Dawgs fizzle in season finale against Gamecocks

I think it’s safe to say that the South Carolina Gamecocks officially own the Georgia Bulldogs (11-20, 2-16) on the basketball court. After today’s 66-46 drubbing at the hands of Frank Martin’s team, the Dawgs have now dropped 6 straight contests to the team from Columbia.

All things told, this was a tough week for Georgia basketball. After 4 consecutive, heartbreakingly close losses, the Dawgs finally pushed through and earned a surprise upset win at Florida last Saturday. UGA followed their 2nd SEC win of the season with a pair of duds, with the one today being slightly more bearable to take in than the no-show against Missouri on Wednesday. If you are a fan of offense, then this week failed you terribly as the Dawgs scored a total of 85 points in both games. Sheesh.

Despite the lopsided final score, Georgia actually had an opportunity to get itself back in the game in the second half (the first half was almost Missouri-level painful, but we’ll jump into that a little later).

Coming out of the break, the Dawgs showed a full court 1-2-2 zone press that really tripped up the Gamecocks as they scored just 5 points in the initial 11 minutes of the second half. Following a pair of free throws from senior Derek Ogbeide, the Dawgs trailed Carolina 49-39 with 9:05 left. Considering that Georgia was down by 23 points at the break, it seemed unbelievable that the Dawgs had a shot to cut the lead to single digits after the atrocious 20 minutes of defense that Tom Crean’s team “played” in the first half.

Even though the Gamecocks managed only 2 field goals after nearly 13 minutes of play had transpired in the second half, the Dawgs failed to trim the Carolina advantage to under 10 points.

Other than some early sparks from both Derek Ogbeide and Nic Claxton, Georgia’s offense was fairly subpar on Saturday in Columbia. As has been the case all season, UGA couldn’t hang on to the ball as the Dawgs turned it over 20 times, and the Gamecocks converted those extra possessions into 24 points. Offensively, the Dawgs have done way too much dribbling and one-on-one basketball this week, which is not a good look for this team. Georgia has been at its best this season when the ball and players are constantly shifting and moving to different spots on the court. However, in today’s game, much like against Missouri, the Dawgs just didn’t look very poised on offense. It’s possible that with Rayshaun Hammonds done for the year, some of his teammates may be ready to call this season a wrap as well.

Tom Crean’s team had a field goal drought of 8:08 in the first half, and they followed that up by not scoring a field goal for the final 10:29 of this game. Even though they were losing multiple close games, this UGA team was still fun to watch; lately, that hasn’t been the case, and I have zero clue as to what this team’s mindset could possibly be as they head into the first round of the SEC tournament set to rematch a Missouri team that just held them to 39 points in Stegeman on Senior Night.

The only silver lining from this one is that it’s the last time that Georgia has to face Chris Silva, who had 24 points on the afternoon; he’s been an instrumental part of the Gamecocks’ current win streak against the Dawgs.

In addition to turnovers, here are a few more things that Georgia doesn’t do well:

  • Defensive rebound: UGA entered this contest tied for 12th in the SEC in offensive rebounds allowed, and they gave up another 13 today against South Carolina. The strength of this Georgia team is supposed to be its frontcourt, yet the Dawgs can’t keep opponents off the glass, which is confounding.
  • Turn teams over: not only is Georgia one of the worst teams in the conference in regards to turnovers, but the Dawgs are last in the SEC in forcing opponents into turnovers (9.9) – South Carolina committed just 9 today. Tom Crean preaches deflections and how critical they are and have been in his defensive systems, but Georgia fans have yet to see what that actually looks like; hopefully that strategy becomes more concrete next season.

Box score:

5 thoughts on “Dawgs fizzle in season finale against Gamecocks

  1. Do you think the awful playing from the Bulldogs has anything to do with Coach Creen’s statements about how bad the players are he kept them but probably should have let them go. I mean what kind of confidence do you think these kids have at this point?


    1. While I didn’t agree with Crean’s choice of words, the team did respond by playing some pretty decent basketball for 5 consecutive games (including the win at Florida), so I’m not sure this week’s demise is necessarily related.

      Rayshaun Hammonds being out hasn’t helped.


  2. Last 2 games were real stinkers. Hopefully they will give a better effort in the tournament. And hope Crean signs some more help for next season.


  3. A suggestion Hoop for a ways down the road after the dust settles. This may not be your cup of tea, but I for one (out here in Nevada) would like to see a piece after signing day on the incoming recruits for next year and maybe your thoughts on whether any of them can contribute much quickly.. I suspect we all know that one-and-done Ant Edwards is going to be a big time player. But doesn’t Crean have commitments from two other top 100 recruits. Hopefully one will be a guard who can run the offense and not be a turnover machine. But at any rate, it would be interesting to get your and other readers’ assessments of the incoming guys.


    1. Without having seen these guys play in high school, obviously I’m probably not qualified to provide any crystal ball-like projections about their ability to contribute next season. They are all in the 2019 ESPN100, so that’s a a positive.

      Like you said, Edwards will be a big time player, and most likely that will be right from the start, much like the 5-stars that Kentucky signs each year. Georgia fans should enjoy his services next season because it will likely be his only year in Athens considering he’s already projected to be the first pick of the 2020 NBA draft.

      As far as Jaykwon Walton and Toumani Camara – both of them 6’6″ wings – it’s just hard to say how quickly they will come along. LSU’s Javonte Smart was a 4-star recruit on the 2018 ESPN100, and he’s made an immediate impact on that team, and he could be the best scorer in the SEC next season.

      On the other hand, Rayshaun Hammonds was a 4-star recruit listed on the 2017 ESPN100, and his development has been fairly slow up to this point.

      Aside from these guys that Crean has signed, I would LOVE to see him scoop up a senior grad transfer point guard that could come in and run his offense. Honestly, if that happened, I could see UGA being an NCAA bubble team next year.


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