Georgia Basketball Prospectus

Georgia Basketball 2016-17 Season Prospectus

This is a season of high expectations for Georgia Basketball and possibly even higher achievement.

This is the season that Georgia alumni and students have been waiting for since Tubby Smith left the University of Georgia in 1997.  A season where there is abundant possibility as far as what can happen from November through April.  There is depth unlike any Georgia Basketball team in the past generation, it is the season that Georgia can not only make a statement, but do so with the prospect of strong seasons to come.  It can all be sustainable and this team can send the message loud and clear that the roller coaster ride is over.  It is all there ready for the taking and it is being done in a way that has not been done for a long time.

Academics Preface Statement

University of Georgia Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Fox has ensured that his student-athletes honor the ‘student’ portion of their association to the University of Georgia and this should bring great pride to alumni and students, regardless of what one thinks of Fox as a Basketball Coach.  Fox has enabled his student-athletes to follow their academic passions, no matter how unique or challenging they may be.  This is something that can easily fall out of focus, but at an ascendant public university, it is consistent with the mission of the University of Georgia and the goal to become one of the elite public institutions of higher learning in the United States.

Athletics Preface Statement

This is a much awaited article for many that follow Georgia Men’s Basketball and it comes at a time when Georgia Football is having an uncharacteristically poor season and the University of Georgia Athletic Association has been reeling in the court of public opinion.  In fact, it can be considered a slow-motion trainwreck that is exposing the rotten nature of a staid, politically corrupt program within one of the premier public institutions of higher learning in the United States.  The Georgia fans may not care about Basketball or any sport not called ‘Football’, but the alumni and students have not wavered.  This season could be very special and it should be dedicated to the alumni and students that stuck by the program and treated it with same respect as Football.

The University of Georgia Men’s Basketball Student-Athletes

Georgia’s Scholarship Depth Chart

The scholarship distribution among scholarship-level student-athletes is rather even.  Only twelve of the thirteen scholarships are used by scholarship-level student athletes and the remaining scholarship was awarded to walk-on Senior Point Guard Brandon Young.

The More Formalized Roster Listing

Last Season’s Individual Metrics

On a per game basis, it was obvious last season that Mark Fox could not trust his team.  Fox constrained what his student-athletes could do and relied heavily on Frazier, Maten, Gaines and Mann.  This team will be radically different as far as contributions and opportunities to make contributions.

What the per game view of the metrics says about Charles Mann’s exit:

  • Loss of a top rebounder in the backcourt.
  • Loss of one of the best guards in the country at getting to the Free Throw Line.
  • Opponent defenses could have their best scorers on the floor for more minutes because it is hard to replace Mann’s ability to draw fouls.
  • Team Free Throw Percentage should rise.
  • Turnover rate should decrease.

What the per game view of the metrics says about Kenny Gaines’ exit:

  • Loss of a very good three point shooter.
  • The possibility of his replacement in the starting lineup racking up less fouls per game is high.

What the per game view of the metrics says about the returning student-athletes:

  • J.J. Frazier literally does everything:  Efficient distributor, very good shooter, strong rebounder for a guard, best returning on-ball defender and he is the guy UGA turns to late in games to knock down Free Throws.
  • Yante Maten is a scorer, but just looking at per game statistics raises the question of why Maten’s Field Goal percentage is so low for a Forward.  He’s the top shot blocker on the team.
  • On a per game basis, for the rest of the returning student-athletes, the only thing that stands out is that Derek Ogbeide hauled in 5.2 rebounds in 15 minutes per game, which is quite impressive for a first year post in the SEC.

When the element of time extrapolation is thrown into the mix, it puts all of the student-athletes on a level playing field as the production could vary drastically based on playing time.  Maten, Frazier, Mann and Gaines were the top four scorers, but the order changed a little as Yante Maten is shown to be the best scorer on an extrapolated time or possession basis.

