Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. We’re like a bloody mary. When you feel your worst, we’re here to pick you pick up. And the Dawgs need a little picking up after a rough 68-66 loss to Kansas State last Friday. So now five of the Dawgs six games have come down to the final minute. While we are learning to play in tight games, we’re not winning as many as we probably should. Plus, that loss means we really need to win out the rest of our out of conference games to keep ourselves positioned for the NCAA tournament. Hopefully with Winthrop up next, we get things back on track. However, they are 6-1 and played N.C. State really tough before losing by eight. So we might can expect another nail biter. But before we talk Winthrop, lets relive the nightmare that was K State.
Everything was looking good on Friday. I had picked up the tree from the lot, the wife and boy were decorating it, and I was drinking cold beer. The Dawgs were clicking in the first half and got up nine at the break. Then in the second half, Dean Wade, aka De-wean Wade, went nuts. This true freshman scored 17 in the game and hit the last three shots for K State. The last shot went in with 4.1 seconds on the clock to give them a two point lead. We inbounded to J.J. Frazier and he raced up the floor to take a three. However, the shot had no chance to go in. Not because he was off, but because a K State player jumped up and appeared to touch the ball coming down on the cylinder. UGA players and coaches looked around in disbelief as to what happened. The refs merely signaled game over and ran off the court. The fact that something like that is not reviewable is dumbfounding. Why have replay if you can’t correct calls? While it was a very close call and maybe they didn’t have enough evidence to overturn it, why not be allowed to review it? Anyway, the good news is Yante Maten continues to dominate. He had 20 points and five boards. Kenny Gaines finished with 17 and J.J. Frazier finished with 11. We’ve said all year if Charles Mann hits over 70% from the FT line, we’ll be good. He was 3-6 on Friday. Over 70% means we would’ve been in OT. But I digress. K State is a decent team. While I’m not certain they’ll make the Big Dance, they’ll definitely upset some people this year. So this will hopefully end up being a decent loss. Unfortunately, it should’ve been a good win.
Now we have Winthrop rolling in and it is a must win. I hate to say that early in the year, but we need at least seven OOC wins. The Eagles appear to be a solid team just like almost every opponent we’ve played this year. We have to figure a way to stop going cold. We seem to have four or five minute droughts in every game we play and they’re coming back to haunt us. When Gaines and Maten are on the floor, we’re plus 8 points per game. That means one of those guys always need to be on the floor to eliminate these droughts. Mann would be a perfect option to do so because he gets to the line so frequently. Unfortunately, he misses frequently as well. So he’s not reliable. And as much as I love J.J., he’s a shooter. We need to rely on guys that can score inside and out. Gaines and Maten can do both. So eliminate the droughts going forward. Once that’s done, wins will come a little easier.
Well the Dawgs are playing quite a difficult schedule so far. What may look bad on paper so far is not bad in reality. However, let me reiterate. We can’t afford any more losses. Just don’t give up on these guys. We need to get The Steg rocking and rolling tonight. It’s a Tuesday in December. Would you rather go to the mall or watch the Dawgs? We all know the answer. The mall is for losers! And you’re a winner, aren’t you? Grab the wife, the kids, the grands. A ticket is cheap but the experience is priceless. Let’s get things pointed back in right direction before the Nerds and Clemson roll into town next week. Go Dawgs!