Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report: Georgia vs. Vanderbilt. It’s like losing the winning lottery ticket before you’ve had a chance to claim your prize.
And that’s exactly what the Dawgs did last Saturday when they let one slip away in Gainesville. It was a difficult 80-76 OT loss made more so by the fact it’s against a major rival and in a place where I think we last won in 2002. It also would’ve been a huge resume builder as well as put UGA in a great position to make the Big Dance.
Yante Maten fouled out playing only 19 minutes. While he dominated when on the floor scoring 15 points, he spent the last 3:51 on the bench (and all of overtime). And there’s no doubt that changed the entire complexion of the game. Up next is Vandy at home. They aren’t good and it’s a must win. But we aren’t talking Vandy or UF today. We’re talking big picture.
As you well know if you’re a true Hoop Dawgs fan we got hooked by this year’s SEC schedule. Every year, each team in the conference plays five teams twice and everyone else just once. The five teams the Dawgs play twice are UK, UF, the Gamecocks, Bama, and Auburn. Right now those five teams are 18-5 in conference play. UGA needs to go 4-6 in those 10 games. We may be able to slide by at 3-7, but why make it tough on ourselves, right? At the moment, we’re 1-2. So if we sweep Auburn and Bama, then we still need to go 7-1 against the rest of the league. That puts us at 11-7 in league and in the Big Dance in most scenarios. However, we’d still be missing the “Big Win” on our resume. We need one or two of those.
The bright side of this difficult schedule is plenty of opportunity. The unfortunate side is there’s no margin for error. When we play a bad or mediocre team, like tonight, we must win. We have to get this train back on the rails. We’re actually better than Florida in my opinion. We’re better than the Gamecocks. Our team doesn’t even know how good they are yet. But we have to put it together soon and tonight is a must win. And speaking of winning, it’s easier to win with a packed house. So tonight at 9 p.m. we need the Stegasaurus rocking! Show up sober or show up right, but just show up. Go Dawgs!