- Tennessee Volunteers - January 24, 2017 - 9:00 PM EST - Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tenn. - ESPN
As many of you all know, I’m currently in Florida taking a little time off and working my way back from hip replacement surgery I had a couple of weeks ago.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for their cards, their well-wishes, their thoughts and their prayers. I’ve been humbled by the overwhelming response of support and care the Big Blue Nation has given me, and know that it’s lifted my spirits. You all are the best.
Just so you know, I’m doing fine. The hip is feeling better and better every day, and a little time away has given me the opportunity to look back and reflect on what we were able to do this past season. It truly was a special ride.
The physical therapist came and met with me yesterday and we went out and walked for a bit. As we were getting done with physical therapy, he turns to me and says, “I know how much you want to skip steps and get this over with, but you just can’t. Your body won’t allow it. Just do a little bit more every day. If you get to the point where you’re trying to do too much, pull back.”
He then looked me dead in the eye and said, “No matter how much you want it to, you’re not going to make this go faster than it’s supposed to go. It’s a process”
Sound familiar? I told him, “Jeez, this sounds like building a basketball team with a bunch of freshmen.”
It reminded me about what we have to do every year with a young team and what we – even with eight scholarship players returning – will again have to do this upcoming season. It will be no different than the last five years. It will be a process.
For the returning players, it will be a process to take that next step in their growth from last year. They can’t be satisfied and content with what we did. We need them to keep growing.
For the incoming freshmen, it will take time to figure all this stuff out and figure out how good they can really be. It will be a step-by-step process for them. As much as we’ll want them to be great in November, I have to remind everyone that it’s going to take us time to be the team that we’re capable of being.
We’re going to have a great schedule this year that should help us with that and prepare us for the end of the year, but we can’t force the growth. It’s a process, and as I’ve learned these past two weeks on my road to recovery, there are no shortcuts.
We must embrace the process, enjoy the ride and take it one step at a time no matter how badly we want to speed things up.
Thank you, BBN