Hoop Dawgs

This is a blog that will discuss UGA Men's Basketball

Hogs coming to Athens to take on Dawgs

with 12 comments

Mark Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs (9-10 overall, 1-5 in the SEC) need an SEC win in the worst way.  After losing two straight and 5 of their first 6 conference games, the Dawgs need to build a little momentum before heading into Saturday’s game with #18 Vanderbilt.

Nothing like a trip back home to  shake off the cobwebs and get a couple wins.

Arkansas (10-11 overall, 3-3 in the SEC) comes into Athens riding a two-game winning streak, including an 80-73  win at Ole Miss last Sunday (their first road win of the season in four tries).

Don’t read to far into the Razorbacks’ losing record – they played the first 14 games of the season without sophomore starting point guard and leading-scorer Courtney Fortson.  Arkansas suspended Fortson indefinitely following his infamous tweet that poked lightly at an alleged rape that occurred on campus at an Arkansas fraternity.  Fortson was not involved in the incident, but was punished for his crass comment,  “Im gettin it at workouts like a dude who doesnt understand the word no from a drunk girl lol.”

Fortson had to learn the hard way that it’s probably not a good idea to make comedic observations about certain kinds of felonies.

But he is back now, and is averaging 18.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists in nearly 34 minutes per game.  It is safe to say that if Fortson did not own and use a Twitter account, the Razorbacks might have won games against Morgan State, East Tennessee State and South Alabama back in 2009.

The Hogs run a 3-guard attack that enables them to get out in the open court and run, run, run.  They will play a fast-paced game with a lot of full-court pressure, similar to the Nolan Richarson team’s that were known for their “40 Minutes of Hell” basketball.

Complimenting Fortson in the backcourt is sophomore guard Rotnei Clarke.  Clarke is netting 17.4 points a game in nearly 36 minutes, and he is shooting a blistering 47.7% from 3PT range.

The good news for Georgia is that Clarke is the only real threat that the Razorbacks have from beyond the arc.  As a team, Arkansas is shooting an icy 32.5% on 3-pointers in SEC games.  The Hogs’ field goal picture isn’t much prettier, as they are hitting only 40.4% in conference play.

Junior guard Marcus Britt rounds out the Razorback backcourt.  Britt is the starter, but senior Stefan Welsh and freshman Julysses Nobles play nearly as many minutes – all three are averaging just under 22 minutes a night.  Welsh and Nobles average 6.4 and 4.3 points per game, respectively.

Anchoring the frontcourt is senior center Michael Washington (6’9″) and freshman forward Marshawn Powell (6’7″).  Washington averages 13.3 points/6.0 rebounds, and Powell gives the Razorbacks 15.3 points/6.8 rebounds.  Both of these bigs run the court pretty well.

Keys:

Get out the Windex, and clean up the glass

Georgia is second in SEC play this season in both rebounding margin (+5.7) and offensive rebounds per game (13.5).  This is largely attributed to the Dawgs having one of the widest frontcourts in the country to go along with a guard that jumps out of the gym (Travis Leslie  is snaring 8.8 boards a game in SEC play!).

Arkansas is not quite as active on the glass – the Hogs are second to last in the conference with 10.5 offensive boards a game, and dead-last in rebounding margin at -7.5 a game.  I suppose that’s the price you pay when you choose to go with a three-guard lineup.

Georgia’s bigs should dominate the boards against Arkansas.  I want to see at least two Georgia players bring down over 8 rebounds apiece, and  I am expecting to see the Dawgs light-up the stat sheet line under “Second Chance Points”.

Please Protect the Ball

Georgia is averaging 15.3 turnovers a game, which ranks them at 259th in the country in this lovely category.  This means that the Dawgs’ opponents are taking more field goal attempts each game, giving them more scoring opportunities (UGA averages 53 FG attempts a game; opponents are averaging 57).    The only thing keeping Georgia close in FG attempts per game is that they offensive rebound so well.  The Dawgs are not talented or deep enough to be giving opposing teams five to six extra possessions every game (in SEC play, UGA is last in the conference with a -5.67 turnover margin).  Moving forward, every player on the Dawgs’ roster has to focus on taking care of the basketball.

