Sunday, January 20, 2008  
What's wrong with basketball?
By now you should know me. I normally don't post on the weekends unless something just needs dire attention.

The basketball team has now lost 5 out of 6, including their last four straight to make them 0-4 in conference play.

So what happened? Well, I'll do my best to give you a short answer and then try and prove it.

We have a bad collection of clutch players. That's all there is to it. I'll try and prove my point by showing you the last few minutes of the last two ballgames. Maybe you'll begin to understand it.

Wed, Jan 16th @ Georgia
1:42 - Riley hits two free throws to cut the lead to 4, making it 55-51.
  • the team attempts a press, but there's a breakdown and they leave one guy completely open, ruining the defense.
  • They run back and setup their man-to-man defense
  • Georgia obviously does not have a play called for this situation. They attempt to drive and dump a couple of times, but it doesn't work. They make several passes on the perimeter.
    1:06 With 5 seconds left on the shot clock, Humphrey drains a 3 to extend the lead to 7. He was Riley's man. Riley was picked by Hendrix's man. Hendrix, standing right in front of him, doesn't even lift an arm to put a hand in his face.
    0:54.3 - Torrance brings it back down the floor, and, while making a moronic attempt to drive and dump between 3 defenders, dribbles it off a Bulldog player's foot. It goes out of bounds, giving us the ball back.
    0:44.7 - Torrance, again dribbling out of control, throws an awful pass inside, between 3 defenders. Ball magically goes out on a UGA defender.
  • on the ensuing inbounds, Hollinger is all alone in the opposite corner, but they never find him. Instread, they throw it inbounds into traffic. Another bad, out of control, decision.
    0:38.5 - they made 3 ill advised passes, then Riley, trying to be a hero, drives between 3 defenders towards the basket and loses the ball out of bounds to Georgia.


    Sat, Jan 19th at home vs Mississippi State
    3:59 - Hillman hits a freethrow to complete a 3-point play to cut the lead to 4, 59-55.
    3:32 - Gordon, State's captain, makes a bad pass and Riley picks it off, giving us a chance to cut it to a one possession game.
    3:11 - After running a decent offensive set moving the ball around, Pickett is in the corner and makes an AWFUL pass to Hendrix in the wing, which is picked off by Gordon, who runs the fast break and gets an easy slam. 61-55 Bulldogs.
  • Now, down by 6, they begin to get spastic with the ball again.
    2:46 - They run a decent offensive set, but Hendrix gets the pass and shoots too quickly. He misses the shot and State gets the rebound because nobody attacked the basket. 3 guys were already back ready to play defense.
    2:14 - After a decent defensive stand, Bama forces Stewart into a bad shot, but Alonzo Gee doesn't box out Vernardo, who gets the offensive rebound and tips the shot back in. 63-55 Bulldogs.
    2:01 - Gee, who, I guess, was trying to make up for giving up an easy basket on the other end, tries to go one-on-one. He tries to do too much, loses control, and dribbles the ball out of bounds.
    1:23 - Hansborough misses a 3-pointer, but, again, we fail to box out. We allow two straight offensive rebounds. Rhodes takes the ball back up and Hendrix fouls hard, obviously out of frustration. Rhodes hits one of two free throws. 64-55.
    0:59.2 - Riley, rather than passing, dribbles at the top of the key for about 5 seconds, trying to find a lane to drive through, but loses control of the ball and has it stolen by Gordon, who run the fast break and throws and alley-oop to Stewart, who lays it in. 66-55 Bulldogs.


    Yes, there is definitely a coaching problem. But there is also an experience problem. We are led to believe that all freshmen coming in now are awesome, and that's just not the case. Torrance, a sophomore, is not good under pressure, and neither is Pickett. But, for some reason, they won't give Hollinger the ball. Hollinger did just fine, in my opinion, last season. The offense always works better when he's running it.

    Bottom line. Riley, Hendrix, Gee, Jemison, Picket, and Torrance, are ALL awful under pressure. I mean just pathetic. Until Gottfried figures out how to get them to calm down, we won't win a single ballgame, because every game in the SEC will be close. With us 0-4 already, with 6 road games left, and home games against Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Arkansas left, we look like we may only win 3 ballgames this season. If that. We shall see.

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