I wanted to begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
I would also like to take a moment to thank everyone for reading this blog and for all of your insightful comments. I really enjoy reading what everyone thinks about upcoming or past games, and the comments are what makes this blog interactive and engaging.
Sorry for the delayed post on the Eastern Kentucky game, but I was in a cabin outside of Asheville, NC over the weekend without WiFi and thus unable to update this blog.
I did catch the game on television though, and I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to write about what I had just witnessed.
The Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) won the game 64-57, but it wasn’t exactly the kind of win that makes you want to stick out your chest and gloat. The Dawgs played another inferior opponent, and once again, gave an inferior effort.
Honestly, if Trey Thompkins wasn’t on fire (or healed from his ankle injury) I think there is a good chance that Georgia loses that game. Thompkins finished with 26 points and 7 rebounds, scoring 14 of Georgia’s 30 second-half points. Trey did a great job of getting his shot up quickly after receiving the ball, thus avoiding any potential Eastern Kentucky double-teams. He put the Dawgs on his shoulders and converted 11 of 16 field goal attempts to lead them to their 8th straight victory.
The only other Georgia player to finish in double-figures was junior Travis Leslie, who chipped in 14 points, including a big three-pointer that put the Dawgs up 45-43 with 11:24 left in the game.
The Colonels actually had this game knotted-up at 47-47 with under eight minutes remaining.
It should also be noted that Eastern only got seven minutes of play from 6’7″ senior Justin Stommes, a preseason Ohio Valley First-Team selection and one of the Colonels leading scorers. Stommes was forced to leave the game early in the first half after suffering an ankle injury, and he did not return. Despite not having one of their top scorers and team leaders, the Colonels were still able to pull within one point going into the half behind 15 first-half points from reserve freshman forward Jeff Johnson.
Johnson was virtually left alone for a majority of the half, and he made the Dawgs pay by knocking down three shots from beyond the arc.
Georgia did a much better job of sticking close to Johnson in the second half though, limiting him to just 3 points. He led all Eastern scorers with 18 points, which was a personal best for the youngster.
The good news is that Georgia improved to 11-2 on the season and they won their 8th straight game (not to mention that the Dawgs are now 7-0 when playing in the comfy confines of Athens, GA).
The bad news is that Georgia once again looked evenly matched with a team that they should have beat the pants off of.
The days of playing lesser opponents are now over. In less than a week’s time, the SEC’s top program comes into Athens looking to pick up its first conference win of the season.
Both teams are 11-2, yet Georgia’s strength of schedule is currently ranked #198 in the country, while Kentucky’s is a robust #14.
What are everyone’s initial thoughts about the upcoming date with Coach Cal’s Cats? Were the Dawgs just playing to the level of their competition in December, or are they in for a big-time wake-up call coming this Saturday?