Observations w/vid (Dusty to the rescue, pressure works, offensive lull, first-half Barford, small-ball keys W)

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— Dusty was magnificent down the stretch. Scored 14 in the final 4:38, including a trio of really tough finishes. Two had key screens by Moses. Put the team on his back. Two straight road games where a senior has really come up big with the Hogs facing second-half adversity (Manny at A&M). And of course both set up Daryl FTs.

— The pressure was big, especially on the 2 turnovers in the final 30 seconds. Moses switched and comes up with the big steal and then Manny deflects the pass. Liked the decision by Mike not to foul either of Vandy’s last 2 regular possessions. Obviously they would have on the last one if Kornet hadn’t thrown it away, but it was a smart gamble to at least try to force the turnover, I thought. Vandy guards blew it by not helping Kornet out. Overall, Hogs forced turnovers on 22 percent of Vandy possessions, a rare mark given that they’re only around 16-17 percent in SEC play. They’ve been one of the worst teams in the conference at forcing turnovers, but did tonight.

— Looked at some of the ugly possessions during the 7:34 scoreless stretch. Lot of 1-on-1 ball, poor spacing and guys not on the same page. Some good looks missed, but more forced shots and some bad turnovers. Just a really poor stretch that should’ve cost them. Dusty took matters into his own hands late, but had help from Moses’ picks and actually got all the way to the rim.

— Mike went with Jaylen, Daryl, Dusty, Manny and Moses from 6:02 to the final 1.6 seconds. Hogs outscored Vandy 28-12 with that lineup and grabbed all 5 of the available defensive rebounds. Vandy’s a matchup that allowed them to do this and I like that Mike went to it. Removing a big from the picture allowed them to space the floor and opened up some driving lanes for Dusty.

— Stray thoughts including FT shooting, the 4s, OSU game thoughts and more. What a rally.

Jimmy great product as usual. Just a slight correction for the final sequence. Barford tipped he rebound to Manny who passed to Macon for the shot attempt.


Dusty magnificent indeed!
Macon brilliant at the line, when it counted the most.
Good effort by the team at the end.
“Making free-throws, win games”.

I have to say, I love our small ball team with Kingsley! We are at our best! I trully hope we play with it more in which I know against Florida, Georgia, and SC we will need more big man play, but the rest of the schedule I believe is more winnable games with say 12 to 14 minutes of our small ball team! Then again if it aint broke , maybe dont fix it huh? Probably might have won the Miss ST game with more of it though! But hey what a comeback. Now these close wins and comebacks like that not only helps get to the dance, but will continue to keep this team heading towards gelling by years end with that attitude that it aint over til it is over!!! WPS!!!

The spacing with the small-ball lineup is just so much better because they can play 4-out with Moses acting as a hub at the elbows. Offensively, there’s no doubt it’s better than a traditional lineup. It just comes down to whether they can gang rebound on the defensive glass. They did last night. Barford and Watkins are big-bodied guards who can hold up against taller guys. Kingsley had 10 defensive boards.

Good catch, thanks.

Right and Macon surprises me with the important rebounds he racks up at times! These guys never quit and are making me believe, just wish they would lose once and for all those minutes of lacksadaisy play per game. Would help my blood pressure for sure!!!