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March 13, 2006

No post-season for UGA men

As expected, the Bulldogs didn't make the NIT tourney. The closest comparable teams were Penn State and Charlotte. The two teams finished the season with RPIs of 106 and 104 respectively. Georgia's RPI was 109. Penn State's 15-14 record is most similar to ours, and their strength of schedule is very similar. However, they won 5 of their last 10 whereas UGA won 3 of their last 10.

Interestingly the following teams finished with break even or winning records in a power conference, but scheduled as weak as UGA has scheduled recently and were shut out of the NCAAs. UGA's non-conference schedule finished at 222nd in the nation.
Florida State - 19-9/9-7 ACC. Non-conference schedule of 316. Final RPI of 63

Michigan - 18-10. 8-8 in Big 10. Non-conference SOS of 147. Final RPI of 47th

Maryland - 18-12. 8-8 in the ACC. Non-conference SOS of 64th. Final RPI of 49th.

Colorado - 20-9. 9-7 in the Big 12. Non-conference SOS of 271. Final RPI of 59th.
Not only do we need to get better next year, but we need to schedule better if we want a bright post season.


BTW -- I didn't mention Cincy in those first four because they had the resume to make the tourney. There's no reason that a team from the best conference who has 18 overall wins, an 8-8 record, a non-conference schedule of 22 and an RPI of 40 should be left at home.

Also - Groo did a review of our record vs. NCAA teams and NIT teams on the DawgVent's hoops board. His analysis fits with Mr. Egger's comments on this thread. We basically should take the NIT bracket and schedule as many of those teams as possible. That would upgrade the schedule while not presenting us with an overwhelmingly unwinnable game. We were 5-2 vs. this year's NIT field.


Anonymous said...

You keep talking about scheduling better. That's a catch 22 for a team with mediocre talent like UGA. If we had done that this year, the record would have been more like 11-19 in lieu of 15-15. We won 5 SEC games this year with 2 of those being by 1 point and another by 2 on a last second shot, yet you think we need to strengthen the schedule outside of that? We beat one NCAA tourney team(Bama) all year and they barely got it in.

You're getting way ahead of yourself thinking about RPI for NCAA tourney consideration. When teams like Howard and Eastern Kentucky are playing us within single digits, it doesn't give you a lot of confidence about a significant increase in the strength of schedule.

If Felton overschedules next year and UGA doesn't even match this years victory total as a result, he's screwing himself and demoralizing a young team at the same time. You might see one or two more attractive matchups, but we'll have plenty of cupcakes(for most teams) on the schedule. We need to get to at least 16-17 wins next year and make the NIT. We're not going to do that playing a tough non-conference slate...Tech and Clemson are on the road next year so that's already two wins this year that will likely be losses next year.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff there Paul, and I agree, we not only need to improve as a team and on an individual basis, but the schedule needs to improve as well.

And a point to anonymous. It's not about scheduling an out of conference slate chock full of North Carolina, UConn, Texas, UCLA, Washington, Kansas, Illinois, and the like. It's as was shown by some past schedules, you get maybe 1-3 teams in the top 30 and above, maybe 4 of them if you get into a tough preseason tourney or if the SEC/Big 12 thing ever materializes. But the goal for a schedule is to have a good 4-6 teams OOC in that 40-75 range. Add in with the teams in the top 40 OOC to give ya about 8, then make the other 4-6 in that 75-175 range. Target guys like Winthrop, Coatasl Carolina, South Florida would be a great choice now that they are in the Big East. Just try not to have ANY in the Savannah St area, that rpi 200-250+ category. Those guys destroy schedule strength. Keep the bulk of the ooc slate in the 75-175 range is the key from past history, have as few as possible and preferably 0 team above 175, and then a handful in the top 30-50.

We don't need to be babied. Thise team has the ability to be competitive with, AND WIN against quality competition.

Anonymous said...

When you have a front line featuring Bliss, Newman, Singleton and Idriss, you most certainly do need to be babied. The options are playing some really crappy teams and winning our share or getting hammered all year long by decent to good competition. And we've only got one new player(a project) coming in for next year.

Let me remind you of who our 15 wins came against this year:

Fordham, Eastern Kentucky, Florida A&M, Savannah State, GT(11th of 12 teams in the ACC), Georgia State(2nd to last in the Colonial), Clemson(9th in the ACC), Western Carolina, Howard, Western KY and 5 SEC wins(all by single digits and only 1 over a team that finished in the upper half of their division).

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. We could have very easily only won 10-12 games this year with that weak schedule. If we strengthen it significantly next year with almost the indentical group of players, we might be back to an 8-20 season like 2 years ago.

We're still at a point where we need a few of the Savannah State's of the world on our schedule to fluff up the record since they are one of the few guaranteed wins out there for us. You might not like it, but it is the reality of the situation.

Once the players from Felton's first two classes(not his fault) purged from the system and replaced with players who can really compete at this level, then we'll be in a whole lot better shape. At that point, I'll say bring anyone on just as Harrick did a few years back when we had the studs to compete.

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