The Dawgs finished last night. Probably the most telling stat about this game is the lack of a long scoring drought. All season long, the Dawgs have falllen in the complaceny trap with leads on the road. Last night, not so much. They did have a couple that pushed three minutes, but those were highlighted by scrambling defense and solid ball control offense. Only once in either of those shorter droughts did the Dawgs take an imprudent shot, with the exception being trying to push the ball up court in a two on three situation that resulted in fail.
Overall, there was just enough about the game to use as motivation. Guard play was deficient, especially in the first half. The remaining teams in the tourney will eat you alive if you aren't more aware of the players around you than Williams and Ware were at times (even Ricky made an atypical foolish pass). We have to limit fouls. I don't think every call last night was good, in fact, I thought several were pretty ticky tac. However, there were a few times that the Dawgs just seemed to commit fouls for the hell of it. That can't happen against Vandy. We'll need Jackson and Price to match up underneath and keep Ogilvy and Taylor occupied while Thompkins does his magic. That is hard to do with eight fouls between them at the 10 minute mark of the second half.
In the end, I think the Dawgs played their most physical game of the season. Fortson looked absolutely spent in the last five minutes of the game. The Dawgs looked pretty tied too, but that is the price of playing on Thursday. The reward is knowing your can stand in a tough battle and win, something the Dawgs haven't really experienced outside of more friendly confines this season.
If we bring that intensity against Vandy and shoot better than 69% from the free throw line, anything can happen. Kevin Stallins as much as admitted it. The Dawgs match up extremely well with Vandy. I also think the crowd will be slightly pro-Dawg, as the remaining teams will want to face Georgia rather than Vandy. It certainly won't be Memorial Gym pro-Vandy, which is only a good thing for the Dawgs.
Tip is scheduled for 9:45 tonight.