UGA does enough to hang on against LSU

12475030The narrative for Georgia’s (17-12; 8-8) basketball team has become incredibly predictable these days.  Basically, it goes something like this: with its best interior player watching from the sidelines, one undersized point guard continues to refuse to let this team lose.

Despite at one point holding a 17-point advantage in the first half, UGA found itself with the ball and trailing LSU 80-79 with only 6.9 seconds left.  The Dawgs got the ball to J.J. Frazier, who quickly split a double team before sprinting down the court and drawing a foul with less than 2 seconds left.  Frazier buried the two free throws, which gave UGA an 81-80 edge.  LSU attempted a full court pass, but it landed in Derek Ogbeide’s hands.  Ogbeide began walking with the ball as if the game were over, and fortunately for Georgia, the referees missed an obvious traveling violation and found a foul in the video replay that sent Ogbeide to the line with only 1.3 left.  Georgia would win 82-80, and more importantly, the Dawgs avoided what could have been a shameful home loss to a Tiger team that rolled into Athens with a 1-14 SEC record.

As refreshing as it was to see Frazier pull out another win for this team, the fact that Georgia relinquished its huge lead and almost lost to the worst team in the conference, even without Maten, is concerning.  After shooting 55% from the floor and building up a 44-37 halftime lead, the Dawgs began to unravel midway through the second half.  Georgia bolstered its advantage to 55-42 following an E’Torrian Wilridge three-pointer with 16:54 remaining.  But then UGA got careless with the ball, turning it over 7 times after the break.  The Dawgs also failed to defend the glass and allowed LSU to haul down 7 of its 11 offensive boards in the second half; the Tigers scored 14 second chance points to Georgia’s 6.  UGA came dangerously close to becoming the team that would snap LSU’s 14-game SEC losing streak.

Georgia escaped today, but it was so much closer than it should have been.  I fear that the offense is almost becoming too Frazier-centric down the stretch.  While obviously a team wants the ball in the hands of its best player when it counts, for the final 4 minutes of the LSU game the Dawgs merely stalled for 20 seconds before getting the ball to J.J. so that he could try to create something.  Frazier missed his final 5 field goal attempts, largely because the Tigers were dedicating nearly all their defensive resources to stopping him.  I’m not so sure this offensive strategy will work against a stronger opponent like Auburn, and I’m positive its not going to be enough against Arkansas.

But the thing is, even though Jordan Harris is also apparently injured, Mark Fox has other offensive weapons at his disposal, yet he continues to be reluctant to use them.  For the second straight game, freshman Tyree Crump came off the bench and buried a pair of three-pointers, only to spend the majority of the game on the bench.  Tonight, Crump played 8 minutes and scored 6 points and dished out 2 assists; Turtle Jackson played 32 minutes, scoring 9 points and handing out 2 turnovers.  Fox’s unwillingness to play Crump, even though he continues to provide perimeter offense, will certainly go down as one of the mysteries of this team’s season.

In addition to Frazier’s 29 points and 8 assists, both Ogbeide and Juwan Parker finished in double-digits as they scored 12 apiece.  LSU, who was led by Antonio Blakeny’s 20 points, also had 3 players end up in double-figures, with Brandon Sampson and Skylar Mays netting 15 each.


17 thoughts on “UGA does enough to hang on against LSU

  1. Frazier saves the day again!
    As for Crump, I’m beginning to think it must be something personal. Maybe Tyree toilet papered Fox’s yard, or rang his doorbell and ran. How else to explain parking one of your two best shooters on the bench?
    Auburn will be a tougher test. They just beat LSU in Baton Rouge by 23.


