Dawgs coast to 79-54 win over hapless Bryant

For nearly 12 minutes, the Bryant Bulldogs had the look of a team that did not fly all the way from Rhode Island just to lay down for Mark Fox’s team.  With 8:25 left before the break, Bryant trailed 22-13 after leading scorer Adam Grant (24 points) connected on a three.  That was the closest the other Bulldogs would get for the remainder of the evening, though, as Georgia went on an 18-4 run to finish out the first twenty minutes of play that enabled them to take a 40-17 lead at the half.

This run was fueled by 8 points from junior guard William “Turtle” Jackson, who poked his head out and notched all 11 of his points before the intermission (9 of which came from beyond the arc).

Georgia’s man defense suffocated Bryant on Friday as they held the Bulldogs to just 17% from the field for the first half (they finished the night slightly above 25%).   UGA used its superior length to make Bryant uncomfortable, which led to a lot of hurried shots form the outside by the Bulldogs.  Bryant attempted an astounding 31 shots from the three-point line, yet they connected on just 8 of them. However, it was hard to blame the smaller Bulldogs for looking for points from the perimeter as the Dawgs swatted 10 of their shots on the night, with Yante Maten and Nicolas Claxton leading the way with 4 and 3 blocks, respectively (one of Claxton’s rejections was so forceful it shot up into the 4th row of the lower level).

While the Dawgs primarily played half court defense for the majority of the night, Fox did provide a glimpse of a full-court press that could (and should) be employed more down the road: Mike Edwards defended the ball and then trapped on the side where the ball was inbounded.  The result: one steal and a deflected pass. With Edwards’s size and athleticism, this spot on the press could be a nice little defensive niche for him.

Offensively, I loved the sets where Maten received the ball at the high post.  He would give it to the guard on his side of the court, screen on the ball and then work into a little two man game as he rolled off the pick.  Maten had a solid first outing as he notched a double-double and scored a team-high 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds.  Georgia consistently pounded the ball inside to Maten where he took advantage of the helpless Bryant defenders.

Probably the biggest bright spot of the night for Coach Fox was the play of freshman Rayshaun Hammonds, who netted 17 points and snagged 7 boards.  He looked good doing it, too.  Hammonds scored effortlessly close to the basket, and he had several nice buckets from the wing in which he took his defender off the dribble; and he made a three-pointer.  Hammonds could potentially be a key contributor to replacing J.J. Frazier’s points from a year ago.

While UGA fans and players obviously shouldn’t read too much into a win over an opponent that ESPN ranked 298th in the country before the season, it was nice to see Georgia throttle a team that was clearly less talented. I’ve definitely taken in more than a few early season games in which it took nearly 30 minutes for the Dawgs to put away an inferior mid-major team.  Tonight, that was not the case.  Georgia shut this team down early and walked away with a 79-54 victory, which makes the Dawgs a perfect 1-0 on the year.

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6 thoughts on “Dawgs coast to 79-54 win over hapless Bryant

  1. This is year 8 for me counting on this page to provide the only consistent and comprehensive account of the Hoop Dawgs on the web. Thanks! Glad basketball is back. I have a pretty good feeling about this season.

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  2. These Hoop Dawgs are deep. Coach Fox’s liberal subbing will look much smarter this year as we actually have 10 guys that deserve to play.

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  3. Attended this game with fellow Hoop Dawg follower Tony Cole Is Still A Punk, and it was great to see our team back in action. Stegeman looks better than ever, and my goodness what an influx of big dudes who appear to be players. I feel confident in saying this is the tallest team we’ve ever put on the floor, and freshman don’t arrive looking like freshmen used to look (exception: Claxton, who has “fan favorite” written all over him). Hammonds was indeed the most impressive of the newcomers, and we quite enjoyed Fox’s head-in-hands posture the entire time Teshaun Hightower was on the floor (note to CMF: we NEED a penetrating guard, please don’t break this kid’s adventurous spirit). As for the returnees, I witnessed some leadership by Turtle that was encouraging, and Crump remains a ready shooter. It’s November, so Juwan Parker can’t shoot yet. Can’t draw too many conclusions considering the opposition — #3 had an especially rough time of it. Still, nice win. Go Dawgs!

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  4. It was great to see the dawgs in person with great seats! Thanks Sansho 1! Teams will have their hands full when Maten, Hammonds and Ogbeide are on the court at the same time. Hammonds is SEC ready, for sure. I like Hightower, too, but he does do freshman things. Claxton is going to be good for us too! My only complaint, and you’ll always know I have complaints, is that our half-court sets are still tortured. And I worry that Turtle looks for half-court sets first, rather than looking to drive. But, that being said, hooray UGA basketball! Hooray Hoop Dawg for another year of awesome Hoop Dawg talk!

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