Georgia loses 61-60 at home in physical game

The ending

With the Dawgs trailing 61-60 with only 12 seconds left and T.J. Starks at the line for the Aggies shooting a one-and-one, the casual onlooker might expect that Coach Mark Fox would be telling his guys to either A) call timeout if he misses or B) get the ball across halfcourt and THEN call timeout.  Neither of those phrases was uttered, however, and Georgia’s Teshaun Hightower pushed the ball up the right side of the court following Starks’s miss and took it right to a well-covered Juwan Parker (who had a well-covered Tyree Crump right next to him).  Parker managed to force up a desperation attempt, but it fell way short, and UGA let a critical late-season game slip through their fingertips.

The reason why Georgia should have called a timeout to set something up is fairly obvious: Hightower is a freshman.  He isn’t battled tested yet, and he doesn’t have any significant late game experience.  Hence, why he took the ball to an already crowded side of the court.  A set play would have at least given Georgia better spacing on their final possession.

UGA’s backcourt

I cannot fault Hightower, though, for his indecision during the waning seconds.  He gave Fox some incredibly big minutes off the bench as the freshman scored 11 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists.  Yes, he did have a costly turnover against the Texas A&M press that allowed the Aggies to take a 61-60 advantage on the ensuing possession.  But again, he’s a freshman, and he’s going to make mistakes.  I’m positive he will never make that same mistake again as long as he’s donning the Red and Black.  Hightower’s aggression on offense is something that Georgia’s sorely been lacking from the point guard position this year, and it was refreshing to see the TAMU defenders backpedaling when he brought the ball across halfcourt.  Against Turtle Jackson, and even sometimes Crump, the TAMU guards, specifically Starks, were pushing the Georgia guards well beyond the three-point line, which made it difficult for the Dawgs to get into any sort of offensive rhythm.

The UGA backcourt once again failed this team defensively.  The freshman Starks drove the ball to the basket with little resistance all night.  I was shocked to learn that he only averages 9 points a game; he scored 15 against the Dawgs, and I would have guessed that was around or slightly below his average considering how easily he scored around the rim.  Even more shocking: Starks was a 3-star recruit.  Whoever evaluated and offered him on the Aggie staff deserves a steak dinner because he looks like he’s going to be a load to deal with in the SEC for a few years to come.

D.J. Hogg, who was right around his average with 11 points, had little trouble getting around Rayshaun Hammonds when he wanted to take the ball into the lane.  The Aggies outscored Georgia in the paint 34-16, and I’d wager that more than half of those buckets came from the TAMU guards.  Considering how little production that UGA gets from the guard position, it’s a shame that the Dawgs’ backcourt hasn’t defended better this season.

Maten struggles

I definitely feel for Yante Maten as I’m positive this was not how he envisioned his last game in Athens unfolding. Maten had 16 points and 12 rebounds, but it came at the expense of a 5 for 18 shooting performance.  He either had Tyler Davis or Robert Williams (both of who are monsters) leaning on him the whole night, and any time he received the ball on the block a guard came down immediately to double.  By the end of the game, Maten appeared to be exhausted. He missed a number of shots around the basket that he normally converts in his sleep, and he hit just 4 of 8 from the free throw line, which I attribute to tired legs.

Substitution patterns

Last weekend, Georgia put up a season-high 93 points in their romp of LSU, and Fox only played 8 different players.  That obviously didn’t sit well with the coach as he ran 11 different guys into the game last night.  I thought Mike Edwards time was done; I guess I was wrong. In a mere 2 minutes, Edwards fouled a TAMU player shooting a triple, and then he dribbled the ball into a turnover in the paint on offense (why was he dribbling in the paint in the first place?). E’Torrion Wilridge played all 13 of his minutes before the intermission; he scored 3 points. Wilridge never saw the floor again after halftime, which led me to wonder why he played so much in the first half.  I’ve asked this same question so many times this season.  Since Georgia’s not that good of a team, I just can’t seem to grasp why Fox continues to play so many players, but at least I know I’m not alone in this line of thinking.

 

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8 thoughts on “Georgia loses 61-60 at home in physical game

  1. Sure Fox should have called time out. But he’s a bad coach. He does so many things wrong as a coach. His offense is boring, he can’t recruit shooters, he subs like a subaholic, he doesn’t know who on his his team can do what.

    I was at the game. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that the Dawgs gave this game away. Walking out, the fans were bewildered but not crushed. This is what they’ve come to expect.

    The fact is, the best thing about going to a Dawgs basketball game is eating at Cali & Tito’s before the game.

    I doubt McGarity will fire Fox, the rationale being “I know he’s a pretty darned bad coach but by golly he runs a clean program. Plus, it’s only basketball.”

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  2. Well he does have a shooter in Tyree Crump but for some reason he doesn’t let him play enough or get comfortable on the floor so he could be draining shots like he can.

    It is also crazy if he doesn’t think he has a great chance of making a shot—- why does he always put him in n the last seconds of a game— to make that clutch shot. Which he can do. But if he knows that he is their best chance for making the basket we have to have—- why isn’t he playing all the time like Maten?

