It was not expected to be pretty and it met expectations.
It was a low-scoring, slow-paced affair and despite the game being on Mark Fox’s terms because apparently there is such a huge athletic and skill disparity between Kansas State and Georgia in his mind, his squad still could not pull off the victory. Mark Fox’s Purple Tie could not counter the Purple Power inside Bramlage Coliseum as Georgia’s style tortured those in attendance and watching all over the world. It was a game that contained many familiar elements, the games are rather consistent for better and for worse. The seasons are beginning to exhibit this consistency as well.
Lots of Fool’s Gold, Questionable Shot Selection and Lack of Aggression
In the beginning of the two halves, Georgia got off to hot starts shooting the ball only to cool off as the halves progressed. It gave the team a false sense of confidence that the higher difficulty shots attempted were going to fall in their direction. When this happens, Mark Fox tends to encourage three point shots to be attempted within the sets even without any sort of a rhythm that could be initially established in a possession by moving the ball inside-out.
Questionable Shot Selection
Arising from the false sense of confidence and lack of belief in the idea of regression to the mean, there was a sense of vindication in what shots were attempted. Rather than looking to set each other up to take higher percentage shot attempts, three point shot attempts on the wings and from the corner were attempted. What made it more bizarre was that Mark Fox seemed to endorse the shot selection.
Tyree Crump had a fabulous First Half. Why? He looked to penetrate and set up his teammates. Crump did a wonderful job being a Point Guard and then in the Second Half decided to be a Shooting Guard at Point Guard. Crump played selfish in the Second Half and he could taken Turtle Jackson’s minutes at Point Guard if he maintained his unselfishness and actually looked to go toward the rim. Crump’s defense was fine, but his shot selection and selfishness really hurt him today and it hurt the team because the Tyree Crump from the First Half was needed out there. If Crump played unselfishly all game today, the result of this game may have been very different as Fox would not have had a logical reason to pull him out. The team would have more dunks and layups, instead Crump took these shots as illustrated on the shot chart.
These are not mistakes made, Crump really thinks these are his shots (or has been convinced that they are). The staff has made no effort to fix this and this hideous shot chart is a major reason why Crump gets DNPs and limited minutes. This may have been acceptable in the Wiregrass High School circuit against much lower level competition, but this is High Major College Basketball.
Lack of Aggression
Georgia was content to be a jump shooting team and the best efforts were from second chance points and when there was some form of a dribble drive. Otherwise, it was a lot of the same idle dribbling combined with predictable and deliberate movement. The offense is very passive and even when the game was clearly over with 8.8 seconds left in the game, Turtle Jackson was very deliberate to getting himself set up to attempt a three point shot as if it was an ordinary possession.
Rayshaun Hammonds has to improve at finishing when he attacks the basket and he’s getting set up from the wrong side too, which means that he’s forced to contort himself when making an attempt near the paint. Hammonds is left-handed and it does seem that Mark Fox has yet to realize this. Hammonds and Jordan Harris have had similar struggles attacking the basket despite their willingness to do so. The pace on Hammonds’ shot seems to have sped up as this season has progressed, which has resulted in back of the iron three point shot misses.
Playing passive on offense and being as deliberate as the team was on every possession allowed for Kansas State to play tight Man-to-Man Defense and attack the passing lanes. There are no consequences for attacking the passing lanes against Georgia because there are no pass fakes and free-form cuts to the basket. Nobody is actually reading the defense. It was as simple as disrupting the action on the perimeter because Georgia was going to wear down the shot clock to below 10 seconds left every single time.
Georgia’s adjusted tempo fell again.
What did Kansas State do to win this game?
Defensively, Georgia did what they had to do. Holding an opponent to 38.3% Field Goals and 21.4% from 3 Point Range while winning the defensive glass 86.67% of the time is a recipe for a victory on the defensive end.
Kansas State was able to get to the Free Throw Line because they were more willing to use the dribble drive early in possessions against both the 2-3 Matchup Zone and Man-to-Man Defense. Georgia’s Baseline Out of Bounds Defense was atrocious allowing for easy opportunities once the ball reached the perimeter. Beating the Dawgs off the dribble and getting points off turnovers was the recipe for this Kansas State win.
Kansas State gave Georgia extra chances to score by allowing the Dawgs to win the offensive glass 34.2% of the time, but it just was not enough for the Dawgs to do anything with it.
Kansas State was able to get Free Throws because they were more willing to attack the basket, Georgia wanted to take jump shots and hook shots. Kansas State was playing better Georgia Basketball than Georgia. Georgia’s success came in the non-conference segment of the season when they were able to chop up the games and have an exorbitant FTA/FGA. Kansas State established themselves early and with help from clumsy defensive efforts from Georgia were able to control this particular aspect of the game.
The more aggressive and efficient team won. The team with the better coach and support base won.
Now Georgia’s season is on the line against Florida. Lose and history repeats itself, the interesting part becomes what is done during February. Win and keep any glimmer of hope alive. Mark Fox has never defeated a Mike White coached team in his tenure at Georgia.