Saturday, January 2, 2016

Why? Ten Things I Don't Understand

Got lots of questions.  Maybe some of the readers can help me, 'cause I don't get Coach Mark Fox's strategy.

1)  Why is Kessler still starting?

Nothing against him, but the centers in the SEC are bigger and stronger.  I suppose that Kessler knows the offense better than Ogbeide or Edwards, but by the time of SEC competition, the freshmen should know the plays.  I think Egbunu had 2 or 3 dunks on Kessler within the first two or three minutes in the game.  That allowed Florida to play from ahead, and we were playing catch-up from there.

Besides that, when Kessler screened a defender, Florida would double-team the ball and just let Kessler run loose, knowing that he isn't an offensive threat.  Kessler was 0 for 2 from the floor, with 0 rebounds, 0 assists and a turnover.  We have to get some production from that position, or it's going to be a long year.

2)  Why do we allow teams to walk the ball up the floor uncontested?

UF uses the 2-2-1 press as a staple to slow teams down.  By the time we get into our offense, the 30 second clock is working against us.  We have a press.  Mike Edwards played for a high school team on which the full court press was used every game with Edwards on the ball.  Why not press at least some?

3)  Why don't we put at least two guys along the lane to rebound missed foul shots?

If Ogbeide is shooting a one and one, then put somebody along the lane to catch the long rebound.  We generally don't have rebounders line up when we shoot free throws.  If we were shooting 80 percent or above as a team, I guess it would make more sense to me.  Predictably, Ogbeide missed the one and one, the ball caromed off the rim, but we didn't have anyone on that side of the line to rebound it.

4)  Why run the zone when we need to speed up their offense?

We sat back and let them run clock.  Made no sense to me.

5)  Why not foul when we need to get more possessions?

They shot 57 percent from the line.  Florida was already in the double bonus.  Might as well use the hack-a-Gator strategy so we can get the ball back.

6)  If Chuck is struggling, why not give Jackson more minutes?

Charles was 1 for 7 from the field with 3 turnovers and 0 assists.  Jackson did not score, but he needs to get minutes if Charles is off.  Most of Jackson's shot attempts were long ones at the end of the game when the clock was running out.

Chuck's free throws are better this year, but everything else seems off.

7)  Why not try some 1-3-1?

Seems like Fox goes with the zone when I would play man, and he plays man when I would play zone.  You can get some turnovers when you spring the 1-3-1 on opposing teams.  I don't think I've ever seen us use the 1-3-1.

8)  Why can't we get some rebounds?

I suppose this goes back to giving Ogbeide and Edwards more time.  Do we need to start Wilridge and bring Chuck off the bench?

9)  Why didn't we recruit Egbunu?

Egbunu went to school in the Atlanta area.  I pushed for us to give him a look.  Hard for me to believe that we couldn't have fought off USF for his recruitment.

10)  Are we really bad, or did we just have a bad night?

Hate to lose to a first-year coach when Fox has been here seven years.  I know you can lose a game down in Gainesville when they are shooting the ball well, but it just looked like they out-coached us.

Uggghh.  We'll play better, but the SEC is tougher this year.  Hope we can get things turned around.  As for now, I just have a lot of questions.

Wasn't Our Night

We needed something from outside, and we got nothing.  Chuck has gone 1 for 6.  J.J. Frazier was efficient, but he didn't give us much.  And they killed us on the boards.

Down 13 with 7 minutes to go

Georgia can still win if we get to the free throw line.  But if they keep shooting twice as many free throws as us and they shoot 43 percent from behind the arc, I don't see a way.

I think we need to start Ogbeide from here on out.  Nothing against Kessler, but he's 0 for 2 with 0 rebounds and Ogbeide is producing.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Georgia Can Win at Florida: Five Keys

Always difficult to come away with a victory when playing down in Gainesville.  However, the Dawgs can get it done.  Here are my five keys.

1)  Watch for the trap

Florida runs a 2-2-1 full court press.  The way to beat it is by using a 1-1-1-2 concept in bringing the ball up.

In other words, Georgia should keep a man behind the guard dribbling the ball up the floor,  If the trap comes, UGA's guard should throw the ball back to the guard trailing the action.  That guard should then have the angle to advance the ball quickly.

In addition, there should be a guy posted in the middle of the floor, and two guys on the baseline, close enough to their hoop so our guys have to be guarded, but far enough away so that they can become an outlet on the side of the floor, if needed.

