COACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I think — I haven’t thought a lot about that just yet. We immersed ourselves in the present moment. And going into the NCAA Tournament, we talked about — this team’s had to deal with a lot of this thought of perfect because of their talent and expectations.
John Wooden used to say, winning is just about playing near your capability all the time.
And I think we really settled in. We haven’t tried to do too much. And we really stayed in the moment. I think that was exhibited really well, which is why Paul pitched the first game of the NCAA Tournament.
I’d be a hypocrite if I said that and you don’t lead with your ace against a team that was playing its best baseball. And so that was done for that reason.
And so I just think we’ve been so immersed in that, now that this is here, it’s not a surprise. I will tell you this is the first time I’ve ever coached that I believed could win a national championship, hands down.
And so in that meeting that Paul was referencing to, what do you want to do? Like, literally me asking them, what do you want to accomplish. And it was kind of quiet.
And I was like, no. We want a national championship. It came out of Dylan’s mouth. Are you sure? And then it’s quiet. No, wait a minute, we’ve got to be really sure if this is what we’re going to try to go do.
And so we put it up there, and just basically our road to the top. And then it wasn’t about doing that, now it was about how are we going to do it, every step along the way. Both within the program and controllable things of are we going to be selfless? Are we going to have a strong mental game where we can recover from failure, resist the urge to be complacent?
And then it’s into the baseball stuff, because the game doesn’t change of what’s required, and then we outline the things from the mound, defensively, offensively from the bases, that we felt like would be required to attain that long-term goal and laid it all out. And these guys have stuck to it every single day.