The basketball team suffered another heart breaker against Arkansas last night losing 72-68. The Dawgs had a 15 point lead at the half after holding the Razorbacks to 22 first half points. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off defensively in the second half as the Dawgs surrendered 50 points. Without question, it was the worst defensive half of basketball of the season.
Offensively, the team struggled to break the Arkansas press as the game wore on. Some of that was due to the lack of ball handlers on the team, and some of it is due to a lack of depth. I thought Ricky McPhee was going to drop dead from exhaustion in the game. The depth problems were compounded by Ebuka sitting out the game due to a suspension of sorts from Coach Fox for "not doing what he was supposed to do on the first day of class."
Defensively, the problem was effort and intelligence. They played very badly. Not the sort of badly that you can entirely excuse away due to depth. The sort of badly that drives coaches to drinking. Fox was livid post-game regarding the effort.
The good news...they are competing in these games, and independent of the record they are playing dramatically better basketball than I thought they would be capable of playing this season. In 7 SEC games this season, they've been in a position to win it with 1 minute remaining six times. The other good news is that another SEC caliber guard is on the roster ready to join the team next year when Gerald Robinson is cleared to play from his transfer. The bad news...they still have to learn to win. And that's no small thing.
-- Fading late - ABH
-- Box Score - Sportsline