Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. It’s like death by a thousand cuts… or a thousand three-point baskets in our case. And that’s exactly what happened to the Dawgs this past Saturday vs. UMass.
Sometimes you run into a buzz saw. UMass is not as good as they played this past Saturday. Unfortunately, they were red hot from three early and we could never get the game under 10 points again. We were down 8-0 before we took our first shot. We then scored a bucket and they went on another 8-0 to lead 16-2. We got it down to 12 points a couple of times after that but then they’d run it back out to 18 or 19. We were ice cold all day and they rarely missed in the first half. Yante Maten finished with 20 and Turtle Jackson added 14. No one else was in double digits and our offense was offensive. Nothing else good to say.
Up next is the enemy. That school in Atlanta that we play every year. We don’t use their name because that would acknowledge them in some way. They’re coming off an embarrassing loss to Wofford a couple of games ago and have lost two straight in this series. So we’ve got to keep this streak going. There’s not much better than beating those people at anything. We’ve got to stay focused and get back to scoring. The enemy is not good. So the lower the score the better their chance. We need to push the ball whenever possible because we have much better athletes and can run them out of the gym.
However, that starts with defense because it’s much easier to run after misses. This past Saturday we were ice cold everywhere. We panicked when we got down and never recovered. That’s why we need to focus on pushing their misses early. We get a few easy buckets and all of a sudden a few jumpers start falling. It’s not rocket science I promise. If it was, the enemy would be a lot better than they are.
So 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday on The Deuce. We need you there and loud. We need to win out our remaining non-SEC games. If we do that, I like our chances to make the Big Dance. If not, we’ve got a lot of work to do in the SEC schedule. And when you consider who we’re playing, the game is even more important. So let’s rock the Stegg on Tuesday. Be loud. These kids thrive on their home court. Let’s make sure it’s an advantage. Go Dawgs!!
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