Dawgs Top Gamecocks 66-61

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Jeremy Price was the Big Man on Campus in Athens today

The University of Georgia student section is fostering an atmosphere of eccentricity, with one student seemingly trying to out-do the next.

First, there was the “Rocky” fan (who is now the most normal of them all) – he usually does a run up the stairs during a timeout in the second half with music and clips from the heralded “Rocky” movie playing in the background.

Today, there was a very jumpy young man who had his entire body painted in what looked like a red and black business suit (I have my suspicions that this could have been the infamous “Peanut Butter Man” but I would need the Athens Clarke-County forensics team’s help to prove it).

Finally, a new character has entered this kooky arena – Swimmer Man.  This student dons nothing but a USA Speedo and a swimmers cap.  He sits behind the basket, and when the opposing team shoots free throws, everyone makes way so that he can jump up and down and present his Speedo through a series of pelvic thrusts to the player at the line.

Whatever these crazy fans are doing, the Georgia basketball team likes it as they are now 11-3 at home.

The Dawgs went on a 21-7 run in the game’s final 6 minutes to pull out the 66-61 win over the Gamecocks.

With 5:49 left, Devan Downey knocked down a shot that put Carolina up 54-45…Georgia was in a tough spot.

But a couple of Dustin Ware three-pointers, and some big buckets from Trey Thompkins and Jeremy Price and the Dawgs prevailed.  Thompkins was a leader through and through, scoring 9 of his 21 points in the game’s final 5 minutes and snaring a game-high 10 rebounds.

Defensively, the Dawgs played a lot of a 1-2-2 and 1-3-1 zone for most of the contest (I would have liked to have seen some man but I guess it all worked out), and seemingly held Devan Downey in check.  Downey ended up with 18 points on 6-22 shooting from the field.

As a team, South Carolina only hit 36.9% from the field and 28.1% from three-point range (they hoisted up 32 shots from beyond the arc!).

Jeremy Price played maybe his  best game ever as a Bulldog.  Price finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds, and was a big part of the offense in the game’s final minutes (he had 5 points in the last 2 minutes).  He gave the Dawgs a great inside presence, and I loved the way he was attacking the basket and drawing fouls.

Travis Leslie had a nice line – 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.  Leslie’s passing game is getting better and better, and he is doing a great job of opening up his teammates for good looks when he attacks the rim.  Coming into this game, Leslie was actually averaging 3.56 assists a game in SEC Play (9th in the conference).

Georgia is now 3-7 in the SEC this season.  It was great to see the team enjoy this win on the court after the game – Price and Thompkins were clearly happy as they celebrated with a barrage of chest-bumps.

I’m about to head out to dinner in the Classic City and enjoy it myself!

Dawgs Host Gamecocks

The South Carolina Gamecocks (14-9 overall, 5-4 SEC) roll into Athens Saturday afternoon looking to complete their second straight season sweep of the Georgia Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team.

The ‘Cocks are coming off a 77-71 win over the Florida Gators, and are listed as a potential “bubble team” for NCAA tournament.  They still have games left against Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, so needless to say, they are really going to want to get this one against the Dawgs.

Carolina won the first match-up between these two teams in Columbia 78-77.  It was a game in which Georgia held the lead for the majority of the night (the Dawgs actually had the lead for nearly 14 minutes in the second half), but Devon Downey took over in the game’s final minutes and finished up with 33 points.

Since the win over the Dawgs, Carolina has lost at Tennessee and won at home against the Gators (as mentioned above).  Their offense still pretty much revolves around Downey, who is averaging 30.1 points per game in SEC play.

However, Downey has gotten more support on the scoring front  from fellow guard Brandis Raley-Ross and forward Sam Muldrow.  Over the past two games, Ross and Muldrow are averaging 16.0 and 11.0 points, respectively.

During the Gamecocks’ last two games, this trio has taken nearly 70% of the team’s field goal attempts.  Ross has knocked down 7 of 20 three-point attempts over the last two games (his season average is 40.4%).  Teams can sometimes lose track of where he is on the court because they get overly concerned with keeping track of Devan Downey.

