Gators Handle Dawgs 87-71

In the post-game wrap-up after the game, Coach Mark Fox proclaimed “We have to play defense better if we want to win on the road.  We have to rebound better if we want to win on the road.”

That about sums up Wednesday night’s  loss in Gainesville at the O’Connell Center.

The Dawgs didn’t defensive rebound well, turned the ball over too many times and looked totally lost on defense when Florida reversed the ball.  The Gators scored an astounding 50 points off turnovers and second-chance points!

Georgia had 19 turnovers to Florida’s 10, and UGA was out-rebounded 27-23 (which is shocking since Georgia came into this game with a +4.5 rebounding margin).  The Gators were ferocious on the offensive glass, hauling in 13 offensive boards.

The Dawgs, however, only brought down 7 offensive rebounds – they came into the game averaging 12.5 on the season.

Georgia did shoot the ball very well, knocking down 59.6% from the field and 57.1% from beyond the arc (problem was they only took 47 shots due to excessive turnovers).

Trey Thompkins and Ricky McPhee combined for 63% of the Dawgs offense.  Thompkins was on fire, connecting on 10 of 12 shots including 2 for 2 on 3-pointers.  McPhee knocked down five 3’s and finished the night 8 of 11 from the field.  Travis Leslie was the only other Georgia player in double-figures, scoring 11 points and grabbing a team-leading 8 rebounds…he also had two more alley-oop dunks and may show up on ESPN again tonight.

Florida’s dynamic guard duo of Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker proved too much for Georgia to handle.  Walker burned the Dawgs for 21 points on four 3’s (which all were from FAR outside the line) and dished out 10 assists.  Boynton hit three 3’s himself and ended up with 21 points.

Forward Alex Tyus was unstoppable all night, hitting 10-14 on field goals and leading the Gators in scoring with 23 points.

Georgia is not 0-6 in true road games (not counting the Illinois game), and 0-3 in SEC away games.

The Dawgs have to shake this one off, though, and get ready for another difficult SEC road game this Saturday night as they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, SC.

In case you missed it Tuesday night, the Gamecocks just knocked off the #1 Kentucky Wildcats.

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5 thoughts on “Gators Handle Dawgs 87-71

  1. Just got back from the game. A few thoughts:

    Negatives:

    1) passing game was terrible! Coach Fox was right when he said that passing was one of their biggest weaknesses. Florida’s full court press decimated them because they couldn’t pass out of trouble. Sometimes it seemed like they were just throwing it directly to Florida defenders. Getting heat on their passing game full court killed them, many times they couldn’t even get past half court. When they did get past half court they would try and pass it down low with a bad lob pass or a bounce pass right to a Florida guy.

    2) Hesitation in the paint or during 2 point jumpshots + get into trouble = panic and turn over ball. You can’t make points if you don’t shoot. If they do get into trouble after getting the ball down low, the lack of passing game and dealing with defensive heat made it impossible to get the ball back up top and regroup. There were times when they would have the ball at the top of the key and have a decent shot, but hesitate and miss the chance.

    3) Fatigue. Fatigue. Fatigue. Florida was full court pressing most of the game and looked like they could have played a double header compared to Georgia. This will only come with better recruiting and a better bench. During the last 12 or so minutes Georgia looked exhausted and the shooting, rebounding and general hustle and rapid decision-making deteriorated.

    4) Fouls – haven’t looked at stats or anything, but it seemed like Florida was taking free throws every ten seconds and Georgia took like 5. But, I guess it’s hard to draw fouls when you hesitate and then don’t shoot.

    5) Rebounds – pretty obvious there.

    Positives:

    1) In the first half, before fatigue set in, the Dawgs were throwing up some great 3’s. They really made some great shots from the arc in the first half and were in the game. Trouble in the paint, but lots of good 3’s at first, even with some fade aways.

    2) They really can dunk.

    3) Considering how off a lot of fundamentals were tonight, they stayed in the game for most of it. When they weren’t tired they were a great team and I think those times give you glimpses of Mark Fox’s potential as a coach. When he is recruiting and working with a product that he manufactured beginning to end, I think he has the ability to take it to the next level. Florida should have beaten us much worse than they did, but Fox had them in there fighting.

    4) Florida fans knew about Georgia’s improvement, the student section was chanting “you still suck” when we made free throws. As asshole as that is, the same things were said to Alabama the first season with Nick Saban. I’m not saying we are going to win a NC anytime soon (reality) but it does say that people are noticing and we are getting attention for getting better.

    5) Hopefully this will light a fire for SC and not get them down.

    Even though we lost, had a great time watching the Dawgs play. Maybe 20 other Georgia fans were there, most family members of players. Saw about ten regular Georgia fans – four (probably grad) students in the UF student section decked out in Dawgs gear. There are bumps in the road, but the trajectory is still pointed in the right direction. Go Dawgs!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head – Gators pressure wore them down and forced Georgia into a plethora of turnovers.

      Until Georgia shows that they can handle a full-court press, opponents will continue to throw it at them.

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  2. I’d like to take personal responsibility for jinxing the team by saying we would dominate in the paint.

    All those second chance points we had around the rim against Tennessee never materialized tonight. Aside from the barrage of 3’s by Florida, that was the difference in the game

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    1. I was right there with you RedCrake…I didn’t even bother mentioning rebounding in my preview because that has been our strength all year.

      In the post-game radio wrap up, Fox stressed that they would be working on basic fundamentals (blocking out, help defense, passing out of traps) in the two practices leading up to the SC game on Saturday.

      Let’s hope they bounce back.

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  3. With our overall lack of depth and especially lack of guard depth, we are going to have all kinds of problems with pressing teams. I’m not sure that can be fixed this season.

    It looks like we have five more games where we will be pressed (Ark, @UT, Bama, UF, UK). The good news is that 4 of them are at home so that should help. We will need to somehow win 3 of those 5 games, plus @ Auburn, @ LSU, and home against South Carolina to get to 7 wins and hopefully get in the NIT.

    Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, Coach Fox needs to spend a lot of time in the off-season coaching these guys up on how to break a press to score so we won’t have this Achilles’ heel next season.

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