Southern Miss edges out Georgia 62-60 in overtime

A major question coming into the 2012-2013 season for this Georgia Bulldog (1-2) basketball team centered on how much improvement the Dawgs would see in their big men after a season and off-season under the tutelage of Coach Mark Fox.

The answer:  Not much.

After being pushed around and out-rebounded in their first two games, the Georgia bigs once again lost the rebounding advantage (36-27) – this time to a much smaller opponent.

Coach Fox tried to open the game in a man defense, but Marcus Thornton, Neme Djurisic, Tim Dixon, etc. were unable to contain on the outside, allowing the quicker Southern Miss players to slash to the basket for easy baskets.  The Golden Eagles opened up a 15-3 lead with 12:07 left before the break after a lay-up by Neil Watson.

For the remainder of the game, Fox sat his team in a zone, which permitted Southern Miss’s left-handed shooter Jerrold Brooks to connect on 5 of his 10 three-point attempts en route to a team-high 17 points.  It wasn’t just Brooks who feasted on the zone however, as the Golden Eagles scored 30 points in the paint on Thursday night to the Bulldogs’ 12.  Even this morning, I am still unable to shake the haunting images of the Southern Miss posts sliding around the heavy-footed UGA bigs for bucket after bucket.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has been the lone bright spot on this otherwise dimly lit team, had an off night, hitting only 5 of his 21 shots from the floor.  With the supporting cast that KCP has around him this year, he cannot have off nights.

Despite Pope’s poor offense, he did manage to contribute in other ways for his team with 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

In his post-game comments, Fox harped on his team’s poor free throw shooting, citing that the Dawgs made only 11 of 21 attempts from the stripe.  Making barely over half of your free throws won’t win you many games, and in last night’s case, these misses may have been the difference in a win or a loss.

Georgia’s shooting as a team was slightly improved from Monday night’s 32% performance, but still sub-par overall at just 38.5% against Southern Miss.

If I were to offer a quick analysis of this year’s UGA team through three games I would say that they do not shoot very well, they are soft on defense and the boards, and they only have one player that can score.  I am sorry that I cannot offer more positivity, but up to this point this team has not given me much to work with.

The scariest prospect to start concerning yourself with right now as a Georgia basketball fan is not the impending match-up with #1 Indiana (though that deserves merit).

Right now, I’m envisioning what this team will look like next year without KCP, who I am thinking may not choose to return to endure another season with this group with the allure of the NBA as another option.

17 thoughts on “Southern Miss edges out Georgia 62-60 in overtime

  1. It is beginning to look like a 10-20 type season. We really can’t blame it on them adjusting to playing with one another because, first, they all played together last season, and second, they did the team-building thing in Europe over the summer. These players just aren’t any good.


  2. After thinking about it over night. I do not think we will get to 10 wins unless Fox falls out of love with V Williams, M Thornton and Brantley.


  3. It is infuriating to watch them throwing the ball around the perimeter and attempting a desperate 3 pointer with the shot clock running out. We have seen this over and over. Fox is wrong- he did not lose the game on missed free throws. We lost because of no shooters,no rebounders,foolish turnovers, standing around waiting for somebody else to do something.Play Cannon and the freshmen with KCP.


    1. Jerry, I completely agree with you. I was scratching my head wondering why in the world we just kept passing it around the perimeter against their zone while Southern Miss would easily move the ball into the paint against our zone. I feel like we keep seeing the same thing each of the past years (even back to Felton), no clear offensive game plan. Maybe I just don’t understand this triangle offense, but I don’t see much of any offense being played. On the bright side, the team rebounded after an abismal start and got back in the game, which is more than can be said about the Youngstown state game. I too am worried about the departure of KCP and what it’ll mean to next years team.


      1. Cannon was 2 for 3 and 1 rebound in 6 mintutes of playing time. Why sit him when he continues to play well in every game? Thornton had 1 basket in almost 30 miutes of play. Fox seems to play favorites instead of talent. He says the team is young. It is the experienced guys that are losing the gam.


  4. I agree with you Jerry. I think Fox needs to approach this team as a football coach. Whoever is performing the best should earn the starting role. (e.g. Gurley as the no.1 RB but was no.2 or 3 at the beginning of the season) I have no idea why he plays Marcus Thornton. The kid looks lost out there. Dixon looked helpless as well in setting high picks for the guards in their offense against the 3-2..

    Morris looked great in the first half. He got the team moving with his energy on defense. Fox didn’t even play him in the second half. What the heck? Cannon draws a charge and Thornton and Floverus watch the players shoot the ball. Cannon hardly plays in the second half. Why Fox plays Floverus or Thornton instead of Cannon is beyond my understanding. Kenny Gaines looked great on defense and Brantley plays more than him.

    One of the biggest things that bothers me is that the team is constantly looking over at the bench for each offensive set. I really think the players are clueless out there on offense. I am not talking about the freshmen. Dixon, Williams, Thornton, Floverus and the others are CONSTANTLY getting direction off the bench. If you have been playing for FOX for two years, you should know what to do.

