Dawgs drop the opener to rival Georgia Tech

Charles Mitchell, who had spurned Georgia twice already on the recruiting front, torched the Dawgs in Atlanta on Friday night for 20 points and 9 rebounds en route to an 80-73 Georgia Tech victory.  Mitchell was one of Fox’s targets coming out of Wheeler High School a few years ago, but the young man opted to go to Maryland.  Last year, when Mitchell chose to leave Maryland to return to the state of Georgia so he could be closer to his grandmother, he again snubbed UGA, selecting Tech as his new basketball destination.  Despite these choices, last evening he appeared to be playing possessed, with a chip on his shoulder, almost. And, Mitchell gives the Yellow Jackets something that the Dawgs desperately need: a post who can play with his back to the basket.

Much like in the exhibition game last week, Georgia’s offense looked clunky, making just 27% of its shots in the game’s opening half.  The Dawgs ended the game hitting nearly 42% from the floor, but Mark Fox’s team appears to be lacking scoring options, especially when Charles Mann has a 3 for 11 shooting performance.  While Fox’s offensive scheme involves a lot of motion and picks, without playmakers it simply does not work.  This system still needs players who can slice their way into the lane from the wing position, and right now, I’m scratching my head wondering who on Georgia can fill that roll?

Despite starting poorly, UGA managed to hang around in this contest, cutting the lead as low as 4 points after a Marcus Thornton bucket with 14:39 left in the game and Georgia Tech up 50-46.  However, back-to-back field goals by Charles Mitchell – one of them an awkward dunk off a break – pushed the Jackets lead back up to 8 points.

Whenever Georgia managed to get close, Tech would pull away.  Quinton Stephens, who led all scorers with 22 points, was a menace for UGA all night, connecting on 6 of his eight shots from beyond the arc.

The Dawgs’ best performance was turned in by Djurisic, who finished with 18 points, helping to keep his team around before the intermission with some timely three-pointers.

Cameron Forte wins the award for the most efficient performance of the night, scoring 5 points and grabbing 3 rebounds to go along with a steal and a block, all in just 4 minutes of play.  Forte’s lack of presence on the court as the game progressed was perplexing since he was giving his team a viable scoring option.  Last season, Forte’s defense is what limited his playing time; whether that has improved or not, he needs to be in the lineup more because this team needs all the help it can get on the other side of the ball.

This loss is going to sting (pun intended).  Georgia Tech does not look like a very good team, and it seems likely that they will end up near the bottom of the ACC, just as was projected by numerous media sources.  Whether this game will hurt UGA’s NCAA hopes later in the year probably shouldn’t be of much concern to Georgia fans because right now this Dawgs’ team does not have the looks of an NCAA tournament team.

What should worry Dawgs’ fans is that Mark Fox has now dropped four straight to the Jackets, which hasn’t happened since the 1960’s (back when Tech was in the SEC).  Georgia gets a slew of cupcake games before taking on Gonzaga in New York on November 26th as part of the preseason NIT.

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6 thoughts on “Dawgs drop the opener to rival Georgia Tech

  1. that Mitchell is a big boy. we definitely could have used him.

    moving forward I am still optimistic. I think the 3 guard lineup of Mann, JJ and a healthy Gaines can generate enough scoring.

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  2. Ugh. Same story, different year. And I totally agree with you about Forte. He needs to play more than five minutes. I don’t care how bad his defense is. That is not our problem.

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  3. I just didn’t have a very good feeling about this game coming in. I didn’t like the scheduling of it at all that needs to be fixed this game needs to be in December like it used to be. But with that said I still feel like we’re a better team then tech I feel like they played about as well as they could play and we didn’t play well at all on their home court. I like how we hung in the game and didn’t just pack it in because it would of been easy to do last night. Charles Mann really needs to step it up there were plenty of opportunities late in the 2nd half where he could of really impacted the outcome of the game and just fell short. We settled for way to many 3s and Yante showed he was a freshman missing on a few rebounds and I must add Parker practically giving tech points by not being able to hold on to the ball but other then that the season is very young but we must play better or it will be a long one.

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  4. Failure to grab rebounds,which gets the break started was a problem and the slow start in general was a problem! Forte definitely needs more floor time, I expected a lot more from what should round into a veteran group! Defense can’t be the excuse for Forte since I thought we never would get a stop when we needed one. Does any one know the results of the “scrimmage” with NC State? One or 2 more burps and slow starts against the Stony Brooks and we will be on the outside looking in come March Madness time!

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  5. My biggest disappointment wasn’t so much that we lost (although I was disappointed there) but that we played with so little poise for the first 20 minutes–didn’t look much like a veteran team at all. We clearly miss Brandon and simply must learn to play without him. Maybe Forte is the answer and maybe not, but as hoop noted, he was darn productive in the limited time that he played. Was anyone else impressed with the progress JJ displayed? I thought that he was coming on toward the end of last season, and he looked quite comfortable out there last night to me.

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