Extrapolated time with a good sample size of playing time can provide great insight into which student-athletes are poised to breakout or made better use of their time on the floor.  Yante Maten led the team in rebounding on a per game basis, but he was not the best rebounder on last season’s team nor is he on this season’s team.  This particular distinction belongs to Derek Ogbeide.  Ogbeide’s rebounds per 40 minutes and per 100 possessions are mind-boggling for a Freshman who was coming off a shoulder injury.  Ogbeide was the most defensively efficient member of last season’s Georgia Basketball Team.  The distinction for second and third most defensively efficient are not surprisingly Maten and Frazier, but behind them is actually Turtle Jackson.

E’Torrion Wilridge was at his best distributing the basketball last season and he returns with the fourth most assists per 40 minutes among regularly playing student-athletes.  Wilridge did have an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.

It is a bit disheartening to see that only three of the returning student-athletes from last season’s team had an offensive efficiency above 100, 102 was generally considered average last season.  Kenny Paul Geno’s assist-to-turnover ratio was a major reason why his offensive efficiency was higher than Charles Mann’s.

The top two members of last season’s team in Win Shares and Box Plus/Minus return to Athens.  Gaines and Mann were third and fourth respectively in Win Shares, but surprisingly Kenny Paul Geno had double the Box Plus/Minus that Charles Mann had.  Kenny Paul Geno was a better defensive contributor than Mann last season according Box Plus/Minus.  Geno’s low usage rate may have contributed to it as well, Geno was not put into situations where he could easily turn the ball over like Mann.

E’Torrion Wilridge had far and away the highest effective Field Goal rate on last season’s team.  He also lead the team in True Shooting Rate, but keep in mind that his sample size of shots was much smaller than J.J. Frazier.  Why did Wilridge have such gaudy figures?

The shot distribution chart has the answers.

Wilridge was the second best on the team at taking his shots in the money zones.  Kenny Paul Geno did the best job on the team at making his attempts in the money zones, he often made his assists in the mid-range area to set up money zone shots.  Why did Kenny Paul Geno lag behind Wilridge in effective Field Goal rate and True Shooting percentage?  Wilridge was absurdly efficient in the restricted arc!   He could be one of the best finishers in the SEC.

Why such a fuss made over student-athletes that attempted so few shots and comparatively little time?  It is one part Mark Fox’s handling of first-year perimeter talent and another part lack of trust in anyone not named Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines, Yante Maten or J.J. Frazier.

Consider that Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann used 28.7% of all minutes allotted.  J.J. Frazier played an absurd number of minutes as well due to the lack of trust in the Class of 2015 last season.  The Class of 2015 used 22.3% of all minutes on the floor.  The Big Four used 59.5% of all minutes.  This is likely to change significantly this season.

Georgia can replace the scoring load of Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines by giving Edwards, Jackson, Ogbeide and Wilridge more time and opportunities to produce.  The production can be replaced by the Recruiting Class of 2015 and 2016.

Tyree Crump will make a dent in the perimeter shooting attempts and made shots.  Crump may end up leading the team in three point shot attempts blocked as well.

The fouls drawn and Free Throw Shooting is a bit of a concern.  Mann was only a 69.7% Free Throw shooter last season and this team is composed of better Free Throw shooters, but Mann’s ability to get to the line and weaken defenses by putting critical opposing defenders in foul trouble is underrated.

Scholarship Level Student-Athlete Breakdowns

J.J. Frazier

To some, it all begins and ends with Frazier.  Frazier can take over a game with his improvisational abilities.  He has extreme range on the floor making him incredibly dangerous and opponents will eventually have to respect it, which means that the floor is spread out.  This results in leaving wide driving and cutting lanes for Frazier’s teammates.  Frazier is an excellent distributor in the secondary break and off the dribble.  Frazier is not turnover prone and forces nearly as many turnovers as he commits himself.  Frazier takes the tough shots nobody else does and he hits them somehow.

