AU Comes Back from 15 to Beat Lander on 12/02/2020 Presented by AugBball [Full Game]
Full Broadcast of Augusta’s opening win over Lander, Commentary by Charles McNeil and Chad Cook.
Augusta Moves Up to #16 After a Hot Start Despite Limited Play
Even with limited opportunities to take the floor and show off its high-powered lineup, the Jaguars are seizing each moment.
To state the obvious, this is not a normal season in college basketball. Usually by this time, Augusta would have played 9 or 10 games and be into Peach Belt Conference play. Because of cancellations the last two Wednesdays and another this Sunday, the Jaguars might enter January sporting an undefeated record, but after only playing two games. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that even with limited opportunities to take the floor and show off its high powered lineup, the Jaguars are seizing each moment. Augusta’s two wins, both at home, have been double digit victories against stiff competition. Last Saturday’s 97-83 triumph came against an Emmanuel squad that was chosen by the Conference Carolinas coaches to win its league in their preseason poll. And Lander, who Augusta topped 87-72 on December 2, won the Peach Belt Conference tournament championship last season after finishing third in the regular-season standings (Augusta finished second in the regular season with a 16-4 league record.)
Augusta Moves Up in the National Rankings
The voters for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) NCAA Division II top 25 poll have taken notice by ranking Augusta #16 in the nation in the week-two installment, seven spots higher than in the week-one edition. Like the college basketball schedule, the NABC rankings are anything but normal. Ten of the top 25 ranked teams have yet to play a game, making it easy to understand why Augusta is moving up the ladder quickly with its pair of impressive wins.
Arnold, Crawford and Lucas-White Look Sharp Early
During Augusta’s two victories, the veteran heavy squad has looked to be in mid season form, whether it be their shooting from the field, or their dominance in the paint. Three players in particular have produced eye popping statistics in the small sampling of action so far:
The 5-11 junior guard has scored 41 points in two games while shooting 55% from the field, making 7 of 14 three point attempts and dishing out 9 assists.
The 7-1 junior, who was voted preseason first team all conference by the Peach Belt coaches, has scored 39 points while making 15 of 19 field goals. Crawford also grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked 6 shots combined in the two games. He has also made 9 of 13 free throws, a marked improvement over last season.
Crawford’s fast start was noted in the NCAA’s recent account of its “all stats team”:
Lucas-White has stuffed the stat sheet from every angle during Augusta’s first two games, logging 40 points (73% FG), 13 rebounds, 8 steals and 6 assists. But Lucas White’s most exciting action might have been the one shown in the first clip of this video, which didn’t show up in the stat sheet. Watch below to see Darren hit the floor twice in one defensive possession during a second half stretch against Lander in which he completely changed the game with an exceptional display of effort and will:
In the post game interview below, recorded after Augusta’s latest win, head coach Dip Metress talked extensively about Augusta’s hot shooting and about Arnold, Crawford, and Lucas-White, as well as other impact making Jaguars. The video also includes a post game interview with Arnold and several clips from the win over Emmanuel:
From Augusta’s December 2 win over Lander, in which the Jaguars outscored the Bearcats 59-29 in the second half to turn a 15-point halftime deficit into a 15-point victory, below is the game’s video summary:
Gators Throw Away Playoffs with Bonehead Penalty for the Ages
Costing his team a chance at the CFP, Gators defensive back commits what may go down as one of the dumbest penalties in sports history.
On Saturday, Florida Gators cornerback Marco Wilson, a third-year legacy player who’s widely regarded as the Gators’ best defensive back, committed what may go down as one of the dumbest penalties in sports history.
On 3rd and 10 with exactly 2:00 remaining in the 4th quarter, the Gators defense stuffed LSU TE Kole Taylor short of the line to gain. After setting up a punt to their offense, led by Heisman-trophy front runner Kyle Trask, the Gators’ celebration was cut short as Wilson inexplicably ripped off the LSU player’s cleat and threw it downfield.
After a momentary pause by the referees, who probably had to do double-takes in the dense Gainesville fog, the penalty flags rained down like so many alligator tears. The unsportsmanlike play gave LSU a first down, and set up a 57-yard field goal by Cade York with 23 seconds left in the game. Although Trask and the Gators would put together a few chunk plays on the subsequent drive to set up their own 50+ yard field goal attempt to tie the game, Evan McPherson’s kick skirted outside the left upright, ending the game, and probably Florida’s shot at the College Football Playoff.
Social media reactions were merciless with many bringing up Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore’s infamous “dog-pee” celebration from the 2019 Egg Bowl. In that game, Moore’s unsportsmanlike penalty after a last-second touchdown resulted in the extra-point being moved back 15 yards. In a mystical display of instant karma, the Rebels would miss the kick and lose the game by one point. Fun fact: Wilson and Moore hail from the same hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Even former Gator greats were beside themselves as they joined the social media pile on:
The year started with Marco Wilson announcing his return to Gainesville for a third season. After starting as a true freshman and suffering an ACL tear early in his sophomore year, Wilson had contemplated joining the NFL draft. The decision to return for a chance at a championship looked like a great gamble for most of the year. But after being beaten repeatedly by LSU receivers on Saturday and then committing the horrible penalty that may cost his team a playoff berth, Wilson’s decision may turn out to be more ironic than heroic.
The Gators now turn their attention to next weekend’s SEC Championship Game against Alabama. It’s hard to imagine the Gators bringing the same energy into that game knowing that a win will likely still leave them short of the ultimate prize, a chance at the school’s fourth national championship.