Belmont cruises past Georgia in Athens

12529676Mark Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs’ appearance in this year’s NIT tournament was short-lived.  UGA attempted to defend its home court without the services of Yante Maten and Juwan Parker, and in the end, it failed as the Dawgs fell 78-69 to Belmont.  For the second straight year, Georgia will head into the offseason wondering “what if” in regards to this tournament.  Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be for the Dawgs this March, or maybe advancing to the semifinals of the NIT is an intricate part of year 9 of Fox’s 10-year plan.  Either way, UGA’s season is done as they finish 19-15 on the year (assuming we include the win over Division II Morehouse).

Tonight, Georgia struggled to cover the perimeter against a Belmont (23-6) team that entered this game hitting 10 three-pointers a night.  Surely defending the outside had to be a point of focus in practice the past several days.  Yet, the Bruins torched the Dawgs for 7 three’s in the first half.  UGA responded by switching to man defense out of the intermission, and Belmont promptly hit 3 more from beyond the arc.  Fox put his team back in its bread and butter – the matchup zone – only to see the Dawgs yield 4 more three-pointers.  By the time the final horn sounded, the Bruins had knocked down a whopping 14 three-pointers, and they finished with a blistering 45% mark from the perimeter.  For the Dawgs’ defense, mission not accomplished.

For a while in the second half, the Bruins simplified their offense down to an NBA-like style as they allowed Evan Bradds to back down whoever was on his side of the UGA zone until help came over and he could kick it to an open shooter.  Watching the Bruins score the ball over and over again in this fashion was quite painful as a UGA fan.  And Bradds had plenty of options to pass it to as he and three of his teammates finished the game in double-figures.  The Bruins were led by Dylan Windler, who scored 21 points.  Windler came into this contest netting just 9 a night against Ohio Valley competition, but this evening he shredded the Georgia defense and appeared to be virtually unguardable.

On the flip side, Georgia’s offense was J.J. Frazier, who led all scorers with 29 points.  Frazier used his athleticism to get to the basket basically whenever he pleased, but his efforts alone were not enough this time.  The rest of the UGA offense looked stagnant and almost content to stand by and watch the J.J. Frazier show.  Turtle Jackson and Tyree Crump each finished with 10 points, but did not shoot the ball particularly well, going 4 for 11 and 4 for 10, respectively.  The Dawgs didn’t shoot it well as a team as they connected on 42% from the floor and just 23% from beyond the arc.

Georgia’s ineptness on the offensive side of the ball is why this team only led Belmont for 19 seconds on Wednesday.

Even though Maten and Parker were out, one would think that Georgia should win this game at home.  The problem, though, is that other than Frazier and Ogbiede, the Bruins had better players on the court.  Belmont’s players shot the ball more efficiently and ran their offense to precision.  UGA’s 5 through 8 players on the roster should be at least as talented as a team from the Ohio Valley, and if that’s not the case their needs to be serious questions asked about the direction that this program is heading.


13 thoughts on “Belmont cruises past Georgia in Athens

  1. If Fox is still curious about the criteria of the NCAA selection process, tonight’s game should make him less curious.

    Agree with Hoop. Belmont was better coached and had superior talent. This is Georgia Basketball.

    Felt bad for JJ.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, at least Fox is a defensive specialist, right? Right? Oh, wait…

    Yep, feel bad for JJ and the 1,500 people that were in the stands.


    1. I agree with that. He certainly made the most of his abilities. He was a fun player to watch. I wonder what the future holds for him?

      Also, I never did hear what was wrong with Juwan Parker. How was he injured?


  3. I still can’t believe McGarity panicked and kept Fox another year just because a sports journalist gave some indication that he might be replaced. Is there any reputable hoops program that would keep a guy making $2m+ annually when he hasn’t won an NCAA tourney game in 8 years? Most would have gotten rid of him 3 or 4 years ago. As I’ve already said, each extra year of retaining Fox is only going to widen the gap between us and a rapidly improving SEC. UK, UF, Arkansas, SC and Vandy (with a first year coach) made the tourney this year and figure to continue to have solid teams going forward. Bama, UT, Miss State and Auburn all have relatively new coaches and are on the rise. Bama, Auburn and Miss State have top 10 national recruiting classes either last year or this year (even with Hammonds, our class is rated only #8 in the SEC this year). Mizzou just hired Cuonzo Martin. Depending on who LSU hires, an argument could be made that no school in the SEC has a less accomplished head coach and supporting coaching staff than UGA. We finished 8th out of 14 teams this year with two all-SEC players, beating 1 of 10 top 50 teams. How can anyone in their right mind think it’s going to get better going forward? There is such a thing as a window of opportunity for every coach. Fox’s chance to show that he can take UGA to another level has long passed. Now, it’s just a matter of how quickly we fall from mediocrity to something less than that. Sad situation – this is Georgia basketball.


  4. Standing Ovation Greg! What’s the deal with McGarity? Who’s evaluating this dude? If you fire Richt, your ass most definitely need to get rid of Fox! His job needs be in question and then we’ll work on Fox!


    1. +1 McGarity needs to go. Never liked him coming from Florida. His handling of various football issues and Coach Fox has been pretty poor.


  5. My last word on a horse that needs beating. Watching the games today, I would judge that every team I watched had talent superior to UGA. Yet our state is rich in basketball talent.
    Also, this just in: Belmont is good at shooting 3s. If we should meet them again in the NIT next year (a dream of mine) I hope Mark will point that out to his team.
    Also in addition: I don’t think Maten will come back. Why would he?


  6. I do believe the postings today point out that our problem is much deeper than Mark Fox! McGarrity has botched several major issues now! Basketball being a minor one for our AD! I realize that the toilets at Sanford are a priority right now, but our hoops program deserves a bit of attention! I know Mark Fox has worked hard, but it appears that the Hoop Dogs are sorely lacking in shooters! Also the system seems to matter as much as individual execution! Other than the tough breaks and blown gaskets, nothing seems to be the same for the Dogs’ offense! I didn’t watch the game the other evening, but an empty Steg should be the cue for McGarrity to take action! The murals on the western wall can only cover so much! Our shooting and recruiting lag behind the rest of the SEC! Belmont drove it to the hole and always flipped it out to the open man! Is their coach available?


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