I told myself that anything after winning the SEC Tourney was icing on the cake - just getting to the Big Dance was a huge accomplishment. That said, you always feel like they have one more in them, and it looked that way early in the second half with the Dawgs up by 11. In the end, Xavier took care of business with defense and free throws. When Xavier made their run, the Dawgs couldn't get an open look and couldn't get any penetration, ultimately shooting 3 for 5 (that's right, 3 for 5
) from the free-throw line. 27 of the Musketeers' 73 points, on the other hand, came from the line. Just one whine - it seemed like the refs called the game loosely when the Dawgs were fresh, and started calling some ticky-tack stuff once the Dawgs were winded and having trouble keeping up.
So, the question now isn't whether Felton keeps his job, but whether the team can build on this. Losing Yata hurts big time. It'll be up to either the hero of the Kentucky game, Zac Swansey, or newcomer Dustin Ware to fill his shoes. Hopefully, the frontcourt will make improvements from this year, with Albert Jackson and Jeremy Price developing, 4-star recruit Howard Thompkins on the way, and injured freshmen Chris Barnes and Jeremy Jacob returning.
With some consistency out of the point guard position, there is no reason this shouldn't be a bubble team or better next year. It took a monumental collapse in terms of personnel to make the team plummet the way it did this year. Having some depth and production out of the forwards will do wonders. Just keep your fingers crossed that all the pocket knives are removed from the dormrooms and that everyone is going to class.
Labels: Thanks for the memories