What he is doing with player substitutions is downright "redicalice."
I basically begged him to let Derek Ogbeide start the game and play straight through for extended minutes. Even if Fox would leave Ogbeide in for the equivalent of the first quarter of the game (ten minutes or so), that would have been a significant improvement. It's a t.v. game, so you know the guys are going to get a break at the five-minute mark.
Notice the way Stallings uses his guys. Both Kornet and Jones started and played at least 8 minutes. Compare that to the way that Fox runs Ogbeide and even Yante Maten in and out of the game. Ogbeide went out before even two minutes elapsed.
By running guys in and out, you don't keep them fresh. You in fact do the opposite. Guys exert energy and then sit down. They never get into the flow of the game. By stretching their muscles out and making them sit in chairs almost immediately, you actually risk injury.
Fox said that he thought that Memorial Gym was hot. That, too, is redicalice. Vanderbilt's Coach Stallings obviously didn't think so. Further, in the game against Florida (at Stegeman), Fox yanked Ogbeide out at the three-minute mark, roughly the same point in the game as at Vanderbilt. In fact, Fox consistently runs players in at the three-minute mark, and has done so all year.
If we had a talented bench, the substitutions might make more sense. But Geno and Kessler are struggling. They're not strong enough to battle for rebounds and win. We don't get second shots, and when are guards are not hitting from the outside, our opponents grab the rebounds and run. It would be different if Kessler or Geno had the dribbling ability and foot speed to get by their man on strong drives to the basket. But that's not their skill set. So instead of working the opposing defense, Mark Fox makes their job very easy.
Why not at least let Maten and Ogbeide play long enough together to get their guys in foul trouble? Then Geno and Kessler could go in when the other team puts their reserves in. Besides, when Maten and Ogbeide score on the block, that will lead the other team to sag off of our shooters to help out. That will lead to open shots for our guards.
In the post-game interview, Mark Fox received three straight questions from reporters about his substitution patterns. And in the recap of the game, the Athens Banner Herald's headline was that "Substitution Strategy Backfires on Mark Fox in UGA's Loss to Vanderbilt."
The reporters get it, Coach Fox. Why don't you?
I even started to think that Mark Fox was intentionally jeopardizing the season, whether consciously or not, so that he would in fact get fired.
I reasoned that Fox saw the result of Georgia's decision to fire Mark Richt, a coach landing in a sunny climate with a new school and a multi-million dollar check in hand.
I know. The idea that Mark Fox is losing intentionally is redicalice.
But so is the way our players are being used. Makes you wonder.