Playing three games in six days – all away from home – isn’t easy. Sometimes, though, you just have to lace up your shoes and do it.
What we were able to do last week speaks to the chemistry of our team and our ability to stay together as a group. When we’re traveling together, we have a lot of fun but we understand that every trip is a business trip.
The main thing we focus on when we’re away from home for a while is to keep our bodies right.
Taking care of our bodies on the road is as important as anything else we do. Obviously, preparing well and having the discipline to follow the scouting report and win the game are huge, but the difference is made in the way we put in the effort to take care of ourselves physically when we’re not at home.
It’s not just one of us or a couple of us. Everyone on our team understands how important that is. We’re really close and together as a team, and this is another aspect of how we respect our teammates and hold each other accountable.
It can be difficult to take care of your body when you’re in a hotel. Obviously, we’re not going out and wandering around but it takes a special effort to do the treatment we need when we’re not in Durham.
When we’re on the road, we don’t have our training room. We don’t have our cold tubs. It’s not the same. It’s easy to just go lay in your room or get something to eat. It takes discipline and effort.
We just find ways to get it done. A big thing is filling a bathtub with ice and sitting in it for a while. You find different places to stretch out multiple times a day, whether it’s in your room, the team meeting room, the hallway. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a priority so you just get it done.
Our trainer, Jose Fonseca, and our physical therapist, Nick Potter, are the best at what they do. They really care about what they do and they care about each guy on the team. They take pride in what they do.
Being a player, it means a lot to know that both Jose and Nick want us to perform the best we can and that they take it as seriously as we do. We expect the best from them, but they also expect the best from us when it comes to making the commitment to keep our bodies right.
We have a ton of trust in those guys – we really put our health in their hands. They take great care of us and we always know that we’ll be feeling the best we can with those guys on our side.
I love being on the road with our team and building those bonds, but there’s nothing like playing in Cameron. It feels so good to have a few games here at home. There’s no place like Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’s hands-down the best place to play in college basketball.
It’s good to be back home and see our home fans. We’re going to need them. We have some really important games coming up. We have to win some games and make this a great stretch for our team.
We had to battle adversity last week – being on the road, having some injuries, being a little bruised up. This stretch at home will show how together we are and how tough we are as a group. It’s going to be exciting to show that to our home fans in Cameron.
Being home will also make a huge difference for us physically. We have all the stuff we’re used to, we’re back in our training room and we’re sleeping in our own beds. We’re definitely taking advantage of that. It started the night we got back from Connecticut.
We’re all taking care of ourselves to the best of our abilities, and most important, we’re staying together through it all. We’re a brotherhood. That’s what it’s all about here. When one guy goes down, another guy steps up and he’s ready to play.
We have a talented team. We have guys who can play at every position. Right now, we’re doing the little things that you need to be a great team. We’re really putting in the effort to take care of our bodies so we can perform to the standards we’ve set for ourselves.