Flu has ravaged Mark Fox coached teams and he has found ways to win in the past.
This is a coach that has teams that have survived injury rashes and flu season, but yet this season fatigue and heat are the newest explanations for losses on the road. Mark Fox has even intentionally lost a game at Tennessee in a brilliant move to keep his team fresh and healthy because much of the team was sick anyway. Did Fox say a word about that February 18, 2014 game other than he had the team play “hide and go seek” at Thompson-Boling Arena as opposed to having shootaround? Nope. He pretended it was an ordinary game, but anyone with a brain knew that his team took a dive and it was completely acceptable because it was a good thing in the long run. This is not a dramatized statement about playing “hide and go seek”, it really happened, this is not the “clumsy UPS delivery guy” nonsense.
Now Fox has dealt with adversity before, but this season the team has not responded well. Fatigue and heat issues are the explanations for why the substitution patterns are the way they are. Memorial Gym is not known to be a “hot” gym, it’s quirky and Mark Fox apparently did not realize he can walk down the sideline to yell the officials as opposed to walking past the three point line. The O’Connell Center is notoriously hot and muggy, but yet nothing was said about it.
Travel Concerns as the Excuse for a Loss: Kentucky blew out Georgia 82-48 at Rupp Arena, remember that? Of course you do! Why? There was a 3 hour travel delay for the team.
Fatigue was the reason to go zone against Mississippi State: Georgia won against Mississippi State with its 2-3 matchup zone. Fox, of course, hates going zone. However, he did it because of his team’s fatigue. Is this believable?
Fatigue and Heat in Memorial Gym: To pull from Jason Butt’s article in the Macon Telegraph…
“I thought it was very hot in the gym. We wanted to keep our team as fresh as we could. I thought they were catching fatigue so we took them out a couple of times.” – Mark Fox
One question is left then, if they were so fatigued, why did Fox only perform the substitutions for the 1-3 spots in the first half and not the second half? The posts were substituted in and out, but E’Torrion Wilridge and Turtle Jackson played zero minutes in the second half. That’s one really fatigued team.