Hoop Dawgs

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Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Bulldogs

Assessing some of Georgia’s most glaring weaknesses

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Free throws

The Bulldogs are shooting under 68% as a team from the free throw line this season, which is just good enough to be 254th in the nation in that category.  The Dawgs have already lost four games this season by less than 5 points.  While all those losses cannot be attributed to ineptness from the charity stripe, it is safe to say that UGA’s record would be better than 11-8 if they could make more shots when the clock is stopped.

Georgia’s inability to hit free shots should not be that surprising, though, considering that this team doesn’t have that many shooters.  Actually, they have two shooters: Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier.  So, why would should anyone expect them to hit a high percentage of free throws as a team?

The concerning thing about UGA’s free throw issues is that under Mark Fox, Georgia has never really shot the ball well from the line.  Only once in the last six years has a Mark Fox team finished above 70% from the stripe.  The one time it happened was in Fox’s first year, back in the 2009-2010 season.

Disappointing second halves

Last night, Georgia got pummeled by Baylor coming out of the locker room. The Bears went on a 17-2 run after the break, erasing UGA’s three-point halftime lead before most fans had a chance to return to their seats.

Georgia’s poor performance in the final 20 minutes of last night’s game was in line with what is becoming a trend this season.  Put simply: UGA hasn’t been getting it done in the scoring column after halftime.  On the season, the Dawgs rank 182 in the country in 2nd half scoring, with an average margin of -0.3.  Georgia is actually scoring more than their opponents at home after the break, sporting a positive margin of 2.3. But on the road, things have unraveled for UGA following the intermission, with opponents averaging nearly 6 more points per second half.  Interestingly, the Dawgs do average more points on the road than their opposition during the first twenty minutes; it’s those final twenty that have been doing Georgia in.

Serious depth issues

At the start of the season, Mark Fox was pleased with his team’s depth.

I wonder how he feels about it now?

Last night was the second time this week that UGA’s second leading scorer, Yante Maten, had to sit for an extended portion of the game due to foul trouble.  And when Yante sits, Georgia becomes very easy to defend, since without him they have virtually zero presence in the paint.

Prior to the start of the season, I said that Fox would need one of his freshman to step up immediately and fill the role vacated by Neme Djurisic. UGA needed someone to provide consistent scoring and rebounding at the fifth spot in the lineup.

So far, that hasn’t happened.

Collectively, Derek Ogbeide and Michael Edwards have replaced Djurisic’s rebounding and then some. Last year, Neme grabbed 5 boards a night; this season, the two frosh together are bringing in nearly 8 rebounds per game.

They haven’t filled Neme’s role as a scorer, though.  Djurisc netted 11 points a contest for Fox in his senior season, yet Ogbeide and Edwards are combining for just 6.5 a game.

I understand that they are both still young, but one of them needs to become more of a scoring threat sooner rather than later because right now Georgia is just too easy to guard, especially so when Maten in on the bench.

Ogbeide has shown flashes offensively, scoring a season-high 10 points at Ole Miss in January.  Last night in Waco, he had two nice post moves in the first half. However, he only played 16 minutes.  Ogbeide is either not fully-conditioned to play bigger minutes, or Fox doesn’t have the confidence in him yet to give him more time on the court.  If it’s the latter, I hope that Fox loosens the reigns as the season progresses because I think Ogbeide is ready for more.

 

Written by hoopdawg

January 31, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Dawgs fall to Tigers 89-85

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Three-point trouble

Despite being generally outplayed and out rebounded for the first twenty minutes of this one, Georgia found itself trailing LSU by just 3 points heading into the locker room, the score 33-30 in favor of the Tigers.  LSU struggled mightily from the perimeter before the break, missing all 7 of their attempts.

The second half was a different story, though.  The Tigers found their stroke from the outside, knocking down 6 of 12 shots from beyond the arc, which fueled the LSU win.

Georgia entered tonight’s game shooting over 40% from the perimeter in conference games, yet the Bulldogs shot an abysmal 6 for 23 from the outside.  Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier combined to shoot only 6 of 19 on the evening.

Fouls, fouls and more fouls

The referees in Baton Rouge whistled an astounding 55 fouls on Tuesday night.  This game marked the second time this season that the Dawgs have played in a game in which over 50 fouls were called (63 fouls were assessed in the Chattanooga game).  The game clock seemed to be moving in slow motion around the 10-minute mark of the second half, when nearly every trip down the floor resulted in a stoppage of play.

All of the fouling turned out to be more advantageous for the Tigers as they shot 55 free throws to Georgia’s 24. LSU standout Ben Simmons, who scored 22 points to go along with 14 rebounds, attempted 17 shots from the stripe himself; fortunately for UGA he only made 10 of those attempts.

