con·fi·dence: a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances
(from Merriam Webster)
The feeling of faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, effective way. Georgia basketball showed they had it last night. At no point in the game after tip off did I feel they were going to lose this game. Some have made something of losing the first three games of the SEC slate after holding leads in all three. I felt like all three were a result of losses of confidence in what had gotten them those leads. That didn't happen last night.
You can check out the numbers, but the number only you need worry about is the score: 78-63. And it wasn't that close. Thomkins led the Dawgs with 21 and Travis Leslie was putting on an exhibition in dunking. Georgia was 7-12 from three point range. Perfect storm, if you will.
Travis Leslie with a mid range shot (Image:ABH).
Obviously, I am excited about this win. The crowd sounded electric on TV. It looked engaged from the tip. The team fed off that energy. They won't always shoot 56+% from the field. They won't always out-rebound teams by double digits. They won't always have a supportive crowd behind them. They will have confidence. Especially at Stegman. As Bruce Pearl said "There won't be a lot of people who win (at Stegman). I'm certain of that."
With efforts of this type becoming the rule, rather than the exception, it isn't unreasonable to think the Dawgs could win seven more games. If we get the combination of confidence, incredible shooting and hustle, that number could go as high as 10 wins. 10 more wins. That might be dreaming, but why not dream? Even at seven more wins and a win in the SEC tourney, the Dawgs are sitting at 17-14, with wins over Tennessee and Georgia Tech, plus whomever they beat the rest of the way. The NCAA tourney is still a very long shot with that record even against this schedule. Seven wins and two wins in the SEC tourney and the Dawgs go to a bubble team at 18-14.
Old Miss blog Ghost of Chucky and UK coach John Calipari have said it, and I am starting to believe it: "Mark Fox is coach of the year."
First things first. Georgia goes on the road to take on the cardiac Gators in Gainesville on Wednesday.
Great win and Go Dawgs!