Georgia beats Georgia Tech

Georgia Retains the State Championship 60-43 over Tech

Georgia Tech is an awful team.  Georgia played rather poorly and still won by 17.

Georgia and Georgia Tech played an ugly game and this would seem to benefit Georgia Tech, but Mark Fox’s crew gained confidence with every missed layup, turnover and bricked three point shot by the North Avenue Trade School.  It was not a pretty game, but it is a decisive win over Georgia Tech on the road and it means in-state supremacy for another season.  The Georgia Football Team could not hold off Georgia Tech with a double digit lead, but Mark Fox’s crew was able to control this one throughout.

Unlike the past two visits to Georgia Tech, there was no singing of the Georgia Tech rendition of “Glory, Glory” at the end of this one.  Instead, loud barks and U-G-A chants were ringing through McCamish Pavilion and the only hope of silencing the chants was the Georgia Tech Pep Band.

Georgia Tech threw everything at Georgia tonight.  Josh Pastner did everything strategically possible to try to throw off this Georgia team and he was effective at it, but his own team was both inept and stifled by the Georgia Defense and Rebounding.  Let’s run through what Pastner did tonight:

  • 1-3-1 Zone Defense
  • 1-2-2 Zone Defense
  • Man-to-Man Press
  • Man-to-Man Trapping Press
  • 2-2-1 Zone Press
  • Box and One
  • Triangle and Two
  • Man-to-Man Defense
  • Outright doubling on Yante Maten to deny him the ball.
  • Extending man pressure in half court
  • Trapping Frazier in the half court

Pastner’s offense really did not do anything particular special.  It was actually an accomplishment if they did not get through a possession without wrecking themselves.  Mark Fox did not do anything out of the ordinary on offense or defense, but Georgia did not look prepared for the 1-3-1 Zone from Georgia Tech in the first ten minutes of the game.  Georgia’s secondary break really got things rolling and put a lot of pressure on the Yellow Jackets to score.  A lead of more than two possessions was a big lead in that first half of absolute woe.

This was the first half shot chart for both teams.

At least Georgia hit a pair of threes and were effective in the restricted arc.  Tech could not get that right at all.  They only made one three pointer tonight and that was in the second half to mock cheers.  Of course Georgia is going to win if their opponent is going to hit only one three point shot.  Look at all those missed long range shots from both inside and outside the perimeter.  The shot selection from Georgia was abysmal.  Georgia Tech deserves some credit with their zone and junk defenses in this half, but the offensive players could have moved around and found holes or created lanes.

Now a little tangent…

Georgia Tech is as bad as Georgia was in 2004-05, their victory over VCU at the Siegel Center was a fluke and VCU Head Coach Will Wade really needs to re-consider what he thinks his team is supposed to play like if he let this Georgia Tech team win in Richmond.  This Georgia team played down to their competition on the road and won comfortably holding Tech to 43 points.

Who thought that a post-game recap of Clean Old-Fashioned Hate would first include calling out Will Wade rather than any sort of commentary about Mark Fox?

VCU should be ashamed of their loss AT HOME no less.  One of the most feared home environments in the country and find a way to lose to a team that cannot make the simplest layups at home against a Georgia team that really let them stay in the game for 25 minutes.  How is that possible?  #A10BasketballFever?  VCU is not qualified to make the NCAA Tournament, the end.

Josh Pastner wanted to play slop ball and Georgia was content to play along for some odd reason.  However, Georgia is just better at playing slop ball than Georgia Tech.  Georgia controlled the glass and cut off Georgia Tech from getting second chance opportunities.  The difference in this game is literally the difference between the two teams scoring output on second chances.  Georgia’s bench was non-existent scoring-wise in this game, there was an overall tentativeness and lack of comfort with playing on the road in this rivalry game.  There was a lack of composure that is emblematic of a young team going through a rebuilding season rather than a team thought to be in the top third of their conference trying to improve their NCAA Tournament resume.

Second Half Shooting

The second half was not a bowl of cherries either.  Georgia just did a better job of drawing fouls and getting to the Free Throw Line.  Georgia attempted less Field Goals and was efficient enough in the restricted arc to hold off Georgia Tech.  Georgia Tech shot better, but they were not getting those restricted arc opportunities like they blew in the First Half.

Quinton Stephens had the exact opposite night in his final Georgia-Georgia Tech game than he did two years ago.  Stephens was in foul trouble early with three fouls in the first half and he compiled a total of four fouls.  He had as many fouls as he did three point shot attempts.  Stephens scoring total was ZERO.

