Assessing some of Georgia’s most glaring weaknesses

Free throws

The Bulldogs are shooting under 68% as a team from the free throw line this season, which is just good enough to be 254th in the nation in that category.  The Dawgs have already lost four games this season by less than 5 points.  While all those losses cannot be attributed to ineptness from the charity stripe, it is safe to say that UGA’s record would be better than 11-8 if they could make more shots when the clock is stopped.

Georgia’s inability to hit free shots should not be that surprising, though, considering that this team doesn’t have that many shooters.  Actually, they have two shooters: Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier.  So, why would should anyone expect them to hit a high percentage of free throws as a team?

The concerning thing about UGA’s free throw issues is that under Mark Fox, Georgia has never really shot the ball well from the line.  Only once in the last six years has a Mark Fox team finished above 70% from the stripe.  The one time it happened was in Fox’s first year, back in the 2009-2010 season.

Disappointing second halves

Last night, Georgia got pummeled by Baylor coming out of the locker room. The Bears went on a 17-2 run after the break, erasing UGA’s three-point halftime lead before most fans had a chance to return to their seats.

Georgia’s poor performance in the final 20 minutes of last night’s game was in line with what is becoming a trend this season.  Put simply: UGA hasn’t been getting it done in the scoring column after halftime.  On the season, the Dawgs rank 182 in the country in 2nd half scoring, with an average margin of -0.3.  Georgia is actually scoring more than their opponents at home after the break, sporting a positive margin of 2.3. But on the road, things have unraveled for UGA following the intermission, with opponents averaging nearly 6 more points per second half.  Interestingly, the Dawgs do average more points on the road than their opposition during the first twenty minutes; it’s those final twenty that have been doing Georgia in.

Serious depth issues

At the start of the season, Mark Fox was pleased with his team’s depth.

I wonder how he feels about it now?

Last night was the second time this week that UGA’s second leading scorer, Yante Maten, had to sit for an extended portion of the game due to foul trouble.  And when Yante sits, Georgia becomes very easy to defend, since without him they have virtually zero presence in the paint.

Prior to the start of the season, I said that Fox would need one of his freshman to step up immediately and fill the role vacated by Neme Djurisic. UGA needed someone to provide consistent scoring and rebounding at the fifth spot in the lineup.

So far, that hasn’t happened.

Collectively, Derek Ogbeide and Michael Edwards have replaced Djurisic’s rebounding and then some. Last year, Neme grabbed 5 boards a night; this season, the two frosh together are bringing in nearly 8 rebounds per game.

They haven’t filled Neme’s role as a scorer, though.  Djurisc netted 11 points a contest for Fox in his senior season, yet Ogbeide and Edwards are combining for just 6.5 a game.

I understand that they are both still young, but one of them needs to become more of a scoring threat sooner rather than later because right now Georgia is just too easy to guard, especially so when Maten in on the bench.

Ogbeide has shown flashes offensively, scoring a season-high 10 points at Ole Miss in January.  Last night in Waco, he had two nice post moves in the first half. However, he only played 16 minutes.  Ogbeide is either not fully-conditioned to play bigger minutes, or Fox doesn’t have the confidence in him yet to give him more time on the court.  If it’s the latter, I hope that Fox loosens the reigns as the season progresses because I think Ogbeide is ready for more.

 

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6 thoughts on “Assessing some of Georgia’s most glaring weaknesses

  1. I agree that the FT shooting has been disappointing and likely has been the difference in several games. I disagree with the assertion that we don’t have depth. We regularly play 10 players–far more than most. In the first half last night, Yante barely played but we dictated the tempo and were leading when the half finished.

    I assert the main problems this year have been turnovers and FT shooting. Last night, we kept turnovers under control and aside from the 4-minute blitzkrieg just after half-time, we played toe-to-toe with the #17 team in the country. Even though our offensive weapons are limited, when we play good defense and rebound, we are in the game as long as we don’t have too many turnovers.

    I understand everyone’s frustration but there’s not much Coach Fox could have done last night about the poor FT shooting. I do wish he’d use more pressure on defense but I don’t know that that would have been a good solution last night. We’ve got to beat the Gamecocks on Tuesday.

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  2. Our men and our women need a new gym and if they had one we could keep some of the talent we watch playing for other teams from here in-state; but as it is now, our 53-year gym which has not hosted an NCAA Men’s Tournament Game in the last 45 years now doesn’t allow us to recruit enough talent to win.

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      1. Right on, Hoops Dawg. Cameron Indoor Stadium is an absolute dump yet it is one of the best home courts in basketball. The fans themselves make or break an arena.

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  3. The Steg does have some signs of age. other than Kentucky and Ole Miss, our home court is actually pretty good compared to everyone else in the SEC. I heard that for next season, they’re going to replace the scoreboard it’s on the wall and add a hanging four sided scoreboard from the roof. That should definitely help improve the feel. I have no idea why we are recruiting on a higher level. Obviously, we’re never going to recruit like Kentucky or do bu I have no idea why we are recruiting on a higher level. Obviously, we’re never going to recruit like Kentucky or Duke but we also should be recruiting this badly either. I really like Fox, he definitely knows how to coach defense and sometimes offense, but his recruiting really leave something to be desired outside of Marcus Thorton, Maten and KCP. I don’t think that his seat is hot, but I think but it is getting warmer

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  4. Our arena is not the problem! Every arena in the Big 10 is 50 yrs old! The difference is the fans! Quality and quantity! In the ACC the fans get nthe players going by making noise, this in turn gets the team going! In Athens the team has to get the fans going to get any noise out of them at all! UGA should be able to recruit 5 players out of the Atlanta area every year to stock our program for years to come! It only takes a few leather recliners w/ the players name monogrammed on the back to bring in nice rewcruits who can score the basketball! Take the Auburn game Saturday. Hated rival we were taking to the woodshed and the house was full! I could have snoozed thru the entire game! Let’s face it, the cheerleaders need to change their cheers for hoop season! What we have now is definitely working! The band plays at the TV timeouts but they are other wise useless! I would like to challenge the students and band to do a black out! Don’t sit down the first 10 min of the game! Let the fans drive the action for a change. Change the atmosphere in the Steg! Building another Sanford Stadium w/ a roof on it will not solve our problem! Having them be active and involved will!

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