So, what do we make of the past month? And, more importantly for this section, what do we make of Coach John Shulman's job over the last month?
The Mocs won three SoCon games, and showed clear improvement over the month of November. DeAntre Jefferson has taken the leap, and that may be credited to coaching-or just improvement.
Also, the Mocs did not win the Dr Pepper Classic, which is never a good thing for the Mocs head coach.
But the fact is that the Mocs showed clear improvement over the previous month. They are playing significantly better. They won several key games that needed to be won if the Mocs were to have the season that they want to have.
And, now, the Mocs sit on the precipice. It's a tough call. The team is on the verge of a giant leap- or is it another late season collapse like they had last year? It's hard to know. The disappointment of the Georgia State game lingers at this point. Trying to come up with anything separate from that disappointment is hard to do at this point.
But Shulman has clearly been much less stubborn this year. He has taken the team and they have begun playing some zone, they are certainly not playing FIRE!, and the bench has been shortened. There is just no debate that the Mocs have changed this year, and anyone who has complained about the Mocs in the past should be pleased by these changes. Also, the Mocs have begun recruiting nearly entirely high school players, another philosophical shift.
HEAT-O-METER: 6.5. Can't drop it anymore than that at this point. If they had won against Georgia State, the score would have dropped a little bit more. The Mocs 3-0 start in the SoCon has to take a significant amount of pressure off Shulman. As long as the Mocs get a first round bye in the SoCon, particularly if they win the North, they will not be letting go of Shulman. The 3-0 start is a good step in that direction. The pressure is letting up- as it should be.
As we all know, I'm not one particularly in favor of getting rid of Shulman. At this point, my own personal Heat-O-Meter is closer to 4.5 or 5. But the overall pressure is still there from other sources. If he has a big next couple of months, this section likely won't be here to start next year.