Some thoughts on Kentucky’s 69-49 rout of Georgia

The Georgia Bulldogs (9-7, 1-3) do not start many games off with 5 consecutive dunks. If someone had only watched the initial 5 minutes of this game and seen how the Dawgs built up their 11-6 lead over Kentucky, it would be hard to convince that individual that UGA would end up losing the game by 20 points. Georgia competed with the #12 Cats for 20 minutes, but then the magic ran out. Below are some of my thoughts:

Brutal second half for Georgia

The last five minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half are largely thought to be the two most important segments of a basketball game. The Dawgs excelled in the former, but they got totally Ashton Hagans-ized in the latter. The freshman, who scored a career-high 23 points, lit Georgia up out of the intermission as he scored 7 quick points and helped bolster the Cats’ 4-point lead to 42-31.

The Dawgs began the second half offensively by missing their first 5 shots and committing 3 turnovers. UGA didn’t notch a field goal until Rayshaun Hammonds got a tip-in with 14:35 remaining in the game. Georgia shot just 19% from the floor in the second half, and they made only 2 of 14 from beyond the arc.

Confusing offensive identity

As mentioned, the Dawgs jumped on Kentucky early and exploited some rather poor defensive rotations by Coach Calipari’s team to the tune of five two-handed dunks. Georgia scored 18 of its 31 points in the paint prior to the break, then the Dawgs scored just 18 points the entire second half. Despite making only 2 of 13 three-point attempts through the first 20 minutes, Georgia kept chucking them up after the intermission and finished the game just 4 of 27 from the perimeter. All of this was confounding considering how easily UGA was getting the ball into the teeth of the Kentucky defense early on; it definitely felt like the Dawgs sort of let the Cats off the hook defensively.

Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love Tom Crean’s commitment to shoot more three-pointers. That’s where the game has gone. Good teams get points consistently from beyond the arc, and it’s far past time that UGA join this fad. However, it’s just tough to watch right now because the Dawgs don’t have that many legitimate perimeter shooters.

Lack of star power for UGA

Georgia held Kentucky’s leading scorer Keldon Johnson, who nets nearly 16 points a night, in check in this one as he put up a goose egg. Unfortunately, UGA’s leading scorer, Rayshaun Hammonds, had another tough night; the sophomore went into the half with 0 points and 2 fouls after nearly 12 minutes of game time. Hammonds would finish with 11 points, but he never asserted himself into this game on the offensive side of the ball. Rayshaun’s struggles against ranked competition continued against #12 Kentucky, and he’s now averaging only 6.7 ppg in the three contests versus ranked SEC opponents.

Nic Claxton, who notched 9 points prior to the break, would net only 3 more the rest of the way. The Dawgs need more than 23 total points out of their leading scorers if they are going to pull an upset on a team of Kentucky’s calibre.

Coach Calipari had others on his team, namely Hagans, step up and shoulder the scoring load. Kentucky’s freshman point guard looks the part of a bona fide stud on both offense and defense, and he certainly got the last laugh inside Stegeman tonight after receiving a decent amount of heckling from the UGA student section.

Stats that jump off the box score:

  1. Kentucky had 40 points in the paint to Georgia’s 22.
  2. Kentucky had 43 rebounds to Georgia’s 35.
  3. Kentucky had 14 points off turnovers to Georgia’s 4.

3 thoughts on “Some thoughts on Kentucky’s 69-49 rout of Georgia

  1. If we would have fortunate enough to keep Hagans we would be a different team. Our guard play is the worst I think I have ever seen. Last night …if Claxton didn’t bring the ball sown..the guards would dribble from foul-line extended from one side to the other…never penetrating the lane.. for 30 seconds then fire up a three. Awful, Awful, Awful. Hope he can get one in here soon.


  2. Do we put decision-making under guard play? Whose decisions?

    (There was plenty of poor decision-making to go around. (Derek dribbling around in the paint. He’s been told it’s cool you know.)

    Anyway, I get that we are going to chunk 3’s whether we have knock-down shooters or not. (Everybody can have philosophical differences about how to play basketball.) However, I do care how we go about it – how we chunk them up.

    In the second half, we did so without allowing any teammates to arrive – precluding any chance of an offensive rebound. KU had 17 defensive rebounds in the 2nd. (Almost all of them totally uncontested.) You might say, well, the shot was there. Perhaps. (Again, a philosophy – chunked shots per minute of game-time – hence rotating index fingers) But knowing that you lack knock-down shooters, wouldn’t you want somebody around to clean up from time to time?

    What about forcing teammates to short-sprint 3/4 of the court just to turn around and repeat? Will the fatigue help our play?

    Defense? I can’t… One stat offered again and again. Opposition points in the paint. Patterns reveal things.

    New start, rebuilding season, or whatever. If we don’t improve in MANY aspects, it won’t just be the upper deck that dumps tickets wholesale at $6. Never in all my years, have I seen so many KU tix go for so little.


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