Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report: Georgia vs Vanderbilt. It’s like waiting for a bus that never comes. We waited all year for the Dawgs team that we were expecting and they’ve not shown up either.
Last Tuesday was as disappointing as it gets. We blow a lead at home and lose to the arch rival Gators 57-53 in a game we had to win. If the Dawgs were to win their last five SEC games, they’ll still make the tournament. The problem with this is while I think we’re as good as anyone we’ll play, we have not played to that level much at all this year. Outside of that, we’d have to win the SEC Tourney. I think that might actually be more likely, but neither option looks good. That makes every game left a must win. And you know you can’t win them all unless you win the next one. That’s in Vandy at noon on Saturday. We’ll look at that in a moment. For now, let’s look at the Gator loss.
We played a mediocre team Tuesday night at home. We really had to hold serve at home against a bubble team we may could have moved outside the 68. We knew the stakes and had a supportive crowd. In the end, turnovers and a cold streak to close the game cost us dearly. There’s no reason to go into personal stats here. This team was inconsistent on offense and has been all year. And when you average around 15 TOs a games, it accentuates your offenses weaknesses. Free throw shooting and TOs were our biggest concerns to begin the season and they’ve played big roles in most losses all year.
Next up we head to Nashville. We won up there last year for the first time in seven or eight games. So history is not on our side. It’s a dysfunctional arena that seems to adversely affect opponents. Couple that with the home cooking that’s prevalent in the SEC and it makes things look worse. I would love to say I feel optimistic, but I’ve not been real optimistic going into many big games this year. The Dawgs can win if they can effectively run their offense for 40 minutes. The defense, a Mark Fox staple for seven years, has been solid most all year. We just have to score enough points. Somehow, someway.
I’m sure Coach Fox is scratching his head. This team with two seniors and a junior running the backcourt cannot hold on to the ball. I personally believe most of the issues are mental because the talent level is there. The mental lapses lead to other breakdowns. That’s why 57 beat you by four on Tuesday. Coach Fox use to have to win games in the 50s because he didn’t have the horses to be honest. Now things are different. I think the Dawgs still have a chance, but they may not after Saturday. No matter what happens, I’ll be watching and hanging on every torturous moment. Go Dawgs!