It’s sad to think

how close this team was to having a very solid NCAAT season.

They wouldn’t even have had to have dominated at home like they usually do.

Win the ones at home they should have (WKU, Ga Tech, Fla and TAMU) and they’re probably easily in as an at-large. It was a missed opportunity.

That is what is so frustrating about Mike. He always loses a few games a year he has no business losing. I understand upsets happen, but we get upset more than we should. We had a favorable SEC schedule in that 7 of our 18 SEC games were against the 4 worst teams in the the league. Unfortunately, we only went 5-2 against those teams. Big reason why we will finish with a losing SEC record.

It literally happens to every program every year but maybe 2-3 in America, but yes, it’s frustrating.

A good team may get upset 1 or 2 times a year, not 6 or 7 times.

Exactly where are these 6 or 7 upsets?

Our losses:
Texas – neutral site that sounded a whole lot like it was being played in Austin, went to OT. Texas will be in the Dance
Western Kentucky – bad loss
Georgia Tech – bad loss, although they beat NC State tonight in Raleigh.
Florida – one we let get away, but Florida is ahead of us in the SEC standings and darn near beat LSU twice. They’ll be in the Dance
LSU – took the conference champs to overtime, beat them in the return match at their place
Tennessee – top 5 team played like it
Ole Miss – split with a team that is ahead of us in the standings. They’ll be in the Dance.
Texas Tech – played over our heads, one we could have won, but Tech will probably be a 3 seed.
South Carolina – we played very well for 27 minutes, fell apart in the last 13, in part because Gafford was either sick or played like it. Chickens are currently fourth in the league.
Missouri – another nailbiter on the road, had a shot at the buzzer to win that missed.
Moo U – solid tournament team thanks to Seth Greenberg, came in and spanked us.
Auburn – road loss to a solid tournament team.
A&M – bad loss.
Kentucky – needed eight-on-five and Herro going out of his mind to win by 4. They’ll be a 1 or 2 seed

That’s three bad losses. Or if you want to call them upsets, go ahead. Not seven. Three. And those three would have us probably in line for a 9 or 10 seed in the Dance. We didn’t win them, fine.

That’s just it. We aren’t good. Just OK.

That said, we haven’t been upset 6-7 times. We’ve lost 5 times this year when favored and two of those were toss up games when we were favored by 1 and 1.5 points and predicted by FPI to lose.

So, we’ve been upset 3 times. Ga Tech, WKU and TAMU.

On the other hand, we have “upset” IU, LSU and TAMU.

It just hasn’t been the picture you painted, but that’s not surprising.

And before you even say it, no, it hasn’t been a good year, and no, I’m not OK with it.

But, we simply haven’t been upset 6-7 times this year. Hasn’t happened. Not really that close.

A betting line is to get even action. When you lose to teams that finish below you in the conference standings (A&M & Mizzou) that is an upset. Beating a 15-14 Indiana team at BWA isn’t really an upset.

I would say Ga Tech, Western Kentucky, A&M, and Mizzou were bad losses. Losing to Florida at BWA and to USC may not technically be bad losses or upsets, but they are games you can’t afford to lose. That is where I was getting six games.

The hogs are just a bad free throw shooting team and it cost them! From Texas at the neutral court to Lexington. Look at the box scores and it’s pretty simple.
The experience the young hogs will pay off for those that return. We haven’t had but one team in the last 25 years that were sure to get in the dance Bette than a 8 or 9 seed so it wouldn’t matter this year.
Maybe they learn to play good enough to earn a decent seed next season.

Losing at home is just hard to swallow. We did it a lot more than usual. We should be a lot better next year if Mike can get solid additions to the 4-5 slots. Gabe should be playing 10 minutes a game tops. Love his energy but skill set is low. We need a threat at that spot. We were frustratingly close to being a decent team. 4-6 game swing and we are dancing.

Just my opinion or observation, but I have thought being short four scholarship players was an issue for this team. Of course, two of those were on the bench, just not ready to play, but two potential offensive weapons like Phillips and Garland could have been huge. Even last night, as strong as we finished, there were times when Joe and Gafford were on the bench, our offense looked limited. I have to think two additional wing players would have made us dangerous.

I know it is getting harder to have a full roster with kids you can count on with the mindset of today’s players of wanting to be the man, but hopefully going forward we can fill out our bench with more firepower.

You have it nailed to a “T”. Short isn’t the work for it.

It is sad, but not surprising considering just how young this team is. They will grow up. We will have a good nucleus coming back. Big big question will be can Mike pull a rabbit out of the hat and get a quality Big or two this late in the game. I dunno, but yeah, a few more made FT’s in a handful of games and this is a very different season.

I see two problems with your argument.

First, you are not allowing the team to age. A mark of one of nine youngest teams in the nation is inconsistency that results in bad losses, upset wins, bad decision making in the closing minutes. In the preseason I remember a post from Niels that told us to expect exactly this. That is what led the pollsters to pick us #10 in SEC.

Second, you are looking at results based on today’s rankings of teams. For example, when Indiana came here, they had just crushed a ranked Marquette team and were ranked themselves. We all thought that was a big win and that is what raised expectations for most, who had taken a wait and see attitude when the season started. At that time, it was a resume win for us and based on our standing at that time, we were a resume win for Georgia Tech and perhaps Florida at that time. Of course everything us upside down now.

Agree with that.

I had a conversation with JB through pm about this very thing. I personally think Khalil Garland is the difference in the six games JB mentioned. Instead of 16-14 we’d be 22-8. Throw in a healthy Phillips about now, and we may have not just had a six game losing streak, maybe another two wins. If both those guys were here and healthy right now, I could see us very easily being 24-6 with some impressive wins and solidly in the tourney.

One think I Hope CMA does next year, is get some explosive wings, and a very good 4. Plus a big or two. I think it would completely turn this thing around.

When talking about what they need for next year, I keep seeing people mention bigs, a 4, etc. Not many mentioning shooting. They need at least one or two more shooters, which is why you’ve seen interest in these new jucos (Jolly, Pipkins, Calhoun, McNeil, Gueye). The constant there with those guys is that they can all score and shoot the 3.

This team without Gafford is going to struggle mightily next year. We have 1 quality front line player in Reggie Chaney. We don’t have any depth…we didn’t have much this year. Coach Anderson better roll the dice with some JUCO kids and hit the lottery or it’s probably going to be his last year. Joe, Jones, Harris and Sills will be back and that quartet is solid, but we need to bring in a couple of real studs, particularly a front court player. We don’t rebound well now…so without Gafford who is going to get on the glass?

I think it would turn it around as well.

But what’s the likelihood that happens in the late signing period?

Based on what’s available and our past recruiting history, I’d say next to nil.

Specific personnel matchups figured into all of those. Team needs a more well-rounded roster. And it would help to have some veterans.