Where Frazier is weak is in serving as a conventional Point Guard.  He can become invisible at times and then all of a sudden score points or help produce points in bunches.  He cannot just be one of the guys on the floor, he’s almost like Superman in that he makes the plays nobody else could when he is needed to do so.  However, during ordinary possessions, the rest of the team is far more engaged.  Frazier is a zone buster on offense, but on defense is a liability in the zone and Fox has to hide him.  Frazier’s size and length is not conducive to dissuading passes into the holes of the zone.

Would J.J. Frazier benefit from playing more minutes?  Not necessarily.  He would benefit from getting nearly as many shots as last season and taking a lower minute load just to keep him fresh, especially on the defensive end.  Georgia went 13-10 when Frazier played more than 30 or more minutes last season, 7-4 when Frazier played less.

Frazier does not have to score 20+ per game, this would put far too much stress on him.  Frazier did not have much help around him last season beyond Maten, Gaines and Mann by fiat.  With this Georgia team, Frazier will be the leader and he will be the guy that takes the important shot at the end of the game.  However, Frazier does not have to try as many mid-range jump shots and take inefficient shots that provide less value like he did last season.  The threat of Frazier as a scorer should open up opportunities for his teammates and it is good reason to be bullish on Frazier, The Distributor, this season.

Projected metrics:  28.5 minutes, 15.5 points, 6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals per game.  39.5% from three point range and 81.5% from the Free Throw Line.

Yante Maten

Maten is a Combo Forward now and he can dominate from the top of the key, high post and low block.  He has a wide array of moves to ensure that he can score a basket.  He is very good at setting himself up into position and he is still learning how to handle double teams.  Maten can be used in the middle of the zone just the way Charles Mann was last season.  Maten is content to take the Free Throw Line jump shot and opponents seem to just let him take it because it certainly beats having to deal with Maten off the bounce or off a low block move.

Maten is an improved rebounder and he is clearly stronger than ever.  He may be as much of a menace on the offensive boards as his teammate Derek Ogbeide can be on the defensive glass.  Maten outperformed as a rebounder last season, considering that an extrapolation of his total rebounds per game as a Freshman would have been -.912 rebounds per game less given the number of minutes that he played.  Maten actually was a less efficient shot blocker last season than he was in his first season.

Maten was an anti-Money Zone offensive player last season, but his effective Field Goal rate and True Shooting percentage rose significantly.  Maten only took 33.4% of his shots in the money zone.  In the mid-range he was a 40.5% shooter, which dragged down his shooting percentage.  His low post efficiency was rather high, he was a 68.8% shooter inside the restricted arc and he took 29.9% of his shots there.  Defenses did a good job of making Maten take the tougher shots, but he did hit them.

Maten was a more disciplined defender last season as far as fouls were concerned, but since he took less risks and was needed more, he did not block as many shots.  He will be a major target for opposing coaches this season and he will not be able to sneak up on anybody anymore, but the good news is that he has help all around him.

Fox can put Maten anywhere on the floor on offense and have him be a part of a positionless version of one his sets.  Maten would not be double teamed at the High Post or on the perimeter because it would open up an easy cut to the basket.  Maten will just need to be aware of not forcing a charge when driving off the High Post because it will cut into his defensive aggressiveness.

Projected metrics:  26 minutes, 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks per game.

Derek Ogbeide

He is much more agile than last season and he should be healthy for a full season, unlike last season.  Ogbeide is a defensive rebounding machine and he happens to be the team’s most efficient defensive player returning.  Ogbeide’s offense has improved a bit, but the southpaw is still a work in progress down low.  Against Fort Valley State, it was too easy for Ogbeide to physically dominate, it is still unanswered as to whether his weight loss hurt him against bruisers and ordinary big men.  Ogbeide is most effective on offense from the low block, but he can work his way in off the High Post.  Ogbeide has shown the ability to knock down a 12-15 footer, but this is not strength.

