Sunday, January 29, 2017

Georgia Beats Texas: Ten Good Signs

Georgia beat Texas by 2 yesterday evening.  Boy, did we ever need that win.  Fox needed that win.  Not sure he would have survived a third consecutive loss.  Since some UGA fans have wanted UT coach, Shaka Smart, to come to Athens, it was good to see Fox get the W.

There were numerous good signs in the game.

1.  J.J. Frazier has good second half

Frazier didn't shoot the ball well.  If memory serves me, he was 0 for 5 from the field in the first half.

His stats for the game weren't great.  I think he ended up shooting 5 for 16.  The key, however, is that he came back in the second half and hit some key buckets.  Frazier also resisted the urge to do it all by himself, passing up at least one long-range jumper and getting the ball to Maten.

2.  Maten had a good game

Yante seems to play well against big physical line-ups.  Shaquille Cleare, the Texas center, is a huge man at 6' 8", 275.  Jarrett Allen is 6' 11", 235, and they bring Georgia native, James Banks, off the bench at 6' 10", 240.  

Yet with all of their physicality, Maten was able to post up and still not get knocked out of position by the Texas front line.  Yante finished with 21 points and 7 boards, outscoring the combined total of their big guys.

3.  Georgia won the turnover battle

Texas had 14 turnovers.  UGA had just 12.  That's huge.

4.  We broke the press

Late in the game, when the Longhorns threw their press against us, Georgia maintained composure.  

The way we played against A&M, you would think that we never practice against the press.  Well, we did enough this game, using J.J. as a decoy, getting the ball in to Turtle and having him attack from one side, then J.J. from the other.  We narrowly avoiding a J.J. Frazier turnover toward the end, but we didn't give the ball back to them, and they didn't have any fast-break opportunities off of our sloppiness.  I don't think they got a single turnover off of their press.  Good work, Dawgs.

5.  Turtle Jackson played well

His stats won't overwhelm you, but he had 2 points, 2 steals, 2 assists and 0 turnovers.  I like Jordan Harris and his athleticism, but late in the game when you need someone to bring the ball up court, Turtle Jackson is a better option.

6.  Fox gave Tyree Crump some time

Crump has to get used to playing.  We'll need him before the year is out, and he will absolutely have to play major minutes next year.  No sense for Fox to keep sitting him at the end of the bench.  Granted, Crump played only 4 minutes, but that's more than he's been getting, and the experience will help him later on.

7.  Enough contributions from other guys

Jordan Harris hit two long-range shots.  Juwan Parker scored 9, including two huge buckets late in the game.  Derek Ogbeide and Mike Edwards were physical enough against their guys.  Derek needs to learn to set screens, though.  

8.  Fans showed up

Well, the Steg didn't look full from what I could tell, but there was enough of a crowd.  The commentators said that all the tickets were sold.  

9.  The clock issues continued, but...

When the officials went to the monitor to check on whether Derek Ogbeide got the ball up before the shot clock expired, I had a bad feeling.  Sure enough, Derek's bucket was disallowed.  Yet up two, Georgia tightened up on defense and found a way to win.

10.  Georgia got lucky

Looked like the shot by their guy was going in.  The refs could have called a foul on Yante.  But neither happened.  The shot went in, then twisted out.  Lady Luck smiled on us instead of her usual scowl.  Dawgs won by 2. 

Georgia is now 13 and 8, heading into a tough stretch of opponents, including Kentucky, South Carolina, and Florida.  Would be amazing if Fox can win two out of these next three.  It can happen.  

Go Dawgs!

No comments: