South Carolina continues its dominance over Georgia

The Georgia Bulldogs (9-6, 2-6) beat Kentucky a week ago, which ended a 14-game losing streak to the Wildcats. Many thought (myself included) that such a win could help ignite this team and that they might use that victory as a stepping stone to build upon. Unfortunately, the Dawgs have gone only backwards since P.J. Horne’s buzzer beater. After losing to Florida over the weekend, Georgia traveled to Columbia and got drubbed 83-59 in what was easily this team’s worst performance in SEC play.

The fact that Georgia yielded 23 offensive rebounds that led to 23 second-chance points for South Carolina is disappointing for Tom Crean’s team, but it should hardly be surprising. Georgia entered this contest with the worst defensive rebounding percentage (62) in SEC play. The Dawgs have been allowing opponents to snag nearly 14 offensive boards a night in league games. These are the consequences when you have a roster with no players taller than 6’8″. UGA regularly plays three-guards on the court together with some combination of Sahvir Wheeler, Justin Kier, Tye Fagan and K.D. Johnson; the Dawgs are a small team that plays small. Georgia is built to give up points in the paint, and South Carolina obliged as they put up 44 of them.

What was more shocking to me was how stymied UGA looked against SC’s zone defense that Frank Martin allegedly installed just three days ago. Despite what was on display in Columbia on Wednesday evening, Georgia had been pretty solid on the offensive end in conference play. Prior to this debacle, UGA was 6th in scoring (76.6), 2nd in field goal percentage (45.7) and 4th in 3PT% (35) in SEC games. However, the triples were not falling for Tom Crean’s team against the Cocks, but that didn’t stop them from taking them; Georgia shot an astounding 4 of 26 from beyond the arc. P.J. Horne missed all 7 of his triple attempts, and he’s now a cool 0 for 13 over his past two games. Someone might need to think about changing his green light to yellow, at least for a game.

Schematically, UGA took a fairly mundane approach to attacking the Gamecock zone. For more times than I can remember, Georgia ran one or two bigs up high to screen for the point guard, and that was about the extent of the action on offense. Tom Crean’s offense against the zone has traditionally had guys filling those soft spots along the baseline so that when penetration occurs Georgia has players ready to receive the ball near the rim. Tonight, that kind of movement just wasn’t happening. Instead, the Dawgs shot just 32% from the floor and turned the ball over 20 times en route to their lowest offensive output in a league game this year.

One final thought: South Carolina has established complete dominance over Georgia’s basketball team. The Cocks have now won 9 straight over the Dawgs, and barring some unexpected miracle in Athens later in the season, Georgia is in jeopardy of being swept by Frank Martin’s team for the 5th consecutive year. How did things get this way? Georgia has been ranked higher than South Carolina in recruiting rankings the past 3 seasons, yet SC’s roster appears so much more talented. Be honest: who on UGA would start for the 2-3 Gamecocks? I mean, their leading scorer, Keyshawn Bryant (19 points against Georgia) doesn’t even start!?!?

10 thoughts on “South Carolina continues its dominance over Georgia

  1. I’ve been a UGA basketball fan for nearly 40 years, during which I’ve seen some terrible UGA teams and, of course, games in which we played terribly. We have probably played a worse game than last night’s during that time, although I struggle to see how that is even possible. But, I can say for certain that this team is the worst assemblage we’ve had since I started following them in 1982. And that includes those Felton teams (at least he had an excuse).

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  2. Here’s a telling stat about this regime vs the prior one: not counting pre-conference games against inherently weaker programs, the Tom Crean Bulldogs have lost 13 of 61 games by at least 18 points. By contrast, in Mark Fox’s last four seasons the team lost 4 of 107 such games by that many points. One stinker a year vs one almost every other week. And this is not meant to criticize moving on from Fox! Others have and will continue to, and I understand. I was ready for Door #2…but it turns out that behind Door #2 was a goat. Jonas Hayes cannot get here quickly enough.

    Also, are Fagan and Garcia being coached separately? They play with a purpose and conviction that is otherwise lacking on this team.

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    1. Has Jonas shown any interest to leave Xavier? I’ve quickly lost faith in Crean, as we have just regressed so much in conference play. This is year three, I didn’t expect to win the championship, but I did expect us to go close to .500 in conference play. I’d be surprised if we win two more games this season.

      KD, Fagan and Garcia seem to be the only ones that want to be out on the floor. Everyone else just seems to be going through the motions. I love Wheeler’s talent, but sometimes he just tries too much.

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  3. Seems like every game, the announcers comment on how easy it is to drive the lane against again Georgia. I played basketball about 100 years ago and every time we let someone drive the lane unhindered, a TO was called and we got yelled at. I switched to Law & Order when the lead hit 15.

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  4. I’ve seen all I need to see of the Tom Crean era. Year 3 and there’s been no improvement whatsoever. Time to pull the plug on this train wreck of a coaching hire.

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  5. I’ve seen all I need to see of the Tom Crean era. Year 3 and there’s been no improvement whatsoever. Time to pull the plug on this train wreck of a coaching hire.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know much about basketball but I know I’m watching a bad team. I thought Crean was going to energize the program but year 3 looks like a huge step back.

    I guess the new AD will have to earn his money shortly.

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  7. I didn’t even expect us to take a leap forward this year- we really don’t have good basketball players (KD being the exception) – but I was thinking we’d see a purpose or a plan out there. But yikes! The announcers of our own games regularly troll us now. It’s beyond embarrassing.

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  8. I completely second Tony’s comments here and above. I was a season ticket holder from 1976 through 2015 when I left the area. I remember the lean Guthrie years and sitting down on the baseline during the second half of a Dawg-Tennessee game in which an unguarded Bernard King had about 30 by halftime. My friend, who was a true student of the game, was there yelling at big Lucius Foster to cut off the baseline to prevent further damage and, to his credit, Lucius did. This team defensively reminds me of that dreadful 1976 aggregation filled with high school All Americans who couldn’t play for the lack of quality coaching. I have pretty much had it for this season. I too switched the channel, found an old Ancient Aliens rerun and was much more entertained. I had such high hopes for Crean but they have evaporated.

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  9. Did Cream put all his eggs in the Dylan Cardwell sweepstakes before losing him to Auburn? Let Rodney Howard transfer to the fuzzy bees, and went into this season with absolutely no size and no plan to compensate? Game after game we get pounded on the offensive glass and no post D. Damnit man….

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