    Coach Fox needs to start playing the freshmen now with Cannon and KCP. He needs to make the upper classmen earn the right to play and not make them feel like they are entitled to play. As a Duke fan, I remember one year in which the upper classmen players were playing terribly. Coach K pulled them all and put in the scrubs. The starters had to watch them play for like 5 minurtes. At the end of the five minutes all of the starters RAN to the table to check back in. The message was loud and clear. The players woke up and they came back and won. I think Fox needs to get real with his starters. Either show up or get out. He needs to start building on talent and not on entitlements to these lackadasical players. Go Dawgs!


  5. Before the exhibition game, I reluctantly wrote down my prediction for this year, 11-19. I didn’t say anything because I knew i’d come across as negative Nellie. Gosh, I too am wondering where the 11 wins are going to come from. I’m not as negative as some of y’all are on some of the players, but I do believe that these freshmen have to play more. It looked to me, despite a couple unforced errors on his part that the offense was in more of an attack mode when Mann was running the point. Anyone else see that?


    1. I agree. Mann was more aggressive with the ball. In fact, the Southern Miss coach noticed it as well. At hte end of the game, the coach pulled him to the side and expressed how impressed he was of him. Why didn’t he play Morris in the second half?


    2. Mann looks like he is going to be legit once he settles in. With his size and handles, he should be a nightmare match-up for opposing guards next season and beyond.


  6. Ok everyone on here needs to calm down. I agree that this team is embarrassing and that something needs to change, but “play the freshmen with KCP and Cannon” is a RIDICULOUS solution. Firstly, are we supposed to bench Dante and Nemi in favor of Cannon and Morris? Secondly, Gaines and Morris have a grand total of…wait for it…6 points on the season. 6.

    Are Vinny, Thornton and Florveus awful to watch? Absolutely. Is Brantely the single worst player on the roster? Without a doubt. But our options aren’t exactly prolific. I just hate getting on here after a painful loss and hearing people calling to cut everyone, burn the Steg to the ground, and start from scratch.

    Ok now that I got that off my chest, this team is SO painful to watch. The passing around the perimeter and the seemingly blatant refusal to get a rebound by our bigs is embarrassing. The worst part to me is watching V. Williams skipping around the court and dribbling the ball head high.

    I see no improvement from really anyone off last years team and that is the real concern. I’m afraid the KCP draft countdown clock is running and then what will we have?? A couple 2 star recruits coming in…and these guys. At least Brantley is graduating. GO DAWGS!


    1. I never said bench Donte and Nemi. I meant to convey that the freshmen and Cannon shoud be given much more playing time to see if they develop into SEC players. If we are going to lose ugly, I would rather see the young guys out there. It is frustrating to see Fox sticking with a rotation that cannot beat mid level teams. So. Miss has the youngest team in the NCAA and they were shorter than us. We had the more experienced team. Yet……


      1. I wasn’t trying to come after you specifically Jerry, and I completely agree with you, and was yelling at my computer screen right along with you last night when Thornton and Vincent got so many key minutes down the stretch. I think our 3 freshmen will actually turn out to be key players on this team, and hopefully we will see more of them, and less of the “senior leadership” that can’t graduate soon enough…


  7. Well, I have to agree that we’re all highly disappointed. And yes, “we look a hot mess” as they say. And I will also conceed that Fox seems to have failed to light the fire so to speak, but I can’t yet write it all off. EVERYONE shares blame for this early mess – and I know it will get worse, but let’s hold on until we have a chance to harden in the fire. We know we’ve seen better out of these boys. That’s why we had high hopes for a hot start, but now we know it’s not going to happen, let’s see where the bottom is and then whether we can climb back up. If we get through December and every bit of it has been bad, then I’ll join the chorus…but not quite yet. When you’re down, sometimes you just need someone to keep believing in you. This team still needs our support. If the time comes that they no longer deserve it, then they truly will have no excuse or cause to lament an empty arena.


  8. I’ve already missed watching two of our early games and only seen portions of the others, but I’m still trying to remain optimistic that this year’s team just hasn’t hit its stride yet. However, the reviews thus far by Hoop and this blog’s followers is still rather disconcerting. Not surprised by the falloff with GR2’s departure, but I’m willing to give Gaines and Mann time to find their way and hopefully Donte’s late start will soon yield some sort of inside presence before we reach SEC play.

    Although the score may not reflect it I’m betting the Dawgs show their best effort yet against the Hoosiers from Bloomington. I don’t doubt Zeller will have a field day in a (very) likely Indiana win but I’m looking forward to seeing our guards in particular hitting some shots to stay in the game, at least for the first half.

    On the other hand, just to fuel the growing negativity: I’d worry more about getting an elite coach rather than an elite arena. I think the big time recruits avoid UGA because of Mark Richt’s boys, not the decrepit Stegosaurus.


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