Defensively, Ogbeide was able to keep his feet in the exhibition game and not see the need to make any unnecessary hops.  Ogbeide knows how to use his body effectively to deny positioning and not allow opponents to gain traction toward the basket in the low post.

Ogbeide is going to be able to play more minutes this season and be a more active part of Georgia’s faster paced style.

Projected metrics:  20 minutes, 6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks per game.  He will shoot 62% from the Free Throw Line this season.

Kenny Paul Geno

Geno is a below average three point shooter who at least has some shred of credibility from beyond the arc.  Geno thrives as a driver looking to make a pass to a teammate on the perimeter, which is an important quality for a Small Forward in Mark Fox’s offense.  He’s not going to be a major part of the offense, but he will be a glue guy who can make the hustle plays, scrap and play zone defense.  Geno is not going to have a Michael Carrera-like offensive and defensive outburst this season.  Geno’s role is like Carrera, but he does not produce like the South Carolina alumnus.

Kenny Paul Geno’s Field Goal and Free Throw shooting rates have fallen each season.  He has had greater responsibility, but has not produced.  He started in the exhibition game against Fort Valley State and nothing has changed for Geno.  He is not actively involved in the offense and he’s defensively a step too slow against teams that sport three guard looks.

When Geno played more than twenty minutes last season, the team was 10-5.  However, this could not be tied to Geno’s performance.  The losses were at Kentucky, LSU, the home debacle against Texas A&M, Chattanooga and at Seton Hall.  He did not rise to the occasion against quality teams when given the minutes.  Geno’s biggest contribution is his passing ability in the half court offense, when he had two or more assists, Georgia was 9-3.

Fox will eventually have to see that Geno is effective in bursts and when he is surrounded by good shooters on the offensive end, which is the hope.  If he can keep Geno in zone as opposed to chasing someone like Dusty Hannahs, Jordan Barnett or Marcquise Reed it would be wise.

Geno will play around as many minutes he had last season, Fox values his Seniors to a fault.

Projected Metrics:  20 minutes, 3 points, 3.5 assists, .7 steals per game.  He’ll shoot 32% from three point range.

Mike Edwards

Fox is comfortable with letting Mike Edwards be himself after some necessary strength and conditioning as well as needed development in both posts.  Edwards has some new and old moves that should make him extremely difficult to stop on the offensive end.  Edwards at times looked like he was copying Yante Maten against Fort Valley State, but there were other times when he playing his game.  Edwards could benefit the most from a wide open offense that seeks to attack in the first ten seconds and then runs an abbreviated set that provides more liberty.

Edwards has a good enough mid-range game and his ability to dribble drive and handle the ball is unlike any of the Georgia big men.  Edwards is now strong enough to get the second chance opportunities.  He will get fouled a lot with his quickness, length and placement along the perimeter or High Post.

Edwards has a similar style of game to Blake Griffin, he’s obviously NOT Blake Griffin nor is he close to that level.

Edwards showed the offensive improvement is likely there and defensively he will improve, but he is not as good of a defender as Derek Ogbeide.

Expected Metrics:  18 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, .8 blocks per game.  50% from the Free Throw Line.

Houston Kessler

He’s a Senior and although often overmatched, Mark Fox believes he does the little things well.  Kessler did fall down the depth chart a bit on this team because Mike Edwards, E’Torrion Wilridge and Derek Ogbeide all passed him.  Pape Diatta is included in passing Kessler.  Kessler’s three point shooting confidence was shattered last season and he is too much of an offensive liability for Fox to give significant minutes to Kessler.  If Fox thinks Kessler has a three in him, he could throw him out there, but his minutes will fall significantly.

If this does not happen, Mark Fox is just asking to be fired.

Kessler was an offensive and defensive liability, he tries hard out there and he is an excellent student, but there is so much talent on this team.  There’s zero justification to award double digit minutes for Kessler.

Expected Metrics:  5 minutes, .8 points, 1 rebound per game. 20% from three point range.