Georgia played rather slow in this game because Josh Pastner threw almost every defense at them AND because Mark Fox wisely had this team burn clock with eight minutes to go.  Fox knew that this Georgia Tech team was not going to make any sort of a double digit scoring run and he was 100% correct.  Stall ball worked in the end and the North Avenue Trade School was completely inept.

There’s no way anybody can judge this Georgia team based off their performance and Georgia Tech’s performance.  Not much to take away here other than answering this question with the affirmative:  Can Georgia win on the road playing three quarters of the game with Yante Maten serving as a decoy?

Derek Ogbeide was dominant in the first half of this game and then he disappeared a bit in the second half.  Ogbeide is a difference maker when opponent key in on Maten.  In the first half, the difference between the two teams was that Georgia had Ogbeide and Georgia Tech did not.

This team needed a confidence boost and even though beating Georgia Tech by 17 is a pleasant result, this team is capable of so much more than that.  This is a far better team than this.  The problem is that this team needs to play more like a team, gain composure, make opponents feel uncomfortable and make better decisions with and without the ball on offense.  This team has played far below expectations this season and is somehow 7-3.  Georgia has not beaten any opponents that will impress the NCAA Tournament Committee thus far and it is possible that Georgia may not have any of these sort of victories even with potential wins at Oakland and at home against Texas.

The team will now go to a much more hostile environment up in Oakland, Michigan to face the Golden Grizzlies who were knocked off 61-59 at the O’Rena by Northeastern (Northeastern beat Michigan State at the Breslin Center this past weekend).

Georgia Tech students and alumni like to ask, “What’s the good word?” They could not even buy a vowel tonight.

One comment

  1. Oakland plays Michigan State on Wednesday night (Big Ten Network at 7) so our game with them will be their 3rd in 4 nights. Don’t see that type of schedule much in college basketball. That said, they will be plenty fired up about having UGA playing at their place. I believe we are only the 2nd power 5 conference team to go there and the other one (Missouri) was more than a decade ago.

    Regarding tonight’s game, we were 3 for 18 from three point range. That just isn’t going to cut it against a decent team…or a not so good team that just gets hot on a given night. That’s what happened when Tech played VCU. Tadric Jackson and a couple of other guys who did almost nothing tonight played really well in that game. Jackson had 24 points, including 19 in the 2nd half. Tech shot almost 50% from the field, including 40% from 3. They made a shot well past half court at the buzzer to end the first half…it was just their night. You are probably right about VCU this year – their RPI is around the same as Georgia, but they are a very difficult team to beat in Richmond. Tech really played well that night, If they play like that again at least occasionally, they might actually win a few games in the ACC this year.

    Fox’s substitution patterns are still driving me crazy. 13 players running in and out of the game in the first half and he wonders why we can’t get in a rhythm offensively? He almost always ends up putting a combo out on the court that is just awful and it happened again tonight at least once. The announcers immediately picked up on it since JJ and Maten were both out of the game and Tech scored 2 or 3 baskets in a row, forcing Fox to change the lineup again very quickly. We just can’t have that type of momentum change in big games going forward, especially on the road. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of finding the right lineup and letting it go for a while. Fox just won’t allow himself to do that. I’m afraid his constant in-game intervention is going to keep this team from reaching its potential. Crump and Harris would both already have had some big games if they were playing for a different type of coach, but they have a hard time staying on the court for more than 2 or 3 minutes at a times with Fox. If we are going to make The Dance, those guys are going to need to develop and consistently contribute a lot more than they are now. I just don’t think Fox is going about it the right way.

    Schultz at the AJC wrote another article about Fox and UGA after the game tonight, stating that Tech is beyond hope right now and UGA still has a lot to prove. He’s correct on both of those points, but there was one ridiculous comment about the mess Felton left Fox and Adams stating that it would take 10 years (or more) for Fox to fix it. Fox continues to play us all for fools. First of all, Felton actually left Fox with a good bit of talent and is he really saying that ANY hoops program would say “hey, we’ll give you a decade and pay you close to $25 mil before we expect you to turn it around? Ridiculous. This clown keeps talking about 20 win seasons and finishing in the upper division of a crappy SEC. Over 7 seasons, we have exactly TWO postseason wins – both in the NIT and both versus mid-majors (Vermont and Belmont). If this team doesn’t make the NCAA tournament, Fox should be history. But, he won’t be since his contract goes through 2020. At the very least, they should not agree to extend him again and cut him loose after next year unless we make the tourney. Nothing else matters. 20 win seasons aren’t relevant now that teams are playing 35+ games.

Comments are closed.