Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report: Georgia vs. Texas A&M. It’s like my attitude toward academics when I attended UGA. Do a little as you can and just get by.
That’s exactly what our Dawgs are doing at the moment. We are beating all the teams we should beat and not beating anyone we shouldn’t. After holding serve at home over Vandy 76-68 last Wednesday, we head on the road to play Texas A&M. While I didn’t think they were as good as advertised last year, I damn sure don’t think they’re as bad as their record reflects this year. They were picked third in the SEC by most pre-season forecasters. So I guess this is truly a recession to the mean. Anyway, before we talk about A&M, let’s look back at Vandy.
Has UGA been lucky in the last two weeknight games or are they just playing exceptional defense? I don’t know what the reason, but they’ve held Vandy and Ole Miss well below their season average, especially General Ackbar’s Black Bears. That’s been huge because the Dawgs weren’t really lighting it up in either game, though we did a lot better versus Vandy. We put up 76 and had four people in double-digits led by Yante Maten’s 21. The Dawgs have been able to count on Maten and JJ Frazier every night, for the most part. However, Juwan Parker scored 17 versus Vandy to tie his season high set in the previous overtime game vs. Florida. So we’re getting that elusive third scorer night at present. We just need to keep that going. If we do, the team only gets better. We do need to shoot FTs better, however. We missed 12 against the Dores. That will cost you against a good team. Luckily, they’re not many good teams in the SEC this year.
Up next is Texas A&M in College Station. They’ve probably been the biggest disappointment in the conference this year. They are not nearly as bad as their record shows. While I don’t think they deserved the preseason hype they were getting, they have one of the best players in the country in Tyler Davis and they’re definitely capable of beating us on any given day. What’s makes this bad is it sets up to be a catch 22. If we win, we were supposed to. If we lose, it a bad loss and blemish on our tournament resume. So there’s not a lot to gain, but a ton to lose. Plus, let’s think of this. As stated, the Dawgs are doing as little as possible right now to keep our tourney hopes alive. So the way I figure, is we need to go 7-1 against the eight teams we play once. Right now we’re 3-0 vs our single-play opponents. Now granted, for every win against UK, UF or the Gamecocks, we can drop down the wins needed vs the single play teams. However, at present, we’re 0-2 versus those three teams with four to play. So beating A&M is critical to allowing us to keep playing with a mulligan in the bag. A loss and there’s no margin for error the rest of the way.
I hope that makes sense to you. If not, let’s make it simple. In shorter terms, we got the toughest schedule in the conference and aren’t good enough to miss opportunities like we did in Gainesville last Saturday. That loss makes this game the most crucial of the season.
Aw heck, what am I saying. They’re all crucial at this point because we don’t have any big wins against Top 25 teams. So at the moment, we’re just getting by. Like I said earlier, I did as little as possible during my time at UGA. While I graduated, my GPA would’ve put me as a four seed in the NIT. That ain’t gonna cut it this year. Let’s keep passing these small tests and then find a way to ace a big one and bring home that A. Mama deserves it. Go Dawgs!!