Hoop Dawgs

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

Georgia set to challenge #1 Indiana in Brooklyn

with 16 comments

The Georgia Bulldogs (1-2) are in the midst of a bit of an early season slump, dropping consecutive games at home to Youngstown State and Southern Mississippi.  If the Dawgs want to get the bad taste out of their mouths from those two defeats, unfortunately, they are going to have to do it against the top team in the country – the Indiana Hoosiers.

The Hoosiers, who came into the season ranked #1, have come roaring out of the gates, posting a Division I-best 94.3 points per game.  Indiana is making over 53% of their field goal attempts, including a near 40% mark from beyond the arc.  This Hoosier team currently has five players scoring in double-digits on a nightly basis, led by their sensational sophomore Cody Zeller.

Zeller, who showed up on every preseason All-American First-Team and National Player of the Year list, is pacing Indiana with 17.7 points and 8.7 boards.  He likes to play with a lot of physicality inside, so the Georgia bigs must be prepared to match his toughness or they will likely be feasted upon.

Zeller is joined in the paint by fellow big man Christian Watson, who is chipping in over 14 points and 8 rebounds per game himself.  The senior from Birmingham is a nice complement to Indiana’s all-everything center, and he also plays very strong on the block.

The NBA and its coaches use a statistic called player efficiency to help them evaluate a player’s performance.  Efficiency is calculated by totaling a players points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, and then subtracting from that number the player’s total number of field goal misses, free throw misses and turnovers.  This result can then be calculated on a per minute basis, and then stretched out over the length of an entire game to compensate for guys that don’t get as many minutes.

Last year, the NBA’s top five most efficient players – 1) Lebron James 2) Kevin Love 3) Kevin Durant 4) Dwight Howard 5) Chris Paul.  In other words, this statistic seems to accurately reflect whom fans may guess would be the most productive players in the league.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to calculate the player efficiencies for the Bulldog roster through the first three games, since there has been a decent amount of grumblings amongst the UGA basketball fan base about some of the lineups Fox has been utilizing (or not utilizing).

Georgia’s top five most efficient players thus far (using a per minute efficiency calculation and then stretching that number out to 40 minutes to compensate for lack of playing time, etc.):

John Cannon – 25.3, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – 23.7, Brandon Morris – 18.9, Tim Dixon – 18.7 and Nemanja Djurisic – 9.5

It should be noted that Neme’s efficiency of 9.5, though high for the Bulldogs, is a pretty mediocre number when compared to players across the country.

I think that the main takeaway from this brief mathematical endeavor for UGA fans should be that John Cannon needs to be playing more for this team because he is producing consistently when he is on the floor for Coach Mark Fox.  Cannon has legitimate center size and the ability to score the basketball inside when he receives it with his back to the basket.  Fox could use a player like Cannon on Monday night to match some of Zeller’s toughness in the paint.

At this point the Dawgs’ confidence has to have been shaken considering what transpired in Athens over the last week.  Will Georgia step onto the floor of the Barclays Center wide-eyed and shell-shocked at the prospect of taking on the nation’s best team?  Or, will the Dawgs play loose with a “nothing to lose” mentality?

Considering what Georgia has already experienced in the initial stages of the Legends Classic, I believe it is fairly safe to say that things cannot get much worse.  Anyone tuning in to this game will expect the Dawgs to lie down so that Indiana can take them out behind the woodshed.

Although, maybe a game away from Athens is just what the doctor ordered for Coach Fox’s bunch.

Written by hoopdawg

November 18, 2012 at 8:27 am

16 Responses

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  1. Great use of stats to support what we have all been thinking. I enjoy all your write ups. Keep up the good works.

    keith1055

    November 18, 2012 at 9:31 am

    • Pretty interesting, heh? Hopefully JC gets more minutes going forward.

      Thank you for reading/commenting the blog.

      hoopdawg

      November 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

    • Ditto, Keith. Hoop: Does CMF ever hold a news conference where the media can ask the questions that we raise on the board? I never read anything about the answers to some of the perceived problems that have been raised here.

      Jerry

      November 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      • I don’t think Fox is high-profile enough to warrant a media conference yet. Hopefully he’s seeing these problems when he watches film, although I sometimes I wonder…

        hoopdawg

        November 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

  2. Very informative. Thanks.

    Romans

    November 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    • Think the Dawgs have an upset in them?

      hoopdawg

      November 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      • Sadly no. I will watch tomorrow. However, I am expecting a 40 to 50 point loss.

        keith1055

        November 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm

        • Vegas has the Hoosiers minus 20.5.

          hoopdawg

          November 19, 2012 at 7:16 am

          • I see the margin being in the 30s. Seems unlikely we can hold the Hoosiers under 90 and it is always a monumental struggle for the Dawgs to score 60.

            Decatur Dawg

            November 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

  3. As you can see I’m a tech fan but I go to UGA and so far I’ve been to one Tech game and one UGA game. And I just don’t see how UGA thinks they will ever build a basketball program and win over recruits with that dump they play in. the new Mac pavilion that tech has makes stegman look 1000 years old its embarrassing. So don’t ever expect to win a major basketball recruit over tech again those days are over until money is spent and changes are made. Go Rambling Wreck

    Tech fan

    November 19, 2012 at 2:49 am

    • I do think a new arena could enhance Georgia’s recruiting efforts, but I also think that there are more factors at play.

      I think that it is difficult for a school to build dominant football and basketball programs, with Ohio State, Florida and Texas being the exceptions. Georgia has been and always will be a “football school”, according to fan perceptions. I do not think that major basketball recruits want to attend a school (like Georgia) where they are somewhat anonymous on campus in comparison to the football players.

      At Georgia, fans don’t really start showing up to basketball games in significant numbers until January, once football is over.

      hoopdawg

      November 19, 2012 at 7:24 am

    • Tech fan – don’t ever expect to beat Georgia in football until you start getting some decent looking women on your campus

      Decatur Dawg

      November 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

  4. Hoop – what is Thornton’s “efficiency”?

    Decatur Dawg

    November 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

    • 7.8 if stretched over a 40-minute game…7th overall on the Dawgs, behind Florveus and ahead of Gaines.

      hoopdawg

      November 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

      • Cannon 25.3
        KCP 23.7
        Morris 18.9
        Dixon 18.7
        Neme 9.5
        Florv 8.9
        Thornton 7.8
        Gaines 6.7
        Mann 5.1
        Brantley 4.8
        V. Will 3.3
        d. Will 3.2

        hoopdawg

        November 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

        • Too bad you can’t email that to CMF. Some players are gamers and don’t practice well. I wonder if Cannon fits that mold?

          Jerry

          November 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm


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