Since the Georgia Bulldogs begin conference play on the hardwood this weekend, and since at least one fan of the Kentucky Wildcats is giving me what I take to be a good-natured hard time about our lack of coverage of the big event (which occurs on a day on which the Kentucky football team will be playing a bowl game, by the way), I figured I should take a stab at converting my usual instantaneous ill-informed roundball wrapup into a haphazard ill-informed roundball preview. You have been warned.
Given my woeful ignorance of all things basketball, I’m going to confine my
analysis observation poorly-formed opinion to a single factor, which theoretically limits the number of mistakes I am able to make. Since I appear to have been overly optimistic of late, I will focus on a significant negative factor as I wrestle with the head cold that has Manic Kyle and Depressive Kyle warring for control of my thinking as their conflicting voices overlap within my noggin like those of the Doctor’s former companions at the end of "The Caves of Androzani" or, if you prefer, the angel and devil on Pinto’s shoulders in "Animal House."
We know the Wildcats are good, but what makes them so good? For one thing, rebounding:
Now would you believe that this team is 25th in the nation in rebounding?
With our 12-2 record we have only been out rebounded three times, and two of those times came in our losses.
Amazingly enough, the Bulldogs are pulling down an average of 37 rebounds per game, outperforming their opponents on the boards by an average of 3.4 per contest. The Red and Black have been the better rebounding team overall in nine of their 13 games, and Georgia has not been outrebounded in any of its last five outings. Those showdowns, however, came against the weak part of the schedule, and here there is cause for concern:
The Fox Hounds pulled down more offensive rebounds than their opponents six times in their first seven games, but the Red and Black have led in offensive boards in just one of their last six contests, and that one by a 15-14 margin against the Mercer Bears.
Can the Bulldogs outrebound the Wildcats this weekend? Will that be the key to victory if they can or the cause of defeat if they can’t? Hey, this is the haphazard ill-informed roundball preview; you tell me.