By Gary Dickman
You can’t buy it. You can’t trade for it. Only a few are it. I’m sure as you read this you are wondering what am I talking about…
I’m talking about the “It “ factor, as it pertains to teams and athletes in sports. I really feel that our UH Basketball team has this It factor. As we follow this team this season, with a 14-6 record, and 5-1 in Big West play, we have witnessed this team perform in a way that I feel shows how special of a season we are witnessing, this team has this It factor. Part of how I define it, is the ability and talent to win so many games that could go either way – games that look like they’ll result in a loss, games that are up for grabs in the last minute.
Last week, I wrote about the dramatic win over UC Davis, with a Steady Eddie’s 3 with 3 seconds left, in a game fans won’t soon forget. You rarely get the next game that could top that win vs Davis. But it happened. Again with 2 starters out, Samuta Avea and Bernardo DeSilva, the ‘Bows accomplished what few teams could. Look at any other team in college, or pro, and see if they could win back to back games without 2 starters. Unless you have the it factor, that is. I go away after each game being more and more impressed with how this team has overcome adversity and continue to win these games. Except for the 2nd game of the season, vs Sout Dakota, this team has won every close game. That says a lot about a team. The fact that they’ve done it with so many players contributing, shows how talented this team is, how unselfish this team is, how well coached this team is.
The ‘Bows trailed CSUN by 17 points in the 2nd half on Saturday, and again, it happened. The refuse to lose mentality, to never give up, shows how special this team is. I can list 6-7 players who had big roles in this win, but I’ll just go with 3 for now.
We know how Eddie Stansberry can score, he had 22 points and was named Big West player of the week for the 3rd time this season. But it was his defense that helped win this game, he stuck like glue with Terrell Gomez, who averaged 21 points a game, held him to a quiet 13, and forced him to shoot an air ball with 15 seconds left. Drew Buggs, playing all 40 minutes again, had 10 assists and 1 turnover. The last 3 games Drew had 33 assists and only 4 turnovers . That’s incredible! No one, I say no one on any level does that. And Justin Hemsley, who played 33 minutes all of last season, and is the most improved player on UH and in the Big West, came up big again, on offense and defense.
A miraculous comeback and win, but maybe we shouldn’t be surprised any more. Because, as I said, this team has the IT factor.