For the first 35 minutes or so yesterday we played as badly as we have all year. I have no idea what Coach Grant said during the timeout when we were down 18 in the second half, but we played the rest of the game like we were a wounded animal fighting for our life. In many ways, we were.
Torrance came up huge down the stretch. Knox had a good game in the paint. When we cut the lead to single digits with about 6:30 to play, South Carolina took the air out of the ball, going 4 corners and running down the shot clock every possession. I understand the thinking behind that, especially with Downey's ability to hit those shots one on one with the shot clock winding down, but I still think it was a bad move on their part. I think that is sending a message to your players that you don't have confidence in them to win the game straight up. Credit Coach Grant for making the adjustment of double teaming Downey when the shot clock got down to about 5 or so, making him give the ball up. This resulted in a couple of turnovers and shot clock violations.
It didn't matter in the end, but I'm pretty sure we got screwed out of a point. Torrance was at the line in the first half and the scoreboard read USC 25 UA 23...He made both free throws, and the scoreboard read USC 25 UA 24, and it was never corrected. Nobody seemed to raise a fuss about it, so maybe I was hallucinating, but I don't think so. If anybody can explain exactly what the hell happened there, I would sure like to know.
Today's game will be like a road game. Kentucky fans have taken over this city, but they have been extremely courteous and complimentary of our team as usual. They believe Coach Grant will have us among the elite in the conference in due time. I still don't have a ticket for today's game, and with Tennessee and Kentucky both being in our session, it's looking like a very tough ticket. Checking ebay and craigslist, lower levels are going for $400 each and uppers for $300. That's just crazy. If I can't find one for under $200, I will watch it on TV at a bar across the street.