Fox is preaching defense. If the Dawgs can pick up some easy baskets from steals or transition buckets from blocked shots, then those close games that we lost last year should turn into comfortable wins.
We'll be a better defensive team, and here's why:
We lost Albert Jackson and Ricky McPhee to graduation, Drazen Zlovaric, Demario Mayfield and Ebuka Anyaorah to transfer. Albert Jackson averaged a block a game. Anyaorah had 6 blocks on the year, which is decent production for a guy with limited minutes, but he didn't get enough playing time to get a good read on whether he could block shots consistently.
Donte Williams and Marcus Thornton have been added to the post for the 2010/2011 Dawgs. Both are quick leapers. Williams will have to add some weight, for sure, but he is athletic enough to be effective.
The net result of the roster transition is that we will have more shot-blockers on the floor this year. Chris Barnes will get more minutes, and Williams and Thornton will boost Georgia's rejections and intimidation factor.
Ricky McPhee averaged a steal a game. The key to his defensive production was hustle. He didn't have the kind of quicks that would allow him to get out in the passing lanes and take the ball to the other hoop for a lay-in.
From all indications, Gerald Robinson has the speed to pressure the perimeter. Sherrard Brantley will be available, too. Hopefully, he, along with his three-point shooting prowess, will be able to give us tough defense.
3) Fresh Legs
Since the team has more depth, Georgia should be able to exert a high level of energy on the defensive end, without suffering offensively. And as Coach Fox has said, his deeper bench gives him the freedom to sit guys who aren't defending.
Coach Fox has a core of guys who understand the triangle offense. He can concentrate more on the nuances of the offense and use more of the practice time teaching about defensive assignments.
The guys have bought in. They want to be good and defense is their ticket to the post-season.