Quick reaction to Georgia’s 72-62 loss to UMASS

The Georgia Bulldogs (7-2) got a big-time reality check in Amherst on Saturday courtesy of the Massachusetts Minutemen (6-5).  After building some momentum heading into final exams with wins over St. Mary’s, Marquette and Winthrop, Georgia laid an egg and suffered a 72-62 loss to a .500 team with an RPI of 183.  The Dawgs’ NCAA Tournament hopes took a hit this afternoon as this one definitely qualifies as a “bad loss”.

UMASS went all Clubber Lang on Georgia from the start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead that quickly blossomed to 13-2 and then 24-7.  The Dawgs appeared disinterested in guarding the perimeter as they allowed the Minutemen, a team averaging 7.6 three’s a night, to hit 8 three-pointers in the first half (and finish with 12 on the night).  Luwane Pipkins, who scores a little over 18 ppg, was unstoppable in the first half as he scored 12 points on an array of three’s and off-balanced shots.

UMASS’s offensive onslaught left the Dawgs a bit shell-shocked, and in turn Georgia tried to press to much offensively to catch up, which led to a handful of bad looks by Coach Fox’s team.  Yante Maten, who finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds, scored 14 before the break on a 7 for 12 shooting performance; the rest of his team made only 3 of their 19 attempts from the floor.  The result: Georgia trailed 43-24 at halftime.

The Dawgs opened up the second half with a 12-5 run that cut the UMASS lead to 48-36.  Even better, Georgia found themselves in the bonus with over 15 minutes remaining in the game.  The Dawgs appeared poised to work themselves back into this one.  However, UGA only attempted 8 free throws for the remainder of the afternoon.

Even though the Dawgs were down by double-digits or more for nearly 37 minutes of this game, the real dagger came with a little under 8 minutes remaining.  At the time, UMASS led 60-47 until Pipkins buried a three-pointer from the top of the key with the shot clock expiring to push the Minutemen advantage to 63-47.  That shot seemed to take the air out of any hopes that Coach Fox’s team might have held regarding a late-game comeback.

Heading into this game, Georgia seemed to be on the up and up, which is probably why I feel like I have so many questions regarding what transpired today inside the Mullins Center.  I will sit them below:

Why did Jordan Harris, who has been used sparingly at best so far this season, play 17 minutes in the second half?  Harris shot a woeful 1 for 8 from the floor, yet Fox stuck with him for nearly the entire half.  Mark Fox’s substitution patterns are typically rapid and ongoing, but Harris somehow managed to avoid leaving the floor despite playing rather poorly.  The only reason I can see for Fox keeping him on the court is that he felt Harris needed the exercise.

-Why was Yante Maten assigned the task of defending Rashaan Holloway?  At over 300 pounds, Holloway was an absolute load to deal with in the paint.  He used his width to pound Maten inside as he scored 12 points in just 21 minutes of play (the big fella had to deal with some foul trouble).  Derek Ogbeide, who only had 1 personal foul, played only 2 minutes after the intermission.  It seems to me that he would have been more suited to bang with the mammoth Holloway, and Yante might have been less winded down the stretch if hadn’t had to work so hard on the defensive side of the ball.

-Why was Tyree Crump left on the bench?  Tyree Crump is a scorer, pure and simple.  Georgia shot under 36% from the floor today, and they desperately needed an offensive spark from the bench.  Crump even went so far as to provide that spark late in the second half when he entered the game and sunk consecutive three-pointers to make it a 10-point game.  UGA got a steal on the next possession and Crump turned it over trying to force a pass into the lane, which resulted in him being promptly yanked by Coach Fox. Tyree finished the game with 8 points in just 10 minutes.  I’m not sure what Crump does that irks Fox so much, but he’s going to need him on the floor to put the ball in the basket this season or Georgia’s going to lose more games that it shouldn’t.

-Why did freshman Teshaun Hightower only log a minute of play?  Hightower seemed to be establishing himself as a reliable backup point guard to Turtle Jackson prior to the 11-day layoff, but he barely saw the floor in this one.  The freshman’s strengths seem to be defense (because of his length at 6’4″) and his willingness to attack the basket, both qualities that could have been used against UMASS today.  He air-balled a three-pointer from the corner in the first half and then never saw the court again.  I kept waiting for him to return in the second half as I thought he could push the action on offense and take advantage of Georgia being in the bonus, but that never happened.

