Each and every week, the BasketBlog will be catching up with Batavia native and Northwestern guard Nick Fruendt. Nick offers up his unique perspective on the Wildcats season and life off-the-court:
Hey everyone! I'm performing one of the most common acts of students across the globe with this entry: procrastination. I've been so busy that I totally forgot about writing this until...right now, Sunday night! But it's fine because we got a huge win today, and I'm looking forward to an exciting week.
AT THE MOVIES
This past week started off pretty well. We were riding a two game winning streak heading into our game on Tuesday against Iowa. Practice on Monday went pretty well, besides John dunking on me once, but we weren't really prepared for what was going to happen next. The huge snowstorm that hit our area moved practice from 3 PM to 7 AM on Tuesday so that we could leave for Iowa earlier. With practice in the morning, our guys could still go to class and then leave at 3 instead of practicing at 3 and leaving at 6. This wasn't the best news sleep-wise, but you have to expect at least one snowstorm like that here in the Chicago area per year. I wanted to go to sleep a little bit earlier because of the early practice, but John convinced me to watch Shawshank Redemption with him, so I ended up staying awake until past 1 AM. I decided to do it because both John and I had never seen the movie, which is rated #1 on IMDB. It didn't disappoint; I give it two thumbs up. Needless to say, I was very sleepy when I woke up at 6 after my 5 hour nap, but I snapped out of it in order to practice well. It reminded me of the spring and summer, when we have to get up early every weekday in order to lift or run. One thing that makes everyone get a little riled up in practice is when the defense cheats the plays. What happens is we will work on our offensive scheme and put a couple of wrinkles in, but the defense still knows the plays. When a defender "cheats the play," he anticipates where the ball is going or runs to the spot where the offensive player will be going, which makes it harder to run the play. I especially don't like this, so when I am on defense I try my best to play it honest.
BURN THE TAPES
I don't really want to talk about the Iowa game because it was pretty much just miserable. I don't know if we were thrown off because of the early practice the day before or some sniffles that were going around the team, we just did not compete like we know we can. The bus ride took almost 5 hours the day before. I will give props to Carver Arena; it is pretty cool and I like it. But the court-level loading area was under construction, and we had to enter the building at normal ground level, which at their arena is much higher up than the court. Last year I described it as the dungeon court, but it really is much nicer than a dungeon. What I am trying to say here is that for game day shootaround, we had to go down and up the stairs, which was a workout in itself. For the game, we got to take an elevator, but after the game I just climbed the stairs in order to blow off some steam. Everyone was very disappointed and upset after the game.
Friday's practice for the Minnesota game on Sunday was a different tone. Our trainer, Lanny, told me that I played close to 50 minutes, because that is the amount of time that we scrimmaged. It was great because we just got to play. Sometimes after losses like that it is best to get right back on the court and play. Before practice, we got after it in the weight room. I have been limited in lifting because I have an injury called mallet finger on my left ring finger. During the Liberty game in November, I looked down at my finger and the end was just hanging there. What happened was the tendon attaching the last part of my finger to the rest of the finger became unattached from the bone, so my finger was just dangling and I couldn't really feel it. I wore a splint full time for 9 weeks, and now I only wear the splint while I play and sleep. My finger is getting some flexibility back, but it is still pretty stiff and I can't really grip the weights, or make a fist for that matter. The good news is that I can still do bench press, which is my favorite lift.
VALENTINE'S DAY COMEBACK
As for the Minnesota game, I am extremely happy that we won. The first 32 minutes of the game were still bad, but we managed to pull it together. I hope you got to see the game; it was sweet to be a part of! This week we play Penn State at home and Wisconsin on the road. I have a stats midterm and a history paper to write, so hopefully this gives me some good practice. I want to wish a Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, and this week's shout out goes to my Valentine, Ariel. Until next time...
- Nick Fruendt #15
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