Wildcats.
Hoyas, Jayhawk Quotes:
"There's a difference between "trying" and "competing," we have gotta learn how to compete better. Competing is being focused, carrying out assignments and all those things we tried hard. Sometimes harder you try the worst you play because you just don't quite figure it out, and we got a "ways to go" before we figure it out. We have a very inexperienced team - Kansas Coach Bill Self on loss to Kentucky at Madison Square Garden
“We have a long way to go,” Thompson III said before the team left for Hawaii. “The last couple of days has been more about our growth and us getting better more so than it is about Kansas. We’re so young - so much has to go into us. Through the first two games, we’ve gone about things the way I would have expected,” Thompson III said. “Now, we enter a whole different realm, a whole different level. You look at our schedule and break down the season and this is an early checkpoint to see where you stand.”
“We’re underdogs. We have nothing to lose,” senior guard Jason Clark said. “We’re not ranked, so we don’t have the target on our back that we usually have. Now, we’re just going after guys, and I think that’s going to be good for our team because no one likes to be told they aren’t good.” Regardless, the task at hand is for the Hoyas to win not anything less. It's about the Hoyas. Just we played our first two games with great "intensity" this will be no different except a step up. The Hoyas will attack and defend. Their communication/point communication with each other is key.
They know this is a business trip that they can also enjoy off court. I've always watched for years other college teams in the Maui Invitational, but now it's our turn, the Hoyas. Hoyanation, the Hoyas know the world is watching, and believe it or not their rooting for us. Remember, "They Know!" but they know they have something to prove because it's all about them.
These two photo's of Hawaii I got from @EASportsMauiInv on Twitter
Maui Is Our Playground!
Hoyas, Rock The Hoyas in Maui
On the minute info on the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational here on Twitter: