We don't need no stinkin' All-SEC guards!
Quick question: If I were to posit to you a scenario in which Terrico White were to shoot 0 of 4 from the field and 1 of 4 from the stripe over the period of an entire game, Chris Warren weren't to score until 31 minutes into the game, and our team were to shoot a paltry 60% free throw percentage, all on the road in an environment which hasn't seen a Rebel victory since 2003, do you think we would win?
Well, we did. And while a lot of Rebel fans are not thrilled about the way in which Andy Kennedy's squad won this afternoon, this win was a good one and is most certainly a needed one. We at the Cup are happy, and you should be too.
First, one would initially think Terrico White was a non-entity and, when looking at the minutes he logged and lone point he scored, that is an easy assumption to make. But he tied the team lead in assists with two (yes, two--we only had seven assists as a team) and was second on the team in rebounds with seven. He just had a terribly poor game shooting today which is something one cannot imagine will last very long. Furthermore, he got into foul trouble early by notching two fouls in the first five minutes of the game which saw him spend a good bit of time on the pine.
Speaking of fouls, SEC referees continue to suck. There were very hard fouls which resulted in no calls, questionable soft fouls, and fouls called in a few situations in which, even after a replay, a foul was nowhere to be seen. At least they were not blatantly biased in their piss-poor calling of this game, as each team got their fair share of head-scratchers called for or against them. SEC, figure this shit out. You sucked this season in football and you're not doing terribly well in basketball. Our conference has the most money EVAR so why shouldn't we simply use the age-old SEC tactic of "throw cash at it until it works." If the federal government can do it, why can't we?
Back on track, I think that both Andy Kennedy and Trent Johnson did excellent jobs keeping their defenses keyed in on the game's biggest playmakers. LSU had Warren well defended for much of the game and the Tigers were able to get Terrico White into foul trouble early. Our Rebels were, after a rough first half, able to reduce 37-year-old, 8th-year-junior SG/PF/C hybrid Tasmin Mitchell to a non-entity in the second half. These defenses created plenty of poor shooting situations and turnovers all over the court this afternoon.
Of course, both teams were also pretty damned careless with the basketball, so take it for what it's worth.
The real key to victory for the Rebels though was the play off of the bench. When your two starting guards are struggling, and mightily at that, you're going to need guys like Zach Graham and Trevor Gaskins to take up some minutes and score some points. Additionally, when you have plenty of big men amongst whom you can distribute fouls, it goes a long way in establishing a real defensive presence. Our bench scored a whopping 28 points over 72 combined minutes which, compared to LSU's eight points over 56 minutes, was a significant advantage. Gaskins, Graham, and Buckner each tallied eight points with Buckner tossing in a team-leading nine rebounds, to boot.
Alright, I'll keep it brief. I am sure there are details and events which I overlooked so, please, share them below.