Sometimes a hint is all the wrapping a gift needs.
OK- so that's a little cheesy, but what I wouldn't do for just a hint that the Mocs were on their way to turning this ship around. I don't even have a hint at this point. It is completely empty at this stage.
Of course, there is always hope. It begins Thursday. The schedule is not easy this month though. Spalding and Hiwassee are at home, while trips to Georgia Southern, College of Charleston, Mercer, and Kentucky all come before the Dr Pepper Classic, which will feature Longwood and then either Hampton or Utah Valley.
Easiest Game: Hiwassee, December 21. This game against an in-state team may not be simple, but it is not going to be difficult either. Let's put it this way- Warren Wilson beat Hiwassee 84-80 in overtime. Given that the Mocs beat Warren Wilson by 52, this should be a reasonably easy game for the Mocs to come up with the win. The most difficult thing could be that it is a noon start on the last day before Christmas break.
Toughest Game: at Kentucky, December 17. This is a no-brainer. The Wildcats are the best team in the country at this point, and they have taken out plenty of teams by a lot of points. Kentucky may take the Mocs lightly, but the Wildcats still have infinitely more talent than the Mocs. There could be something strange happening that day, but the Wildcats are by far the toughest opponent the Mocs face all year- much less in December.
Most Important Game: at Georgia Southern, December 1. The only reason this game sneaks in ahead of the Dr Pepper Classic is because it is a conference game. The Mocs desperately need to find a way to come up with a split on their opening road trip of conference play against Georgia Southern and College of Charleston. This is the more likely game to win. If the Mocs were playing better then the College of Charleston game would be more important, but they are not playing well enough to think at the moment that they can beat the Cougars. They will have to play their best game of the year to beat the Eagles.
Predicted Record: 3-5. Wins over Hiwassee and Spalding are givens, as is a loss to Kentucky. The other five games are at least partially up in the air. The way the Mocs have played so far, there is no reason to think they can win more than one more game- probably coming against Longwood in the Dr Pepper Classic. But with their current play, beating Utah Valley, Hampton, Mercer, College of Charleston, or Georgia Southern is a stretch. I picked them to go 4-2 last month, and they came up way short of that. If they come up way short of my expectations this month, then this season will be completely in the tank by the time the calendar turns to 2012.
Prove me wrong. After all the preseason expectations, now is the time to prove me wrong.
Just give me a hint that some good things are coming.