Turtle Jackson

Turtle Jackson spent last season in the doghouse with E’Torrion Wilridge because they were Freshmen.  Jackson cannot breakthrough and become a starter until J.J. Frazier graduates.  Jackson is the Point Guard of the future and the Georgia Basketball program is in safe hands with the Pride of Amherst, New York!  He wasn’t born in Athens?  Yep!  This moment for some must be like when Hank Hill found out he was born in Manhattan.

Turtle Jackson is a better conventional Point Guard than J.J. Frazier.  Frazier is a unique talent who can just take over a game.  Jackson is a steady presence who is a calculating driver and an underrated shooter from beyond the arc.

Turtle Jackson had a few relatively  good games last season.  His most notable performances happened to be against Kentucky in the SEC Tournament semifinal and in the blowout win over Clemson.  Jackson really was not a factor on this Georgia team and he will play a somewhat larger role, but he is waiting for his shot to be the Point Guard at Georgia next season (2017-18).

Expected metrics: 12 minutes, 3.5 points, 1.5 assists, 1 rebound, .8 steals per game.  40% three point shooter.

E’Torrion Wilridge

Moped on the bench alongside Turtle Jackson last season leaving spectators confused as to why the electric “Toe” was doghoused after the Chattanooga game.  Wilridge put on quite a bit of muscle and now he is a Combo Forward capable of playing everywhere on the floor.  Positionless Basketball has a place at UGA.  Wilridge is long, athletic, defensively improved and is extremely versatile.

Wilridge needs to calm his nerves, he’s like his teammate Juwan Parker from three point range.  Both can hit the threes when they do not think about it.  Wilridge more specifically is stronger shooting from the wing rather than the top of the key.  The mental aspect messes with his mechanics and it is visible. Wilridge is a playmaker who should be playing in a wide-open offense that empowers him.  Last season, Wilridge was far from empowered in the offense.

Wilridge needs confidence (in himself and from his coaches), composure and patience on the floor.  Last season, he was never in a rhythm and as discussed prior, he needs to get more scoring opportunities in the restricted arc off the dribble.

It is easy to get excited about Wilridge and what he can do out there, but he will have to beat out Kenny Paul Geno for playing time at the 3 spot and shifting Wilridge to the role of a Combo Forward also has him battling Mike Edwards and Derek Ogbeide for playing time as well.  Edwards and Ogbeide have incumbency in their position.

Expected metrics:  12 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block per game.  

Tyree Crump

Let’s get this out of the way.  Mark Fox does not want to play Tyree Crump as a freshman for 15 minutes a game, but he wants to show recruits that he is willing to play a freshman guard just to contradict negative recruiting talking points.  Only two freshmen guards played more than 15 minutes per game at Georgia, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Charles Mann.  Charles Mann became the starting Point Guard because patience was running thin with Mark Fox and he had to make an adjustment in the 2012-13 season or else the season was toast and so would he.

On a normal roster, Crump would play 15 minutes a game to start and then eventually build up to around 20-22 minutes per game.  Crump is an absolutely necessary dead-eye, catch-and-shoot shooter.  Crump can distribute pretty well and he can evolve as a Combo Guard.  Crump’s main offensive flaw is his low angle shot release and there is concern that he may not be able to take challenged threes because they may get blocked.  Georgia’s offense does a good enough job of ensuring that shooters have space, which may become an issue to deal with at later juncture.  When Crump gets hot, he’s nearly unstoppable from long range.  Comparing him to Tennessee great Chris Lofton would be a bit unfair at this point.

Crump needs to adjust as a defensive player at Georgia, the talent he will face is much more than a small step up from Fort Valley State.  Every Freshman has to deal with the learning curve on defense regardless of the school they attend.

Check out his recruit profile here.

Expected Metrics:  15 minutes, 6.5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists.  39% from three point range.

