Basketball / Sports

COLUMN: Don’t overreact about women’s basketball start

It might be cliché to say, but the college basketball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

Often times in sports, people forget that, and by people, I mean people like me, a sports journalist.

We as journalists are the kings of overreaction, and, if you disagree, go back and look at how many people had the Detroit Tigers dead in the water in May; or how about the countless number of people who said Mathew Stafford should be benched in favor of Shaun Hill following a rough start to the 2012 season.

The “What have you done for me lately” mentality is running rampant in today’s sports landscape, and I’m here to say that we need to stop overacting.

Here at Central Michigan University, much was expected out of the women’s basketball team after it came a few seconds from an NCAA tournament berth a season ago.

Sunday’s 87-71 loss to No. 14 Purdue dropped CMU’s record to 2-4, which has caused some people to ask if expectations might have been a little high for this year’s team. In my opinion, this is nothing more than a classic case of overreacting.

The Chippewas are going to lose some games; they have one of the more difficult schedules of any team, let alone a team from a mid-major league like the Mid-American Conference.

In 2012-13, CMU will play at least eight games against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season, including Green Bay (twice), Eastern Michigan (twice), South Dakota State, Purdue, Texas or Iowa and Notre Dame, which lost in the national championship last season. The Chippewas could also play Florida on Dec. 21 at the Gator Holiday Tournament and see EMU for a third time at the MAC tournament.

When CMU hosts Green Bay on Wednesday, it will be its fifth-straight game against a team that qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

The Chippewas aren’t going to win all these games and could even have a losing record when they open MAC play at Toledo on Jan 10. But championships aren’t won in November and December.

The Chippewas are focused on the process, and, in the end, playing high-quality opponents early in the season is going to pay off, much like it did last season when CMU won five-straight games in the MAC tournament.

It’s natural human tendency to overreact, and in few areas is that more prevalent than in sports; but, here at CMU, let’s try and stay away from that tendency. After all, they’ve only played six games.

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