It was never the plan to rely on a freshman.
It was never the plan to shoot 50 percent against the country’s best team.
The plan was simply to play for each other. The plan was to give each play everything they had. The plan was to do what the team needed, even if that meant watching from the bench.
The plan was to play angry. After all, wouldn’t it make you angry if someone meant to end your time with guys who’d become your family, with men who’d become like uncles and fathers?
Basketball is just a game they love. But in leaning on each other throughout tough personal issues and trying team situations, they become more than teammates.
Before they ever played a single second of tournament basketball, Marshall summed up what motivated his team very simply.
It wasn’t big dreams of beautiful upsets or finally basking in the national spotlight.
It was simply the chance to spend another day in the company of the only other people who really understand what it means to play angry.
“There is an opportunity to continue playing, and ultimately that’s what competitors want, is to win,” Marshall said. “The opportunity to advance is what’s going to make it fun.”
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