Carolina is only 1-6 on the road this season, that lone win coming in their SEC opener at Auburn.

Keys to the Game

Man Up

In the first half of the season Coach Mark Fox had his Bulldogs running an aggressive 1-2-2 zone with Travis Leslie up top, and I loved it.  However, I am not as big of a fan of the version I have seen lately (like in the Auburn game).  I don’t know if it’s a lack of focus or tired legs, but the Dawgs zone defense has broken down in the half court set and is giving teams way too many wide open looks.

The Dawgs need to come out and play hard-nosed man-to-man defense against the Gamecocks on Saturday.  Carolina does not have better athletes than Georgia, so matching up with them should not be a problem.  Georgia needs someone (Travis Leslie or EA?) to hound Downey and follow him everywhere he goes on the court.

Maybe mix in some of the zone periodically just to keep the ‘Cocks off-balanced.

The Big Payback

Trey Thompkins is 0-3 against South Carolina so far in his young career.  In the last meeting, Thompkins only scored one field goal in the games final 8 minutes (and he missed a reverse lay-up that could have put Georgia ahead).  Furthermore, Trey is coming off his worst performance of the year against Auburn, a game in which he fouled out while playing only 13 minutes.

The Dawgs need an All-SEC performance out of Thompkins on Saturday, and they especially need him on the court and scoring in the games closing minutes.

Notes

-If Travis Leslie puts up some good numbers against the ‘Cocks, he will probably be the leading candidate for this week’s “SEC Player of the Week” award (considering he already has 19 points & 17 rebounds to his name).  Last game against USC, Leslie had 5 dunks…what’s the over/under on how many flushes Leslie gets on Saturday?

-Georgia is 10-3 this season in games played in Athens, GA.

-I’ll be heading up to Athens tomorrow for this one.   Tip-off is at 4:00PM, and it would be great to see a packed-out Stegeman Colesium to welcome the team back.

-If you can’t make it, the game will be televised on Peachtree TV (channel 7 for all Comcast customers).

Auburn Smacks Georgia 82-63

The Georgia Bulldogs basketball team didn’t take the lead once in last night’s game against Auburn…they were barely even in it.

With 8:22 left in the first half, the Dawgs pulled within one point on a Dustin Ware three-pointer to make the score 23-22 Auburn.  However, this was the closest Georgia came to catching the Tigers, and they essentially spent the entire second half down by more than 10 points.

The Dawgs shot poorly from the field (36.5%), committed 19 turnovers (only 9 assists) and played lackluster defense.

Auburn’s senior forward Lucas Hargrove, who came into the game averaging 13 points a game, was unstoppable all night and matched his season-high of 24 points…The Dawgs bigs made Hargrove look like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant.

Trey Thompkins played only 13 minutes due to foul trouble.  He finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds and 6 turnovers before fouling out with 8:33 left in the second half.

The lone bright spot for Georgia was the play of Travis Leslie, who finished with 19 points and 17 rebounds.

Dustin Ware played decently, chipping in 10 points on 4 of 8 shooting (and he didn’t commit any turnovers).

The Georgia Bulldogs are now 10-12 overall and 2-7 in the SEC.  Last night’s game solidified the fact that Georgia is an extremely mediocre team away from the confines of the Classic City (0-8 in true road games).

The Dawgs hopes of making the NIT took a big hit last night, as they now need to win 5 out of their next 7 to finish with a winning record overall.

Georgia @ Auburn Wednesday 9:00PM EST

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Jeremy Price is averaging 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds over his last two games.

The Georgia Bulldogs (10-11, 2-6 SEC) head to The Plains on Wednesday to take on the Auburn Tigers (11-12, 2-6 SEC).   The loser of this contest will earn sole possession of the SEC’s second-worst record.

The Auburn Tigers are 8-5 while playing at home this season, but their SEC home record sits at an abysmal 1-3 (the only win over 3-6 Alabama).

