Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cougs face Chattanooga

The College (3-6, 0-1) takes on UT-Chattanooga (5-4, 0-0) tonight at 7 pm. The series between the two teams is tied at 9; the Cougs lost to Chattanooga in their last meeting during the SoCon Tournament last March by 2-points. (Yes, I was the guy in the stands yelling at the refs that they robbed Dontaye of his last second 3-point basket to win the game. Come on refs!) Sure, I was shocked the game was so close because the Cougs defeated the Mocs by 14-points at Kresse Arena last January during the regular season, and I doubt tonight’s game will be any different. The teams are matched up quite brilliantly for size and speed. Also, both teams are coming off of an eight-game break for finals and a loss from an SEC opponent.

Home Court Coaching
With home court advantage, the Cougs will break their ‘slide’ tonight as we are 6-1 @ Kresse against UT-C and Coach Cremins is 8-2 (lifetime) against the Moccasins. Although, UT-C Coach John Shulman is 2-1 against the Cougs his Mocs have yet to beat the Cougars @ Kresse. But let’s not stuff the ‘W’ in our pocket before the buzzer; Coach Shulman put a couple of tough opponents on the Mocs schedule (namely Florida (L: 44-93) and Kentucky (L: 63-79) so his team is just as battle-tested as we Maroons are.

Although, we are struggling on offense, the Cougars are very strong on defense (Bobby Cremins trademark) and if they can keep the pressure (especially) on the Mocs’ perimeter, then the College will win tonight. Despite not having Josh Jackson throwing his weight around in the paint, the Cougs should be able to control the boards tonight-as the College has the edge in size and experience.

Never turn your back on a Moccasin!
Chattanooga is explosive with their offense. They will try to work their “big” men down under the basket more this evening in order to free up their highly talented perimeter man, especially Keddric Mays. Mays made his 100th trey this year in his 34th career game against ETSU last month. He’s averaging 25-points a game and he is dangerous. UK Coach Tubby Smith made the mistake of matching the Mocs with smaller guys and Mays went on a shooting spree from behind the arc hitting 7-treys as the Mocs closed a 33-point deficit with 15-minutes on the clock to a 9-point deficit with 4-minutes left in the ball game. Lesson learned: Cougs, even if you think the Mocs are down for the count, keep chopping until the buzzer sounds, and then put the ‘W’ in your pocket.

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