Gators rout Dawgs in SEC opener

The Georgia Bulldogs first conference game of the season did not go well.

Coach Mark Fox’s young team, facing the 11th-ranked squad in the country on the road, got out to what can only be described as the worst start imaginable for an inexperienced team away from home.

Billy Donoans’s Gators came out of the gates applying relentless full court pressure, forcing the Dawgs into 4 turnovers on their first 5 possessions.  By the time five minutes had elapsed, Georgia found themselves on the wrong end of an 11-0 run.  

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope did not even find his way into the scoring column until eight minutes remained before the half.  The Bulldogs were frustrated into near meltdown-mode offensively, and their leading scorer refused to assert himself.

Credit Florida senior Kenny Boynton for the defensive performance he put on KCP on Wednesday night.  Boynton may have struggled to find offense, scoring just 7 points on 2 of 8 shooting from the floor, but he made up for it on the other end of the court, holding Pope to only 11 points on the night (on 4 of 10 shooting).

The Gators took a 28-15 advantage into the break, which seemed rather shocking considering just how lopsided this half felt as an observer.

Florida proceeded to begin the second half much like it started the first, opening up with an 8-0 run.  Following a lay-up by Tim Dixon with 16:45 left in the game, the Gators lead had ballooned to 36-19.

For most of the second half, Florida merely toyed with Georgia, setting themselves up for wide open three after wide open three.  With 12:06 remaining, Florida’s lead approached thirty points (53-26) after freshman Michael Frazier hit his second shot from beyond the arc.  At the 8:35 mark, the Gators advantage had blossomed to 62-31.

Florida made 12 of their 26 three-point attempts, which really made the score unbalanced considering UGA was only able to hit one shot from the perimeter.

When the final horn sounded, Georgia had committed 19 turnovers which factored greatly into the Gators 77-44 blowout.

Florida was led offensively by guard Mike Rosario, who scored a game-high 19 points.

In the first conference game of their young careers, Charles Mann and Brandon Morris finally looked like freshman – tentative and unsure of what to do with the ball.  The two players combined for just two field goals in a total 47 minutes played.

The loss tonight to Florida puts an end to Georgia’s four-game winning streak.  The Dawgs had clearly not faced an animal with teeth like the Gators during their recent stretch of games, and tonight’s UGA performance highlighted a plethora of areas in which this team must improve (ball security, press break, etc.).

While the Gators were heavily favored heading into this match-up, the outcome turned out to be even more disproportionate than anticipated.  

However, Georgia must find a way to regroup quickly so that they will be prepared to hold serve at home this Saturday against Mississippi State in a game that should serve as a good indicator of just how this SEC season might go for the Dawgs.

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9 thoughts on “Gators rout Dawgs in SEC opener

    1. Donte Williams and Gaines suspended. Does this signal some internal team problems?The Gator loss was not a surprise. Dawgs totally unprepared to hang with a good team.Can’t handle the press? Should be better by now. Focus on KCP and the Dawgs can’t win.No good news anywhere.

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  1. I am wondering what’s with Donte? The wheels may seem to be falling off, but I suspect some questions will be answered with the MSU game on Saturday. I was going to say that it is now quite apparent that one can’t win with Nevada talent in the SEC, but with a couple of exceptions, i’m wondering if we have Nevada talent I so wanted Fox to succeed, but he really needs a hotshot recruiter!

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  2. Ouch. I was wondering what everyone’s thoughts were on the commentators saying Fox is building a great program at UGA with some good young in-state talent. Yes, they’re young, but I’m not quite sure how good this group will be even next year. . . particularly if KCP leaves. So far, Fox hasn’t developed his guys as well as I thought he would. I’m still a fan of the coach and hope he succeeds, but I must admit I’m beginning to have some concerns.

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    1. The commentators seemed pretty out of touch in regards to Georgia’s program. In addition to your comment above, I also remember them saying something to tone of how excited CMF is to have Florveous back another year because he is such an incredible asset.

      I think that they were just trying to make small talk.

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  3. Well, I didn’t expect quite such a comprehensive beatdown, but I will try to look for some positives (If only because I don’t want to talk myself into avoiding games and thereby wasting my season tickets!) First, the boys have now finally seen the pace they must match if they wish to compete. Even the Indiana game was played worlds slower than last night. The boys are really going to have to develop a speed of play well beyond what they’ve displayed so far. Second, at times, the guys ran a flawless 2-3 defense. The clock would get down to nothing and they had held. Sadly, then they’d see that last-second tossed 3 sail right through the rim. On nights like that, it’s easy to give up. So as bad as it got, (and I know – it was awful) the team never gave up, and that’s something to admire. Finally, Tim Dixon got some quality minutes and I thought that he played fairly well – not perfect, but not so bad, and Morris didn’t embarrass himself either. Unfortunately, that’s about all I have. I will say in the younger boys’ defense the way the refs were calling fouls had to be frustrating. Time and time again our player would go up getting slaps, arm pulls, or hand and body checks and no call would come. Down at the other end, we give a fingertip brush and “tweet!” That said, in the face of a team that was truly MOVING, our guys never seemed to realize that they needed to HUSTLE! KCP was pumping, but he couldn’t do it alone. Lazy passes continued throughout the night, and defensive shifts were blown repeatedly. Who knows? Maybe the chemistry in the team took a major hit in the last 48 hours. We’ve all seen that Donte’s head has been somewhere else since he returned to the court. He hasn’t been himself and hasn’t shown a bit of heart. I know from experience that when a teenager or 20-something goes into a funk, they don’t give you much. I agree with HoopsDawgs above that we will know more by Saturday. If Donte and Kenny don’t play and the team plays noticeably better, I’d believe that the disciplinary shakeup had come close to departure and had come as a shock and letdown to the team. In the face of multiple loses, perhaps from Donte there is that power struggle that screams, “You can’t win without me!” (or my goodwill). [I know that last one is a suppositional stretch, but I’m having fun here!] I did listen to how Fox commented about it on the radio and there was a hitch in his voice as he seemed to catch himself from making his comment in a sterner or even angry manner. Also, oddly enough, there was an eagerness in Scott Howard’s voice to ask Fox about their absence that he usually doesn’t exhibit. I don’t know what’s up, but it makes you wonder if this stemmed from something that’s been bubbling for a while. Perhaps it was nothing more than a curfew violation, but In any event, one thing is for sure, if MSU is feeling its oats after knocking off South Carolina, and we aren’t ready to play and they take us down, then the season is well and truly lost.

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