However, if there is one team in this conference that you can get healthy against on your home court it’s the Georgia Bulldogs.  The Dawgs are win-less in seven true road games, including 0-4 in SEC away match-ups.

The Tigers style of play is best described as chaotic.  They look to press teams, run the court and shoot threes.  And when I say “shoot threes”, I mean like no other team in the conference.  Auburn is hoisting up 25 three-pointers a game in SEC play, accounting for nearly 43% of their overall field goal attempts!

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they are only making 32.5% as a team from beyond the arc.  However, they are leading the SEC with 8.13 three-pointers made a game (mostly due to the sheer number of shots that they take).

Auburn’s backcourt features seniors DeWayne Reed and Tay Waller (a native of Manchester, GA), along with sophomore Frankie Sullivan.  The tallest of this bunch is Waller, who stands at a mere 6’2″.  This might explain their fondness for the long ball.

DeWayne Reed leads the Tigers in both scoring and assists, averaging 16.0 and 4.4 a game, respectively.  Sullivan is the most accurate shooter on the team, knocking down 39.7% from three-point range and scoring 13.4 a game.  Waller shoots 37.6% from beyond the arc, and is averaging 12.9 points.

Seniors Lucas Hargrove and Johnnie Lett round out Auburn’s starting frontcourt.  Hargrove (6’6″) is the team’s leading rebounder with 7.1 a game to go along with 13.3 points.  Lett is the taller of the two, standing at 6’8″ and weighing 210 pounds – he only nets 2.3 points a night.  Lett starts most games, but he actually yields a lot of playing time to reserve 6’10” senior center Brendan Knox.  Knox is averaging 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in only 20 minutes of play.

Auburn plays a lot of guys off the bench, but none of them average more than 3.5 points per game and thus seem unworthy of being mentioned.

Keys to the Game

Winning After A Win

Georgia followed up their win over Georgia Tech with a loss at Kentucky (forgivable).  The Dawgs followed up their win over Tennessee by getting blown out in Gainesville (not as forgivable).  Georgia is coming off its third win of the season over a ranked opponent (Vandy), and now the team heads back on the road…seeing the pattern here?  Hopefully Fox has everyone on the team focused on the upcoming task at hand, as opposed to rejoicing in last Saturday’s upset of then #18 ranked Vanderbilt.  It seems unlikely that Georgia could take Auburn lightly, especially since UGA has yet to win a game away from Athens this season.  But these are 18 and 19-year old kids, so anything is possible.

Tempo, Tempo

As I mentioned, Auburn likes to apply full-court pressure and play at a fast pace.  The Tigers are tied for second in the conference with 7.38 steals per game.  Georgia is last in the SEC in turnover margin at -5.5, and the Dawgs are giving the ball away 17.3 times a game.  If Georgia’s guards are careless with the ball (see Missouri, Kentucky, Miss St or Florida games) and can’t handle the press this game could get ugly.

However, if UGA breaks the press and turns this thing into a half-court  game, I don’t see how Auburn can compete.  The Tigers are last in the conference in scoring defense, surrendering 77.2 a game in SEC play.    The Georgia bigs will have a distinct size advantage inside and should look to exploit it all night.  Auburn’s SEC rebounding margin is -1.5 per game, which is to be expected considering their small lineup.

Coach Mark Fox will want his guys to play half-court ball and totally dominate the paint.

Mix It Up

The last two games, Georgia has played primarily man-to-man defense the entire game (which I love).  However, due to Auburn’s preference for shots from outside the three-point line, it might be beneficial to the Dawgs to mix in some of their 1-2-2 zone as well.  Offenses can struggle when they face multiple defensive sets, and the 1-2-2 zone will still allow Georgia to contest three-point attempts (the 1-2-2 zone worked very well against MSU earlier in the year – another team that likes to chuck it)

Bonus Note

Several of this blog’s regular commentors have mentioned the marked improvement in Georgia’s passing game since the arrival of Coach Fox.  As of February 6th, 2010, the Dawgs are leading the SEC with 15.0 assists per game!

