Justin's Hawaiian Holiday Blog
Nov. 24, 2010
Nov. 24, 2010
No. 13 Huskies Fall To No. 2 Michigan State, 76-71
During the EA Sports Maui Invitational, Husky senior Justin Holiday will check in with GoHuskies.com to keep fans updated on all the happenings with the team. Although his blog is titled "Justin's Hawaiian Holiday", this is anything but a vacation. The Huskies are here to take care of business.
We played another top-level team today. Michigan State is the second-ranked team in the nation. They are a team that runs their offense well and pushes the ball, maybe even better than us. I thought we played a lot better defense today as far as getting back and stopping their sets. We were a lot tougher than we were last night.
The key for us losing was how smart we were. A smart team always wins, no matter how good you are. Last night, Kentucky was smarter, stronger and played tougher than us. Today, we were tough, but we weren't smart. That directly led to us losing. I'm proud that we fought hard, but we weren't able to win. It sucks to not win the game.
What we can take from the experience though is that we learned that we are able to play with the top-level teams. We're not that much different from Kentucky and Michigan State, but we just -- I can't emphasize this enough -- need to be smarter. We figured out the tough thing over night, but we have to be smart.
Being smart also means we have to rebound well. I don't think I even rebounded well. I only had three. We have to get rebounds and be tough. (Draymond) Green and (Delvon) Roe they were men. They were strong and tough. We have to come with it next time the opportunity presents itself.
We didn't have much time in the locker room after the game because we had to get out for Virginia, but Coach Romar told us we'll be alright. I know if he had more time, he would have told us we need to be a smarter team and get the little things done. And, we'll need to do it the whole game, not just every now and then. If we would have done that, we would have been up a little longer.
With basketball done, I might still just watch tape of last night's game. But, I might, depending on what my dad or teammates want to do, go outside and sit around the pool.
Once again, thanks to the fans for their support, especially to those who came out to Maui. Thanks for watching us and sticking with us. We're going to try to turn this around. Happy Thanksgiving!
KAANAPALI, Maui, Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.
After that we relaxed in our rooms. I went to sleep for a bit, woke up, got taped and then went to the game.
The atmosphere for the game was great. Kentucky had a big crowd, but at the same time I think we had a pretty good showing. Thanks again Husky fans for the support.
Kentucky just outhustled us and beat us to the boards. If you look at the stat sheet, a lot of the stuff is the same. We just have to be able to win when we aren't shooting well. I think we're going to learn from this game.
On offense we have to swing the ball more. We didn't have a lot of assists as we normally do and we need to have some type of continuity and not just stand around. What we can learn from this game is that we have to always hustle, always rebound and always play as a team on offense.
It doesn't get any easier today as we have another big game with Michigan State. The characteristics of a good team are being able to bounce back after things aren't going your way. We need to show that we're still one of the top teams in the nation and go out and play hard and hopefully get this win today.
KAANAPALI, Maui, Tuesday, 11:00 p.m.
I woke up early again today after a good rest. It seems like Coach Romar is doing things a little different than normal on road trips as we're getting more rest than we usually do before games. It makes sense because we're in a different environment and playing a lot of games in a short time.
After breakfast we had some down time and I chilled in my room. I know it's boring, but I just lay in bed and watched games on TV. I watched Kemba Walker (UConn point guard) do his thing. He was killing it out there.
Mostly, I was just getting excited for our game and thinking about everything and going through scenarios over in my head. I can't emphasize enough of how much I was going `I hope we do this...And I hope we do that.' Being a leader, I have a lot of responsibility to make sure we do things right.
And now, it will be the same thing with Kentucky. I'm just ready...you all saw what we did tonight and I'm just hoping we can do it again tomorrow. Kentucky has a lot of firepower. If we play good defense, we'll make it tough on them. If we come out the way we did tonight and maybe play defense even better, we're going to give them a hard time. I know it's easy to say, but if we come out and play Husky basketball the way we know we can play, we're going to be okay. But, Kentucky is real good, so we'll see.
As for tonight, the game ball wasn't as slippery as the ones we had in practice, so that situation could have really helped us. Or, maybe we just stepped up. Either way, the confidence level really rose up and we were just hitting from everywhere. It's not the first time we were able to shoot well, so I don't really see it as a fluke. It's just what our team does. The only thing is we have to be ready for the games where we don't hit well.
Personally, I didn't even know I had six steals, and I'm a defensive guy, so that makes me feel good. I also am real proud of my nine rebounds, because we have been looking for someone else to help rebound the basketball. If I can get nine or 10 rebounds a game, it's going to really help the team. Having that many rebounds and that many steals -- that's getting the ball back for our team and that helps in getting more buckets and more threes made.
