Saturday, February 7, 2009

They're Getting It

Ole Miss was a streaking team coming into this game, and while they made big shots to stay in it, this game was pretty much all Dores.

This team is a different team with Ogilvy healthy. He makes everyone around him better. Ogilvy dropped 17 and was 1 board shy of his second double-double in a row. It's very encouraging to see him back out there contributing and playing well. Props to CKS for knowing his players better than us observers and not shutting him down like we suggested a few weeks ago.

There were three other things that were VERY encouraging about today's win:

1) The freshmen are getting it. I thought all of them played very well today. Tinsley was red hot in the first half and throughout the game, dropping 12 points. He also demonstrated why he's an effective combo guard because a couple of his passes were absolute dimes. Taylor also played quite well, you have to love his athleticism around the basket. But is it possible that the double lines for the three on the floor are confusing him? I could have sworn he hit two threes but the box score shows zero taken and zero attempted. Tchiengang played very well also, hustling for the boards and coming up with a few key shots. Note to the rest of the SEC, you can't leave him open from the three, it takes him a while to shoot it, but he can definitely shoot it.

But the big props goes to Lance Goulbourne, who really shined today. He had 11 points and played excellent defense. Really excited to see him shine.

2) This team was highly efficient today. They were patient with the ball, for the most part made smart decisions, and they were opportunistic, forcing steals and getting big rebounds. They were 16-24 in the second half. That's an awesome statistic. If we can be that smart with the ball, we'll be in good shape.

3) We've got a three game win streak going with a week off before our rematch with Tennessee. This final stretch will be a tough one as we have Kentucky at home, and Florida on the road, then close out against Georgia, South Carolina, LSU and Arkansas. But if we play ball the way we played today, we'll be in every single one of those games.

There were, of course, downsides. Our perimeter defense leaves a lot to be desired. We don't rotate quite fast enough around the perimeter. While we contest the shots, we don't get there quick enough to give opposing shooters no window. As was demonstrated against Florida, and even today against Ole Miss, you can't give any opportunities.

Also, the cold streak we had late in the first half kept this from being a good one to a blowout. It wasn't that alarming since we played great in the second, but this one could have been worse than it ended up being.

Finally, every team we play down the stretch should know that if you put pressure on us, we will cough up the ball. Don't get me wrong, there were numerous times where they pressed us and we did a great job exploiting the holes (i.e. the Taylor to Ogilvy alley-oop towards the end of the second half), but there were a few times we got stuck in a trap and couldn't get out. We need to be faster making decisions before the trap gets there in getting out on the break.

Commie fans should be excited about this one. We're 4-5 in SEC play, but if we keep improving as we have these past two weeks, we'll be a surprise team down the stretch, and no one wants to face that late in the year.

4 comments:

Taj said...

PREACH!!!!!

Douglas James said...

This was the first game I really thought that Brad can turn into a starting point guard and not a combo 1-2 guard. I know AJ got the CBS Star of the Game award but I think Lance was the heart of the team today. He ripped out Ole Miss's heart by hitting those 3's and that sick dunk after they went on that run to start the 2nd half. I think Lance is the most versitile of all the frosh. Lets kick UT's ass!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

ut sucks

american idol sucks

they both pretty much suck

Tony Arnold said...

The future looks so bright! And if they continue to mature, they could be a tournament surprise.

It is actually a fun year from a fan perspecitive. We can get excited over the wins and when they play well, and just shrug off the loses knowing we are young but talented.

Don't want the players to use that exuse though, and it does not seem that they are base on post game comments.