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The NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. March Madness. The Big Dance. We are in the midst of it all, the single greatest spectacle in sports. With all our imagination we wonder if a Cinderella will show up, and if she does, could it one day be our school? Dreams are vivid with buzzer beaters and upsets, often involving our alma mater. Sometimes these visions are so clear you wake up in a cold sweat, and you realize it.
The madness is real.
Yes, my San Antonio neighbors, March Madness is real. Every March, dreams come true for college basketball programs. Runs are made by the likes of George Mason, and Florida Gulf Coast all the way to the sweet 16 and even beyond.
Fans and Alumni show up in droves year in and year out. There are Longhorns, Aggies, Bears and what seems like six different types of Wildcats who come to this party, living the truly once in a lifetime event that is March Madness.
The nostalgia is great, it really is. I am sure any hoops fan here in the 210 would agree. What would make it even better if San Antonio’s Team was in this mix, my goodness what a time to be alive that would be around these parts.
Unfortunate for us, there is not a Roadrunner in sight this March. As a matter of fact, they are rarely ever seen during the best College Hoops month of the year.
This needs to change, and it needs to happen with a sense of urgency like the future of UTSA Mens Basketball depended on it. Mainly because, well, it does.
So, what really needs to happen to get UTSA hoops relevant? UTSA Football did it, and the time is now for basketball to follow suit.
One thing needs to happen to get this thing going in the right direction. It is not a coaching change or new arena, nor NIL funds or booster money. All of us, the city, the students, Alumni, citizens of San Antonio and beyond who bleed orange and blue must do one thing.
Believe. Just like Ted Lasso does. Just look how that worked out for his club. And no, I do not care that Ted Lasso is a fictional character because that is irrelevant in this particular sense.
We must believe in UTSA hoops, because right now, nobody does.
Except Head Coach Steve Henson, he believes. Always has. And with Coach Henson returning next season it is time we all do the same thing. We all need to believe.
You say why? Why should I believe? Because of a fictional Ted Lasso reference?
Well, yes, obviously. But if that is not enough, rest assured there is more. Much, much more.
Reason to believe number one:
Lisa Campos and her vision.
Why do we not trust Campos? Seriously, give me one reason to doubt her decision to keep Henson.
On second thought, don’t do that. You all did that when she hired a guy named Jeff Traylor to take over the football program.
Need I say more? Didn’t think so.
This point is about as cut and dry as it gets folks. Trust. Lisa. Campos.
Reason to believe number two:
Jeff Traylor and the power of positivity.
I recently laid eyes on a photo of UTSA Football head man Jeff Traylor with his arm around UTSA Basketball coach Steve Henson. It looked as if Traylor had taken Henson under his wing in a way. The smile of Traylor’s face spoke volumes in the form of “I have your back, Steve, let me help show you the way.”
If the great Jeff Traylor, the prince of San Antonio, the South Texas darling if you will, believes in Henson then shouldn’t we all?
You say in Jeff we trust. Seriously, I saw this written on a poster board in the Alamo dome.
Now, is the fan who coined that phrase the same one calling for Henson to be fired?
According to twitter over the past few weeks the likelihood of that being true is high.
Do you honestly think Jeff Traylor had no say so in keeping Henson on board?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
In Jeff we trust.
Reason to believe number three:
Assistant Coach Mike Peck.
Personally, I have always been a fan of Coach Peck. In fact, I believe this man may be the key in bringing it all together on the hardwood for UTSA men’s hoops.
He has coached at all levels of basketball, and has a proven track record of developing players all the way from AAU ball to the NBA G league and beyond.
Do we forget to look back on the successes Peck had with UTSA hoop guards back in 2017 through 2019? Which, by the way, were winning seasons. Or maybe, we just tend to forget good things in the “what have you done for me lately” mindset this world lives in these days.
Be as that may, don’t forget about Mike Peck because his best work is yet to come for the Roadrunners.
Reason to believe number four:
Coach Henson and his staff mesh well with this 210 Triangle of Toughness culture. In order for something to work, folks have to buy in. They have to buy what is being sold, so to speak. The UTSA Basketball coaches are listening to Jeff Traylor. Even after a less-than-ideal record last season, which has now somehow been made worse by a transfer portal that feels like a black hole, the hoops staff continues to pick up what Traylor is laying down.
Henson only recently incorporated this mantra. Does anyone remember how many games UTSA Football lost in year one under Traylor, the first year of his infamous 210 Triangle of Toughness mantra?
This mentality and buy in from players take time to develop, and that is as it should be. Perhaps losses and the mass exodus of UTSA hoopsters to the portal is all part of this process, come to think about it.
What can I say, I am a glass half full type of guy.
Reason to believe number five:
Football did it, so did Women’s Soccer win a conference title. UTSA Women’s Hoops is not far behind coming off their strong showing at the conference tournament. Baseball and Men’s Tennis are also looking like conference champion favorites. My point? This newfound culture and identity dubbed as the 210 Triangle of Toughness is contagious, and not limited to football. This is a great fact for all of us and cannot be debated. Is UTSA Men’s Basketball the next group up to reach at least some success through this model?
The chances are good, considering all of the factors in play. Throw in some belief and suddenly there can be a thing called hope that leads to success. You see success stems from hope, which comes from belief.
Or, you still may think that UTSA Basketball is in big trouble, and at a point of no return.
That is fine, reach your own conclusion and form an opinion. I encourage it; you be you.
Just keep in mind, that it is always darkest before the dawn.
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