Monday, December 20, 2010

Hoop Dawgs Thoughts From Saturday

Saturday was one of the worst basketball games I've ever witnessed in Stegeman. The Dawgs looked sloppy, unmotivated, and, for the most part, disinterested in playing the game. Arkansas State was way over-matched  and in typical Dawgly fashion we played down to the level of the competition. I don't know if I've seen Fox that upset yet this season. I think he knew that we could beat this team by forty as well.

There were some highlights of the game though. Chris Barnes had the best game of his Bulldog career and looked a lot more confident than he has before. His 12 points were a season high and he was only two off of his career-high scoring mark. Sherrard Brantley quietly went about his business and chipped in 16 big minutes and 6 points. Vincent Williams, though not really an offensive threat, played very, very good defense in his 10 minutes on the floor.

Between Williams and Brantley, the defensive effort they give is very, very good. On multiple occasions I saw Vincent denying the ball 35 feet from the basket. I know people don't think much of that kid because of his offensive game, but he is a better defender than anyone on the team bar none. Brantley is right behind him. Even though the offensive numbers aren't there, I can't say enough about the effort these two give.

Getting back to Barnes, he is another guy who takes a lot of criticism but works his tail off. I give him a lot of flak, but he gets up and down the court and hustles everywhere. That made some difference on Saturday and paid off for him, as he started off the second half on the floor in Jeremy Price's spot. I can't say that everyone hustles like the three I've just talked about, though.

I know Trey is playing about 90% right now, but he's only giving about 60% of what he could. He has the skills and size to be dominant in the SEC and score 25 a night, but he just doesn't play very hard or hustle. He walks up and down the court and quite often will just give up on plays. I don't get it. He's auditioning for about 3 million dollars and isn't giving it his all.

Guard play is too inconsistent at this point. We have to develop a threat from outside because we aren't going to be able to score against teams that have a lot of size down low and are good defensively. I thought that Robinson would be better than he's been from long range, but Brantley is getting his stroke down and has a very quick trigger. Maybe we can get something going.

I'm very pleased with Donte Williams. I think he's gonna be a very good player for us down the road. He's always looking to the basket, is confident, and seems to have a high basketball I.Q. I think Marcus Thornton will also be a good player when he develops some confidence and just puts the ball on the floor. He has great size and athleticism, he just has zero confidence in his game. He'll be alright when he gets that, as you can tell the skill is there.

My snap judgement on this team is a lot different than it was at the beginning of the season. If we don't improve our defense, we're not going to beat any teams with competent scorers, especially those who can shoot from outside. We are playing abysmal defense and do not rebound well. These don't bode well for a run into March. If the defense comes along, we have a lot a viable weapons offensively, but we simply won't be able to outscore a whole lot of people.

I sure hope Fox can motivate these guys to do the fundamentals like box out and hustle for loose balls. I told one guy behind me that I couldn't understand why boxing out was one of the first things you're taught and then in college it is no longer necessary. Putting a body on the guy next to you isn't hard.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. Your take on Brantley interests me because I saw him play A LOT in JUCO and his defense was pointed to as a liability, while he had no trouble scoring.

    Hopefully Fox has made an impact on him defensively. Based on what I've seen, he'll become a scoring threat at Georgia in time. If he has the defensive chops now to go with his shooting ability, he'll be a nice piece.

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