Bama rolls UGA in Athens 80-60


Assistant Philip Pearson had to take over the coaching duties last night after Mark Fox was tossed late in the first half.

After beating Vandy at home a week ago, it seemed like Georgia (12-8) had a few more games before embarking on what would be their most difficult stretch of conference play: @ Kentucky, @ South Carolina, Florida and @ Tennessee.  Losing on the road to Texas A&M, a team projected to finish 3rd in the conference, in the bizarre fashion that UGA did is one thing.  To get blown out at home, though, by an Alabama (12-7) team that was picked to end up 11th in the SEC is another.  The Tide trounced Georgia 80-60 last night in Stegeman, and now the Bulldogs will carry a two-game conference losing streak into Lexington next Tuesday.  Below are my thoughts on what went wrong last night:

Soft defense

Georgia is a team that prides itself on its defense, which is why the Dawgs entered last evening’s contest ranked 24th in the country in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to under 40% a night.  That team didn’t show up on Tuesday, though.  The rotations in UGA’s matchup zone last night were incredibly sluggish.  Weak side defenders failed to shift quickly enough when the ball moved to the wing and the corners, leaving gaping holes in middle of the zone.  Alabama took advantage, easily getting the ball into the paint, where the Tide scored 26 of their points. Bama came into this game with second-worst offense in league games, netting under 68 points a night; yet by halftime, the Tide had already scored 41 points, which was their highest output in a first half in conference play this year.  Freshman Braxton Key, who is the only Bama player scoring in double-figures at 10.7 a night, completely had his way with the Dawgs and finished with a game-high 26 points.  Riley Norris nearly doubled his season average as he scored 15 points on Tuesday, and he looked like Steph Curry doing it: hitting open three’s and dicing into the lane off the dribble.

The Dawgs effort around the perimeter wasn’t any better.  The Tide hit 4 three-pointers before the break because Georgia’s zone was slow to react; the 5 three-pointers that Bama knocked down after the intermission happened because UGA looked as if it just wasn’t interested in running out.  This was an Alabama team that was making less than 32% of its attempts from beyond the arc prior to Tuesday in SEC games, but the Tide sure looked comfortable from the perimeter last night as they buried 9 of 16 shots.

Devastating stretch to close out the first half

The Dawgs had a moment in the first half where they appeared ready to wake up and take control of this game.  With UGA trailing 28-19 with 4:07 remaining in half, Juwan Parker hit a three-pointer and Yante Maten simultaneously got fouled underneath vying for position for the rebound.  Since Georgia was in the bonus, Maten stepped to the line and hit a pair of free throws which cut the Tide advantage to 28-24 following the five-point trip.

Then the wheels came off.  Bama responded immediately and went on a 10-0 run that sent their lead back up to 38-24 with just 1:27 left.  About 30 seconds earlier, UGA lost its coach for the remaining 22 minutes as Mark Fox was quickly ejected for arguing a carrying call against Jordan Harris.  Any hopes that Fox’s tirade might ignite his sleepy team were quickly dashed when Corban Collins hit a three-pointer with just one second on the clock, and the Tide took a 41-27 lead into the break.

Disappearing act by J.J. Frazier

J.J. has played pretty well for UGA this year, but by and large, he hasn’t lived up to the preseason expectations after what he did a year ago.  At times last night, I forgot that he was even on the court.  Frazier, who came into yesterday’s contest netting a little over 18 points per SEC game, took just 3 shots in the first half.  J.J. ended up with only 4 points,  shooting an abysmal 2 for 9 from the floor and missing all 5 of this three-point attempts.  Not only was his shot off, but Frazier missed on his lay ups, too.  J.J. drew all glass on one of his fast break drives, which is a shot that he routinely finishes with contact.

Yante Maten led all UGA scorers with 20 points, which was impressive considering he faced double teams every time he touched the ball in the paint.  But last night proved that Maten cannot do it alone, and when Frazier is held under double-digits the Dawgs are going to hard-pressed to beat anybody other than Morehouse.



