Milwaukee – These weren’t the Jackets we’d come to know. These were different Jackets, different and better and more grown-up. Locked into the sort of game they would have bungled away — what, two weeks ago? — they held their nerve and made foul shots and kept defending and now they’re in Round 2 of the Big Dance and acting as if they plan to hang around a good while longer.
What has changed? Said D’Andre Bell: “Outside of trusting and believing in ourselves, the only thing that’s much different is the maturing of Derrick Favors.” But there’s more to it than one gifted freshman coming into his own. There’s a team here that’s coming into its own.
Iman Shumpert is sometimes the sort of point guard who keeps both teams in the game. On Friday he made only one basket, that on an alley-oop, and four assists, and still he kept Oklahoma State from playing its game. He defended James Anderson, who’s known as