Not to fluff Coach Fox’s feathers too much, but his UGA squad is also leading the conference in field goal and three-point percentage at 49.2% and 42.7%, respectively.

Thank you Triangle Offense!

Don’t forget to vote for Travis Leslie as the Best Dunker in the SEC

Georgia Stuns #18 Vanderbilt 72-58

The first half wasn’t pretty.   The Dawgs had a whopping 13 turnovers, scored only 4 points in the last 10 minutes and trailed Vandy 26-23 despite the Commodores shooting only 32.3% from the field.

Then the Georgia Bulldogs did something in the second half that they haven’t done yet this year in SEC play – they out-played and out-scored their opponent.

With 14:13 remaining in the game, the Dawgs trailed Vandy 39-32 and were looking as though they might fold.  Who could blame them?  They were in the midst of a three-game losing streak, and the game was slowly slipping away in the second half.  This was something that Georgia had seen happen before…

But this team showed a TON OF HEART, and instead went on a 12-4 run to take a 44-43 lead…a lead that they would not relinquish.

The FSN announcers gave the Player of the Game award to Travis Leslie, who was deserving considering he finished with 17 points (13 in the second half), 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

However, I believe that you could have given the Player of the Game award to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Dustin Ware was apparently under the weather, yet he still played 26 minutes and finished with 10 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the field (his two 3’s were both huge).

Albert Jackson held Vandy’s All-SEC center A.J. Ogilvy to merely 6 points on 2 of 8 from the floor.  I don’t know if it was Ogilvy’s frosted-tips or his Aussie accent, but something about him set Ajax off on a mission to shut him down.

Jeremy Price had another solid outing, scoring 8 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.

Freshman reserve point guard Vincent Williams gave Coach Mark Fox his best effort of the season, scoring 7 points and dishing 4 assists in only 16 minutes.  He also put the proverbial nail in Vandy’s coffin when he buried a three-pointer with 3:53 left to put Georgia up 65-54.

Trey Thompkins put in his usual effort – 17 points, 7 rebounds.

Georgia played outstanding man defense, holding the Commodores to 32.8% shooting on the night.  This was the same Vanderbilt team that entered the game as the conference’s best shooting team from the field.

This was Georgia’s third win this season over a ranked opponent (with Georgia Tech and Tennessee being the other two).  One interesting thing to note is that in UGA‘s 3 wins over Vandy, Tech and Tennessee, the Dawgs averaged 19 turnovers a game…go figure.

Georgia is now 10-11 overall, and 2-6 in the SEC.

Coach Mark Fox said it best after the game when he announced, “This was the type of game that really makes you feel good about yourself.”

It made me feel pretty good too…

Up Next: Vanderbilt

The #18 Vanderbilt Commodores (17-4) come into Athens sporting the reciprocal of Georgia’s 1-6 SEC record (their only loss was at Kentucky).

Vandy has played well on the road this year, winning 5 out of 7 games away from their home court in Nashville, TN.

They are second in the SEC in scoring at 80.4 a game, and they lead the conference in both FG% (50.1%) and 3PT% (42.4%).  Their offense is…efficient.

The ‘Dores attack teams with a well-oiled inside/out game.  Senior point guard Jermaine Beal is a very tough match-up because he can create off the dribble and shoot it well from the outside.  Beal is leading Vandy in scoring, pouring in 14.1 a night and burying 37.1% of his 3PT attempts.

Sophomore shooting guard Brad Tinsley is a nice complement to Beal, giving him someone to kick it to on penetration.  Tinsley averages 7.3 points a game, and though he is only hitting 31.3% of his three’s this year you must be aware of where he in on the court because he is a career 38% shooter from beyond the arc.

The key to Vandy’s inside/out game is junior center A.J. Ogilvy, who at 6’11” and 250lbs can create some mismatches down low.  Ogilvy is averaging 13.9 points and 6.0 rebounds, and he is the glue that holds it all together.  If Ogilvy is able to establish himself and score in the paint, Vandy wins…it’s that simple.  In their 4 losses this year, A.J. was held to 13, 8, 8 and 12, respectively.  Once he gets going, it frees up everybody else on the perimeter and wing positions.

