Hoop Dawgs

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Dawgs set to rematch Gators in Athens on Wednesday

with 4 comments

Whatever celebration the Georgia Bulldogs (7-10; 1-3) enjoyed following the win over LSU on Saturday night most likely ended when they peered at the schedule and noticed that the #7 Florida Gators were up next.

The Dawgs’ first contest with the Gators – a 77-44 drubbing in Gainesville – seemed horrific for UGA at the time, but looking at Florida’s SEC resume thus far it appears the beating was business as usual for the Gators. Florida (14-2; 4-0), who is easily the top team in the conference, might be the best team in all of college basketball right now.

Need proof? Check out the 83-52 whipping Coach Billy Donovan’s put on #17 Missouri last Saturday on ESPN3 in the “Replay” tab.

In the Missouri game, Florida employed the same full-court, relentless pressure that flabbergasted the Dawgs a few weeks ago. The Gators’ defense has been scary-good through their first four SEC games, holding opponents to a conference-best 48.8 points per night. In those same games, Florida’s average margin of victory has been nearly 27 points a game, also tops in the league. When looking at the Gators’ team statistics in conference play, it appears that they are either first or second in just about every category – field goal percentage, turnover margin, rebounding, assists, etc.

Georgia, on the other hand, can be found near the bottom of the list in nearly every aforementioned category. The biggest concern for Coach Mark Fox at this moment should be his team’s inability to take care of the basketball. Through four SEC games, UGA is now tied with Vanderbilt with 17.3 turnovers per game, which is worst in the league. In the first game between these two teams Georgia gave it away 19 times – if the Dawgs cannot become stronger with the ball then Wednesday night’s match-up could quickly evolve into another 30-point beat-down.

Georgia’s backcourt has got to start defending the perimeter better as well, since they are currently allowing SEC opponents to make nearly 43% of their three-point attempts (also worst in the conference). Florida, who is knocking down an SEC-best 8.8 three’s per game, canned 12 from beyond the arc the first time these teams met. The Dawgs cannot afford to allow the Gators to reel off big chunks of points from the outside with Georgia’s ongoing scoring issues.

Realistically, UGA needs to play a completely flawless game just to have a chance to hang around on Wednesday against the #7 team. Florida may not take the Dawgs too seriously, considering how badly they mistreated them down in Gainesville. If the Gators do sleepwalk into Athens, then maybe Georgia can keep themselves in the game.

One thing is for sure, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will need to be a lot more assertive this time against Florida than he was the last. In the O’Connell Center, KCP only put up one shot through the game’s first 12 minutes. By the time Pope reached the scoring column on a lay-up with 8:06 left in the first half, Georgia was already trailing 19-6.

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Written by hoopdawg

January 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. I certainly don’t think we are going to win but I do think this game sets up for the Dawgs to keep it close. Between the Gators beatdown of Georgia a couple weeks ago and Mizzou in the big game last weekend they won’t play their best game tonight. If Georgia can keep the turnovers down around 12 and hit a few 3s we could make it interesting.

    Decatur Dawg

    January 23, 2013 at 8:59 am

    • I agree. Hard for me to see Florida bringing their best game tonight. A win in my book for the Dawgs is keeping it competitive for the majority of the game. What worries me is the turnovers. If that gets out of hand, it will get ugly. Hope they play well and keep the positive momentum going that they created with the win against LSU.

      Marietta Dawg

      January 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      • I think we are at the mercy of Billy Donovan. If he presses, they can easily beat us bad, since we couldn’t handle the press against LSU. Also they are on a run of beating everybody up. Hope for the best.

        Jerry

        January 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        • We didn’t handle Florida’s press too well last time either…let’s hope Donovan is merciful and decides not to press Georgia.

          hoopdawg

          January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm


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