For 3rd Straight Season Kentucky Eliminates UGA in SEC Tournament

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

9 comments

  1. I don’t read social media so I don’t know what “they” are saying, but our talent is fine.

    And if it was the talent, well who’s responsible for that? After nine years, shouldn’t Fox have “his guys” in there?

    As I’ve said before, this year we have the SEC POTY, last year we had two All-SEC starters (only Kentucky matched that), and previously we had an NBA lottery pick at guard. What did we get out of that talent? Nothing.

    I like Fox as a person, but he can’t get it done coaching. I say cut him loose now (regardless of any NIT bid) and get someone in there that can play entertaining basketball and WIN.

  2. Great post. The win/loss breakdown based on pace of play is incredible, but at the same time, not at all surprising.

    So Fox.

  3. McGarrity saying “ I hadn’t really thought about it “ after being asked about Fox’s status for next season is the height of stupidity. And it’s even worse if it’s true. Thanks for all the good stuff this season HWT.

  4. All these articles coming out of the woodwork now defending Fox and saying “be careful what you wish for”…so your saying you should accept mediocrity because it’s consitent mediocrity and it could be worse if you try something different? This is the same logic as to why so many millenials still live with their parents. Unless they can get the perfect job with guaranteed success I’ll just sit here in my parents basement bc it’s safe and I know I won’t fail. Participation trophies have ruined sports.

  5. One stat I read a few weeks back that truly encapsulates the Fox era at UGA…

    His teams have been ranked ONE week in the nine years…let me repeat that…
    ONE week…..
    Would someone please ask our beloved AD ” who hasn’t really thought about it”…” Is that honestly the best we can do?????
    This show has to end…like yesterday

    Thanks again for the blog and all your time involved covering this weekly mess

  6. If the AD “hasn’t thought about it” then he’s perpetuating the already assumed fact that UGA only cares about football. If that’s the case…fine. Then let’s have a football AD and another AD for all other sports.

  7. Well its Friday night and Mark won’t be fired, probably until Monday. Rest well Dawggies. You played 3 days straight. Tired legs in this game. What you say HWT?

  8. And of course John Caliparri defends Fox. He’s 16-2 against Fox. I’m sure that Mark Richt defended Paul Johnson’s job at Tech every year too…coaches like to win.

  9. That’s right coaches like to win so why would any SEC coach want Fox to leave?

    3 games in three days is tough, Maten looked tired and slower than normal but he and the other inside players should learn to pass the ball back out if they don’t have a good shot. They did their best with what they are given from the coaching staff. I will say it’s tough playing a team with 5 all american players on the floor and they are all freshman—-

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