In no case should we dribble the ball to the corner and stop. They will run us out of the gym if we give them easy steals and transition buckets.

Georgia's three-guard line-up of Gaines, Frazier and Mann should be able to break Florida's press.

2)  Make them shoot over the top

UF does not have a guy this year like Michael Frazier II, who was Florida's designated three-point marksman last season.  He set the Florida record for three-pointers made in a season, and once made 11 in a game against South Carolina.  Frazier declared for the NBA draft last season.

Since Florida struggles with outside shooting, I would sag on their on-ball screens and make sure the screen-man diving to the hoop isn't open.

KeVaughn Allen is a guy who can shoot the ball pretty well, but even still I'd make him prove that he is hot, before risking giving Florida the chance to drive the ball to the hole and make relatively easy shots or get our guys in foul trouble.

3)  Don't fall for the fake shot-clock

Some of their fans have started yelling out a count-down, as if the shot clock is going down to zero.  Our point guards should keep track of the actual clock and ignore their fans.

4)  Run when we can

If we get some turnovers, or rebound some of their long misses, we have to push the ball up the floor and score quickly.  Let's take their crowd out of the game.

5)  Play the match-ups

That means, use the match-up zone some.  Cut off their guards' penetration angles and avoid getting our guards in foul trouble.  But it also means that Fox should utilize his bench.  Give Ogbeide and Mike Edwards enough time for them to get Egbunu in foul trouble.  

We owe Mike White one.  Let's go to Gainesville and come back with the W.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bruno Fernando

6' 10" post player.  Plays with aggression.  Has pretty good skill, too.  Could be a great late pick-up, a guy like Mike Edwards.  Bruno's coach, who coached Ben Simmons last year, calls Fernando the most underrated player in the country.  Some SEC schools are in the mix already, so if UGA wants him, we'd better catch up soon.

Hard to say how many spots UGA will have for 2016.  Likewise, it's hard to say what kind of player UGA is going for with the third scholarship after the additions of Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris.

I've said before that I like Harold Baruti, Deshaun Corprew and Darius Hicks.  But if we are looking for a big, or if we somehow end up with two spots instead of one, Coach Hayes might be wise to scout Fernando and then work his recruiting magic.  I could see Fernando being a 4/5 guy, like Yante Maten.

Lot to like about Bruno Fernando.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Time for Mike Edwards

to play big.  The game against Robert Morris tonight at 7:00 p.m. should be a win for UGA.  With that said, nobody wins by just showing up.  The Dawgs will have to jump on RM quickly and not let them get their confidence going.  Robert Morris has some size and ability.

The key to the game could be the play of Mike Edwards.  It's hard to get comfortable when you first come in as an athlete.  You don't know the guys and you have to learn the plays.  Totally, totally different than high school.  But after a while, as you keep working on things in practice, the game slows down.

I enjoyed reading the Red and Black article on Edwards.  I missed it when it came out a month or so ago.  I especially appreciated the comments about Mike Edwards' high school experience and the role that John Glenn High's Coach Rod Watts had on Edwards.

Edwards wasn't initially highly recruited, as the article explains:

"The spot with the Bulldogs came after a breakout senior season in Michigan. He started his last year of high school with one college scholarship offer — Akron — and eventually gained notice across the country with his improved play.
An influence in Edwards’ late bloom was Rod Watts. Watts took over as the head basketball coach at John Glenn High School in Westland, Michigan, after Edwards’ junior season. With experience coaching players like Al Horford and Draymond Green, Watts recognized Edwards had unique talent. His task was to make him even better."
Takes some time to get on the court and play like you know you can.  Coach Jonas Hayes is high on Mike Edwards, and I have come around to the same viewpoint.  When Edwards gets the plays down and learns the nuances like setting screens properly (the refs never give the new guys the benefit of the doubt), his natural speed and athleticism will have a chance to emerge.

Like tonight.  Edwards should get some playing time in relief of either Yante Maten or Houston Kessler.  We haven't seen much from Edwards since the game against Oakland, in which Edwards scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds (Edwards averages 3 points and 3 boards a game this season).  Well, like the Oakland game, Edwards can perform at a high level, and I'm looking forward to seeing him play more and play well.

You've been practicing enough.  It's time to play.  Let's go, Mike!