Georgia’s leading scorer, Yante Maten, fouled out with over 9 minutes remaining in the contest, leaving with only 5 points in 20 minutes of play.

While LSU took more than double the free throws than UGA tonight, the Dawgs once again didn’t do themselves any favors from the line. Georgia entered this one making under 63% from the stripe in conference games, which ranks them 12 out of 14 in the league in that category.  This evening, UGA once again shot below 63% on its free throws, leaving precious points on the table in a game that Georgia lost 89-85.

 

Ball Security

Teams that want to go on the road and win conference games must protect the ball.

Georgia committed 12 turnovers against LSU in Baton Rouge, which is nowhere near their highest output of the season. However, the Tigers only gave the ball away 9 times, meaning that UGA once again finished a game with a negative turnover margin. The Dawgs came into this game with the 2nd worst turnover margin in the league in SEC games at -3.1. For a team that struggles enough as it is to score points, Georgia cannot afford to give its opponents extra offensive opportunities.

 

Written by hoopdawg

January 26, 2016 at 11:40 pm

Dawgs complete season sweep of Missouri

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The Georgia Bulldogs (10-6, 3-3) had seemingly delivered the knockout punch midway through the second half on Wednesday when J.J. Frazier knocked down a three-pointer to cap off a 17-0 run that sent the Dawgs up 50-34 with a little under 10 minutes left to play.

Missouri managed to claw its way back, though, thanks in part to 7 UGA turnovers over the game’s final 9 minutes.   The Tigers actually had it as close as 56-53 with less than a minute remaining, but thanks to four clutch free throws from Frazier, who is 5th in the conference in that category, Georgia was able to sneak out of Columbia with a 60-57 victory.

Coach Mark Fox got a monster game out of Yante Maten, who finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks in 36 minutes of play.  Maten’s offense was steady the entire game, giving his team a solid scoring option all night, even as some of his teammates struggled.

J.J. Frazier also shot the ball well, knocking down 5 of 9 shots from the floor en route to 16 points to go along with 7 assists and 6 boards.

Seniors Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann floundered again offensively (though Mann floundered much harder), scoring 11 and 5 points, respectively.  The two combined for just 6 of 22 from the field, and Mann continues to  relentlessly drive the ball to the basket to no avail.

The Dawgs packed up and carried their poor shooting from the weekend onto the plane and into Columbia on Wednesday, opening the first 20 minutes of play by shooting 31% from field and 1 for 11 from three-point land.  For the third straight game, the Bulldogs posted a season-low halftime scoring output, with 22 tonight against the Tigers.

Georgia shot it better after the intermission, however, finishing the game at 39% as a team.  But, one would have hoped to see a little more consistency from the outside after last Saturday’s abysmal performance.

Missouri was led on offense by Namon Wright and Terrence Phillips, who each scored 12 this evening for the Tigers.

While SEC road wins are nice, this one does little to improve Georgia’s postseason aspirations.  The best takeaway UGA can draw from this game is that they avoided a bad loss to a Mizzou team that boasts a whopping RPI of 146.  The best thing that can be said at this point about the Bulldogs tournament resume is that they do not have any bad losses, with the defeat to Ole Miss (75) earlier this month being the worst.

But at some point, Georgia, a team that entered tonight’s contest with an RPI of 74, must earn some quality wins.  Winning games that it should – Arkansas (86) at home this Saturday – is no longer going to cut it for Coach Fox’s team if they hope to be dancing this season.

The Dawgs have games remaining against Baylor, South Carolina (twice), Kentucky and Florida, all teams currently in the RPI Top 25.  Considering that UGA’s best win to date came against Georgia Tech (58), I would say that Georgia probably needs to win 3 of the 5 aforementioned games to put themselves in position for an at-large bid.

The 34-point home loss to Texas A&M was devastating.

The Bulldogs have to put together a decent little winning streak.

 

Written by hoopdawg

January 20, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Dawgs torch Vols from the perimeter

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Trailing by 8 with just under 2 minutes remaining in the game, Tennessee had to have a stop in order to preserve any hopes of a potential comeback. The Vols came up short, though, as Georgia’s J.J. Frazier fittingly buried a three-pointer from the wing, capping off a game-high 28-point effort that sealed his team’s second conference victory of season.  Frazier’s three – his fourth of the night – gave the Dawgs a commanding 76-65 lead with only 1:13 left, and UGA went on the win the game 81-72.

Frazier and Kenny Gaines both shot the ball lights out on Wednesday night in Athens, hitting a combined 10 of their 15 attempts from beyond the arc.  Gaines, who finished with 23 points, made 6 three’s on the night, just three shy of the all time single game record of 9 set by G.G. Smith back in the 1990s.

