Men's Basketball Blog #1: Joe Crisman

Joe Crisman ranked second among Horizon League freshmen with 8.5 ppg in 2011-12

Joe Crisman ranked second among Horizon League freshmen with 8.5 ppg in 2011-12

Oct. 23, 2012

What's up Ramblers!

This is sophomore guard Joe Crisman for the men's basketball team, and I am going to give you a little inside scoop on what's going on behind the scenes this year! If you have been asking around about how things have been progressing with the first handful of practices, I'm sure you've heard good things ... I'm going to verify that for you. This team is something special. I have not been on a team that has come closer together, embraced working harder and persevered through the tough moments to live it up in the great moments more than THIS TEAM. There's an excitement that we play with and go to work with every day that's unlike anything of which I've been a part.

ON THE COURT

The first few practices have been tough... they have to be. Coach wants us to go through the tough times together. He wants us to share the hard times and get through them together to bring us closer as a team. The emphasis on these first few practices has been defense. Coach came in one of the first practices that we had and wrote on the locker room board the facts about the defensive rankings for the teams that finished in the top three of last year's Horizon League standings. The stats don't lie. The top three teams in the standings were also the top three defensive teams in the league, so we have our sights set and focused on this. We turned the defense up greatly since we first started playing together for the Italy trip. We have some freshmen taking charges in practice that didn't even know what the word meant until a few weeks ago. Matt O'Leary might have taken the first charge of his life the other day and the whole team, coaches included, erupted in disbelief. The team is embracing the rotations and sacrificing our bodies for the defensive principles Coach is implementing. We had to do a few sprints because we still need to do a better job communicating with each other on the court, but this team is only going to get better as we practice more and get ready for games in the next few weeks! Coach would say, "The arrow's going up."

OFF THE COURT

After practice Saturday, the team headed over to Coach Moser's house for a little lunch and to hang out - nothing like some good ol' team bonding to bring the fellas together. I hopped in the car with Bill, London, and Hicks right after practice because we wanted to be the first ones in line for food. We should have gotten to coach's about twenty minutes sooner, but Bill thought it would be a good idea to drive through Evanston and go right by Northwestern's football stadium. Guess he forgot that it was game day, and we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic and drove right through all the tailgaters... We finally got to Coach's house to see Coach Moser and Coach Gates playing some football in the front yard with Coach's kids and some of their neighborhood friends. Somehow we thought that London, myself, and six kids was a fair team against the two coaches, Bill, and Hicks. It turned out it was... After a few interceptions by London and myself and some touchdowns by coach's sons Ben and Jake, the young team beat the old-man team. Age might have been a little factor as we ran away with the game, but a win is a win!

FAMILY

I'm very blessed to have a family that has been very involved with my sports. They are guaranteed to always be in attendance at the games, whether at Gentile or on the road. My family even joined the team this summer on our Italy trip. There was no better time in my life than getting able to spend time with my family overseas in Rome and Florence. This past Sunday, I got out of practice and headed downtown to meet my family at a restaurant for my dad's birthday dinner. My dad wouldn't appreciate me throwing his age out there, but needless to say it's up there, and my brothers and I do our best to remind him of that. It was the perfect end to the weekend with great practices, bonding time with the teammates, a football win at Coach's, a win for Notre Dame football, and then the dinner with my family. This was the first time that my whole family got to be together since the Italy trip, so I was fortunate to spend some time with them.

Thanks for reading everybody, and I'll catch you all next week!

- JC