Tonight, I'm going straight to bed. BUT, I might visit with my dad a bit or watch tape of the game to see what we could have done better and seen what I could have done differently.
To the Husky fans, thank you for your support and keep supporting us. We'll try to bring it home for you guys.
KAANAPALI, Maui, Monday, 4:30 p.m.
KAANAPALI, Maui, Sunday, 7:15 p.m.
And, waking up today was GOOD. Just think of the best dream you have possible and that's what it's like waking up in Hawai'i. Especially when we came from Seattle where you wake up and it's still dark in the morning. Being able to see sun -- sometimes you forget about the sun in Washington -- coming out here and being able to wake up and see the beaches almost make you forget that we're here to play basketball. But, you have to come back to reality and know that you're here to take care of business.
We had breakfast and we did some study hall, so I got some studying in today. I did a little paper and then we got to chill out. We had some time off, more than usual, and we could have walked out onto the beach and had some fun, but we're here to play basketball. Scott (Suggs) and I just hung out in our room and talked to our parents, who came out to watch us play.
We had practice today and we're real excited to play somebody besides ourselves. We play each other all summer and fall and now we're ready to go. I'm especially excited to come out here and do this because we always get to watch the Maui Tournament on TV and it's exciting to be a part of it and hopefully we can get some wins.
Tomorrow we'll be wearing our new uniforms. I actually saw the prints of them way back and we're excited about having them. The only teams we've seen wear them are the top teams like Duke, so we call them the "Duke uniforms." It is real cool to have uniforms with different designs and to know that we're getting them because we're considered an elite team.
We look forward to playing tomorrow and I am glad we finally get to play for real.
KAANAPALI, Maui, Saturday, 9:15 p.m.
It was good for us to get out there and practice before we play on Monday because there is a lot of things we have to adjust to -- the balls are a little slippery, sometimes the court is a little slippery when the sweat hits it. I don't want to say we're sweating more, but it seems like the sweat is bothering us a little more than it usually does, especially with the ball because the ball is really, really slippery. I think we're going to be okay and we'll get used to it and be ready by Monday.
Another thing, the rims are really soft, so there is going to be a lot of rebounds right around the basket. There is not going to be many long rebounds. That could be to our advantage, depending on who we play and how we crash the boards. I think we're going to be fine.
We were all cheering hard for Terrence, but I don't think he executed real well at the end of the game. He had the game won and he didn't execute down the stretch. It's all good. As long as it doesn't happen for real on Monday.
It was a good setup in that we all got to hang out before we all become enemies game time. I got to see Virginia up close when we played the video game against them. I got to see their size and who they had.
Another thing that was funny is that I got to see players and coaches that I normally only get to see on TV. It was kind of funny.
Also, the video game is funny because you get to play it and there you are on the screen. I had played it before with my little brother, so it's fun to play and scoring with your video game self. It's kind of like watching your team when you're on the bench.
We have video to end the evening. I cut a couple guys hair and then hopped in the shower, so I'm just hanging around waiting to go watch video on Virginia. My dad is here in town so afterwards I am going to try to hang around and talk to him, but then it's bedtime.
Thanks for your support Dawg fans and I'll blog for you all tomorrow.
KAHULUI, Maui, Saturday, 12:15 p.m.
Last night, the only thing I really worried about packing was my practice jersey and basketball shoes. Other than that, all I have are a couple pairs of shorts, t-shirts and other necessities. I knew it was going to be hot here. I also had to have my laptop and cell phone. Other than that, I'm good.
I brought some DVD's for the plane ride. I brought Sherlock Holmes, 300, Avatar - probably my favorite movie right now - and some other ones. I ended up sleeping most of the flight anyways. I woke up and watched Sherlock Holmes, but I didn't finish it. It was pretty good though.
In case you're wondering, I didn't study on the plane...I'm pretty caught up in that area!
I've been to Maui three times before. I've played here in a tournament at the gym where we're going to play at, I came for vacation once because my cousin came out here for school and I came the other time for my birthday to visit my cousin.
Playing in (Lahaina Civic Center) is different. It's small, but I was in high school then. Now, I'm in college and it's going to feel a lot different after playing at Hec Ed so much. The bleachers are way smaller and closer, but I like it. It's a nice little environment. Also, there's no locker room, but other than that, it's cool.
It's great to be in Hawai'i and all, but this is a business trip. That's all I'm here for. I'm more excited about playing basketball.
Thanks for following us while we're on this trip and I'll check back later.