Georgia actually trailed the Vols 35-28 at the break, but around the 13:00 mark of the second half Gaines and Frazier went off, hitting 5 consecutive shots – 4 of them three’s – over the next 3 minutes that sent the Dawgs on a 14-2 run that saw them take a 57-49 advantage with just over 10 minutes remaining in the contest. Tennessee never really recovered from this offensive outburst from Coach Mark Fox’s team.

UGA fell behind before the intermission due to extreme sloppiness.  In the first half, Georgia turned the ball over 16 times against a Vols’ defense that wasn’t applying THAT much pressure.  The Dawgs got their act together after the break though, giving the ball away only 4 more times.

Tennessee didn’t do itself any favors offensively, hoisting up 23 three-point attempts, yet connecting on just 6 of them. The Vols entered this game as a decent three-point shooting team, hitting over 35% of its shots from beyond the arc.  Unfortunately for coach Rick Barnes, his Volunteers couldn’t find the range in Athens this evening.

Tennessee was led offensively by Kevin Punter and Detrick Mostella, who scored 16 points apiece.

Coach Mark Fox’s team turned in its most dominant rebounding effort of the season, grabbing 43 boards to Tennessee’s 28.  UGA’s frontline was bolstered with the addition of Derek Ogbeide to the starting lineup, where the freshman hauled in 7 rebounds.  Yante Maten snagged 8 boards, though he only mustered 10 points of offense as he struggled somewhat from the floor, making just 5 of his 15 shots.  This game was Maten’s least productive one in a while, and hopefully it is just a blip in the road for what has been a magnificent sophomore season thus far.

Tonight’s  win puts the Dawgs at 9-5 overall and 2-2 in the SEC, which is basically right in the middle of the pack for now. UGA has a huge home game coming up this Saturday as they will take on #15 Texas A&M, a team that is currently a perfect 4-0 in conference play.  In addition to the perfect SEC record, the Aggies boast an RPI of 12.  Georgia’s RPI coming into tonight’s game was 65, and the Dawgs best RPI win this season came against Georgia Tech (40).

A win on Saturday would be an incredible NCAA Tournament resume-builder.

Written by hoopdawg

January 13, 2016 at 9:52 pm

Georgia loses a heartbreaker in Oxford

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With 3.8 seconds remaining in the game, Georgia got the ball into Charles Mann’s hands near half court, providing the Dawgs with a chance at a  reasonable last second shot.  Mann’s pass to Kenny Gaines was deflected, though, forcing Gaines to take an off-balanced three-pointer that careened off the rim, giving Mississippi the 72-71 home win.

UGA yielded 29 points to Stefan Moody, though none were bigger than the two he hit to send his team up by one with less than 4 seconds remaining (even though it appeared as though he needed three steps to get that basket).

The Dawgs put up a gutty effor on the road, falling just short in Oxford on Saturday night.  Georgia played the final stretch of this one without its star player, Yante Maten, who fouled out with 3:36 remaining in the game; Maten left with a team-high 20 points and 9 rebounds, his team clinging to a 64-62 lead.

Neither team shot the ball well in Oxford on Saturday, with both squads hitting just 36% from the floor.  Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines were the only other Bulldogs to finish in double-figures for Coach Mark Fox, scoring 15 and 14, respectively.  Gaines’s points, however, came at the expense of a 3 for 14 shooting performance.

Georgia looked like it was going to get run out of the gym early, falling behind 19-11 with 12:50 left before the break after a layup by Rashad Brooks.

The Dawgs didn’t flinch, though. Rather, UGA responded with an impressive 16-2 run, capped off by a pair of free throws from Charles Mann that gave Georgia a 27-21 advantage. The Dawgs would go on to take a 44-35 lead into the intermission.

But Georgia went ice cold in the second half, hitting just 7 of its 24 field goal attempts.  Slowly but surely, Ole Miss cut into the UGA lead until it had been whittled down to nothing.

The biggest bright spot off the Georgia bench had to be Derek Ogbeide, who scored 9 points to go along with his 10 boards, falling just a basket shy of his first career double-double.  The Rebels opted not to guard starter Houston Kessler from the outside, which leaves one wondering just how long he will continue to see more minutes than Ogbeide, who seems far more productive than the senior at this point in the season.

This loss leaves UGA at 1-2 in conference, and it’s going to sting for a bit.  The Dawgs appeared to be on their way to their first SEC road win of the season before Moody knifed his way to the basket and put his team on top.

Georgia will need to get over this loss quickly, though,  as they have two difficult home games on the horizon next week against Tennessee and #21 Texas A&M.

Written by hoopdawg

January 9, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Dawgs tame Tigers, improve to 1-1 in conference play

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The Georgia Bulldogs (8-4) rebounded nicely from their loss last Saturday to the Florida Gators, blasting the Missouri Tigers (7-7) at home in Athens on Tuesday night.  The Dawgs didn’t waste any time either, jumping out to a 10-0 lead following a Yante Maten basket before even 3 minutes had the chance to expire.

