22 Aftermath

If anyone had slept through the weekend and shown up at Mackey on Monday, they would have assumed the team was still alive in the tournament. It was business as usual, for players and coaches alike.

Sunday, a few of the players had gone to the campus recreation center and played in some pickup games. They had allowed themselves only a one-day break, evidence of Keady’s belief that the team wasn’t burned out. Monday afternoon, Lewis and Mitchell put on their practice gear and headed for the weight room. They ran into Arnold, who had continued to work out on his own to stay in shape for his AAU season.

Arnold approached Mitchell and shrugged. The two exchanged a knowing glance. Who could say, perhaps Arnold’s presence would have been worth three points in Pontiac.

I’m sorry, man,” Arnold said.

That’s all right,” Mitchell said. “Don’t worry about it.”

Then Stephens walked in, carrying a new toy: an NBA basketball, with wider seams than the collegiate version.

Hey, check out the new rock!” Mitchell said, laughing.