In my opinion, the first litmus test occurred on December 29 when the Hogs roared back from a deficit to win a huge road game at Indiana. Importantly, Indiana remains undefeated in Bloomington this season, besides their loss to our Hogs. As a testimonial, Indiana won yesterday on the road at Nebraska, where the Cornhuskers have beaten Purdue and Iowa.
Yesterday’s game against Kentucky was the second litmus test; and our Hogs did not fare as well. While they held the game close, and took a lead for a time when the UK HC was exercised, Kentucky roared back, like no one’s business, and clearly ran away with the game in the waning 5 minutes. We had no remaining counterpunch. We played ok, but not well enough to win versus the perennial conference champ – who also needed the win.
Now, at 3-2 and facing a tough road test at MSU, our Hogs seem to look more SEC mid-tier than they did earlier in the week. And that’s how most of us sized them up as the season dawned……a 9-9 SEC team, playing without a great PG ball handler, or a solid, seasoned center, and learning from a brand new coach.
I’m proud of the effort seen this week. This was a great game to demonstrate that we’re just a year away from, perhaps, being nearer the top of the SEC. We’re not better than UK, but we’re on our way. Maybe better than 9-9. wps
The poor free throw shooting and the fact that Desi Sills and Mason Jones fouled out elimated any chance for a comeback late against Kentucky! This hogs team will battle for 40 minutes unlike the Macon / Bradford team that just melted late in games after a MoJO shift.
I look at what Neighbors has does the women’s team. He took over an existing roster and out performed the previous coach but what he has done in recruiting and the results on the court are amazing in a short period of time.
That’s where Muss will take the men.
We will have fast athletic long guards that’s can create their own shot, get to the rim and free throw line like also We will have an inside presence with big men that can score and rebound.
What ever they achieve this season is bonus.
The next test come at Miss St. Can our hogs rebound enough to stay in the game at the Hump? Miss St will play volleyball under the basket if we allow them too! That’s my major concern.
Reggie Chaney will have to play big along with Adrio Bailey. The hogs have to break the trend of players fouling out late in game and stay out of foul trouble early in games. Joe, Jones, Sill and Whitt need to be in the game late.
I never think before an opening tip goes up that our hogs will get beat but this game will be a dog fight.
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