So do we suck or are we good?
What the hell is going on? I can't even begin to try and explain this one! I guess for the first half it's easy to let momentum kick your ass. From the opening tip (Oden tips to wrong guy resulting in a 3) The Vols became the greatest 3 point shooting team of all time. It was like a fucking musical montage scene. I can handle that. Fine, they got hot, whatever. What pissed me off is how many layups we gave them. I'll break down those totals for the game. Bruce Pearl said we only gave them four 2-point field goals in the second half...I'm pretty sure those were all layups so most of the numbers below came from the first half. Did they shoot anything midrange in the entire game? I can't remember it. OK, player by player:
layups (or dunks)...
R. Smith: 7-9 (Nine? NINE!)
Lofton: 3-4 (damn)
J. Smith: 0-3 (thank you)
Bradshaw: 0-1 (he pissed down his leg on this one)
Chism: 2-2 (ouch)
Crews: 2-3 (ouch)
That's a team total of 14-22. 22 layups! A conservative 15 of 22 should have been made (and would have won the game), it's a pretty high percentage shot but luckily it was only 14. Just under 66%. We cant' keep giving those up. A lot of that was because Oden played little enough to probably not need a shower, just stitches. His third foul, a little iffy, his 4th foul had to be the worst call of the tournament against us. Tennessee not being able to hit 2 out of every 3 layups, and then going 8-17 on free throws (47%) is what did it for them. They went "cold" in the 2nd half on 3's but still ended up over 50%. Their 3 point shots, 16-31 is the equivalent of shooting 77% from 2 point range, throw in all of those layups and it's no wonder they were on pace to score 100 by the half.
But let's go back to halftime. What could Thad have done to get us going? I know Bruce Pearl was over in his locker room smiling and high-fiving his team and setting up a brunch with the women's team. But readers, it had nothing to do with what went on there, oh no, The Dur will take credit for this one. I went over to this very computer, brought up my MP3's, and played Bobby Knight's halftime speech. I suggest you download it yourself and give it a try when your team needs a boost.
I would like to give our team some credit though. (How generous, Dur) I got a call from Reader Wise and another friend when Sideshow Matt ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING! I couldn't believe it either. So in your mind you're saying, "Wow, he really played well!" 5 points, 3 rebounds, a few clutch free throws...is that too much to ask for every game? As a 7th or 8th man on the #1 team in the country can we ask that of him and not feel greedy? Too bad there isn't a stat for setting picks. He averages 4 of those per possession. Just watch him run around and get in everyone's way. One of these games I'll keep track of that number. I'll point out a few more individual performances that are worth noting.
Butler went 1-6. Sans his stats against Cupcake State Butler has shot 14-46 or 30%. The glass is 70% empty from someone who used to be reliable! Harris picked up the slack though by shooting 100%. Why can't you guys be more like Ivan? Cook is still talking about going to the NBA? I'm sure the scouts will be impressed with his 8 minutes in this one. Ocho. 6 less than Twig. Yeah son, you'll be ready for the NBA. I should also note Lighty's 3. For some reason I thought he was
Teams are giving us their best shooting performances. Oden is getting in foul trouble. We just keep winning though. I worry. I worry this is all God's elaborate plan to have us lose to Florida in the finals. Although Digger just said, "Florida is like the Yankees in the postseason." Hmm, okay. Your thoughts please...