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:
Wow I can't believe that we are about to be in March. There is only one more home game left on our schedule. Where did all of the games go? With that being said, I think March will be an exciting month. There are the final regular season games, the Big Ten Tournament, and hopefully another postseason tournament. It looks like we are going to have to win the Big Ten tournament in order to make it to the NCAA tournament. We can do it; we already won the Chicago Invitational earlier this season, but we need to get hot at the right time in order to do it. Outside of basketball, there is warmer weather (I hope) to look forward to, the end of winter quarter (final exams), and spring break on the way. I hope that this year's version of spring break will be filled with practice and games, but if not I look forward to spending some quality time in Batavia. I'm looking forward to this month.
THE WEEK ON THE COURT
We won our first game this week against Iowa at home, but then we lost at Penn State on Sunday. To be honest, both games were "revenge" games for us, but what happened kind of shows the difference between home and road games for our team right now. We just have not been getting the job done on the road this season. Our game at Iowa a couple of weeks ago was very disappointing. We played so lethargically that it was very hard to watch. So coming into our game against them at Welsh-Ryan arena, our team was pretty amped up. We wanted to show that the last game was a fluke, and we successfully completed our mission. John practically had more points than the Hawkeyes in the first half, and we rolled on to a double digit victory. An interesting note is that we did not play the 1-3-1 defense at all in the game, and our adjustments in our regular match-up zone defense worked out very well. I got in for the last minute and avoided Club Trillion by grabbing a rebound. Overall, it was a very fun game and the feeling after a win is so much better than after a loss.
STANDING OUT IN A CROWD
The game against Penn State on Sunday was a different story. On Saturday, our chartered flight took off at 10 AM, and we actually practiced at their practice facility on Saturday late afternoon, but not their main arena floor because there was a concert that night. When we landed in Happy Valley, we had a couple of hours to kill before we could check into the hotel, so we went to a local sports bar. It's funny to see some of the looks we get when we go to restaurants as a team. People aren't used to seeing such tall people, especially in a large group, so they are usually staring. The funny thing is that I am 6'5" and I am on the shorter end of our team! I am pretty used to being around tall guys because I am around my teammates more than anyone, but when we go to public places with our travel sweat suits on is when I realize that we are much taller than an average group of people.
HIGHS AND LOWS
It was actually nicer to practice in a different setting than our home gym. Practice went pretty well, but it didn't translate into the game. We allowed them to score pretty much at will in the first half, and it was a frustrating loss to say the least. When I got in the game in the second half, I was just trying to play as hard as I could for as long as I could. It stinks when I play and we lose, but it's even worse when we lose and I don't even get into the game, like a week prior at Wisconsin. Pretty much all I care about is if we win. So if we lose and I don't play at all, I question if I prepared my teammates enough for the game and wish that I could have proved myself more during practice. After a win and a loss in the same week, I came back to the same mental state that I think is crucial during the season: don't get too high or too low.
Wednesday was a one-day-of-the-year type of day for me. After practice, I went into the locker room and was preparing to take a shower, but then I was called out into the lounge by our trainer. He told me that I was randomly chosen for a drug test! And I had just gone to the bathroom! I laughed when he told me because I had literally just urinated two minutes ago. This was around 4:45, so immediately I started chugging water so that I could go to the bathroom by 6. If I couldn't go by then, I would have to come in early the next morning and give my urine sample. I thought to myself, "Please, getting up for 9:00 class is difficult enough; I have to do this today." I drank five twenty ounce bottles of water (100 oz!), showered, and then went up to eat dinner at training table. Right at six, I reported to the training room and said that I was able to urinate, but really in my mind I was very unsure if I was going to be able to. Fortunately, I was able to produce an adequate urine sample, and I completed my first drug test of the year. Hopefully I won't get chosen again this year, but it's definitely a possibility.
I hope everyone gets off to a great start in March. March Madness is near! Shout out to my high school teammates that I haven't seen in a while. I miss all of you. Until next time...
- Nick Fruendt #15
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