Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. It’s like being the 10th best player on a nine man team. And that’s about where the Dawgs are right now. On the outside looking in. The worse news is we have hit the meat of our schedule. We really need to go 2-1 in our next three and that won’t be easy. Heck, we are at a pivotal point in our season and we’ll probably only be favored in two of our next six games. Luckily, we’re riding a one game win streak right now after beating hapless Mizzou Wednesday night 60-57. And I assure you we didn’t win because of great play. We won because they’re bad.
Up next, Arkansas. We are a two point home favorite here after going 0-2 vs the Hogs last year. If we lose this game, we either have to close the season hotter than any UGA team ever or win the SEC Tourney to make the Big Dance. But before we head out on the ledge, let’s celebrate Missouri. Hey, we’re thankful for the little things here.
At Mizzou, the Dawgs looked horrible in the first half and we were tied at 22. Then we played like a tournament team for the first 10 minutes of the second half and built a 16 point lead. Unfortunately, we went ice cold and got outscored 23-10 in the last 9:40 and only won by three. As we stated on prior to the game, the Dawgs biggest issue is consistency and that was on display Wednesday night. As far as scoring, the Four Horsemen scored 53. The rest of the team scored seven. We’re going to need more points from the rest of the squad against most teams down the stretch. We have to elevate our game quickly because that performance would lose the next four.
Arkansas is coming into Athens off losses to LSU and UK. They had been playing as good as anyone since league play began until the recent setbacks. Hopefully, it’s a recession and they stay cold. But I don’t care what their record is. This is a game that never seems to be easy. Outside of a blowout in 2012, the biggest margin of victory we’ve had in Athens since 2010 is five. That’s really what I’d expect on Saturday.
One of the announcers Wednesday night said the Mark Fox told them for the Dawgs to take the next step, Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann need to be better than they were last year. And I think he is 100% right. While that has happened occasionally on an individual basis, it’s not happened but once or twice collectively. Saturday night that must change. We’re teetering on the brink right now. Those two are seniors and they’re Damn Good Dawgs. They have to shoulder the load right now. While Yante Maten and JJ Frazier have been outstanding almost all year, these two have struggled to produce night night in and night out. Let’s hope Coach Fox can figure out the problem because it’s do or die time. Let’s roll out heavy Dawg fans and show the love on Saturday. The Stegasaurus needs to be crammed, hot, and loud come 6 pm. Wear out your red. Wear out your black. And let’s wear out the Hogs. Do Dawgs!