Jordan Harris

Harris is going to be special, but he will likely not be able to do it this season.  His High School Highlight Reel is impressive, but he has quite a bit of competition and the level of play is going to step up considerably.  Also, Fox tends to doghouse first-year Shooting Guards/Small Forwards, Jordan Harris is the unfortunate one.  The good news is that those that were doghoused by Mark Fox ended up doing quite well at Georgia.  J.J. Frazier and Kenny Gaines are the two most notable success stories.

Harris physically may not be ready yet and he is defensively capable, but his inexperience in the face of competition will impact his playing time.  It is unknown if Harris and Crump will play on the floor together because of Fox’s philosophy of playing Freshmen at only one position.  Fox put Crump and Harris out there in an exhibition together, but in exhibition games lots of sets and rotations are purely experimental.

Jordan Harris will earn his playing time eventually and be a star, but he is in learning mode.  Check out his recruiting profile here.

Expected Metrics:  8 minutes, 2.5 points, 1 rebounds.  

Pape Diatta

Diatta has experience in Junior College and so Fox feels more liberty to use him all over the place.  Diatta will be used like E’Torrion Wilridge and this will enable all sorts of different looks on the floor.  Diatta in a zone defense could do very well, but he has shown himself to be pretty good in man-to-man.

Diatta with Wilridge on the floor at the same time was entertaining to watch in the exhibition game, will Fox try this sort of approach again?

Diatta has a strong all-around game and plays with confidence.  The coaching staff is high on him and they cannot afford to be patient with him because he is a JUCO transfer.  The team’s depth, Mark Fox’s desired schemes and loyalty to his Seniors are the barriers to his playing time rising above these expected metrics.

Expected metrics:  14 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block per game.

Juwan Parker

Juwan Parker has been through a lot during his time at UGA.  He has fully recovered from a partially torn achilles and graduated from the University of Georgia.  Parker is now a graduate student-athlete coming back after missing last season.  Parker’s last game against a Division I opponent was when he was inexplicably used in the SEC Tournament Semifinal Game against Arkansas in 2015.  Parker was playing injured in this game and had to call timeout to stop the action because he was in too much pain to continue.

Juwan Parker has a solid mid-range game and is a good dribble-driver.  His perimeter shooting is terrible and unfixable, he was a good shooter in High School and he now is a terrible shooter.  Some say it’s The Yips (it’s all mental) and others think it is a mechanical shooting matter.  The case has been made here that he has some form of The Yips.  A 40% three point shooter in High School just does not become a 20% three point shooter while everything else is unaffected.  Just not the way it works.

Parker’s defensive capabilities will be tested.  Keep in mind, Parker has not faced Division I action in a long time and he is a different young man now.  Will Parker play cognizant of his achilles?  Will opponents try to pick on him when he plays in man-to-man defense?

Parker’s perimeter woes will negatively impact Yante Maten.  If Parker is on the wing when Maten is in the low block in the two man game, it encourages a double team on Maten as there is no threat from Parker to make a three.  Same applies when there is a triangle and Maten has the ball down low, but Maten does have a second option.  However, there’s limited time to get the ball out toward the top of the key and the most convenient pass would be out on the wing.

Parker is a very good rebounder and Free Throw shooter, which could be very useful to this team.

Expected metrics:  22 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 80% Free Throw shooting, 22% 3 point shooting.

The Likely Style of Play

Offense

The offense will likely be heavy on secondary break offense and have a transitional, freeform element to it in the first ten seconds of the possession.  It will be like a full court motion offense and then once this transition period ends, the offensive sets begin.  The offensive sets are going to be like last season’s sets, but likely will enable all to be involved in the set as opposed to designated roles.

Some of the Georgia sets are here.  Find more offensive looks here as well.  What is different about the sets this season is that it is going to be highly likely that the offensive players will interchange positions after each possession.  For instance, UGA could run the one set and then run it again, but the next time swapping positions.  Yante Maten could be on the High Post while E’Torrion Wilridge is in the Low Post and then on the next possession they could just flip spots and responsibilities.  UGA could also run the same set, swap positions, but just choose to flip the set so that some offensive players are on the other side of the court.

