We have played three ranked teams in a row, and we're 1-2 against those teams. However, we were only down by 2 points with 1:05 or less remaining in both losses including the road game at Rupp Arena. For 39 minutes, we gave them all they wanted. We're getting better, and we're competing with ranked teams despite wide talent gaps at several spots. It'll be a long season, but there is progress there.
- Travis Leslie - I don't think the SEC has a Most-Improved Player of the Year Award. If they did, Travis Leslie would win it. On the season, he's averaging 13.6 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game. He's also shooting 76.8% from the free throw line. Last season, he averaged 6.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and shot 57.5% from the free throw line...all while being in so much academic trouble that he missed about a month of the season to get his grades together. He still disappears for stretches or makes mental gaffes, but he's a much, much better player. Plus, his Academic House is in order...as is his House of Dunk. When players improve this much year over year, it gives you a keen sense of hope for the future.
- The Student Section -- The crowd also saw progress as we had the largest student section since probably the UK game in January of last year. On game day, I heard from a pretty good source that they sold 3x the student tickets for this game at the Bookstore on Gameday as they sold for the Tech game. Unfortunately, the students have been away so long (and we've been bad so long), that many have forgotten that part of their job is to cheer and stand (although some sections...specifically WW in the upper level...did stand all game). But that'll come back around as the team gives them more and more to cheer about. By the way...if you're a student, you should budget your time for getting there more than 15 minutes early. The line for processing students is still long.
-- Travis Leslie Erupts into Real Threat - ABH
-- Batman Needs a Robin - DawgPost
-- Bulldogs Fall in Back and Forth Game - RnB
-- Can't Overcome Rebels - Macon Telegraph