the handshake…the conversation and the best player in college basketballMarch 8th, 2011 at 1:45 pm by Todd Bynum under Photo/Video, Sports
First, let me say, I don’t pay attention to a lot of the X’s and O’s about the game – I go strictly on the body language and emotions I see right in front of me. Oh sure, I would recognize the difference between man to man and zone defense – but that’s for the inside basketball folks. The Texas Men’s basketball team starts Big 12 play Thursday and I just noticed something in the second half of the Baylor game in Waco that the Horns won. Jordan Hamilton and Rick Barnes had their best half of conversation. Jordan’s three pointer in the second half from right in front of me I’m guessing was the smoothest I’ve seen this year.
This picture is from the second half. Oh sure, I’ve seen Rick and Jordan talk many times but this half was different. They actually were learning from each other..I’ve read a lot of articles where Jordan talks about not being in playing shape last year and how he finally figured it out at the end what a great shot was over a good shot, and how he’s learning how to trust his teammates during tight games, etc. we forget he didn’t play his senior year in High School…which I think is a big deal. But back to the picture. Coach and Jordan had been having great conversations during the second half, and by great I mean Barnes explained himself well, Jordan listened and offered suggestions and then on one such meeting…Coach shook his hand and said good job to which Jordan then went out and clapped his hands like a leader of a team would.
My favorite quote that I’ve read about Jordan comes from “Horns Illustrated” that describes Jordan as “the flirty blonde at the end of the bar who’d laugh at your jokes and take your drinks but leaver before you go her number” I laughed out loud when I read it.
I’ve also seen a change in Coach Barnes as well, and maybe more than any other NBA caliber player before him, Jordan and Rick have taught each other how to have a monologue during the heat of battle instead of all of the dialogues they’ve been having.
It was just a good game to sit and watch what Coach called after the game “one of the best team wins of the year and by that I mean everyone played their role and did exactly what they were supposed to do” and went on to say about Jordan “how it was a process and I kept telling him to trust his teammates and he started doing that and had the best demeanor on the court I’ve seen him have this year”
And really what better time to start really putting it all together than right before tournament time. Like I’ve said before — I like this team and think they may be onto something special.