The pace should be fast.  How fast?  How about 71 possessions per game?

There is one thing that can wreck this and that is a crisis of confidence on defense.  Mark Fox overreacted to the loss last season against Chattanooga, handcuffed the offense and slowed down the pace of play considerably.

The only person who can truly stop this Georgia Basketball team is Mark Fox.  He has done it before and he could do it again.  When the wild card is the Head Coach, it is very difficult to trust any sort of statements regarding pace of play and confidence in the team.

Defense

Georgia plays primarily man-to-man and Mark Fox is not the biggest fan of pressing or trapping in the full court or 3/4 court.  However, Fox employed a press last season against Georgia Tech that resembled a 1-2-1-1 press to slow Georgia Tech down with less than four minutes to go when they were trying to mount a comeback.

Georgia’s 2-3 Matchup Zone was better than the man-to-man defense that Fox prefers last season.  Georgia will also employ an adjustable 3-2 Matchup Zone that would put J.J. Frazier or Turtle Jackson up at the top of the key in an “odd front” that resembles a 1-2-2 Matchup Zone.

However, any defense that this team could sport is purely speculative outside of the typical man-to-man offering that Fox prefers.

Schedule and Predictions

The Morehouse game is highlighted in red as it does not count toward Georgia’s official record.

Predicted record:  21-9  Conference record:  11-7

Georgia’s conference record should be good enough to warrant a tie with one or two schools and have a tiebreaker situation where Georgia gets the #3 seed in Nashville.  As long as Georgia avoids the #2 seed Florida, Georgia could make it to the Final against Kentucky.  By the time Georgia is in the SEC Tournament, they would have punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with quality non-conference wins over Texas and Marquette.  Road wins over Texas A&M and Oakland should be beneficial to the tournament resume.  Upon reaching the SEC Tournament, Georgia is looking square at the barrel of a 8/9 matchup in the NCAA Tournament possibly in Greenville, South Carolina and would be playing to shift over to a 7/10 matchup in Salt Lake City.

There is a weird and distinct possibility that Georgia and Clemson could have a rematch in the NCAA Tournament.

These are just predictions made in the preseason and anything can change.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The most positive development for Georgia this season is that Mark Fox is actually ceding control, but the most negative is the fact that this different style may not last long.  Fox’s stubborn nature combined with a knack for shooting himself in the foot tactically can turn any season sideways.  This is Mark Fox’s deepest team and it is disconcerting to publish these minutes distribution expectations because it is embedded with the expectation that Fox will cling to some of his old ways.  Mark Fox has to grow as a coach and trust the recruiting job that he has done.  Mark Fox has to trust the process himself.

For seven seasons, whenever Fox figures out what makes his team click, it is usually too late.  The sad part is that the viewers know what the tactical and strategic problems are and there is a historical lack of self-awareness.

The Clemson game is an important game.  Mark Fox has to show faith in his team to win in a hostile environment with officiating that could definitely lead to Fox throwing his jacket and earning a technical foul ten minutes into the second half.  Fox is far too predictable and this is his opportunity to break the cycle.  The projections as far as the student-athlete metrics and the schedule are based on his predictable nature.

Points and production will be rather evenly spread this season.  Not everyone is going to score 10+ points per game.  There are only 40 minutes in a game and there’s only one ball, some will produce in a concentrated fashion and others will not.  Depth is a blessing and a curse.  It’s a blessing because there is plenty of talent on the roster ready to contribute, it is a curse because coaches that play favorites and have irrational rotations get exposed quickly.  Everyone wants to play and produce, but there are limits and it all starts with the coach.

 

Note to Reader:

On November 11, the regular season starts and Game Night Preview and Recaps will come your way.

