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February 4, 2010

Learning to win ain't easy

The basketball team suffered another heart breaker against Arkansas last night losing 72-68. The Dawgs had a 15 point lead at the half after holding the Razorbacks to 22 first half points. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off defensively in the second half as the Dawgs surrendered 50 points. Without question, it was the worst defensive half of basketball of the season.

Offensively, the team struggled to break the Arkansas press as the game wore on. Some of that was due to the lack of ball handlers on the team, and some of it is due to a lack of depth. I thought Ricky McPhee was going to drop dead from exhaustion in the game. The depth problems were compounded by Ebuka sitting out the game due to a suspension of sorts from Coach Fox for "not doing what he was supposed to do on the first day of class."

Defensively, the problem was effort and intelligence. They played very badly. Not the sort of badly that you can entirely excuse away due to depth. The sort of badly that drives coaches to drinking. Fox was livid post-game regarding the effort.

The good news...they are competing in these games, and independent of the record they are playing dramatically better basketball than I thought they would be capable of playing this season. In 7 SEC games this season, they've been in a position to win it with 1 minute remaining six times. The other good news is that another SEC caliber guard is on the roster ready to join the team next year when Gerald Robinson is cleared to play from his transfer. The bad news...they still have to learn to win. And that's no small thing.

See Also:
-- Fading late - ABH
-- Box Score - Sportsline



SECC in '10...Please said...

Last night was the worst game we've played all year in my opinion. Like you said, poor defense, mental errors, and pitiful turnovers can't all be attributed to depth. Arkansas isn't very good. The entire SECW isn't very good.

Husky Jeans said...

I've only seen a couple of games this year...but I really attribute a lot of our losses to depth. We can't close games because we're dead tired by the end of the game. The fact that we're competing with the talent and depth that we have is really promising. We'll be fine. But it sure would help our confidence if we could find a way to eke out a couple of this tight games.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, seems to me Courtney Fortson, Mike Washington and Marshawn Powell are pretty damn good. Arkansas is better than people think. It's not always pretty, but it's working right now. Georgia really has some nice talent, especially Thompkins and Leslie. The problem, in my opinion, is the culture of mediocrity. Coach Fox may be able to overcome thos, but only time will tell. He will win games at Georgia, but how many? I think Georgia can realistically be the kind of team to make the NCAA tournament once every 4-5 years.

Anonymous said...

making the tourney once every 4-5 years? We are located in a state that has exploded in b-ball recruiting. We now produce 10% of the Top 100 players in the country.

Georgia is to b-ball recruiting what Florida is to football recruiting.

We don't need to sign them all. We need to sign 1 of the Top 3, 2 of the Top 10 and 3 of the Top 15. That's it.

20-25 kids each year sign with Div I schools out of Georgia. Most sign with BCS schools.

This isn't 1993 any more. We don't host a rodeo in Steg. We don't have barns out back or livestock. We have a state of the art practice facility. We're investing $11 million in renovating Steg to bring the exterior up to speed.

The AD supports the program now. It's not like '88 when Hugh was still paying for ticket billboards in town out of his own pocket.

There's no reason we can't be in the NCAAs every other year. We just have to find the right coach.

The basketball program is essentially an expansion team right now in the SEC. That's what Felton left us with.

It's going to take time to build this thing up. But the sky is the limit. There's no reason we can't do what UF did in basketball. Prior to 1994, we had the better tradition by a loooooooooooooong shot.


Anonymous said...

Depth, Schmepth...

Sounds like the team heard how good they were becoming, how bad Arkansas was going to be, built up an little lead and then got complacent. I hope Fox ripped 'em all a new one.

DLorberbaum said...

I have decided that I am the Hoop Dawgs jinx. I am usually able to watch the first half at home and then I have to leave to go to dinner or over to my in-laws(UF Grads) for dinners on Wed and finish watching the games there. I always leave frustrated, but my mother-in-law is a great cook and it is hard to pass up a free meal.

So if I need to stop watching the games then I will. I don't want to be the reason that Travis and Trey don't win games.

Hobnail_Boot said...

That 2nd half was painful. Pretty sure we turned it over something like 8 straight possessions.

Your defensive stats are going to look a lot worse when your O can't keep the ball and score. Just ask Joe Cox.

Unknown said...

Arkansas sucks... The reason they beat us? We can't stop a star guard player.. Fortson. Without him last night we rock Arkansas, and without Downey we beat South Carolina.

Any team in the SEC that starts Ricky McPhee and Ware are in trouble. Sure they could be use OFF the bench they are not sec starting caliber.

We have to get a guard we can go to to score. We need to improve on defense, but most importantly we need guard depth.

Anonymous said...

Great comment PWD.

But on another topic, I am a student and am completely embarrassed with the pitiful turnout by the students last night. This team is playing hard and putting a good product on the court. Despite the record, this team and coaching staff is doing everything they can to reenegize a program that was non-existent for the better part of the last 4 years. There is no excuse, none, for the student section to not even be half filled for an SEC Wednesday night game. NO excuse. For all those who want to get back on the bandwagon next season, screw you and the bus you didn't come to the game on!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need to stop not watching the second half, free meal or not. Take one for the team! And by 'one,' I mean 'frozen pizza'.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Some of us students have classes and need to spend our time studying and working on other projects that we are being graded on

Anonymous said...

Gotta get a point guard. Really, I think he's just a couple of players away from rocking the house

Anonymous said...

Stone, you can knock Ricky McPhee all you want, but kid played a hell of a game against the Hogs.

He has no one to spell him and was dog tired after chasing Rotnei Clarke around all night. Who he held to 2 points. The same Rotnei Clarke that had 51 points in Arkansas' season opener.

I think Ricky has proven that he belongs.

Anonymous said...

See, that's part of my point: the culture of UGA basketball is virtually nada. And yes, the team is relying on Leslie and Thompkins to beat the other team. I understand Fox is trying to shift the basketball culture, but it's a serious uphill climb, in my opinion.

Can it be done? Of course it can. Will it be done? Only time will tell, but I have serious doubts. Tubby had nice teams, as did Jimbo, but it's hard for me to imagine it ever exceeding those relatively mediocre levels of success.

Maybe Fox can get the players, but history has shown that those guys go to Ga. Tech, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida. I hope the tide turns, I really do. The culture has to change and maybe, just maybe, the fans will slowly start to show more support.

Anonymous said...

The culture of Georgia basketball is the fault of every football fan's hero Vince Dooley.

Now that our administration decided it wants to support the basketball program, things are in motion to change.

But it was beaten down for SO long, it will take a little patience to get things to the level they should have always been.

Unknown said...

Well @ anon 8:32

Clarke scored that 51 vs Alcorn state... an 0-23 team. He's gone over 20 4 times. All vs not great talent with the exception of Texas...Just saying. The kid can score but that 51 point game was VS literally one of the worst teams in NCAA.

Yes McPhee tries hard. I don't hate him. He's just not SEC starting caliber if you want to compete for the NCAA tourney. Period.

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