Georgia drops second SEC game in a row, falling 72-61 to Missy State

On an afternoon which the University of Georgia honored members from the school’s 1983 Final Four basketball team, the current Bulldogs put on a performance that fans are probably trying their best to forget.

After an exciting first half that saw Mississippi State take a narrow 36-35 lead into the break, both offenses came out flat to start the final twenty minutes. With 7:38 remaining in the game, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a free throw that cut the State advantage to just one point at 52-51.

It was at this exact moment that MSU guard Jalen Steele decided that he wanted to win the game, making three shots from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions. Steele’s last three-pointer during this span put his team up 62-51 with only 5 minutes left, ensuring that the Maroon Dawgs would secure the road win and start out the SEC season 2-0.

KCP, who looked as if he was going to have a monster game after scoring 14 points in the first half, was unable to convert on any of his 6 field goal attempts after the intermission – a sure recipe for disaster considering he is UGA’s only real scoring threat. Pope made a pair of free throws, finishing the game with a team-high 16 points.

The Dawgs put up a herculean effort on the glass, winning the rebounding margin by a count of 44-37. What was particularly impressive was Georgia’s success on the offensive boards, where they brought down 17 rebounds.

Once again, however, it was the team’s shooting that ultimately led to their demise. UGA shot under 33% from the floor and just 59% from the free throw line on 32 attempts. In his post-game interview, Coach Mark Fox seemed unable to explain his team’s inability to perform from the charity stripe in games other than the players need to take more responsibility.

I wish that Fox has spoken more about his substitution strategy after the game, because I left Stegeman perplexed as to why starter Brandon Morris only played two minutes in the game’s second half. Morris, who ended up logging just 11 minutes in this one, scored 4 points before the break on two nice moves that he made off the dribble, and he appeared to be raising Georgia’s energy level. Yet, Fox chose to leave him on the bench for 90% of the second half.

The Dawgs 0-2 start to conference play is troubling because today’s game was considered by most to be one of their easier home games. On Wednesday, Georgia heads to #10 Missouri for a game that could get rather ugly in a hurry (a la last week’s Florida game).

21 thoughts on “Georgia drops second SEC game in a row, falling 72-61 to Missy State

  1. Ugly. Three 3s bury us and we have no reply. Every fervent supporter around me grew quite in the last 4 minutes because they’d seen it all before. Perhaps we should be called the Masons since we toss so many bricks. You’re right about Fox. He doesn’t know and doesn’t have any answers. He knows we plan and practice, but come game time, we’re a comedy of errors. You mentioned Morris’ minutes and you were right. Nemi too. And what about Cannon? Was he ill? Scott Howard and Slonaker both wondered aloud after the game about his absence then failed to ask Coach about it. Anyway, at the very least, due to our larger bench, we should have had them puffing and blowing. We didn’t. I can’t stop loving my team, but I’m not expecting anything anymore. I’ll probably listen to Fox on the Bulldog Hotline like always, but I can’t think of anything to ask him right now other than, “What are y’all all doing?!”


    1. Good call on Neme – Fox had him sitting for a ton of the 2nd half as well.

      I think Fox has given up on Cannon (for reasons that seem unexplainable). Out of Florveous, Cannon and Dixon, Cannon is easily the best scorer with his back to the basketball. In addition, Flo and Dixon’s defense is nothing special, and I don’t see how Cannon can do that much worse.


  2. I have seen some rough seasons and lean teams. However I can’t remember ever feeling so hopeless and frustrated as I do right now.

    I can only hope they get it figured out and bring home some end of season wins like we did last year against Florida.


  3. Can someone clue me in on the substition patterns? We are not that bad of a team. Ifthe sustitution patterns were to become consistent, I think this team would improve a lot faster. I thnk he has the players, CMF is just not using them effectively. Missouri will be fun. Heaven help us.


  4. Rotations have always been a mystery. We had a nice run to go up by 7 (30-23) in the first half and suddenly CMF puts in 3 subs (for KCP,MANN and Donte if I remember). Three MSU possessions later, it is 30-30. Why not stick with what’s working? Actually, Felton was great at disrupting rhythm with his substitutions as well. I watch a lot of basketball but am clueless as to the rotational patterns of our beloved dawgs.


  5. 2-16 in the SEC at best. Auburn and SC at home look like the best chances for a win, but I’d say even those games are less than 50/50.

    Fox has got to go. I realize we don’t have a proud hoops history, but this is just ridiculous.


    1. This is sad I’m 20 years old and have been a UGA basketball fan for about 12 years now and have already seen probation only one 20 win season (that actually counted) and probably going on my 4th coach after this season. At least we had 2008 sec tourney to help us I’ll never forget that. The point is We need to make the right hire or this trend will continue and there really isn’t an excuse not to at least have a decent basketball program.


      1. The comments seem to be the same after every loss. Questions about rotation and playing time. The Cannon and Gaines situation is especially a puzzle. I know they may not be the best at present, but they offer upside and good things happen when the do play. Gaines looked good yesterday, but got jerked out after a mistake. CMF complained about the lack of offense-yet Nemi, Cannon and Gaines sit while major minutes are given to Brantley, Florveous and V. Williams.
        Hoop, I have no clue why Fox has given up on Cannon. He always seems to give his best with no attitude. The announcers and sportswriters never seem to ask probing questions about the questions raised here and elsewhere.


        1. I just read Fox’s comments in Chip Towers’ AJC article about the game, specifically the ones in which Fox complained about not getting consistent offense from Florveous. Is it just me, or is it not perfectly clear that Florveous does not posses the tools to provide consistent offense at this level?

          You know who can score on the block? John Cannon.

          CMF not only has a recruiting problem, but he seems to possess a lack of self-awareness when it comes to the abilities of his team.


  6. Ok guys. I just got off the phone with one of the major boosters for the basketball team. Story goes that CMF was asked to get rid of some of his asst. coacheslast year and bring in some new ones that could help in recruiting. Well CMF said no and that he would continue running the program in the way he wanted to. Apparently, CMF is stubborn and likes to do things his way. So, from a legitimate source, CMF is gone after this year and they are already identifying Coach Shaka Smart or Coach Brad Stevens as a replacement. I asked if firing another coach would be good for the team, and his response was CMF is floundering and he KNOWS that he will not be returning next year. So, the season will be long but there are good things coming. With our new AD, i don’t think he’ll take NO for an answer from some of the coaches that UGA will be hunting. So, stay faithful Bulldawg nation. Help is on the way!


      1. Jerry,
        The source is valid. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I am sooooo tired of UGA basketball being irrelevant.


          1. We need somebody this is beyond terrible how hard is it to build a good basketball team? All you need is about 8 guys that can play well together and do what it takes to win. Unlike football where you need 22 plus special teams I just don’t get it.


            1. Just watched the CMF/Chuck Dowdle show. The coach seems to blame having to play freshmen/sophomores for the problems. Everyone else blames playing the seniors.It seems that he wants to justify his recruiting of the upper classmen by playing them alot ,hoping they will get better. Many of us see it differently.


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