10 thoughts on “Bama rolls UGA in Athens 80-60

  1. Defenses are smothering Frazier and his lack of size has really shown against good defenders this season. Opponents know Frazier has no help in the backcourt and Maten has no help inside. Ogbeide and Edwards couldn’t shoot 50% on layups if the defense left the court. I can’t explain Georgia’s lack of effort on defense and rebounding last night.


  2. Dawgs were horrible last night. Period.

    But it also seems that “playing while Georgia” has become a basketball call as well now. The carrying call (which was BS) and the quick whistles against Fox seemed to me that the officials were just looking for a reason to toss him. Of course, I think Fox was looking for an excuse to vent over the last two games (A&M and Florida).

    Hope they can pull it together, but it’s not looking good.


  3. done. as a leader you fight by example. as a leader you do not get yourself killed and leave your troops there to take the punishment. there was no leader in the building last night. our leader has checked out. our leader is done. we are done. time for change!!!!! I don’t even bother making the trip on weeknight games anymore and am glad I chose to stay home in the atl last night. i have paid good money and more for the last 14 years as a season ticket holder for bball. I cannot deal with not having hope year in and year out. done . out. new coach please.


    1. Yeah, Fox is a dead man walking at this point. We went 1-3 in a stretch of games where we needed to go at least 3-1. Now comes the hard part of the schedule with UK twice, at SC, UF, etc. Looking at the remaining 11 games, we will be underdogs in 7 of them. The media picked us 4th in the conference and we are going to finish much worse than that despite not having any significant injuries. Fox is too arrogant to look in the mirror so I’ll guess he’ll blame everything on the refs. Bottom line is that we are regressing, not progressing as the season goes on. It’s all about leadership and coaching…or lack thereof. Still not confident that McGarity will pull the trigger or find a suitable replacement, but a change is necessary at this point. Fox is just running the program around in circles while he collects his millions.


      1. Personally, I don’t think McGarrity will make a change. Until Georgia decides that it wants to be better than going to the tournament once every four years, winning 18 or 19 regular season games and an NIT game here or there will continue to suffice.


        1. If we lose 10-12 conference games, I think there will at least be some level of concern shown, but agree that it’s very unlikely that Fox is fired at the end of this season. We’re adding two good front court players and losing Geno, Kessler and JJ. Without JJ, I’m wondering how we’re even going to be able to get the ball upcourt and get into our offense. Turtle dribbles a lot, but isn’t very effective in breaking the defense down off the dribble and Crump hasn’t played enough to know whether or not he will be an adequate ballhandler. Jordan Harris clearly has a long way to go in terms of his ball handling skills. I think some people forget just how stagnant Fox’s offense looked most of the time before JJ came along as a leader and play maker. We are still going to have the same problems in terms of our lack of perimeter shooting and probably our poor perimeter defense as well. It’s tough to win when you’re getting outscored by 15-20 points behind the arc. It’s hard to project much improvement from this year to next, partly because of the loss of JJ and partly because SEC is sure to keep improving. I expect Bama, Miss State, Tennessee, Auburn and Florida to all be significantly better next year as their head coaches become more established. It’s not going to end well for Fox whether it be this year, next year or some other year in the future. His window of opportunity to take the program to the next level has passed.


  4. Embarrassing. It’s the same thing year-after-year. We have a good mix of older, team-leader types and young talented types who rarely play. Older team-leader types graduate/leave the next year, Fox complains about how young we are, but, next year we’ll have an experienced, deep bench. Yada, yada, yada. This was supposed to be THAT year… when we had experience, talent and a deep bench. And we are, at best, mediocre.

    It’s just time for something different, and we KNOW Fox won’t change…


    1. You are so right! The depth of this team was highly touted going into the season. I’m not sure many coaches of ranked teams look at the UGA bench and see “depth”.


  5. And look at Josh partner at tech. Already beat unc and fsu. They may have a better chance of making the tourney than we do


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