Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. It’s like seeking atonement for the sins of your brother. And that’s what our Hoop Dawgs are doing after their Pigskin Brethren put a huge damper on the next year for the Bulldog Nation. As embarrassing as it is for the Dawgs to lose in anything to that group of misfits, it’s doubly worse if you get swept in the Big Two. Their basketball program has been abject garbage the last five years. However, we’ve gone 1-4 against them. Their RPI has been in the millions over that stretch. I’m really not even sure if some computers were able to register them because of how bad they were. And I really don’t see how, according to all the Memphis fans I’ve heard opine, this new coach can turn things around quickly. So this game is a must win. Not just because they are the true enemy, but because they are awful. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let address this past week’s performance.
If you’ve not heard, Yante Maten is a man amongst boys. It doesn’t matter whether playing Kansas or Charleston Southern. You can argue he’s the best player on the floor every time he laces them up. Speaking of Charleston Southern, he had 30 points in 22 minutes against them. JJ Frazier scored 14 but didn’t shoot well. What was very odd about that is those were again the only two double-digit scorers, yet the Dawgs put up 84 points in the 20 point victory. We still need to get the “third” guy to step up and score consistency. Tyree Crump, Jordan Harris, William Turtle Jackson, or Pape Diatta are the four guys with the biggest upside. However, they’re all getting limited minutes at the moment. I personally believe the moment is now. Coach Fox has a talented roster, and he has to find minutes for all of these guys somehow. We have a really bad Tech team, and a really good Oakland team left on the out of conference schedule. You need all of these guys comfortable and at least a couple contributing major minutes and points before we face Auburn on December 29 to start SEC play. But I trust Coach Fox will figure this out.
So here we are. The enemy is up next. They’re not good. However, they’ve stunk for five years, and we’ve only won once. So nothing can be taken for granted. We have to show up and play focused. JJ hung 35 on these clowns last year. While he doesn’t have to do that again, we can’t have him score four like he did against Kansas. We can hopefully count on 40 from the two stars and then get someone else to throw up double digits. If we get that and don’t turn the ball over, I like our chances. However, again we can’t take anything for granted. We’re 1-4 in the last five and that ain’t pretty. My kid doesn’t have a Christmas tree after the football game. I don’t want to take all of his presents back. But rules are rules. It’s all up to the Dawgs on whether his third Christmas is a good one. I hope to see you at the game. But be careful. You never know when a DragonCon flashmob could breakout. Go Dawgs!!