Welcome to the Bullldawg Illustrated Hoops Report. It’s like the 1976 Classic John Travolta movie “The Boy in the Bubble”. However, we’re now The Team on the Bubble. It’s been a sickening last two games. After a solid road win at A&M, we were playing with house money. Then not only did we give that away losing to Auburn at home, but we then borrowed money to stay at the table against USCe. So now it’s really simple. You have to win three out of five down the stretch. The two toughest are UK at home and Ole Miss on the road. So that means we really need to win at Bama this Saturday night. After that we need to beat 1-11 Mizzou at home and then we need to win at Auburn to close the season. Now if we were to win substitute, or even add, a win at home vs UK or a win on the road vs Ole Miss, that would just strengthen our resume and improve our seeding. But there’s not going to be anyway to gloss over these last two losses. They will be at the top of discussion on selection Sunday and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
[break] [break]Losing to Auburn and USCe at home took away any chance at making the tournament at 9-9 barring at least two wins in the SEC Tournament. Before we played Auburn last Saturday, our odds to make the NCAA were 84%. Today they sit at 40%. So as we said Alabama is almost a must win now. Do we have to do that without JJ Frazier? He didn’t play on Tuesday because of a fractured orbital bone and concussion. Does the concussion mean he’s out Saturday night? Right now we have more problems than a math book. And we need JJ Frazier because he can score. Right now we need all the scorers we can get because suddenly we can’t shoot. We’ve shot 38% from the floor in the last two games. The weird thing is we’ve finally gotten the turnovers under control. However, we’ve gone back to missing point blank layups. We missed at least six layups in the first half vs Auburn. That’s 12 points we gave them. Then in the second half vs The Chickens, we missed another three or four. I guess we just like making things hard on ourselves. Then we also went 5-10 from the FT line in the last two minutes vs the Chickens. Not a formula for success.[break] [break]So here we sit needing to win at least three of our last five. Based on our last two performances, I’d figure we could win one. However, conference play is always crazy and there’s no way I’m giving up on these guys. Nor am I giving up on Coach Fox. I believe in him and I’m glad he’s our coach. A lot of people disagree with me and I’m sure they’d point to the last two games as to why. Fox wins with lesser talent. However, when the lesser talent is not giving him 100%, he can’t win. And you can argue the lack of talent is his fault. But I’m not here to talk recruiting today. I’m here to talk about where we are 11 games into conference play. We’re still good enough to beat about anyone on any given night. However, we don’t have any margin for error. We have to play team basketball and solid defense to win. When we do that, we’re really tough to beat. But we can’t throw the ball away and we can’t miss free throws. The odd thing is the fact we’ve only played one or two solid games in the last month. We’re sort of lucky to have the record we have to be honest. But hey, we’re still in this thing. Three out of five probably does it for us. It starts Saturday night at 8 pm Tuscaloosa. I’ll be watching intently. Go Dawgs!