If anyone has answers or responses to any of my aforementioned questions, please comment below.

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6 thoughts on “Quick reaction to Georgia’s 72-62 loss to UMASS

  1. At the 10 minute mark, Crump hit two three pointers to bring the Dawgs within 10. So Fox pulled him. This is what might have been going on in his head: “Crump could shoot us back into this game. So I’m going to take him out. Harris has nothing. I’ll leave him in.”

    I see Fox staring out at the floor during the game, but is he actually watching? His substitution patterns are insane!

    As long as Fox is coach of UGA they will be what they are. A team that loses games they should win and is not a factor in anything.

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  2. Answers? There are none. Too much frantic garbage. Crump was garbage in the first half, and his ridiculous turnover after two threes had me groaning. However, he and Turtle were the only hopes at that point. I want Harris back playing, but he was atrocious, and you are correct, he should have sat. No E? Did I catch him out there for a second? I’ve somehow gotten more comfortable with the substitutions in hopes that we will gain the depth needed to battle through the league, but I have to admit, many decisions have me baffled. I could pile on, but what’s the use? Now I have to get myself psyched enough to dare getting home Tuesday at 1 am to rise at 4:30. After this stinker, I’m not as sure.

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  3. Harlem Bill, what about Turtle, Parker, Hammonds and all the rest of the players Fox ushered in in the 1st half. Guess u didn’t see any garbage from any of Fox pets huh. Did Turtles man scoring the first 7pts make u groan or his 4 turnovers? Did Harris bricks make u groan 1-8 in 25 minutes, smh? Wait what about Hammonds play or Juwan defensive lapses. Are u groaning yet! Crump was 2-4 with 8pts in 10 minutes. Yes that was a bad turnover, so what, you’re down 10 and the kid is still competing giving u some hope but the dumb ass pulls him, smh! Crump has the shortest leash on team and in my opinion needs to transfer from this program. Guess Fox can’t tame Crump so he harbors on the kid defense for not playing him when the whole damn team is a defensive liability. Fox is solely responsible for this lost, he already had his excuse prepared! Wake up UGA Fans, it’s not the players it’s coaching.

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    1. Ho Ho Ho and Merry Christmas to you TD! Hey there big fella. Are you one of these guys who feel the need to savage others on simple things like basketball commentary? Thank God for the Internet. Well good for you Mr. Manny Man! I won’t sit here and agree with you just to make nice. I’m sure Crump will transfer and you can be right. UGA is the team I have. I’m not charged with anything more than watching, and hoping. There are three experienced coaches on the bench, and with Jarvis and Kent, that makes five. I can sit here and rip them too. Perhaps, I can get ’em fired. Tee hee. The only voice missing here is theirs. Hoop, I’ve always come here because unlike the beat writers, you have the inclination to study the team in greater depth. Your writing has improved as the years have passed. Get a press pass. You live in ATH. The strength of your work will secure it. Ask him tough questions. His answers will be telling in light of your analysis. TD, call in when Fox takes over the radio show. Listen to the post game comments on radio. Bring all that back here. However, on second thought, I have a better idea Top Dawg. I have always found coaches – at all levels – surprisingly accessible. Often saying sure to a request for nothing more than a phone call. I tell you this from experience. TD, call up Fox and sit down with him. I know he’ll give you the time. Ask him your hard questions. Get your answers. And when you shake his hand goodbye, remember to look him in the eyes, and tell him what a P.O.S. he is. As for me, I will continue to groan when things go South, but I will still cheer for Mike when he’s able to swish free throws like a guard, I will pray that Pape is “on” if he gets in, and I will cheer every good play by Tyree Crump, and Jordan Harris. Y’all have a Merry Christmas.

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  4. The first 7 pointsbof the game we’re scored by Turtles man—- so why wasn’t he jerked out and replaced? I really think Coach Fox hates Crump— he has NO room for error, 1 mistake and he is jerked out just like last year. How can he ever get in a rhythm if he isn’t allowed to play thru the mistakes? Jordan Harris stayed in 17 minutes with mistake after mistake. So what gives with this? And there are NO Defensive gurus on the floor for Georgia so why are certain players punished and the others aren’t? Georgia’s best lineup is Crump, turtle, Maten, hammonds and Harris or maybe claxton. Why can’t the Georgia coaching staff try this for a whole half let them play and get comfortable togather.

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