Plus, there will a Daily Pick of the Day… cannot guarantee any success with that.  However, the Daily Pick of the Day will feature a non-Georgia game with a little analysis and a pick against the spread, moneyline or a total.  Hopefully, you can walk away making your bookie pay!

7 comments

  1. I like your analysis and generally agree with all your assessments. As usual, Fox will play his seniors too much and we will likely lose a couple of games as a result of that. With the talent on this roster, there should be no reason that KPG or Kessler get double digit minutes.

    I think we beat Clemson on Friday. I’m to saying this because I’m making the hour and half trip up I85, but I truly think we’ll come out with our hair on fire and play lights out in a hostile environment. I really liked what I saw last Thursday.

    Colored me in for cautiously optimistic for this upcoming season 🙂

  2. Excellent analysis.. One are I hope you’re wrong is twenty minutes a game for KPG. One thing I am almost certain you are wrong on is that we are NOT losing by 20 at Bama. I’m not guaranteeing a victory, but I just don’t see that happening this year. It doesn’t really matter though, because at this point it’s all just fun speculation.

    Thanks again

  3. If we play Parker and KPG (42 mins) more than Crump, Diatta, Wilridge (41) then we will play in the NIT again.

    1. bold statement. in your post-game recap of the fort valley st game, you mentioned wilridge looked a little of out of control (paraphrase). I missed the game, but know from last year’s games what you’re talking about. I’d contend that kpg looked out of control at times as a junior last year and also from your recap, it appeared that he did again on defense against fvs.

      frazier is a true student of the game. from past games, I’ve noticed how much he’s focused in listening to fox during timeouts, calls from the sideline and after simple yanks from the game during his early years. one could say that’s what a pg should do and I don’t argue, but I never saw that high level of focus/desire from robinson, ware or mann to take on every instruction and also take notice of what’s being told to the other players.

      long-winded point, but I see the same keen interest from kpg during instructional periods, but he just doesn’t have the athletic ability to translate it to the court. the kid definitely has some ups, but he’s out-matched in about 2/3 of his defensive assignments and no one is counting on him to take on any true offensive responsibility.

      in the end, I’m hoping you’re wrong and fox makes some decisions that are likely better for the team with kpg taking on more of a reserve role which he held his soph season, as opposed to starter or taking valuable minutes away from either wilridge or diatta.

    2. Minutes:
      My untrained weak eye is hoping for the following, at least in games where we can’t coast to a W and give kids work/Maten and Frazier rest.
      Inside: Ogbeide plays the 5 as much as the temperature, foul trouble, and general conditioning allows. Edwards gets the other 10-15+ minutes there. Maten plays the 4 as much as foul trouble and his conditioning allows, with Edwards, or Wilridge/Diatta in a small ball lineup getting the remaining minutes.
      On the outside, let JJ play as much as foul trouble and his legs will allow. I’m hoping Turtle can improve to the point we want him on the floor for 15-20 minutes at the point,, both when JJ needs a rest and alongside him so JJ can be free to create and score. I’d like to see Diatta or Wilridge take command of the 3, with the other or KPG backing them up (but I fear we try to work in all 3 and they never get a rhythm on the floor). You can play Parker some at the 3 too, imo, with Turtle and JJ at G. Parker probably gets 15-25 minutes a night with his D, and if his shot can ever come close to what it was 4 yrs ago maybe push that closer to the 25 mark. That doesn’t leave much for Harris or Crump, but injuries, foul trouble, or poor play, or just proving they’re the best option for the time, could open up minutes for them at the 1, 2, or 3.

  4. I am so proud to be able to be the blog about the team. It is very helpful when you want to brag on the Dawgs. My nephew is E’ Torrion and I want to keep up with him. Again I am so proud of the team and Coach Fox.

    1. Cora, glad to have Toe on our team. Hope he’s enjoying his time in Athens. It’s a great place. He’s gotten bigger and stronger, so we should more from your nephew.

Comments are closed.