Hoop Dawgs

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Dawgs fall to LA Tech in second round of NIT

with 9 comments

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs looked primed and ready for the early tipoff in Athens this morning, while Georgia appeared hungover.

Tech’s pressure overwhelmed the Dawgs from the opening tip, forcing UGA into 4 turnovers before the game was 3 minutes old. In addition to the stingy defense, LA Tech was on fire from the outside, connecting on 7 of its first 8 three-pointers, allowing the other Bulldogs to open up a 39-13 advantage with 7:27 left before the intermission.

Georgia was completely overmatched to start the game, unable to slow down Louisiana Tech’s onslaught.

The Dawgs did manage to cut the lead to 19 points heading into the break, but the initial pummeling that Georgia took at the beginning of the game ended up being too much to overcome.

UGA was less careless with the basketball in the game’s final 20 minutes and LA Tech cooled off a bit, but the hole that Georgia dug for itself was just too deep.

The Dawgs gave the home crowd a glimmer of hope when they trimmed the LA Tech advantage to 62-54 with 6:06 remaining in the game after a three-pointer from Kenny Gaines. However, the other Bulldogs quickly quieted Stegeman Coliseum by going on a 7-2 run which was capped off by a Kenny Smith three, making it 69-56 with just 2:40 left.

LA Tech would go on to win 79-71, and the UGA season came to an abrupt end at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

Georgia’s 19 turnovers led to 17 points for Tech, and 16 of those came in the first half.

Charles Mann, who finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds, unfortunately committed another 7 turnovers, matching his total from the first-round game against Vermont.

Freshman J.J. Frazier paced the Dawgs offensively, scoring a career-high 15 points, including a 4 for 7 performance from beyond the arc.

Today’s loss puts UGA’s record for the season at 20-14, which is certainly better than most anticipated coming into the 2013-2014 season.

While Georgia certainly overachieved this year, for whatever reason, this team did not appear to be that interested in being a part of the NIT. The Dawgs needed a late second-half comeback to beat a less talented Vermont team at home in the opening round. This morning, UGA turned in maybe its worst first half of the season.

Some teams use the postseason NIT as an opportunity to tack on some additional wins in the hopes that it builds momentum going into the next season.

That did not happen for Georgia.

Dawgs fans should feel optimistic about next year’s basketball season, but the sleepy performances that UGA provided in its two NIT games felt a little too similar to the games Georgia played back in November to start the season.

If the Dawgs hope to be closer to the NCAA bubble next March, they must find a way to avoid these lackadaisical games going forward.

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Written by hoopdawg

March 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

9 Responses

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  1. I picked a heck of a time to see my first game in person this season. It’s probably axiomatic that an 11 AM tipoff means one team will be significantly less ready to play than the other — unfortunately, we were that team today. Turns out the morning is a great time of day to play full court press defense! Mann certainly looked like he hadn’t had his coffee yet, because that dude Smith was eating his…uh…brunch, I guess. La Tech was actually not much on defense in the half-court — we were getting to the basket with ease — but between the early turnovers and the unconscious first half shooting by the other Bulldogs, it was just too steep a hill to climb.

    Ah well, so it goes. Totally agreed that a hopeful narrative developed with this team as the season wore on, and I’m much more convinced now than at the beginning of the season that our talent level is high enough to compete. I’ll be glad to see everyone back next year, except for Donte (but including CMF!), and hopefully the familiarity that fans will have with this team will translate into better support. Thanks as always for your awesome work on the blog, hoopdawg!

    sansho1

    March 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    • I agree, next year should be better and have more fan support. Coming into this year, this team had the least amount of identity of any UGA I have ever seen(been following since ’85). Now with Gaines, Mann, and Frazier coming back we have a really solid backcourt. The 11am tipoff was ridiculous, but I guess they had to do that with the NCAA games. Still many are questioning Fox’s ability to recruit the high caliber talent.

      agentoranj90

      March 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm

  2. In spite of the poor showing today, this year’s Dog team carried the program to many -places they had never been before! Included was a late season win streak which propelled the Dogs to a 2nd place SEC league finish! After being picked 11th, this was good enough to raise recruiting interest and also removed the Hot Seat title beside Coach Fox’s name! With the loss of only 1 senior( DontaeWilliams) the team should have a nice foundation upon which to continue to grow the program! The team even developed some good depth as the season neared its end! One or two special recruits could go a long way toward taking this team to the upper echelon of the SEC! I admit the last one was tough to take, but congrats to this version of the UGA Basketball Dogs.

    Mike Potter

    March 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm

  3. I echo the comments about the team’s progress this year. I do remember the awful pessimism just prior to our first league game–the awesome upset at Mizzou which turned our season around. I never voiced this sentiment, but i feared then that CMF had wasted a scholarship on J.J. Man did the little guy prove me wrong–he will prove a valuable asset in the years ahead. Forte gave us an undeniable lift offensively in the second half. Please Cam work as hard at becoming a good defender and it will be near impossible to keep you on the bench for long. Now lets cross our fingers that CMF can locate a “big” who can play! Then I’ll become really optimistic about next year.

    Hoops Dawg

    March 22, 2014 at 9:52 pm

  4. Pretty sad postseason showing, but at least we got one win (which also took us to 20 for the season – quite an accomplishment). Hard to say anything bad about Charles Mann after the season he had, but I sure hope he learns from this postseason experience. 7 turnovers each in both of those two games is just ridiculous. On the bright side, during the end of the regular season and this postseason, we’ve seen guys like J.J. and Forte make huge strides. Overall, it seems like Fox has this team taking steps in the right direction. Can’t wait til next year. Go Dawgs!

    msteudel

    March 23, 2014 at 9:15 am

  5. A better than expected season. Too bad my last memories will be that embarrassing first half. How can a team in post season not show up ready to play? Mann looked lost as a PG. Does not look for KG, our best shooter/athlete. Or he cannot see the floor. KG and JJ are the best shooters and we need a way to get them involved. All the positives have been mentioned, so no point in repeating them. The biggest negative about Fox is the recruiting problem. If that is not fixed, we may have hit a wall. I have watched a lot of the NCAA games and our talent level is just not there. If he is extended, I hope that problem is part of the deal.Yes, it was a “good year” for us. But is that what we settle for? Or should we aim higher?

    Jerry

    March 24, 2014 at 7:45 am

  6. Does anyone know anything about our commitments for next year? Ugasports.com does not have any for us yet. It just seems like recruiting if anything will be Fox’s undoing. He’s a great guy, decent at PR, but other than Kentavius we haven’t gotten any 4-5 star guys.

    agentoranj90

    March 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    • We have none for this year or next.

      Jerry

      March 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

      • But, on a positive note, we set an NCAA record for coming in second place for talented players that really would’ve helped our team but decided to go elsewhere. Only problem is that in recruiting, second place is as good as last place place. Good luck, CMF.

        Clisbyclark

        March 26, 2014 at 5:58 am


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