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  1. It's hard to figure how at times we can look like an offensive juggernaut & at other times like whatever the opposite of a juggernaut would be. Gotta give Ole Miss pitching their props, but we just didn't have many good ABs. We seem to take a lot of hit-able pitches & swing at pitches that we couldn't have hit with a pole. That's disappointing.
  2. As much as I'd like to see someone other than UCLA or OU win it, I wouldn't bet against OU. When a team has only lost twice all year, it's hard to see them losing twice in a single tournament. Also worth noting... If Arizona State wins tonight the WCWS is almost a Pac-12/Big 12 shootout (Florida being the outlier). I sure hope that's not a signal of a power shift happening toward the midwest & west.
  3. Emily Carasone, on the Talking Tigers podcast, said that this year's team reminds her of her sophomore year team that went to the NCAA tournament for the 1st time in a while. The next 2 years, of course, her teams (our teams) went to the WCWS. I had the same thought during this season & was gratified to hear Emily confirm it. She also said this team has to learn to do all the little things that make the difference between winning & losing. That's the youth of this team. I was reminded of my freshman year playing tennis at Auburn and realizing that I really didn't know how to practice well. When I was a junior & senior, my coaches put the freshmen on court with me because they didn't know how to practice well. Since we only had 2 seniors on the team this year, I'm especially glad Emily is coaching. If our young (& talented) players listen & learn, we'll be better next year, maybe even making the same kind of jump that Emily's team did from her sophomore to junior seasons.
  4. Anyone know why our dugout folks were wearing pink t-shirts? Were we doing something for breast cancer?
  5. I live in Memphis so I watched the Emoni Bates drama play out this year. There were some injury issues, but there's also no question that early in the season there were significant locker room issues at least some of which revolved around Bates. He also just didn't play well when he was on the floor. Appears to me that the expectations put on the kid have hurt him, both in terms of what fans expect from him & but even more in what his people (i.e., family, advisors, etc.) want for him (namely a huge NBA contract). The result is a ton of pressure on him. I feel for him, but I'm also not clear that he is able to contribute well to a team concept right now. Watching him & watching Jabari was night & day.
  6. I think you may be right that there won't be much of a crowd there, which is too bad because Auburn people usually support A-Day well (& some years very well). I've been glad to read that Harsin has listened & has worked to re-set relationships with his players, but I'm disappointed in what I perceive to be little effort to re-connect with the fan base. After a 5-game losing streak, discouraging recruiting results, & the kerfuffle in January, there seems to be little excitement among the Family. I would have thought that spring practice leading to A-Day was an opportunity to re-charge Auburn people, but the news & stories from spring ball have been slim pickings. I live in Memphis & I can tell y'all that there's been something from Kiffen & Heupel at least 3 times a week, often more than that. And it was more than "we're trying to be more consistent." This spring practice time in Auburn has struck me as just boring, which was not what we needed right now. Or maybe I should say it wasn't what I needed or was hoping for.
  7. I'd be curious to hear from those of you who know the Xs & Os of basketball well. Earlier in the season we had a lot of success with what I think of as "pick & roll" plays, mainly Wendell to Walker. I think after the Kentucky game Bruce called what we were doing a "double high stack" (or something close to that). We beat Kentucky solidly doing that. We also came back to beat St. Louis doing it, & used it a lot in other games. And then we didn't. I've assumed defenses took that away from us, but now I'm asking from those of you who know these things if my assumption is on target? And if it is, then I'm wondering if there's no way to counter what defenses were doing, or were we just dead in the water when they took 1 of our best offensive sets away? I'll hang up & listen.
  8. I think the comments about inexperience & lack of swagger are really on target. And the 2 are probably not unrelated. In the 2019 Final 4 (the year we were there), I believe there wasn't a single one-and-done among the 4 teams. In last year's Final 4 there was one (the kid at Gonzaga). One key to a deep run in the tournament is great team play which is the result of guys having played multiple years together. Consider Bryce, Jared, Anfernee, etc., on our Final 4 team. Or Baylor & Gonzaga last year. Or Villanova the year they won. (I could mention Virginia here, but I just can't bear to do so even now.) Guys who've played multiple years together are also (by definition) experienced. And likely to have some swagger. All these things are related. So, when I think about these things I find that it's remarkable that we had the season we had with essentially a brand new team. What I hope is that Bruce can draw on these things with the guys who return next year, add the right new pieces, & thus build toward a deeper run next year & perhaps an even deeper run the year after. That's what I hope. But with the portal, all of that seems even harder now. But I hope.
  9. I'm surprised no one is talking about Kessler not playing virtually at all in the 2nd half (of course foul trouble kept him out of the 1st half, but that wasn't the issue in the 2nd half). Neither did Cardwell. I don't remember any time during the season when neither of those guys played. Anybody got a sense of what was going on there? My sister was at the game & said that during 1 time out in the 2nd half (maybe the under 16) Jabari was up in Kessler's face (after the 2nd time they both failed to hit put backs). I'm not sure Kessler played after that. Just so odd. All season folks said we might have the best front court in the country, but tonight Kessler played 6 minutes & Jabari had his worst game. Beyond that, when I saw the ages & years of experience of the Miami guys before the game, I thought, "Uh oh." There have been a number of games when I thought our youth & immaturity really showed, & tonight was 1 of them. Bruce said before that we panicked in past games, & we clearly did so tonight. In the past it was primarily our guards, but tonight I thought it was more the front court which is our strength. How many missed put backs? How many rushed shots on Jabari's part? The guards weren't great, of course, but the strength of our team was awful tonight. So, a disappointing end to a good season. I expect growth & maturity from our guards heading into next season. And I hope Bruce can mine the portal like he did for this year. War Eagle!
  10. I just didn't understand all the love Kentucky got from so many analysts. I'm thinking they saw the Kansas game when UK punked them on their home floor & thought "great team!" But they didn't play like that often. I had them winning today of course but not going far. I decided I'd rather lose the family bracket challenge than pick them to go deep in the tournament. I'm sure the meltdown in Big Blue country right now is epic! Couldn't happen to a nicer fan base!
  11. The thing I keep returning to is our worst loss of the season was 6 points. As poorly as we've played at times on offense (I described the 1st half against TAMU as "hideous" last week), our worst losses of the season were 6 points. We don't need major changes. We need to hit just a few more shots. And/or we need Jabari to take more shots (my totally non-expert opinion). I also think we've shown that we can adjust. At Ark & Fla the primary offensive problem was turnovers. We've cut down on those. So if we can eliminate some of the poor shots, hit a couple more of the open shots, & get Jabari a few more shots, we can make a lot of noise in the next weeks.
  12. And to think I was mad because we weren't a lock for a 1 seed after winning the best conference in the country. We'll have trouble winning the 2-15 match up playing like this.
  13. Am I remembering correctly that A & M isn't a deep team? I'm hope I'm right. I hope their guys had to play most of the minutes in an OT game today.
  14. I'm delighted for the win & for holding the regular season championship outright. I really hated leading for the regular season championship most of the way & then having to share it at the end with UT in 2018, so I'm glad to be THE champs this time. I mostly enjoyed the 1st 31 minutes of this game today. But I did not enjoy it from the time we got the 19 point lead to the end. As we've shown before, we have not yet learned to have the proverbial "killer instinct" when we get a lead. We seem to let up rather than bearing down. I hope Bruce will be able to show the guys lots of film of poor play with a lead that allowed our opponent back into a game that we had in hand. If the opponent makes excellent plays to come back, so be it. But we help them out too often. I fear that'll bite us in the tournament. Ok, with that off my chest... LOVE WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!
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