I'm not trying to pump too much sunshine here, but let's look at the facts.
On the road, minus Slater, Edmundson and Goodridge (not to mention the other two who shalt not be named), our pups hung in and put a little scare into Arkansas before it was all over
. Personally, I enjoyed seeing Stan Heath sweat a little when State cut that 20 point lead to 10 with about 7:30 left in the second frame.
Is there a different outcome if Slater (out after only three minutes), Edmundson and Goodridge get minutes tonight? Maybe not with the way Modica was filling it up, but you never know.
Either way, the difference in this team from November is astounding. Rhodes, Gordon, Slater and both Delks have stepped up their games considerably since the beginning of the season, and for Rhodes and Slater, they've both lifted their game to another level this year.
All this makes me optimistic for the future.
The team had the same problems last night as the rest of the season, 10 minute lulls where they can't buy points. That will kill you. As it has against LSU, Auburn, Arkansas, UT, UK, etc., etc., etc.
A little more sunshine...I love the fight and confidence in these guys. They don't back down, they have a little attitude and they keep coming, win or lose, until the final horn. This off season will be about developing team work and gaining consistency on both ends. And adding some Juco muscle underneath wouldn't hurt either.(Photo courtesy of April L. Brown, Associated Press.)