DALLAS — Simeon players trickled into the lobby of their Duncanville, Texas, hotel Friday morning, not more than 10 hours after their first loss of the season. Their minds were full from a late-night players meeting in Jabari Parker's room, their stomachs about to be full of the eggs and pancakes they piled on their plates.
It would have been tempting to sulk about the 67-57 loss to DeSoto (Texas) on Thursday night, and the knowledge they will be knocked from the No. 1 national ranking
But there was little time for brooding.
During the next several hours the players toured The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, which details the John F.
"I told them, 'We're all going to wake up in the morning,'" Simeon coach Robert Smith said.
"They were down, but I told them it's just one game. We have to rebound, get back up tomorrow and get ready to play on Saturday. Hopefully they'll be able to do it. They're not used to losing, so that's huge."
Smith thought the players showed proper angst over the program's first loss since Jan. 16 against Findlay Prep. They settled on the bed, chairs, table and floor of Parker's room for a midnight meeting during which each player was asked to speak his mind.
The next morning, most characterized the game as a nationally televised display of selfishness — not enough ball movement, too much one-on-one, too many turnovers.
"One-on-one basketball is going to get us nowhere," Simeon senior guard Kendrick Nunn said. "Everybody was trying to show off their talents instead of letting the game come to us. It was on ESPN — bright lights — and everybody was trying to show off their talent."
Smith specifically called out Nunn, an Illinois recruit who had 11 points and three rebounds, and indicated he and senior point guard Jaylon Tate needed to seize control of the team while Parker continues his comeback from a fractured right foot.
"We have to get more out of Kendrick Nunn to be successful," Smith said. "He might have been trying too hard instead of letting the game come to him. He tried to make plays, thinking one basket is going to get us back in the game."
Parker also tried to do too much while still regaining his conditioning and feel for the game, said Smith, who hopes the five-point performance will be a lesson in his current limitations.
Parker said after the game he was trying to do more than his body could handle, but he was feeling better Friday morning after the team-bonding session and museum tour.
"We're in a better mood," Parker said. "We're ready for the next game, ready for the rest of the season too."