We’re running out of chances to salvage the season.
When the Aggies started the conference run 0-3, the next two weeks were key. And the scheduling gods obliged, lining up three home games and a road trip to perennial doormat MSU.
The result of that two week stretch? 1-2, with a difficult home game against Georgia remaining.
There’s no easy way to break this one down, gang. Let’s just hit it.
We strayed away from the hot hand
Admon Gilder looked great early, drilling three threes during a run that pushed the lead to 15-5. And then a weird thing happened... he never really looked that aggressive for the rest of the evening. I understand that we’re asking him to facilitate more this year, but at some point you have to work your way back to the basics of basketball. We have an offensively challenged team, and our best pure offensive scorer on the perimeter was feeling it. On a night like that, you re-work the offense around that guy and get him 18-20 shots.
Gilder ended the night with nine field goals attempted.
At times this year, we’ve made this game a little harder than it needs to be.
Davis looked strong as well
But it’s just so hard to get him the dang ball. On a night like tonight, when he’s hitting his free throws (6-6 on the evening), every Tyler Davis touch is essentially two points unless you double team. And teams have reacted accordingly, sending doubles (or triples) every time he reaches a dangerous position.
I get it, and it’s par for the course when you have a big man that dominant, but that attention usually opens up multiple guys on the outside. Our offensive production is shockingly bad despite this attention down low, and another poor effort from downtown (6-20; 2-14 for everyone not named Gilder) was the culprit yet again.
Davis ended the evening with 14 points on 4-5 FG, but yet another opponent went into a game saying “beat us with someone besides Tyler Davis.” It worked.
Look good, feel good (for 34 minutes)
Our uniforms were classy as hell tonight, and I hope they make another appearance, but the product on the court fell completely flat down the stretch. Texas A&M scored to push the lead to 56-50 with 6:56 remaining, and then we didn’t score for six full minutes.
You heard that correctly. Our next point was a free throw to cut the Arkansas lead to 61-57, and that free throw went down with precisely :56 seconds left. For the six most critical minutes of the game, we laid a complete egg.
We did the usual “scramble and cause havoc” thing over the last minute to make Arkansas nervous, but neither of our two looks down the stretch went down. The Hogg shot in particular was rough, as it was a relatively clean look from 18 feet and didn’t touch iron.
Georgia’s coming to town next, and they have a stranglehold on a Top 4 spot in the SEC this season. It’s a squad that will expect to win with the Aggies reeling, so we need to show up ready to play. If we don’t, this is going to get worse.