Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Reports: Georgia vs. Kentucky. It’s like hanging on by a thread. And that’s exactly what our Dawgs are doing right now.
To say it was a bad stretch of three games would a major understatement. We gave a game away on the road to an underachieving team on the ropes, we got blown out be a mediocre team at home, and then barely hung on to beat a bad Texas team by two in Athens. Now we have nine days to figure out where we stand. We have UK and the Gamecocks on the road and then Florida at home. If the Dawgs win one or two of those, they still have a punchers chance of making the Big Dance as an at-large bid. If we go 0-3, we’ll need to run the table or win the SEC Tourney. And the odds of either happening won’t be good. With that said, let’s look at how we got to where we are.
The Dawgs have played a very good schedule and beaten some solid teams. However, we don’t have any signature wins. You could easily argue the best win we have was against the North Avenue Nerds. That’s not going to get it done. Beating UF in Gainesville would’ve been great for the resume. I also think at the end of the year A&M could be much better. So that could be a huge blown opportunity. And let’s not forget the Gamecocks at home. That was very winnable and would’ve changed our present reality quite a bit.
As far as individuals, Yante Maten has been a beast. He’s unstoppable when he gets help. And that’s the issue. He doesn’t always have the necessary support. Obviously, JJ Frazier is a Damn Good Dawg and crowd favorite. But he’s been a little inconsistent this year. And when’s he’s cold, we’re screwed. The defense collapses on Yante and it’s over. Juwan Parker is having his best season but that’s not been nearly enough. Jordan Harris and Derek Ogbeide have shown flashes, but you can’t rely on them. No one else has really even set themselves apart.
Lastly, we need to talk about Coach Fox. He’s not maximized potential so far this year. He’s let the Florida game get away from us because he admitted he relied on his players. Then how we blow A&M is still a mystery. While you may can give him a pass on occasion, I think this is a contract year for Coach Fox. I personally feel he must make the Big Dance or he will be fired. So this isn’t a good time to give games away.
Big Blue. You know who they are and how ridiculously good they usually turn out to be. As a matter of fact, go look up our record in Lexington. I don’t have time. It’s something like 8-68. Also, speaking of coaches on hot seats, there are a few grumblings around UK because they’re not winning titles. The ‘one and dones’ aren’t bringing in the hardware and the natives are restless. They’re also coming off back-to-back losses. This couldn’t set up much worse. We have to play the best game of the year and they have to be off. Coming off two losses means they’ll be focused. And so will I! I’ll be watching. 9 pm on primetime. Probably stuck listening to that clown Vitale. But even that won’t deter me. Go Dawgs!