Gameday is here…I did a little preview of the game yesterday.
Here are a few more quick notes about the Dawgs opponent:
- Saint Louis is coached by former Utah pancake-eater Rick Majerus.
- I mentioned yesterday that this team was lead by their sophomore PF Willie Reed…what I failed to mention is that they only have 1 Junior on the roster!!! That’s right, the whole team is composed of Soph’s & Frosh – super young.
- Vegas has the Dawgs favored by only 3 points. If you are not familiar with how odds & sports betting works, the guys that make the lines for sporting events are VERY GOOD at their jobs. This spread of 3 points makes me feel very confident that it will be a nail-biter and will probably be decided in the final four minutes of the second half. If you don’t have anything planned for tonight, there should be a thriller on CSS!
I’d like to offer a few “Keys to the Game” for the Dawgs…however, my goal is to avoid the cliché phrases that every analyst offers before a game.
“Uh, well, if UGA can control the ball, limit turnovers, defensive rebound and shoot a good percentage from the field they will win this game” – anonymous sports announcer
Really? Is that all they have to do? What an insightful “Key to the Game”! Substitute any college team in the country where I have “UGA” and that team probably has a 95% chance of winning if it accomplishes those goals. So, when I give “Keys to the Game”, I am going to try to offer a little more UGA-specific insight.
Without further ado, Hoop Dawg’s “Keys to the Game”:
- Dustin Ware has to score: the Dawgs came into this season with the hopes that Ware would be one of their top scorers. Yet, so far this year he is shooting a dismal 24.1% from the field & 17% from 3PT while averaging a mere 6.4 ppg. Actually, 17 of his 29 FG attempts have been 3’s. He needs to get a few close buckets early to build his confidence, then work his way out beyond the arc
- Trey must dominate: this is a ton of pressure on Thompkins, but you know what – if the Dawgs are going to have ANY success this year it all starts/ends with him. He has to go into every game with the mindset that he WILL be the best player on the court that night
- Price + Barnes = 20 boards: Jeremy Price & Chris Barnes need to get super-physical with Willie Reed in the paint. The more boards they grab, the more frustrated he will become. Reed loves getting offensive boards and easy putbacks (who doesn’t right?), and if Price & Barnes can limit this it will really frustrate him
- X factor: so far this year, Travis Leslie & Ricky McPhee have been sharing scoring responsibilities and providing some offensive support for Thompkins….and guess what? It needs to happen again tonight! At least one of them (hopefully both) needs to be able to drop in 12+ tonight and be reliable in the clutch.
That’s all folks…Go Dawgs!