Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. It’s like Yuletide eggnog with a shot of bourbon. Everyone loves us except the lactose intolerant and the coworker sitting next to the depressed guy at the company Christmas party that has too much! All is right in the world for at least 11 months. We run this state in football and basketball. Again. J.J Frazier made sure of that with his 35 points on Saturday as the Dawgs pummeled Tek 75-61. J.J. scored the 35 points on 14 shots in 33 minutes. That little guy poured in 37 vs Miss State last year for the most points scored by any player in the SEC for the season. He has a good chance to hold that title again. Up next, another ACC foe in Clemson. This game is huge for a couple of reasons. We’ll get into those later. Right now let’s savor the sweet taste of revenge and happiness.
Anytime you beat The Enemy in anything it is super sweet! Anytime you snap a four game losing streak against those nerds it’s even better. When you think about it, life’s has to be bad enough for merely going to Tek. But it’s even more satisfying playing them this time of year and ruining their Christmas. Outside of J.J.’s heroics, Yante Maten scored 17. That snapped his streak of four straight 20 point games. Unfortunately, he was 1-4 from the FT line or he gets 20 again. And in reality, the FT line was again our major achilles heel on Saturday. We missed 11 FTs as a team. Just make half of those and it’s a 20 point throttling. We did shoot the ball as well as we have all year at 49% from the floor and 43% from three. Up next, some orange.
We all know big cats can kill, but a little kitty never hurt anyone. When the little kitties come to town on Tuesday, we have to win. First, they’re a decent team. Much better than Tek at this point in the season.
We’re rated 31st in the RPI right now and our Strength of Schedule ranking is 3rd. So if we win this, we’ll really pad our out of conference resume. Also, Clemson is a recruiting rival. It’s always good to beat those foes at any time of the year. We need to get 60 points from our big four tonight, J.J.. Maten, Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines. Then the rest of the team needs to score what they can. That’s usually 15-20 points. So that puts us around 75-80. If we do that and play good defense, there’s no reason to think we can’t beat most teams on our schedule this year. Unfortuantely, we’ve squandered our house money with our three early losses. So while “must win” is tough to say in December, this is pretty darn close.
So we’re 5-3 three days from Christmas. I do know if this is a day for swans a swimming or maids a milking, but I do know it’s a day for Dawgs a Dunking! So listen up Bulldawg Nation! Load up the family in the minivan. Tell them all to wear red for Christmas. Let them know you’re going to celebrate the holiday with the family in a special, intimate place. Don’t forget to pack lots of eggnog in your flask. Then head on down to The Steg for some YuleTide Dawg Action! Let’s get the crowd a rockin’ and the rafters a knockin! I’ll thank you. The Dawgs will thank you. And your family will thank you. Merry Christmas and Go Dawgs!