Nobody could have seen this sort of a result happening.
How do you take the air of Ole Miss’ sails? Andy Kennedy is a very prepared and aggressive coach who has different schemes to account for various situations. Kennedy likes to run up and down the floor. Kennedy also has resorted to relying upon a member of the backcourt over the past few years. Deandre Burnett is Andy Kennedy’s Stefan Moody Part Deux and he is the engine that gets this Rebel team going. Nobody could have ever predicted that a freak incident coming down from a jump shot would so damage Ole Miss’ chances to not only win this game, but make any sort of a push toward a postseason. Deandre Burnett’s high ankle sprain in the first half changed everything.
Ole Miss is known for having an explosive offense and making second half comebacks at home and on the road. How in the world could this Rebel team do it mired in foul trouble and playing without their floor general? Burnett is the team’s leader in the backcourt and his injury signaled the end of this game rather quickly. Georgia was the underdog and rightfully so, but as long as Georgia did not royally screw things up, they were going to win after the injury took place.
This game resembled the Georgia Tech game as Georgia went into an environment that had a little bit of energy and then the energy died off really quickly. Ole Miss struggled from the field, turned the ball over in ways that were sad to watch and the defensive effort was all that was left. Georgia struggled with turnovers as well and made plenty of mistakes on the floor, it was clear that this game became a practice session for Mark Fox’s crew in Oxford late in the second half.
Wins are great, but winning because the other team suffered a freak injury does not really speak to this team’s ability to overcome or face that necessary challenge head-on. The Pavilion at Ole Miss was a gloomy environment and the Ole Miss student-athletes walking into the locker room at the end of the first half were lashing out in a way that seemed like grief. If Georgia lost this game, it would have been the most devastating loss of the season because of the circumstances. Instead, Georgia comes away with a 22 point victory and pretty much dodged the fight that they were expecting coming into this game in a default fashion. It’s a win, but it feels empty and Ole Miss is going to have to play for several weeks without Deandre Burnett, which means that the quality of this win is going to be VERY short-lived unless unforeseen events happen. Ole Miss visits the Colonial Life Arena on Saturday, which is about as cruel of a punishment as it gets for a team that just dealt with key cog lost.
Yante Maten got himself a double-double against Sebastian Saiz and it was apparent that he outclassed him tonight. Yante cut down his turnovers and was a defensive force, he’s the SEC Player of the Year and the good news is that Georgia can have a lead when he’s not necessarily productive on offense for a half.
J.J. Frazier re-found his shooting stroke and was a pest on defense. Georgia will need Frazier to come through, but he may be realizing that his teammates are capable of contributing too. Georgia’s screen and roll action worked very well because the rolls were followed through to completion against man-to-man defense.
Jordan Harris made some bonehead plays, but he also made some dazzling steals and blocks. Harris is still the best defender in that backcourt and in the 2-3 Matchup Zone, 1-2-2 Matchup Zone and 3/4 Court Trap, he is very difficult to account.
Onto the Georgia defense for a moment. Georgia went with three different half court defenses and two different full court defenses. Georgia’s “run and jump” press resulted in a turnover and the 3/4 Court Trap took Ole Miss out of their rhythm and resulted in bad shots, bad passes and points on the other end. Georgia played in a zone defense for most of the game and Ole Miss struggled to solve the 2-3 Matchup and 1-2-2 Matchup Zones.
The shot selection was questionable in this game. Georgia took far too many jump shots and there were too many instances of posts putting the ball below the waist in the low block. Ole Miss’ zone defenses deserve a lot of credit for the disruption of the Georgia offensive efforts. Ole Miss extended out their 1-3-1 Zone and that really bothered J.J. Frazier and Jordan Harris tonight. Who else likes to run 1-3-1 Zone? Mike White apparently. Florida is also going to 2-2-1 Zone Press the Dawgs as well, which should be a very different experience compared to tonight.
The second half shot chart is more favorable to Georgia since there were more shots taken in the restricted arc and Ole Miss was denied opportunities in this area. Ole Miss only had what appears to be four points in the money zones in the second half.
Georgia was able to get to the Free Throw Line and make Free Throws. 22/25 at the Free Throw Line is a recipe for a victory. Outshooting Ole Miss at the Free Throw Line is a big deal, but Ole Miss was just uncharacteristically cold going 17/32, which is crazy to imagine. Then again, tonight was the nightmare scenario for Ole Miss and it makes sense that this would happen in said nightmare.
Georgia played a faster pace than expected as far as possessions are concerned, but the average possession time is very slow for this Georgia team. It was an extraordinary game in both senses of the word ‘extraordinary’. The injury to Deandre Burnett really cannot give anyone an accurate gauge as to how this team is progressing. It was also extraordinary because Georgia held another opponent on the road to under 50 points in a game (Georgia Tech was the other opponent).
Georgia goes face-to-face with The Streak next. Georgia has yet to win in Gainesville since January 19, 2002. Jim Harrick was the Head Coach then, Justin Bieber was not a thing and neither was John Oliver. Current President Barack Obama was still voting ‘Present’ as an Illinois State Senator and President-Elect Donald Trump had yet to offer an opinion on the War in Iraq. It was a different time back then and much has changed, except that Georgia has yet to beat the Gators in thirteen straight tries in the newly renovated Exactech Arena. Are the Dawgs “Man Enough” to do it? Does Pat Dye need to call out the Georgia Basketball Team?
In hopefully Fake News: Nutella causes cancer. (This is bad news for those with a routing of smoking two packs of Marlboro Reds, visiting tanning beds and eating two jars of Nutella in a day.)