  2. I usually agree with Hoop’s analysis of he games but I have a minor quibble this time. The dawgs decline in this game actually started about 5 minutes before halftime and I expected the game to tighten because the team looked gassed to me. Recall that we had a very hard fought win on the road on Thursday night. I do agree, however that the offense is becoming too Frazier-centric to beat good teams and, like everyone else, am mystified by the reluctance to play Tyree Crump who will become a big scorer, either here or elsewhere should he become fed up with the experiences he is having in Athens. I have been a strong supporter of Mark Fox at Georgia, but unless there are compelling circumstances of which none of us are aware, I think the time for him to go will come if he runs Crump off. I know that statement will be criticized by some and I agree that no one player should determine a coach’s fate, but not using one of the teams best shooters with the crappy perimeter offense we have seems emblematic of someone who does not employ assets to best advantage, and I have long felt that way about Fox.


  3. JJ is a beast! Beginning to wonder how much do he have left in the tank. Fox is running the guy to death! He joked about JJ dying on the court and it looks like those are his intentions. Give the kid some rest! Now to Crump, big pappy I think it is personal. Crump needs more minutes I’ve been on this train all season! I’m starting to think Fox would rather lose than play Crump 20 minutes. Sad to hear Harris is out indefinitely with bone chip. You would think Crump would see more action. Fox perfers Turtle over Crump! I wonder what kind of production Crump would give UGA if he played 32 minutes.


  4. Sadly it is Fox. Crump could score 20+ but give up 8 on defense. It is the 8 that Fox can’t live with. Fox would rather hold the other team under 60 and lose than our team score over 70. There is still hope, but how many years in a row have we been in a situation where winning out and making SEC finals is our only hope of a bid. Should not be like this every year.


  5. Lunardi now has Georgia “first 4 out”, right behind a couple teams that we beat in Vandy and Georgia Tech. It seems that every season I forget just how questionable the “resumes” of the last few teams in are. Looks like Georgia could seriously be in the NCAA mix if we could somehow get wins vs Auburn and Arky to finish the regular season.

    A win at Arkansas would easily be our best of the season. Not sure how realistic that is without Maten.


  6. LSU coach Jones sold a bill of goods to the TV announcers and this blog with his end of game antics. On the long inbounds pass that Ogbeide intercepted he was immediately fouled before he walked “as if the game was over.” The ref blew his whistle immediately and raised his dead ball fist. When the horn sounded he forgot to signal the foul before running to the replay to check the clock. He was reviewing the time left, not if Ogbeide was fouled or traveled. The ref had already called the foul, he just didn’t signal it in his angst to check the time. Even though Ogbeide may have thought the game was over, he traveled during a dead ball. I’m with Summit above on the Crump mystery. Fox also claims the freshmen don’t know the plays. Whose fault is that?


  7. Fellas. Crump will be a DGD all in good time, however, he isn’t yet the second coming. He’s contributing wonderful boosts at just the right time, and I will agree that he deserves more than the single run-out. However, I went to all the summer practices and the preseason opens, and he was far far from ready. Defensively and offensively. Still is in many aspects. Tyree and JJ on court at the same time make us incredibly small to boot. Rebounds a la JJ? Not at this time. He can’t yet read enough defensive sets, and when he gets the open look, it’s because it’s the “JJ or nothing” that causes a defensive collapse, and JJ gets him the open dish. Perhaps you forget Crump’s third shot Saturday. Fox called the play as Tyree came towards midcourt, and as Tyree crosses the line, JJ swings wide right, and the rest of the boys set their first steps in motion. Tyree is four steps into our halfcourt, and he just heaves up his shot. Airball far left. I don’t know what teams you might have played on, but all my coaches would have yanked me for such freelancing. (If you’ve coached, you’ve sat the freelancer too, no matter how talented.) [Yes, yes, I’ve seen the awful shots lately tossed up by Turtle, E, Pape, and Houston. Do we notice they are quickly sat down too?] It defies logic that a coach would invest so much time and effort to recruit a talented player just to be a petty ass towards the kid. I’ve worked with kids that age for 28 years, and you just can’t “hate” kids for petty reasons. Kids know you (your heart) quickly, and will turn on you en masse once they know you don’t have their interests at heart. (Select recent coach of your choice to illustrate this point. Hell, do you think Jeremy Price would have been asking Yasir, “Can I come?” [back] at halftime Saturday if Fox was a known clown?) If we follow this line of thinking, where shall we stop? Is there a conspiracy against KPG? E hasn’t rocked it so much better than him that his minutes should drop to almost zero game after game. The reality is that E has risen as the season has progressed to the point that he’s just the better choice than KPG. Turtle, for all his flaws, runs a better offense than Tyree could even hope to right now. Hence, Tyree sits. Fox isn’t stupid, nor is he blind. He knows Tyree can and will help us. He will use him, and he will be glad of it more than you or I. But 20 for 8? If that were the case, he be at Kentucky cutting into Monk’s minutes.


