In 4 of the last 5 seasons Kentucky has eliminated Georgia in the SEC Tournament.
Georgia lost its 11th straight game to Kentucky in St. Louis as ESPN and social media took time to dump on the players and promote the Head Coach. The problem is that everyone is getting it in reverse and giving credit to the faceless, unaccountable recruiting evaluators in the media. Mark Fox has plenty of talent and they have not been developed properly nor have they been put in situations built for them to win. This was a game that was certainly no exception to this team showing their poor development and being put into positions to fail.
There is not much to analyze, it is the same old, same old. We don’t have to go crazy over-analyzing it. If you have watched Georgia Basketball for last nine seasons, you know how it plays out. There’s a separate article addressing the two factions that actually are using the same rhetoric to justify different outcomes. Spoiler alert: They’re both wrong.
- The insistence of Mark Fox to force the ball into Yante Maten and not move him around much was rather ridiculous. Everyone is looking to play at least 1 1/2 men on him so if Maten gets the ball, Maten has to get the ball out of there and start an actual ball rotation or he can make a bad play. Maten’s mere presence should allow for more cutting and the opening of driving lanes with options if he’s being used on either post.
- Georgia is a jump shooting team and they got back to doing that. Georgia was passive in the restricted arc and simply unwilling to test Kentucky’s posts, which is rather silly considering how Nick Richards and PJ Washington are very foul prone. Georgia is 11th worst in the country at shot distribution in the money zones.
- Another game of poor ball movement, five assists. That’s not a good Xs and Os coach, where this meme comes from is still a great unknown. The team had six assists against Missouri. The team does a poor job passing the ball to each other. If the pass is made to a player who is in a less advantageous spot than the man with the ball, it is an issue. The target hands are being constantly missed, which is not a talent issue, that’s a coaching problem. The cross screen is constantly being botched by bad passes that force the guy who would get an easy layup or dunk along the restricted arc into having to attempt a fade away from 6 feet away. That’s not exactly a good shot.
- Extra effort points were even, which was surprising, but Georgia only had 9 points on 16 offensive rebounds. That’s sad and some of the offensive rebounds became third chances.
- Yante Maten’s struggles at the Free Throw Line in St. Louis are a simple matter of footwork and lack of comfort. Maten’s pre-shot routine put his feet in a place where he was not able to get the arc he looks for on his shot. Maten’s Free Throws come from a rather low arc, which means that if his feet are off in any way, he could put a little too much on the ball. Teshaun Hightower’s issues at the Free Throw Line are of a similar nature, he needs to take a little bit off his shot. The speed, arc and targeted location are the outcomes of a Free Throw, the objective is to have the mechanics that result in the right speed, arc and accuracy to knock them down efficiently. The mechanics are not always right for everyone. It’s like “best practices”.
The pace of play was revolting. 59 possessions and 21 seconds per possession is repulsive. This does not put asses in seats and it does not result in wins for Mark Fox coached teams.
Georgia is now 5-8 in games with less than 65 possessions. Why the hell are people saying that Georgia needs to slow the game down to win? That’s a moronic thing to suggest.
Georgia is 8-4 in games with more than 68 possessions. Why isn’t this being suggested?
Georgia does not have to walk the ball up the floor and go through sequences very deliberately with great hesitation. This team has been conditioned to think that they are not good enough. Forcing the ball into Maten, making a terrible pass to Derek Ogbeide on the post or having Derek Ogbeide stand out 27 feet from the basket looking for a man to pass to is ridiculous. Then there are the terrible passes along the perimeter and the non-movement without the ball unless it is in a set, just be thankful that Teshaun Hightower actually made two backdoor cuts on his own.
Mark Fox doesn’t believe in his kids. He put a flu-ridden Teshaun Hightower on a plane with his teammates twice. He needs to go. This needs to end. Georgia is an SEC school, it’s time to play from a position of strength rather than a position of having to overcome obstacles in every game.
We’re better than this or at least we hope.