More 3’s Please

Before the Tennessee game, I called on Trey Thompkins to start looking for more shots from behind the arc (he went 3-4 in that game).  Since then, Georgia has knocked down 21 of its 39 three-point attempts (that’s 53.8% for all of you without calculators).  The Dawgs are actually leading the conference in 3PT% in SEC play this season, shooting 42% as a team.  The problem is that Georgia ranks last in the conference in 3-point attempts with only 81.  Nine teams in the SEC have over 110 three-point attempts in conference play this season.  Georgia is shooting the long ball well, so let’s see them shoot it more!  In SEC games, Thompkins and McPhee are hitting 61.5% and 42.9% from three-point range, respectively.

Highway to the 2-3 Zone

Sorry for the “Top Gun” reference, I couldn’t resist.  Just as I hope Coach Mark Fox won’t be able to resist putting his team in a 2-3 zone against the Hogs.  As I mentioned, Arkansas does not shoot it well from the floor (only 40.4% on FG).  Georgia has a distinct size advantage on the inside.

Poor shooting opponent + UGA size advantage = 2-3 zone for the Dawgs.  UGA should pack it in and dare the Hogs to try to score from the outside.  Plus, this will make it all the more difficult for Arkansas’s guards to score on penetration since Ajax or Trey will be waiting on them.

The game tips off at 7:00PM and will be televised on CSS.

The Dawgs need this one bad…

Written by hoopdawg

February 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm

12 Responses

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  1. While I’d like us to take a few more threes, our high percentage at least indicates we’re being judicious. I wouldn’t want Trey to get too enamored with shooting threes — his game is a wonder to behold as is. Can’t ask any more of McPhee — he’ll let it fly any time he can shake loose. Ware shoots threes because it’s in the job description. I’m okay with Dustin for now, but I really hope someone pushes him for playing time next year.

    The real problem is the lack of a bench shooter — 6 for 33 as a group.

    sansho1

    February 3, 2010 at 8:15 am

  2. Gerald Robinson, Jr. is going to be pushing him for his spot at PG next year.

    hoopdawg

    February 3, 2010 at 8:26 am

    • That’s what I sort of thought, but then who plays SG? We have to replace McPhee’s minutes, and while Ebuka has had his moments there’s really nobody on our current bench who looks like SEC starter material. Unless we import another JUCO it looks to me like Ware + Robinson is our best tandem of guards.

      Which could be okay, but Dustin is gonna have to get better at handling the press and developing a more consistent shot.

      sansho1

      February 3, 2010 at 9:01 am

      • Maybe EA will have a “Travis Leslie”-like off-season improvement between his freshman to sophomore year?

        hoopdawg

        February 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

        • Sure, I’ll root for that! :)

          Love the blog, by the way. We’re a small but determined group, Georgia hoops fans….

          sansho1

          February 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm

          • Agreed…Georgia hoops fans are some of the most dedicated fans on the planet

            hoopdawg

            February 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm

        • My guess is Robinson and Ware play a lot together, with a somewhat improved Ebuka helping out. Maybe Mayfield will step up a bit, too.

          And I still have a fantasy of Fox pulling out an under-the-radar maker from some obscure Maine prep school or Idaho JOCU connection he retains from his Nevada days.

          stick jackson

          February 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  3. […] in Athens By zxmacman Here’s a synopsis on the Arkansas-Georgia game tonight from http://hoopdawg.wordpress.com. An […]

  4. what can I say, 50 points in a half, my man to man idea worked for a half. Arkansas probably shot 70 percent in the second half, I am too freaking mad right now, we just don’t show the lock down attitude necessary on defense right now to win games.

    macdaddy

    February 3, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  5. will be tough to make the NIT now, just need to keep building for next year. This was a game we should have won. Fortson dominated us in the second half, second straight game one player was the difference. Especially frustrating since Clark did nothing for the Hogs. According to the stats, we got outrebounded that is unreal with our advantage inside. What happened to Jeremy Price in the second half? I really dont want the season to go downhill but I am afraid we are heading that way.

    macdaddy

    February 3, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    • I agree…can’t believe we got out-rebounded by them.

      Price did an amazing disappearing act in the second half.

      Why do they (UGA) get so freaked-out by man-pressure coming out of the halftime break?

      It’s never good when you have the ball down 2 points with 30 seconds left and your point guard gives it to the other team before you get a shot off…

      hoopdawg

      February 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm


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