Travis Ford has been active on Twitter today, spurring the fan base – and especially students – to show up and, as has been the cry of recent seasons, bring the rowdy back to Gallagher-Iba Arena.
With football over until the, ahem, Heart of Dallas Bowl, now’s a good time for Cowboys fans to make the transition to hoops. And to catch what they’ve been missing, which is a Top 25 that offers more than just the occasional Lob Stilly appeal of last year’s team.
These Cowboys should challenge for the Big 12 title.
They should end a two-year NCAA Tournament drought.
They should be fun to watch, with Marcus Smart all that he was hyped to be – and maybe more – as the lacking ingredient for a team that previously had talent, yet no direction.
Smart provides that, along with something for every line of the stat sheet.
And he provides a grit and toughness that factors favorably into tonight’s game against South Florida, with the Cowboys coming off their first loss this season at Virginia Tech.
Smart talked in my story today about the necessity of any great team to hate losing.
He also talked about how that aspect, for some, has been softened by the proliferation of games on the high school summer scene.
“The AAU circuit, they play so many games, you get complacent with losing,” Smart said. “It’s like you accept it. ‘Well, we lost this one, but we’re getting ready to go play another one.’ You lose one, not a big deal.
“That kind of messes some kids up, because then it’s OK for them to lose.”
Smart, who played on teams that went 115-6 during a three-year stretch that featured two state titles at Flower Mound High in Texas, insisted that troubling trend never infected him.
We’ll see how the Cowboys respond tonight, against a solid Big East squad projected to make the NCAA Tournament by many preseason publications.
“It was our first true road game,” Smart said of Saturday’s loss. “Going into somebody else’s place, a very hostile environment, I think we learned a lot and it’s going to help us further on down the road in other road games.”