A Killer Instinct

By Fran Kilinski, Contributor | 

It’s been about three weeks since my season ended, but I can’t help but think about that last game just as much as I think about next season.

It’s tough for any athlete to let go of a meaningful game, but it takes a certain type of sportsman to see the good in every situation. Although our last game of the season was a loss that wasn’t really a close one, I found a little solace knowing we lost to the eventual CUNY champions.

Baruch’s NCAA tournament bid recently ended in a 10-point loss to a now 23-5 Scranton team; Baruch finished 21-7, with somewhat of a sub-par game out of their stud senior Granville Gittens, who tore the CUNYAC apart in Baruch’s championship run. I commend their team, coaching staff, and program, because after playing them I realized how worthy they were of their position in the tournament. Being the sportsman I am, I couldn’t hold a grudge.

I’ll certainly remember that last game come next season, though.

I think of it this way. They beat us and won it all, yeah, that’s nice. But we were down six points against them at halftime. Six.

We had a win over the eventual CUNY champions in our grasp, and the playoff picture would have been completely different had we won.

Although there’s no glory to be had in our loss, there’s something to be said about how we competed for the better part of that quarterfinal game (roughly 25-27 minutes). What’s scary about our team is that it’s not impossible for us to play that well all of the time.

In two years at CCNY I’ve seen a lot of talent, both in our team and in our opponents. We’ve played Division I teams and NCAA tournament-worthy teams alike. But I’ll echo the words of our coaching staff.

“I’ve ONLY seen one or two teams that were head-and-shoulders better than us.”

And I stand by that statement. The assortment of talent on our team can compete with the best, I know this.

How do I know this? Well, I certainly can’t prove it in this article. Our record last season can’t either. But what I can say is that I’ve seen all of my teammates play at their highest level, and well, when we all do so cohesively, we are a scary team. I think most people who watch our games forget after the losses how close we keep games, even against the best teams.

What we’re coming back with next year is a killer instinct. We will return as a team who doesn’t just keep games close, but we’ll close them out.

But that’s not something you can teach yourself, you probably say to yourself as you read that last sentence. And you’re right. But it’s something you find within yourself. And after speaking with some of my returning teammates, I think we all have the desire to find it, if we haven’t already.

Mark my words: this offseason, big things will happen.

FJK.

Follow me on my journey on SnapChat: @yaboyyfrancake

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