Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. It’s like buying a lottery ticket in hopes to pay your rent. And that’s almost where the Dawgs are at the moment. After a devastating loss of a game and a key player this past Saturday, the Dawgs have painted themselves into a corner.
The loss of the game was doubly lethal. Not only did it hurt the Dawgs’ chances of getting in the Big Dance, but it opened the door for Mississippi State to enter the conversation as a legitimate tournament team. Also, it was announced Jordan Harris has been suspended and it sounds like it may be permanent. When you struggle to score like the Dawgs, losing someone with as much talent as Harris is worrisome. That said, Harris has been disengaged and has underperformed all year. So maybe this forces someone else to step up. That fact of the matter is that, unfortunately, no one did on Saturday.
Up next, we’re in Nashville to face a bad Vandy team. They sit dead last in the SEC and a loss would all but end UGA’s chances of making the tourney with an at-large bid. The Dawgs are 4-6 right now in the SEC. I think 9-9 and a win or two in the SEC Tournament will get us in. So there’s no wiggle room right now. Luckily, or unluckily to some, the Dawgs play five of the next eight, excluding Vandy, against teams that are currently ranked or once were this year. So plenty of opportunities abound. But don’t let the team worry about that now. For them, it’s one game at a time.
So as you know we struggle to score. I’ve said all year we need two more guys to help out Maten. That hasn’t happened yet. So here are my thoughts for the Dawgs to turn this thing around because nothing yet has worked.
Thought number one is someone like Pape Diatta, Teshaun Hightower or Tyree Crump uses the absence of Harris and takes over as the number two scorer. That takes pressure off the rest of the offense and we become the team we hoped to be in October. I don’t know how feasible that is. Thought number two is to embrace our offensive shortcomings. Play solid defense and shorten the game. Run down shot clocks and keep at least two players back at all times to eliminate runouts that lead to easy baskets.
In 2014 the Dawgs went 12-6 in the SEC by playing some of the ugliest basketball I’ve ever seen. So embrace the offensive offense. It’s not easy to watch but it gives us a chance to win. If one of these two doesn’t happen, then we’ll need some lottery tickets to have a chance to win anything. Go Dawgs!
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