Tim Hardaway , SportsBlog.com Presents: Legends Corner- Featuring continuous and compelling blogs written by NBA veterans, Legends Corner is the content hub for some of basketball's most legendary players. on
I absolutely love this time of year for college basketball! You see so much passion from the coaches, the players, the fans. And this is the time when coaches can get absolutely everything they can out of their players.
This year is particularly exciting because this season of college basketball has been tremendous from start to finish. You got guys like Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and a bunch of others playing outstanding basketball...and I love watching it all!
Unfortunately, my school, University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), did not make the tournament this year. But we had a pretty good season. We went through some rocky transitions around Christmas when we lost two of our big name ball players, but then the team rose above that and started playing well. It was disappointing to have just lost in the conference tournament at home, it was a big blow. But UTEP has some big recruits coming in next year and are looking to some of the new players to play very well from the get-go.
I had a chance to go watch a tournament earlier in the season in El Paso. It's always great going back there and seeing old friends, faculty, former teammates, the boosters. Coach Floyd was an assistant coach when I played there, so it's always nice to see him. About 10 guys from the Don Haskins era still live there, so we have fun reminiscing...
After the games, the fans gave me a standing ovation and wanted to talk, ask me questions. And it's really nice because now that my son is playing NBA basketball with the New York Knicks, they want to ask all about him too. It's cool that they still follow me and now follow my son's career.
Even though UTEP isn't part of the Tournament this year, I'll be watching as many games as I can. And of course, since my son went to Michigan, I'll always feel a connection there. So I'll be rooting for those guys. I know how hard they work and the expectations they have set for themselves. I wish they could have played better against Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament, but they are still a 2-seed. It's going to be a tough road, though. With teams like Louisville, Kentucky, Wichita State, Duke and a few others in their way, it's going to be tough. But they play solid and they play hard, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do.