The rest of Vandy’s scoring comes from forwards Jeffrey Taylor,  Andre Walker and guard John Jenkins.  Taylor is a native of Sweden, and like the Swedes, he prefers to take it to the rim.  He is a good athlete that is giving the ‘Dores 13.6 points and 5.2 rebounds a game.

Andre Walker rounds out the starting five, and he is a versatile player that can line up at both forward positions.  He handles the ball well, making Vandy difficult to pressure on the perimeter.  Walker is chipping in 6.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Off the bench, the main guy to know on this team is freshman John Jenkins.  Jenkins is the most highly decorated recruit to ever sign at Vandy.  Jenkins can flat-out shoot it – hitting 49% of his three-point attempts and averaging 10.8 points (he averaged 42.3 points a game his senior year of high school!).  He will definitely be one of the premier players in the SEC in the years to come.

Keys to the Game

There are two sides to every story

If the Georgia Bulldogs could have somehow convinced their first 7 SEC opponents into playing only one half, they would be 6-1 in the conference.  Unfortunately for the Dawgs, they do not play in a  bizzarro-world SEC, and they did have to go out and play those second halves…how unfortunate, indeed.  Georgia is out-scoring SEC teams in the first half 38.4 to 33.7.  In the second half, the Dawgs are getting outscored by an average of 34.0 to 41.7.

I don’t know if this is because of a lack of depth, focus, experience or all the above.  Whatever it is, it has to stop.  Georgia is nearly half-way through their SEC schedule, meaning that freshman are now considered sophomores and sophomores are viewed as upperclassmen.  Ajax, McPhee, Thompkins, Ware, Leslie, Price, Barnes, etc…some of these guys need to step up and make it clear to everyone on the team that the game doesn’t end at the break.  When the opponent comes out of the half and cranks up their defensive intensity, the Dawgs need to match that intensity on both sides of the ball.

Play Loose, Play Loose, Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes

I don’t even like that movie (Footloose), but I couldn’t think  of any other good puns.  The point is that Georgia is 1-6 in the conference and has lost a handful of close games.  They can’t dwell on it though…Vanderbilt is the team with the national ranking and 6-1 SEC record.  They are coming into Athens with a bullseye on their back, and the pressure that comes from the fear of losing to the “worst” team in the league.  Hopefully Coach Fox has the guys nice and loose and ready to have some fun on Saturday night.

Side notes

Since I started talking about the Dawgs’ impressive rebounding margin (which is still +4.4 and second in the conference), they have lost three straight games and got out-rebounded in two of them.  So this is me “not mentioning” that I think that Georgia could have a rebounding advantage over Vandy.  You did not hear it from me.

The game tips-off at 8:00PM, and it will be televised on Fox Sports Network if you can’t make the trip up to Athens, GA.

How is everyone feeling about this game?  Hopefully interest has not dropped too much in the midst of this three-game losing streak…The Dawgs have finished with a winning record only once in the past five years, so this isn’t anything new to a Georgia Bulldogs basketball fan…

Arkansas wins 72-68

The Georgia Bulldogs went into the half with a 37-22 advantage.

The Arkansas Razorbacks ended the game with a 72-68 advantage.

What happend?

In the first half, the Dawgs shot 51.7% from the field, out-rebounded the Hogs 19-12 and turned the ball over only 6 times.  Georgia had total control of the game, and they were in “cruise control” for a majority of the half.

In the second half, Georgia shot 40.9% from the field, got out-rebounded 19-9 and turned the ball over 11 times.  Arkansas came out of the half and played intense man-to-man and shook Georgia out of their offensive groove (hasn’t this happened before?).  The Hogs out-scored the Dawgs 28-8 in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Oh yeah, and Arkansas shot 64% from the field in the second half.  Georgia did not have an answer for Arkansas star point guard Courtney Fortson, who scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half.

