Auburn completes season sweep of Georgia with 78-61 win

Auburn played yesterday without Bryce Brown, the team’s leading scorer and the potential SEC Player of the Year candidate.  Based upon the relative ease in which the Tigers dispatched the Dawgs in Stegeman, he didn’t appeared to be missed.  It was painfully obvious how much more talented Bruce Pearl’s team is than Mark Fox’s.  Auburn has multiple players that can hit three-pointers while Georgia might have one.  The Tigers have 4 or 5 guys that can create offense off the dribble; do the Dawgs have anyone with that skill set?

I’m venturing that the UGA coaching staff felt that with Brown out the Dawgs could man up on the Tigers in an effort to contest shots on the perimeter.  Unfortunately, the Georgia guards couldn’t stay in front of the Auburn guards as the Tigers got to the rim whenever they wanted.  The smaller Tigers scored 30 points in the paint on the afternoon to Georgia’s 26.

In the second half, Georgia went to a zone because they couldn’t defend Pearl’s team in man.  The problem, though, was that the Dawgs lost interest in guarding the arc.  Auburn hit 6 of its 11 triples after the break, and most of them were completely uncontested. The Tigers came into Athens averaging 10.5 three-pointers a night in SEC play, with Brown contributing 4 a game.  The fact that Georgia allowed Auburn to best their conference average without the services of their most dangerous shooter is a true testament to the lack of commitment that the Dawgs showed in defending the perimeter.

Several of the Auburn three’s came off of offensive rebounds during a particularly devastating stretch of play for the Dawgs.  The Tigers’ Mustapha Heron put his stamp on the game with a thunderous one-handed dunk that was also the result of an offensive board.  Heron’s bucket sent UGA fans to the exits as it made it 72-56 with 3:24 remaining. The Tigers got 15 of their 78 points off of second chances.  From where I was sitting, it looked like the home team gave up in the second half.

Offense looks real simple when the point guard can pass the ball to the wing, and then that wing can blow by his man and finish at the bucket. That’s not really the Georgia way.  UGA’s possessions have truly become adventures that have me cringing for the entire 30 seconds.  Nothing looks easy.  Turtle dribbled the ball out of bounds twice attempting to perform a simple crossover dribble. Derek Ogbeide threw one pass directly into the stands from the top of the key. Tyree Crump had multiple passes taken right from his hands as he couldn’t get the ball around the Auburn defender. From the start of the game, Bruce Pearl implored his backcourt to pick up and pressure UGA’s guards as soon as the ball crossed half court.  If Georgia had a player like Heron or Jared Harper, a team couldn’t defend them in this manner because those guys would just go around the defender and then the entire defense would be at a disadvantage (basically what happened to UGA all afternoon).  But alas, this Bulldog team is lacking in dribble-drivers and its the reason why they struggle to muster 60 points a game.

Georgia had a couple possessions where they quickly pushed the ball up the court and got it inside to Yante Maten.  Those were nice moments.  Sadly, there were only a few of them.  The Dawgs had 13 turnovers that led to 25 Tiger points.  UGA shot 28% from beyond the arc.

At this point, Georgia should just start Crump, Juwan Parker, Maten, Nicolas Claxton and Rayshaun Hammonds, who had become sort of the forgotten man, was reinserted into the starting five and he played admirably, scoring 14 points.  Those are the players with the most talent and potential, and Fox mind as well get the young fellas the experience now in the hopes that it benefits them more next season.  This season is a wash.  Anyone still counting quality wins and thinking the Dawgs might go on a run to make a push for the NCAA tournament is living in fantasy land.  At 13-11, Georgia’s probably going to struggle to even be considered for the NIT.  This was supposed to be Mark Fox’s deepest team yet (according to him).  How have things unraveled so much from the team’s 11-3 start?

 

Box score:

UGA auburnAuburn

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21 thoughts on “Auburn completes season sweep of Georgia with 78-61 win

  1. Surely this is the last season for Fox. He’s lost his team. They don’t want to play for him anymore. Does anybody out there really enjoy watching these games?

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    1. Surely McGarity is hearing the noise. I’m not convinced that McGarity will pull the trigger. I went to the SC game and while we played pretty good D we looked completely lost on offense. I am puzzled how Fox did so well at Nevada. Time to hit the reset button.

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  2. OK… let’s get this rolling. Just a simple fill-in-the-blank. “The basketball coach of UGA will be ___________ next season.”

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    1. How about Joe Dooley from Florida Gulf Coast University? Here’s why I like him:

      1. He’s taken FGSU to the NCAA tourney 3 times in 5 years, and they just clinched the conference yesterday so he could be taking them back this year, too.

      2. His teams regularly are in the Top 100 in PPG so the guy can coach some offense.

      3. He’s been recruiting the Southeast for 5+ years.

      4. FGSU’s program is nicknamed “Dunk City”. That sounds like a WAY more exciting brand of basketball than what Fox has going on in Athens.

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      1. That guy sounds perfect. He was an assistant under Bill Self at Kansas and he’s had success at a school nearby. I think some of these mid-major guys have to be thinking really hard before they come to the SEC. The SEC is a rough road and has been a coach killer. You come to a conference that gets little respect, is very physical, and is usually 10 deep. He’s only making 225K at FGCU so maybe he would be enticed with a good salary. Question is would he want to stay if he had success? There are some advantages of getting an old guy like Harrick(less the baggage). You get a guy who isn’t looking to go somewhere else. At this point we could be a stepping stone.

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  3. I have no idea, just that it has to be someone new. We’re 1 out of 3 picking from smallers schools (if you count Memphis as a smaller school). Tubby worked out, Felton didn’t, and Fox plateaued after about 2 seasons.

    We could try the Sackerlina path and poach someone, but I can’t imagine McGoofity stroking a check large enough to leave another major university. So I guess it’s a mid-major coach again. Hope we get lucky this time.

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    1. At this point I think Felton was better. Unfortunately the players he recruited were constantly getting in trouble. I don’t see any way we get anything other than a mid-major coach. At this point we have to do something.

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  4. The basketball coach at UGA next season will be T.J. Otzelberger . head coach at South Dakota State University.

    In his first season at South Dakota State, Otzelberger led the Jackrabbits to the Summit League Tournament Championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, losing in the first round to eventual tournament runner-up Gonzaga.

    This years team currently leads the Summit League standings, averaging 85+ points per game, shooting 3’s at a .406 clip. and 10.5 3’s per game.

    Following the 2014 season, Jay Bilas and Jeff Goodman ranked TJ as one of the top college head coaching candidates. At that point, he was an assistant at Washington.

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    1. Although I do wonder about his ability to recruit the southeast. Not like we have been locking up this state, anything…

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  5. How about Tom Crean? He runs an exciting offense and has made the Final 4 with two different teams. We are not in his traditional region but he is a great recruiter that I’m sure could get some guys out of Atlanta.

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