Mizzou managed to trim he UGA lead to 24-18 with 7:30 left before the break after a pair of three’s from Wes Clark. However, this mini-run came at a time when Coach Fox had all but one starter on the floor.  He immediately sent in his starting five and 3 minutes later the Dawgs lead had blossomed to 33-20.

Georgia played great offensively tonight, though some of that was due to the Tigers’ soft defense.  Mizzou looked as if it was moving in slow motion compared to the Gators’ hectic defensive style of play.

However, the Dawgs do deserve some credit for their productivity.  Georgia shot a robust 55% from the floor and an even better 58% from three-point land.  In addition, UGA shared the ball incredibly well, dishing out 19 team assists.

Georgia had four of its starters finish in double-figures, with J.J. Frazier leading the way with 16 points.

Yante Maten, who had 15 points and 6 boards on the night, scored 13 of those in the first half.  Maten was unstoppable from the start, and with about 12 minutes left before the intermission he was outscoring the Tigers 11-10 on his own.   Had Georgia not been coasting so much in the second half, Maten could have easily gone for 20+ in this one.

Senior Charles Mann had a nice comeback game, scoring 14 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists.  Mann hit 2 of his 3 three-point attempts against Mizzou, and he is now making over 45% of his three’s on the season – although, he’s only shot 11 of them.

Ultimately though, Missouri didn’t have an answer for anything UGA was doing.  They couldn’t even begin to wrap their minds around how to deal with Maten, and on top of that, Georgia was stroking the ball extremely well from beyond the arc.

Not to take away from Coach Fox’s team, but this Missouri team is very young and they don’t shoot very well, hitting just 35% from the floor and less than 16% from the perimeter in tonight’s contest.  The Dawgs played pretty well defensively, but the Tigers weren’t much of a threat, missing a number of close shots around the rim.

This 77-59 home win evens Georgia’s SEC record at 1-1, with a road matchup against Ole Miss on the horizon.  While this game is going to be taking place outside Athens, the Rebels play Bama at home on Thursday evening, meaning that they will be dealing with a quick turnaround in order to prepare for the Dawgs.

Written by hoopdawg

January 6, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Short-handed Georgia hangs on for the win

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No Kenny Gaines? No problem.

At least not for tonight.

Despite not having Gaines on the floor against the Winthrop Eagles (6-2) due to a minor knee injury, Georgia (4-3) turned in one of its better offensive performances of the season.   The Dawgs only shot 38% from the floor, but they dished out a season-high 17 assists.  Coach Fox had to be pleased with his team’s unselfishness as well as their ability to hit the open cutters tonight.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that Yante Maten finished his fourth straight game with more than 20 points, scoring 24 this evening to go along with 12 rebounds, giving him his second double-double of the season.  The game definitely seems to be slowing down for Maten, who appears to be bursting with confidence on offense, scoring consistently on his mid-range jumpers and hook shots.

Maten was not the only double-doubler, though, as little J.J. Frazier managed to snag 10 boards in addition to his 15 points.  He did have another tough night from the floor, however, hitting only 4 of his 14 attempts.

Charles Mann was the only other Bulldog to end up in double-figures, scoring 14 points on a 2 for 8 shooting performance.

UGA’s offense is much more effective when the ball is moving, and players are moving without the ball.  When the Dawgs start relying more on creation off the dribble from Frazier or Mann is when things start to get a little stagnant.

Georgia jumped out to a double-digit lead and maintained it for much of the first half, largely due to the fact that Winthrop only had 5 field goals through the game’s first 15 minutes of play.  With 4:23 left before intermission, UGA held a commanding 29-14 advantage.

In the second half, though, the Eagles found their range from beyond the arc, knocking down 6 of their 12 three-point attempts.  Roderick Perkins, who scored 14 points, nailed a three with 7:53 remaining that cut the UGA lead to 57-51.

Over the next minute, Georgia made 6 straight free throws, bolstering their advantage back into double-digits. The Dawgs were able to keep the Eagles at bay for the latter stretch of the game, giving UGA the 74-64 home win.

While Winthrop is far from a powerhouse, they were picked to finish near the top of the Big South Conference before the start of the season.  More importantly, Georgia avoided a potentially bad loss in a game in which they were playing without their leading scorer.

The Dawgs have 11 days off before returning to Stegeman for the yearly matchup with Georgia Tech, a team that UGA hasn’t beaten in four years (or since Brian Gregory took he reigns).  The Jackets have already knocked off Tennessee and Arkansas this year, so Georgia had better be at full strength on December 19th if they hope to be competitive in this one.

 

Written by hoopdawg

December 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm

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