The Dawgs played man defense for a majority of the night, and it worked pretty well in the first half.  However, obviously Coach Pelfrey saw some areas he thought he could exploit in the UGA’s man D – mainly that no one could guard Fortson – and the Hogs outscored Georgia 50-31 in the second half!

Following the game, Coach Fox had this to say about the Dawgs’ defense:    “We’re not making progress in that area. It is failing us. It failed us time and time again in the second half. It’s crushing this team.”

Maybe the Dawgs could have shown Arkansas a different defensive set (like a 2-3 or 1-2-2 zone?) to try to slow them up a bit in the second half?  This might have helped offset Fortson’s dribble-drive penetration…but I guess we will never know.

If this game felt like a bad case of déjà vu, don’t worry…it was.  The Dawgs have now held the lead at the half in 6 out of 7 SEC games this season, and they have only won one of those games.

Georgia has a bit of “closing” problem.

The Dawgs are now 9-11 overall, and 1-6 in the SEC.

Side Notes:

-Thompkins led the Dawgs with 21 points and 7 rebounds

-Jeremy Price scored 11 points in the first half, but he didn’t account for any points in the second half.

-In a game where Georgia was expected to have the advantage on the glass, Arkansas out-rebounded the Dawgs 31-28

Any chance Georgia can turn this thing around Saturday against Vandy?

Hogs coming to Athens to take on Dawgs

Mark Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs (9-10 overall, 1-5 in the SEC) need an SEC win in the worst way.  After losing two straight and 5 of their first 6 conference games, the Dawgs need to build a little momentum before heading into Saturday’s game with #18 Vanderbilt.

Nothing like a trip back home to  shake off the cobwebs and get a couple wins.

Arkansas (10-11 overall, 3-3 in the SEC) comes into Athens riding a two-game winning streak, including an 80-73  win at Ole Miss last Sunday (their first road win of the season in four tries).

Don’t read to far into the Razorbacks’ losing record – they played the first 14 games of the season without sophomore starting point guard and leading-scorer Courtney Fortson.  Arkansas suspended Fortson indefinitely following his infamous tweet that poked lightly at an alleged rape that occurred on campus at an Arkansas fraternity.  Fortson was not involved in the incident, but was punished for his crass comment,  “Im gettin it at workouts like a dude who doesnt understand the word no from a drunk girl lol.”

Fortson had to learn the hard way that it’s probably not a good idea to make comedic observations about certain kinds of felonies.

But he is back now, and is averaging 18.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists in nearly 34 minutes per game.  It is safe to say that if Fortson did not own and use a Twitter account, the Razorbacks might have won games against Morgan State, East Tennessee State and South Alabama back in 2009.

The Hogs run a 3-guard attack that enables them to get out in the open court and run, run, run.  They will play a fast-paced game with a lot of full-court pressure, similar to the Nolan Richarson team’s that were known for their “40 Minutes of Hell” basketball.

Complimenting Fortson in the backcourt is sophomore guard Rotnei Clarke.  Clarke is netting 17.4 points a game in nearly 36 minutes, and he is shooting a blistering 47.7% from 3PT range.

The good news for Georgia is that Clarke is the only real threat that the Razorbacks have from beyond the arc.  As a team, Arkansas is shooting an icy 32.5% on 3-pointers in SEC games.  The Hogs’ field goal picture isn’t much prettier, as they are hitting only 40.4% in conference play.

Junior guard Marcus Britt rounds out the Razorback backcourt.  Britt is the starter, but senior Stefan Welsh and freshman Julysses Nobles play nearly as many minutes – all three are averaging just under 22 minutes a night.  Welsh and Nobles average 6.4 and 4.3 points per game, respectively.

Anchoring the frontcourt is senior center Michael Washington (6’9″) and freshman forward Marshawn Powell (6’7″).  Washington averages 13.3 points/6.0 rebounds, and Powell gives the Razorbacks 15.3 points/6.8 rebounds.  Both of these bigs run the court pretty well.

