Clearer Wildcat heads prevailed at Georgia

It was a time when some heads needed to be clear, from the head coach Tubby Smith down to the last player on the team. Smith expressed in no uncertain terms that his nice guy disposition was over. "After thirty years of doing this," with determination, the coach said, "I think I know a little something about coaching. So we are going back to coaching my way." Obviously that was his way of clearing his head for the task at hand and that being getting the Cats on track.

It was a time when some heads needed to be clear, from the head coach Tubby Smith down to the last player on the team. Smith expressed in no uncertain terms that his nice guy disposition was over. "After thirty years of doing this," with determination, the coach said, "I think I know a little something about coaching. So we are going back to coaching my way." Obviously that was his way of clearing his head for the task at hand and that being getting the Cats on track.

At Georgia, it seemed to work for Tubby Smith as he drenched his shirt coaching as hard as he's coached this year. The players played harder and more efficient than at any time since the West Virginia game.

After the game, Sparks expressed how good it felt and that it brought back old memories. One can imagine the temptation coach Smith has had of late to replace Patrick Sparks in the lineup. Perhaps, his understand of his team and their strengths in most of the much need wins his team has posted. When Sparks has two or more three-point shots, his team wins. Smith's big hug of Spark after the game was indicative his relief!

What was the difference in the team's performance? Was it the sports psychologist it employed for the teams psyche? Tubby Smith resorted to pulling some strings to get his Cats out of their slump. The new entity was located behind the basket at Georgia.

It's been a while since the talk of a sports psychologist around the two major UK sports. Bill Curry used one for his football teams in the person of Dr. Dennis Sprague. Observers think they are there to help with their game, however most of the interaction is of a different nature. His approach is often about school, personal life, daily habits, and family, etc. Things to help them to connect with themselves and develop a better approached.

Does he get the credit, this writer has no idea, but he obviously is in the picture.

Perhaps, Sparks was just getting around to opening one of his Christmas gifts he received under the tree. In a previous article, we alluded to gifts Sparks needed to receive under the tree and it appears it finally arrived. We said he needed to receive more of those late-in-the-game three-point daggers he stuck in Iona University and a broad smile to go with it. We also said he needed to see some more zone defenses he saw against West Virginia. Well, it looks his Christmas wishes were granted – we saw the tree-point shots; we saw the wide smile on the face of Sparks; and we saw a 1-3-1-zone defense that allowed Sparks to catch and shoot. Could the Georgia performance be what gets his confidence back?

What's in store for the rest of the season? Let's call in the "Great Swami" for his visions. Swami says his visions are not as clear on basketball but he can don a coach's hat momentarily. He sees a starting lineup that includes Ravi Moss because he is statically the best shooter on the team. Swami sees this as creating a better start in games for the team in light of their slow starts, given the consistent 10-point holes they dig for themselves. Swami sees a seventh-seed in the NCAA tournament. Swami might reappear at a later date.


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