Missouri brings Georgia back down to earth in 64-39 thrashing

The Georgia Bulldogs (11-19, 2-15) got destroyed by a Missouri Tiger team that entered last night’s game with just 2 more conference wins than the Dawgs, on Senior Night, nonetheless. After earning just its second SEC win of the season on the road in dramatic fashion against NCAA tournament-hopeful Florida, the Dawgs returned home on Wednesday to play arguably one of the worst games of basketball in the history of Stegeman Coliseum. How does THAT happen? My only surmise, as ridiculous as it sounds, is that Georgia could not handle its success of winning, despite the fact that it’s only happened twice, and the Dawgs entered this contest with the expectation that they would win. If anyone has any other theories, please share them below.

This game was nearly unwatchable. After more than 5 minutes of play, the score was still merely 2-2. The outside shooting was just atrocious as Missouri and Georgia combined to miss their first 25 three-point attempts.

UGA’s offense looked stagnant the entire night. The Dawgs did WAY too much dribbling and standing around. Tom Crean preaches playing fast and constant movement, but on Wednesday he was coaching statues. By halftime, Georgia had managed just 14 points on a 23% shooting effort that included too many selfish looks from numerous Bulldog players.

The second half was just a continuation in mediocrity for the Dawgs. Following the intermission, Georgia went almost 9 minutes without a field goal, and it wasn’t until JoJo Toppin connected on the first triple of his career that the Dawgs ended that drought. Unfortunately, by that point Missouri’s 9-point halftime advantage had blossomed to 38-19, and the route was officially on as the Tigers offense had begun to awaken.

There’s probably more that I could write about or discuss regarding last night’s game, but honestly, it was just so pitiful, that I’m kind of at a loss for words. The only silver-lining from Wednesday is the hilarity in the fact that these two teams could rematch in the first round of the SEC tournament next week if the Tigers remain a game behind Texas A&M.

Eye-popping stats

  • Missouri had 50 rebounds to Georgia’s 28 (the Tigers also had 16 offensive boards)
  • Missouri shot 45% from the floor compared to Georgia’s 25%
  • UGA did not have one player finish in double-figures
  • Missouri had 40 points in the paint to Georgia’s 14

Box score:

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8 thoughts on “Missouri brings Georgia back down to earth in 64-39 thrashing

  1. I was disappointed that Crean didn’t give more seniors a chance to start. Georgia head coaches have always started the seniors on senior night, even when it was a meaningful game. Mike Edwards and Connor O’Neill finally made it on the floor with about 4 minutes to play, but they were inserted during a timeout, so their names weren’t even announced when it happened.

    Crean’s handling of senior night reminded me of his comments earlier this season when he implied that he regretted keeping all the players he inherited.

    If we’re going to get embarrassed on the court, we can at least do it with some class.

    P.S. Keep up the good work on the blog. It’s hard to find much fan interest for Georgia basketball.

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  2. Agree that it was strange not to start all seniors, even if just for a few minutes. Wilridge and Edwards have not been great players, but have shown up and been good teammates for four years and should have started. Two of our worst home losses this year have been Alumni Night and Senior Night, for whatever reason (no idea).

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  3. Yep, that was horrid. I guess our season ended last Saturday. The team finally played like their record.

    BTW – not sure if you read The Athletic (highly recommended), but they had an article talking about potential of players for NBA draft with comments from 3 anonymous coaches. They talked about Claxton and one coach felt like Claxton would test well for the NBA draft and might decide to turn pro. To my uneducated eye, he doesn’t seem nearly ready. Comments?

    Also, are we going to get Kessler?

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    1. In my (admittedly nonexpert) opinion, Clax needs another year. I think that, while he might well make an NBA roster as a high-upside project, a year spent with a competent (or two) ball handling guard will only increase his stock. Hoop, you absolutely nailed the analysis of this one hitting all of the points I would have made had I been writing, including that this was one of the worst performances in Stegeman’s history (and I had season tickets for 40 years!). To not show up on Senior Night is downright embarrassing to the fan base and, hopefully, to the players as well.

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    2. Russ, I agree with you that Claxton does not seem ready. He has great ball-handling skills for a guy his size, which has been attributed to the fact that he grew late. But, I think that transition hurt him a bit in his post game, because he does not always look comfortable taking the ball strong to the rim against similar-sized players; to me, some of his takes look like how a guard would drive the ball at the basket the way he keeps it low and near his shoulder.

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  4. Thanks guys. One other question. When do our recruits get to campus? Is there an “early enrollment” similar to football?

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    1. Yes, recruits are no different than any student. They can enroll as soon as the University will admit them. As scholarshipped athletes they have to have met all of the NCAA eligibility requirements.

      The reason you do not see BB recruits enrolling in January is that there is generally no point to it. Football has spring practice. College basketball is in its regular season in January. Generally a teenager and the college coach doesn’t want to use a year of eligibility to join a team in mid year.

      It has happened where a kid played HS ball in December and college in January (Auburn had a guy do that in 2017) but it is rare.

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