If you want to know what happened, just read my recap of any of our many other losses this season. It's the same old crap...poor free throw shooting, poor perimeter defense, no outside shooting, inconsistent guard play, and turnovers at key times.
This is one of the worst offensive teams I have ever seen. Much like UGA, m$u put a priority on denying the entry pass to Hendrix. They fronted him all game, and after getting burned a few times early, they decided to double team him. It seemed like on the rare occasion in the second half when an opportunity presented itself to get the ball in to Richard in the post, our wing men would not make the pass. Despite all of this, Hendrix still had a monster game thanks to a fast start and some loose ball and second chance scoring opportunities. For the first 7 to 8 minutes of the second half, our offensive production consisted of one 3 pointer, one dunk, and a free throw.
For the most part, I thought we played pretty good defense. m$u had trouble attacking our 2-3 zone. They extended the lead in the second half thanks to Jamont Gordan shooting long range 3's over the top. We finally made the adjustment and switched to a box and 1, but I thought we should have made that move a lot sooner than we did. Torrance and Hillman both did a pretty good job of defending Gordan.
Free throw shooting continues to suck, but it's hard to blame this loss on poor free throw shooting when m$u shot even worse than we did. We desperately need Riley to find his perimeter shot. With no other viable options inside other than Hendrix, it is imperative that we have the ability to make some 3 pointers to keep the defense honest. Right now, our shooting is atrocious, and that is why we are losing games.
Overall, we took better care of the ball in this game than we did at UGA, but the turnovers we committed came at key moments and $tate was usually able to capitalize on our mistakes. The final blow came when we had cut the lead to 4. We came out of a timeout and tried to run a play out of the high post. Of course, it did not work and Rico ended up committing the costly turnover. m$u scored at the other end. We then decided to run the exact same play, resulting in a very contested, low percentage shot. m$u got the rebound, and scored at the other end, effectively putting the game out of reach.
This was the smallest crowd I have seen for an SEC home game since the David Hobbs era. Unfortunately, that isn't the only thing about this team that reminds me of the Hobbs days. I wonder if the poor attendance was more a result of the weather or the piss poor product we are putting on the floor these days. I guess that question will be answered next weekend.
m$u brought a large crowd, and they behaved like ignorant jackasses as usual. One of the funniest comments came from some redneck $tate fans sitting behind us. They were discussing our poor crowd, and stated, "and this place is tiny...you could fit this whole arena inside of ours..." I started to explain to him that Coleman seats 15,000 whereas the dump only seats about 10,000, but I figured that math would likely be beyond his comprehension level.
I'm going to go ahead and declare this season over. I see no realistic scenarios in which we could turn this thing around. I seriously doubt we will even make the NIT.
Up next, after a week off we will face Jeff Lebo and his 6 midgets from auburn. They are coming off a big upset win at home over Ole Miss today. They run a motion offense and shoot a lot of 3's, much like Belmont. Those types of teams give us trouble, so this will be another tough game, despite the fact that we have far superior talent and depth.