Keys:

Get out the Windex, and clean up the glass

Georgia is second in SEC play this season in both rebounding margin (+5.7) and offensive rebounds per game (13.5).  This is largely attributed to the Dawgs having one of the widest frontcourts in the country to go along with a guard that jumps out of the gym (Travis Leslie  is snaring 8.8 boards a game in SEC play!).

Arkansas is not quite as active on the glass – the Hogs are second to last in the conference with 10.5 offensive boards a game, and dead-last in rebounding margin at -7.5 a game.  I suppose that’s the price you pay when you choose to go with a three-guard lineup.

Georgia’s bigs should dominate the boards against Arkansas.  I want to see at least two Georgia players bring down over 8 rebounds apiece, and  I am expecting to see the Dawgs light-up the stat sheet line under “Second Chance Points”.

Please Protect the Ball

Georgia is averaging 15.3 turnovers a game, which ranks them at 259th in the country in this lovely category.  This means that the Dawgs’ opponents are taking more field goal attempts each game, giving them more scoring opportunities (UGA averages 53 FG attempts a game; opponents are averaging 57).    The only thing keeping Georgia close in FG attempts per game is that they offensive rebound so well.  The Dawgs are not talented or deep enough to be giving opposing teams five to six extra possessions every game (in SEC play, UGA is last in the conference with a -5.67 turnover margin).  Moving forward, every player on the Dawgs’ roster has to focus on taking care of the basketball.

More 3’s Please

Before the Tennessee game, I called on Trey Thompkins to start looking for more shots from behind the arc (he went 3-4 in that game).  Since then, Georgia has knocked down 21 of its 39 three-point attempts (that’s 53.8% for all of you without calculators).  The Dawgs are actually leading the conference in 3PT% in SEC play this season, shooting 42% as a team.  The problem is that Georgia ranks last in the conference in 3-point attempts with only 81.  Nine teams in the SEC have over 110 three-point attempts in conference play this season.  Georgia is shooting the long ball well, so let’s see them shoot it more!  In SEC games, Thompkins and McPhee are hitting 61.5% and 42.9% from three-point range, respectively.

Highway to the 2-3 Zone

Sorry for the “Top Gun” reference, I couldn’t resist.  Just as I hope Coach Mark Fox won’t be able to resist putting his team in a 2-3 zone against the Hogs.  As I mentioned, Arkansas does not shoot it well from the floor (only 40.4% on FG).  Georgia has a distinct size advantage on the inside.

Poor shooting opponent + UGA size advantage = 2-3 zone for the Dawgs.  UGA should pack it in and dare the Hogs to try to score from the outside.  Plus, this will make it all the more difficult for Arkansas’s guards to score on penetration since Ajax or Trey will be waiting on them.

The game tips off at 7:00PM and will be televised on CSS.

The Dawgs need this one bad…

Travis Leslie Becoming a Regular on ESPN’s Sportscenter

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What has been your favorite Leslie highlight so far this year?

No one on the University of Georgia’s Men’s Basketball team is doing better Public Relations work  for the program than sophomore guard Travis Leslie.

Leslie came in at #4 on ESPN Sportscenter’s “Plays of the Weekend” for two of his highlight dunks against the Gamecocks.  The first dunk was the one in the first half in which Leslie grabbed an offensive rebound, and through it back down with one hand (very reminiscent of the jams that Dominique Wilkins was famous for with the Atlanta Hawks).  The second dunk showcased on ESPN was the one where Leslie went through the Carolina defender to throw down a monster flush.

Through 6 games of SEC play, Travis “Why drive when you can fly” Leslie is averaging 2.67 dunks per game!  He has been on ESPN’s “Top Plays” segment a handful of times already this season.

Here are links to my 3 favorite Travis Leslie dunks this season…which one do you guys like best?

Leslie dunks over Kentucky’s Demarcus Cousins

Leslie’s open-court double-clutch reverse jam against Tennessee

Leslie follows up a missed Ware 3-pointer with a one-handed flush