This picture gives Hank Thorns sad head.
In what was one of the safer predictions I've ever made in my life, the Frogs came through on Wednesday night against UNLV in not losing to the Rebels by 30+ points. However, the 94-79 defeat demonstrated yet against how far the talent gap is between the Horned Frogs and even the middle of the Mountain West Conference. The 94 points were by far the most the team has given up all year to an opponent - although they've shockingly bested it themselves a few times on offense - and, despite clawing back from 20 points down to make it a two possession game late, the Frogs lack of defense ultimately sunk them. The losing streak stretched to seven, Hank Thorns career night was squandered - pretty solid piece by Mac Engel on Thorns and his emotional state at present. read: not very gud, although he still radiates the swagger and cocksure attitude of an ACC basketball player, which I'm not sure is a good or a bad thing - and the season that won't die rolls on.
Perhaps the biggest result of the loss? The season pretty much comes down to tomorrow afternoon in Laramie, because if the Frogs can't get a win there, then a one win conference season is all but signed, sealed and delivered. Back when the two teams played in January, TCU put together one of their more complete games of the year, pulling out a 78-60 victory and, temporarily, righting the ship that at that point still had some wind in its sails. Now? Both teams are in a downward looping spiral towards the horizon that would make JFK, Jr. envious. Wyoming is the only team in the conference with a worse overall record than TCU at 8-15, and they recently relieved their head coach of his duties. And, of course, you know our current plight.
Of course, in that first game Ronnie Moss absolutely blew up to the tune of 27 points and 10 boards, so if you wipe that out, the Frogs should lose this one by 9, but fear not, Frogs fans, because I think the desperation of the moment will finally get to these guys. They know as well as we all do that this is truly their last chance for a victory in the 2011 season and, even if it's against an 8 win team that they've already kayoed once, when your year as been as poor as this one, anything is a building block for the future. At least I hope the guys see it that way, because if you can't show enough heart to beat the teams on your schedule that are worse than you - especially when there are so few - then the prospects for the future of this program are even grimmer than imagined.