    1. You make many good points, Harlem Bill. I will say I’ve been watching Kenny Paul “The Human Heat Check Film” Geno miss defensive rotations and throw up ill-advised shots for a long time, and I wonder how far along Wilridge would be with consistent game reps throughout the season.


    2. I do not disagree with benching Tyree for some of the shots he has taken but he never really returns to the game. In your experience, do you think there is any possibility of success when players are given 2 minutes of playing time before taking a break? It has always confused me as it seems to the everyday joe that these kids need a good 5 minutes+ to gel on the court and get smarter before heading to the bench. I’ve always wondered if there is a sub stat and do we lead the SEC in subs per game?


      1. I understand this. Fox however is running numbers in his head. You are right about getting into the groove of the game, I’m just not sure we have the luxury of giving them that time. A lot can go south before you can get a timeout if you’re not careful. (Want to watch the numbers game played? Pay attention to how many times we purposely forego the offensive rebound to have our defense set.) Fox has always rolled subs quicker than many – you should have kept count a few years back! – but if there is a fault, it probably would be giving more time against weaker non-conference teams. However, are the kids ready that early to avoid the “bad loss”? It’s the game coaches must play, and they will fairly live an die by it. I watched a great D-II player spend much of his career on the bench. His fault? Needing 3 minutes to get his game up to the pace of the game he had just entered. His coach always yanked him before he got warmed up. The coach couldn’t afford it. The young man has become a fine coach. And he Yanks players just like he was!


  8. Harlem Bill, I think I need clarity. Are u saying Crump shots only come off JJ’s action? I agree with you Crump shot selection is not the best but he’s a freshman. I wasn’t at any of the summer camps or preseason games but based on the media Crump played well. Sports Illustrated picked him to avg 10pts if giving 15 minutes or more. Can we agree that despite all flaws you pointed out in Crump the kid should play a minimum of 15 minutes. I disagree with you on Turtle running offense better than Crump can. You have to give one an opportunity before you come to that conclusion. I’m almost certain that if Crump is given 20 minutes he would out perform Turtle. The kid played 10 plus minutes in two games scored 16 and 13 respectively. Does that count for anything?


    1. No. Tyree just stops and shoots sometimes. Sometimes he hits. Sometimes not. He took four shots. 1-miss, 2-hit, 3-hit, 4-miss. JJ in game on 2 and 3. Did JJ impact the shots? I doubt it. I said before he very likely should get more time, but if you think he’s running offensive sets, he’s not. He’s parked outside. LSU was playing poor defense 1st half. Their man marking was poor. Their zone was poor. Perhaps, Coach Fox is playing particular matchups until the other coach adjusts. I can’t say. I’m not watching film. I don’t scout. We can disagree about Turtle, but I thought he played a fairly good game. I think I took umbrage at the notion that Fox, who seems well-liked by his players, past and present, held some strange dislike of Tyree. That makes no sense to me. We can’t ask Fox his thinking, because no coach will publicly discuss his thinking about a player. I am very glad we have Tyree. I hope he’s bombing 3s too. But I believe that it’s a very one dimensional style of play – one I personally don’t believe holds up over time. However, my notions will be up for a test tomorrow – that’s Auburn’s game right right now.


      1. Good observations. Thanks for the posts.

        I agree that just heaving up three’s is no way to go through life, but when we struggle to score (like we do), having a bomber like Tyree can open things up. I still think playing him more would help take some load off of JJ.


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