Tough, tough, tough, tough loss for the Cougs today as we lost an 8 point lead down the stretch and fell to Troy 46-44.
Couple of gloomy notes:
1) Tony was badly out-coached today by Floyd down the stretch. You could see the preparation that USC had as those baseline passes of ours were jumped by at least two guys each time. In addition, after Baynes fouled out, where in the hell was Casto? While it is understandable why Tony wanted to have shooters on the floor, you have to get a rebound first. Instead, Gibson gets position over Forrest, we knock the ball out of bounds, and its a virtual ball game from that point on.
2) What happened to our line-up? Wanna know why the losing stretch felt like earlier in the year? Because we had the same losing line-up on the court as we did earlier in the year. Capers, though he can't hit the broad side of a barn, continued to be wonderfully disruptive on defense and helped create two big buckets around the 8:00 mark on offense. Alas, he never played again. And then there's Casto, who still hasn't learned to control the basketball when he can't get to the hoop. But even with that limitation, the guy does not give up second chance points on the defensive end. And, when you're winning and holding a team to 31% from the field, that's what you need.
Instead, we get Forrest, Baynes, Harmeling, Rochestie, and Thompson. It looks good on paper, but we know by now that it really is not good for either offense or defense.
3) Taylor, Taylor, Taylor. Worst night possible for him to have his worst game as a Coug. He was TERRIBLE down the stretch. The worst part about it is that Thompson was hot and Baynes was at least somewhat effective at getting to the line. So, its one thing to try to be Taylor Terrific when you're on, but when you're not, why try to put the whole world on your shoulders? Tonight, he played like a freshmen. And not a very good one.
So, is the season over?
Sure looks like it. But you can't put the nail in the coffin until after Thursday night. Win there and things look different all of a sudden--which would be aided by a much needed road win against a ranked team.
Bottom line: we needed to win 3 of 6. But, now at 0-2 in that stretch, we HAVE to SWEEP one of the next two road trips.
But I like our chances to pull off a shocker on Thursday.