Well, I decided to wait until now.
I thought we showed some promise after the Brooklyn games against Indiana and UCLA. While we know Indiana is the real deal, UCLA is in at least as big a crap pile of blah as we are. In horse racing parlance, we 'challenged gamely, faded late' in both games. Is giving a strong Indiana all they could handle for 37 minutes going to be the high point of Georgia's basketball season?
What is going right?
Well, for one, we have one of the most dangerous scorers in the nation, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, on the team. KCP is averaging 17.3 ppg, which puts him in the top 100 in the nation. We are also playing very good defense. Currently, we are ranked 69th in scoring defense, even with the 81 point debacle to Iona in overtime. We've held every team but Iona to below their season scoring average, including holding Indiana, who is leading the nation in scoring, to more than 20 points below their season ppg total.
So defense is a bright spot.
What is going wrong?
The rest of the team is scoring 41.7 ppg. We are 309th in the nation in scoring. We are 298th in FG%. We are 270th in FG attempted. We are 280th in 3pt%. We are 287th in FT%. We are 297th in True Shooting percentage (measure of efficiency that takes into account 3pt attempts, FT attempts and FG attempts). We are 295th in possessions per game. We are 285th in points per possesion.
To put it bluntly, we don't take many shots and don't have enough possessions. When we do take shots, we don't take good shots, and we don't do a good job of putting them in the hole. Even the free ones. I'd love to say that is all Fox's offense (of which, in theory, I am a fan of), and I believe part of it is. The other part is that we either aren't working enough on opportunities for the high percentage shots when they come (which is coaching) or we don't have players that can execute the offense as it is drawn up (which is coaching and recruiting).
|It is time.|
Either way, that is at the foot of one man.
Any cause for hope?
The only cause I have is the defense. We aren't going to make the post season this year. Hell, we probably aren't going to win more than 6-8 games. However, if there is any chance we will make some sort of miracle run, it'll be due to the defense. Yes, we have to shoot the ball better.
Also, we have some promise in Morris and Mann. How much is yet to be seen. Other than Donte's maddening ability to collect three fouls in the first three minutes of every second half, he's been the solid big man we've been hoping to see. Either Neme has to be toughened up for the American game, either through coaching or a code red, or he needs to be put on the bench. As an aside, Neme is one of my favorite players, but when you are 5-27 from 3pt range, you should be coached to throw the ball out of bounds before shooting from the perimeter.
Look, I like Mark Fox. The players seem to like him and he has shown some promise in coaching. However, we are on a boat that is approaching the falls and unless he can find some big oars and some people to pull them and soon, it is going over the cataract. I don't want to think about the coaching search that we'll have to deal with, but the fact is we are going to have to think about it absent some very big changes.