When I was 17, I got my driver’s license, a development I was sure was my ticket to girls, summer fun, freedom and more girls. Sure, I would also be able to drive myself to my minimum wage job as a highly-regarded member of the fast food society, but more importantly, chicks! As I drove to McDonald’s that first day as a fully-legal operator of my dad’s battered F-150 pickup, Tom Cochrane’s Life is a Highway played in my head.
Of course, I was still a crappy driver, just a legal crappy driver. That’s why, even after I got my chick magnet, a 1988 four-door Chevy Cavalier with a hint of wet dog smell, my parents still issued restrictions on my driving. It was something I needed to ease into, rather than drag racing Ford Fiestas down Raccoon Road. Sure enough, about a month later, on the night of the Sadie Hawkins dance, I got my first speeding ticket (Oh, I earned it) after dropping off my girlfriend (see, chicks!).
Basketball is like that too. Just like drivers don’t turn the ignition on Day One and morph into Jeff Gordon, basketball players don’t become The Man right away. It’s important to remember that this season, when a youthful VCU Men’s Basketball Team takes the floor. There will be six freshmen and three sophomore’s on this year’s squad, oodles of inexperience.
That’s why it’s important to manage expectations, especially early in the season. The team you see in November will not be the one playing at the Coliseum in March.
Here’s some great research generated by the folks over at Navy Sports Info to illustrate the point. According to this, VCU is the eighth-least experienced team in the country this season. Also, Navy has 10 freshmen? Ed Dechellis isn’t going to be getting much sleep this year.