I guess I still just don't know how to look at this Shockers team. Every time you think you're gonna get a certain answer they find a way to change it up. For example, I asked Fred VanVleet about what it's like playing the underdog instead of being an underdog because Cal Poly has nothing to lose. His response was that a team with everything to lose is just as hard to play. Classic VanVleet.
Then I was chatting with Cleanthony Early about the Mustangs' depth and their ability for the big men to spread the floor. Cle, as he was swaying back and forth as he always does during interviews, said "they're gonna have to be just as worried about keeping up with us."
It's amazing to me how this team does that; they're so smart and calm and confident. Nothing phases them, and I mean nothing.
I did a story on DJ Bowles yesterday, about how he still serves as a constant motivation for his team. DJ is one of those kids who is do quiet that he tends to be almost forgotten, but not by his teammates. Chadrack Lufile called DJ his little brother and told me this whole run is for DJ. Fred VanVleet echoed that sentiment and Tekele Cotton, in the way only Tekele could, turned and smiled at DJ and gave him a squeeze on the shoulder when I asked about Bowles.
This team is so close, so tight-knit and truly one of the most brotherly teams I've ever seen. A lot of teams say they're "family over everything" but the Shockers are the most genuine examples of that I've ever seen. After covering them for 6 years I feel like I'm finally being trusted by the coaches and players.
There's a definite circle of trust within this group that's impossible to break unless you wear that black and yellow. And that, to me, is what makes this team more dangerous than anything.