Monday, November 22, 2010

Hair of the Dawg: UGA @ SLU Recap, Trey's Status, Thoughts on Connor Nolte

Robinson to Price for the game winner.

If you had an opportunity to watch or listen to the Dawgs on Saturday night, it was almost like the team had taken a ride in a DeLorean back to 2006. The only difference was the result of a poorly played game on the road was a scratch in the win column. It was something that hadn't happened to the boys from the Classic City in almost two years; the scoreboard read 61-59 the way of the visiting team.

Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I tuned in to watch the second half of a contest that looked like two fat women on an episode of Jerry Springer. There was a lot of slapping and hair grabbing but it didn't look like either one of them was really convinced that they wanted the scumbag that brought them there, but they had to fight anyway. I checked the score early in the first half, only to see a 20-8 lead by the Billikens. I was a little surprised.

This trend continued until the last ten minutes of the game when St. Louis went stone cold from the field. For a period of 9:29 in the second half, SLU didn't score a point and the Dawgs went on a 15-0 run to get within a point. After keeping it close the rest of the way, Jeremy Price's final lay-in with a second on the clock sealed the win.

Travis Leslie led the way with 19/6/2 and Jeremy Price was key in the low-post once again with 16/7. Gerald Robinson had a bit of a down game with only 10 points, but did have 8 assists. What hurt most were his 7 turnovers. Ware had a decent game with 10 points and 2 assists.

The most irritating part of the Dawgs' game so far is the lack of perimeter defense. The only reason that the Billikens stayed in the game Saturday was because of Rob Loe, and it wasn't the one that played minor roles in every notable comedy in the 90's. This one, and his buddy Kyle Cassity, played a major role in thoroughly annoying me by making big, uncontested three's down the stretch. This is a part of the defense that has to improve, otherwise we're gonna get shredded by the better-shooting teams in the SEC (Vandy, Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss).

The good part about all of this is that despite the mediocrity, the good guys got a win on the road. I heard Cris Carter say on ESPN today regarding the Redskins win vs. the Titans, "It just feels good at the end of the game, even though you've played an your worst awful, ugly 60 minutes, that you were still good enough to get through it and get a win." Even though Fox's group played an awful, ugly 40 minutes they found a way to win. That's a tough thing to do on the road, especially when you've had zero success of late. Big compliments to Fox and the guys that don't get the credit they deserve.

Speaking of guys who don't get any credit, a lot of Dawg fans are getting a little heavy-handed on Connor Nolte. I can't say enough about Connor. Last year he brought some pizazz to the team with his "Gameday Trick Shots" and Charles Barkley appearances and this year he's filling in for Trey and doing a darn fine job. If you've noticed, Fox will not put Barnes and Price on the floor together. This is because he needs one guy in the post that has the ability to distribute the ball without turning it over. He does this well, but because Nolte doesn't fill up the offensive side of the box score he's not getting much love from Dawg fans. This is a situation where the casual observer should probably give some credit to the guy in charge, as he probably has the best idea of how to approach the offense.

As far as where Trey's status is as of now, it's pretty quiet on that front. He was dressed on Saturday, but he's not going to play Thursday if he's not 100%. The Dawgs will be on a national stage on Thanksgiving against a good opponent and if I were betting on it, I'd say he'll be in there. I expect it to come down to a game time decision. It's a great chance to get a quality win, but it's a dangerous gamble if he isn't completely ready.


  1. in the dawgs defense, almost every perimeter shot this year has been contested.

    when a team's center (who is 6-11) goes 5-8 from 3 point range, their is honestly not much we can do about that. We were flairing our big-men out on many of the pick and rolls when we played man defense leaving Loe open and he nailed the shots. Fox switched to much more zone in the second half which completely neutralized their offense and loe still hit a few contested shots, but we held them scoreless for 10 minutes and allowed us to steal this game. Great coaching by Fox and great shooting by Loe.

  2. Loved the Springer reference. One thing I noticed from the stands was how much the man D was wearing Price out. Price is a much better player than he was last year: He handles the ball better, is more cognizant of his floor position and has more body control. One thing that hasn't gotten better is his quickness, which I think will improve as his conditioning improved.

    I talked to a couple of SLU fans after the game who are in love with Loe and Cassidy. Cassidy was a lightly recruited hero in Southern Illinois circles that some of the big boys came to the table a bit late for. Loe is a New Zelander that played on their national team. The consensus among their fans is that if both are hot and they can figure out inside out basketball, they can beat anyone. Think Utah with two Keith Van Horns.

    It was a fun game to watch, especially after Fox got the T. You could see the players and few Georgia fans feeding off it. I originally missed Trey in uniform, but he took his warmup off at one point late in the game, making me think Fox was going to go to him. Glad he didn't, as we might have to win one of these with him on the bench later.

  3. Ah ha! Utah with two Keith Van Horns, that's a pretty good comparison.

    I'm glad you properly tongue-lashed the student for getting in your grill about standing at the game. Sounds like he needs to beef up his heckling game a bit.