By Andrew Harrison (follow on Twitter)
What's up, Big Blue Nation?
Coming off Tuesday night's win against Ole Miss, I feel like we're improving a lot on the defensive end and the game is starting to become more enjoyable for all of us. We're starting to learn. I think each individual is playing better.
Willie played his best game in a while and everyone was happy for him. I sent out a tweet Tuesday night just to show him how good we all know he is. Willie is talented. Sometimes I don't think he knows how good he can be. I just wanted to show him how proud of him I was for how hard he's been working.
Crazy game by @TrillGeta15 he's the best center in the country when he wants to be-- Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) February 5, 2014
Practices have been pretty tough. Even though we won a couple games, Coach is still pushing us to get better and better every day.
It's been pretty crazy lately with all the weather we've had to deal with. It was bad at LSU, and then on our trip to Missouri we were stuck on the plane for a few hours after we landed because we had to land in St. Louis and wait for the buses to come from Columbia and pick us up. That was pretty tough on our bodies with a lack of sleep, and it's also tough on your mindset.
When you're stuck on buses and planes, you don't' really think about the game. You can't help but think about when you're going to get to the hotel and are we going to be safe and stuff like that. Coach told us there is nothing we can do about it. You just try to relax and get to know each other better, crack a couple of jokes and have fun.
While we were waiting, we talked about a lot of stuff, including the NBA All-Star Game coming up. We were just giving Alex a hard time and talking about how he is going to have to guard LeBron in a couple of years. They were making fun of me saying I was going to have to guard Chris Paul and Dakari was going to have to guard Roy Hibbert and Dwight Howard. We were just having fun with that.
I was surprised DeMarcus Cousins didn't make the game. I think he's one of the top two or three centers in the league. And Lance Stephenson is having a pretty good year. I'm pretty surprised neither of those guys made it.
Anyways, back to the whole travel thing. Coach just turned the waiting around into a positive. He said it just comes with the territory and you never know what's going to happen. He said it can really prove what we have inside of us and that we can show our mental toughness right now. Even though we didn't get as much as sleep and weren't on our normal routine, we had to take care of business, try to win a basketball game and get back to Kentucky. We had to show that we can still persevere and do what we have to do, and I think we did that at Missouri.
The win at Missouri was very emotional and everyone was so enthusiastic about playing the game. I think everyone could see on TV that we have the fight that we didn't show at LSU the game before and that we're growing and maturing as a team. It's exciting because the sky's the limit for what we can do.
Playing on the road in the SEC has been a fun experience for me. I like when you come out and everyone is booing you. It's fun. It makes it exciting. At the same time it's a little bit more difficult because I feel like the teams hit shots they normally don't make because they're at home and everyone is behind them, so we just have to be ready for that and be prepared to play on the defensive side of the ball.
Being on the road also makes you appreciate playing at home even more. When you come back to Rupp and play it's exciting because all the fans are rooting for you. Every time someone makes a good play, the place goes crazy. It's fun playing here.
Personally, I think I'm doing pretty well right now. I'm just trying to run the team and trying to be a better leader on and off the court and making sure I know what's going on and know what Coach wants. I'm just trying to display that out on the court. I need to make sure I'm not worried about myself and how I'm playing and be more concerned about my teammates. I'm still working on getting used to the speed of the game, making sure my teammates are involved and having fun out there playing with me.
I'll be honest, it's been pretty tough taking a lot of the criticism and stuff like that. I've never been criticized this much in basketball, but I think it's helped me grow as a person and as a player. You have to remember who you are playing for. You're playing for your family and your teammates, so you can't really worry about what everyone else is saying. There are going to be ups and downs no matter what happens. You have to keep playing. You can't look at the polls. Of course you see yourself scrolling down at the bottom of ESPN, and we were pretty surprised going down some spots after that big road win at Missouri, but that's just how it is. It just makes you hungrier.
It's been good for me having my brother here. I feel like our relationship has gotten stronger because some of the criticism we get falls on both of us. We're getting used to it and I feel like it's just putting a chip on our shoulder and making us play better.
At the end of the day, I just want to be the best point guard in the country and just become a leader of this team. For this team, every one can say they want to win a national championship, and of course we want to do that, but we just want to become better every game. That's all we're worried about right now.
School is going good right now. It's tough getting from class to class with all this snow. They didn't tell me about all this weather before I came here, but we were pretty excited about getting a snow day on Monday. We were hoping to get another one after all the ice Tuesday night.
But school is school. It's hard on us with all the basketball responsibilities we have and sometimes you're tired and don't feel like going to your tutors. What makes it easier is going through it with all of your teammates. We all know we've got a job to do.
I know some of the other guys have written about this already, but we really like hanging out with each other. We don't have a clique or anything like that on this team. We all play video games together, just talk and joke with one another like any college kid. Marcus likes to buy these toy guns and shoot people with them so we've got to be careful with him.
It's our day off so I'm going to get out of here and go enjoy a little time off. If my mom is reading this, I want to let her know I miss her and I hope she's doing well. Talk to you later, BBN.