Thursday, November 22, 2012

Can Fox Get it Done?

UGA's hoops season has started off with a bang. We're 1 and 4 and in last place in the SEC.

The circumstances are obviously different, but it bears mentioning that Dennis Felton took a team on NCAA probation, one that was down to seven scholarship players, and managed a 48 percent winning record (84 and 91) overall and 30 percent in the SEC (26 and 59).

Mark Fox now has a record of 51 and 50 overall (50 percent), and 19 and 29 (39 percent) in the SEC. If UGA performs no worse than it did last year, Fox will have produced losing records in 3 out of 4 seasons, an overall record about the same as Felton's, and an SEC record in which Fox loses 7 out of every 10 games.

Unfortunately for UGA hoops fans, it looks like the Dawgs will in fact be worse than last year. I had a lot of hope for this year and it is frustrating to see the team so poorly out of the gate, given that we had the extra practices and the Italy trip.

Fox has more good will than Felton, and UGA's athletic director McGarity seems to want to stay the course. However, I'm not sure that basketball boosters will still be behind Fox if the team continues to lose as it has so far. We desperately need to win tomorrow night, facing a bad East Tennessee State team, and find a way to bring in early commitments from big-time recruits for the 2014 class.

Can Fox get it done? I'd like to see us run off a string of ten wins or so. As for right now, however, things don't look good for Fox and UGA hoops.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dawgs Lose to UCLA

We're now 1 and 4 for the season.

We did show a few flashes in keeping the game close. We had an 11 point lead in the first half. John Cannon seems to be our answer at the center position. He had 8 points on 4 of 8 shooting, with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. 0 turnovers.

Kentavious scored 16 points on 5 of 13 shooting. Not great, but not bad either, considering the defense focuses so much on him. He did pad his shooting percentage somewhat with two lay-ups in the final minute when UCLA knew they were going to win. Although KCP is not an efficient scorer, Fox has to be pleased with Caldwell-Pope's other stats-- 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

Donte had an effective game with 8 points and 5 rebounds. Marcus Thornton got a block and 9 rebounds, but he's just not a factor offensively. 0 points on 0 for 2 from the field and 0 of 2 from the line.

Brantley continues to bomb away from behind the arc. That's a coaching issue. I would not let him shoot only three-pointers. He doesn't make enough of them to be taking 8 three-pointers during the game. He hit 2 at the beginning of the game, but missed the other 6.

Said it before, but I'll say it again. I don't see why Brandon Morris does not get more minutes. There must be something else going on behind the scenes.

I guess my main take-away from this game is that if our big men, who are getting healthy amounts of playing time, can all develop about the same time, we'll have a nice rotation in the front court. We know what KCP can do. Nemi is a known quantity, pretty much. Gaines has yet to score a basket, but he will score a bunch of them in his UGA career. Mann is coming along and Donte is staring to look like his old self.

The potential is there with this team, but when will it be realized? When will we see some real progress in terms of wins and losses?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hoosiers Over Dawgs

The final score was somewhat like I expected. Indiana was up by a comfortable margin at the end and beat us by 13. Final score: 66 to 53. We made it respectable, but we're not very talented and we basically have no inside game. Half of our shots were three-pointers. That's not how a good team plays.

I'm proud of the Dawgs for their performance in the first half. Great defense. We targeted their big man and kept him from going off. That kid Oladipo picked up the slack, though. Shot 6 of 8 from the floor and had a couple of key plays when they caught up and passed us.

We had a nice lead there for a couple of minutes. We couldn't sustain it over time. The bottom line is that if KCP doesn't shoot well, Georgia will not win. In time, he will get more help. Kenny Gaines is a tremendous athlete. When he gets more experience out there, he will be a force on the offensive end. Vincent Williams shot 5 of 8 and scored 14 points for his career high. Don't know if Brandon Morris played. Since Thornton went 1 of 4 from the floor and had just 1 rebound, it's time to go with Morris taking more of Thornton's minutes.

We're 1 and 3. I'm still a Georgia basketball supporter. I still hate losing. We still have a long way to go.

Dawgs vs. Indiana

Wish I could in good faith predict a Dawgs victory, but I can't. There is a reason why they're ranked #1 and we are not. I haven't looked it up to see, but after two losses to mid-majors, we must be near the bottom of the rankings for Division I schools.

Any-hoo, let's be realistic. The Dawgs have a chance. Not much of one, but there's still a chance. If Donte plays big and we get production from our bench, maybe we can stay in this thing. Have to hit our free throws and avoid unforced errors.

It's in a neutral site. Who knows? They could have an off night. If we could somehow escape with a victory, it would be the signature win of the Mark Fox era.

My honest assessment? Dawgs lose by 18. Indiana 78, Georgia 60.