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  3. Captain said a mouth full shooter u got him not only a shooter your best shooter is tyree crump #4 ill bet my last on that this team is full of talent to contend in the sec no way Ga sec record should look like that. The team has no chemistry cause once again fox plays 11 to 12 guys a night at one point crump was your second leading scorer on the team behind maten but he was riding the pine n the clutch fox needs to be gone simple. He is a average coach at his best I jus hope the AD gets it together no big time recruits want to play for a bad team. Im still trying to figure out why they believe n Parker poor defender and a ok scorer high tower and crump should stayed in the game but poor coaching got another L n the lost column

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  4. This was a tough loss to take. Fox finally played Hightower and Crump together and the team mostly played a great second half, only to collapse. Fox takes the blame for not calling a timeout on the last possession but also down the stretch in general. This game ended with 3 unused timeouts for Georgia.

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  5. I have avoided posting here anymore due to the vitriol crassly splattered about. It sometimes has been off-putting to say the least. However, I will make a last post to close out my season here. I will start out by highlighting what we should all know, and that is criticism and second-guessing is easy.

    I work in a profession that hires cadres of professional critics, and the one unifying aspect that links almost all of them is that they became professional critics because they themselves could not hang with the daily pressures of the job. They convince themselves that the position they now hold is due to their exceptionalism. However, those of us who actually cut and sew the cloth know that the Emperor is wearing no clothes. Outside the profession, the public lobs bombs vilifying almost everyone who does this job. The respect for this profession is almost nonexistent. Everyone did some aspect of it at one time in their lives, so they are therefore, by association, experts.

    It is very much analogous to watching a sporting team that struggles.

    I can respect those who thoughtfully discuss and comment on my profession, are willing to ask questions, and even point out that my profession often fails in many individual instances. But that respect comes when the critic clearly admits that they might not have all the facts – or that other factors might play in the failures. Those of you reading this, that work in a “people dependent” business, in which your outcomes are not solely based on your work itself, but are dependent on the successes of others, know that their failures can very well open you up to charges of incompetence. Most of us know this, but our inability to change it in our professions, too often makes us callous in our evaluations of others as they do their jobs.

    I have to be careful because I find myself doing the same far too much. And I shouldn’t.

    Timeout? No Timeout?

    As noted, Hightower was playing well. He had driven successfully before, each time pulling their bigs. A timeout was taken earlier. Are we to assume nothing was discussed? We struggle in-bounding. Drives are wonderfully situational. Continue to the hoop or dish? Keeping A&M bigs from setting up a “rim defense” was a viable option. The ball was mishandled before mid-court. No time-out possible. The right side’s crowded? A result of the mishandle? Could the positioning have been to optimize strong-side shooting options in case of the dish?

    We can second guess.

    Let’s.

    A 1-point loss.

    *6 points left at the free-throw line. Bad Coach!
    *A&M’s 9 second chance points. Bad Coach!
    *8 misses in the paint by upperclassmen forwards. Bad Coach!
    *A substitution. A senior starter replaced early in the game. His replacement a future UGA star. The star’s job at that moment? Guard A&M’s shooting guard. Dead ball restart. He was in position. Game on! His action? 2 long steps backwards. Results? A buried 3. Bad Coach!
    *A player makes a pass to avoid the trap. From one angle, it looks brilliant. It will break the trap. From another angle, it is woefully off target, and goes out of bounds. A&M turns it into 2. Bad Coach!
    *A wide open three that likely would have saved the game – missed. Bad Coach!

    See. It’s easy.

    There are 39 points right there (and I could go on)…our win…our NCAA hopes still alive…a beautiful night for all of us who long – so much and so loyally – for that special magic to finally touch our team…

    ruined…all due to bad coaching.

    But it’s never that simple is it? Or perhaps, it’s never that stupid.

    We all hurt, but none more so than those boys and their coach. Their coaches! We are best served by showing empathy and understanding. We can critique, but we have to leaven that with the admission that the results were cumulative and not the fault of any one person.

    This is our team for good or bad. IN good or bad. Do we hope that this team, the one we’ve cheered on all season, arrives in Knoxville crippled? Do we hope to see them crushed before a rollicking crowd at Boling Arena? Do we wish all involved are humiliated just so we can lob another Molotov Cocktail?

    No.

    We want what they want. To heal. To hope. To suit up one more time.

    With pride in themselves. With pride in each other. With pride in their University.

    Proud of us.

    Because we understand. Because we believe.

    GO DAWGS!

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    1. So, Bill, how long do we give Fox? We have (probably) the SEC POTY this year. Last year, we were one of only two teams (the other being Kentucky) to start 2 All-SEC players. Previously, we had an NBA lottery pick guard. What has Fox gotten done with that talent?

      At some point, you have to make a change. Fox is a good man, runs a clean program, and 9 years in remains a mediocre basketball coach. We should do better.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We’re Fanatics, It’s what we do. I just have to ask one question. How many Fox supporters would be willing to give Jonas Hayes 10 years to turn around UGA basketball? Crickets!!
    3 timeouts and you don’t use one🤔. Ok Fox can’t call one, yet he hollers all night at players for any little mistake. Do you Think he should or could have screamed timeout towards one then? What are you holding onto them for, the press conference? Fox truly is a bad coach. This wasn’t his 1st late game collapse! Hopefully it’s his last of many, Or just maybe we accept mediocrity and continue playing on the dreaded 1st day of SEC tournament. Bottom four! The FANS deserve better! Go Dawgs!!

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