Georgia’s leaky man-to-man defense does them in again and a surprisingly bad rebounding performance hurt too.
Marquette shot the ball hot for much of this game and their movement without the ball and ball movement was excellent, but Georgia enabled this with the man-to-man defense. Whether it be with or without switching in man-to-man defense, there was poor resistance in the effort to deny attempts and keep the Golden Eagles from taking a good shot. Georgia’s defense switched to 2-3 Matchup Zone and it both slowed down and frustrated the Marquette offense. As stated in the preview of this game, the Morehouse game was preparation for this game since they are undersized and ran 4 out 1 Hi and 5 Out offense. Georgia’s strategic approach was for the most part wrong and it resulted in letting Marquette get rhythm shooting opportunities.
Marquette completely dominated on the glass. This is not a good rebounding team and they were able to humiliate Georgia by getting offensive rebounds. Yielding a 39.4% offensive glass win rate is absolutely pitiful. The first half was defined by Marquette’s hot shooting and strong rebounding, but yet Georgia was able to take care of the ball and Marquette was not. Georgia was able to stay in the game with interior offense and turnovers in that first half.
Marquette could not stay hot for the entire game and Georgia adjusted late with the 2-3 Matchup Zone, which flustered them. They went 5 for 19 in the second half, but yet surged out to a 16 point lead with 14:27 left in the second half. Georgia came back to within 2 thanks to the 2-3 Matchup Zone and better transition offense, but yet was not able to completely change the result of the game for several reasons:
- Inability to deny second chance opportunities.
- Stagnant two-man game offense.
- Predictable passes along the perimeter.
- Forcing the action into Maten when the Marquette defense was clearly collapsing upon him.
- Unwillingness to take advantage of Marquette’s foul situation and the 1 & 1 bonus.
Marquette went zone once in this game and Georgia actually carved them up with good zone offense working the ball into the low block and setting up a rhythm three point shot for J.J. Frazier. Marquette’s defense was not very good, but Georgia did a fairly good job stopping themselves.
What made the scoring difference in the second half metric-wise? It was not Marquette’s shooting. It was being outscored in second chance points 10-2, taking the same number of Free Throws, being outscored in points off turnovers 13-0 and Marquette outscoring Georgia in points in the paint 18-14.
Marquette was the tougher team today. They were able to do it without Luke Fischer on the floor. In fact, they were better without Fischer! Even without Fischer, they outrebounded Georgia. It made this Georgia team have to defend a 5 out offense without the necessary quickness and defensive discipline to keep up with their plethora of talented guards. Marquette is a younger team than Georgia, they play more freshmen and Fox assigned Houston Kessler to defend Sam Hauser in the first half. Apparently, Kessler did not get the memo that Hauser is going to take the vast majority of his shots from three point range and he played him like he was Derek Ogbeide out there. Hauser was left wide open from three point range and burned UGA. Kessler was promptly pulled and never was to be seen on the floor again. It is one thing to protect against a backdoor cut, but it is another thing to leave Marquette’s best three point shooter wide open.
It cannot be chalked up to a simple hot shooting day for Marquette. That’s letting this team off way too easy and quite frankly that is just lazy analysis.
This is a team that needs a winning identity and it is clear that if the identity is 2 on 5 offense and adjusting on defense when it is far too late, might as well throw the towel in on the season. What did opponents of Georgia do to beat them this season? They took away the restricted arc and Georgia helped them do it.
What stands out in the boxscore? Can we add more depth based on what we saw?
- Turtle Jackson struggled from three point range: His shots were off bad rhythm passes along the perimeter. His made shots were from inside-out off a dribble drive.
- Turtle Jackson had three steals: He made some tough steals today and deserves credit for it. He has a lot of potential on defense, if used properly.
- Yante Maten had a big game: Of course he did, but when he has to do the lion’s share of the work, this team typically loses. If the game devolves into Maten being force-fed the ball, Fox has run out of ideas and that’s what happened late in the game after Marquette made a big run to put Georgia back down double digits. Yante Maten is an NBA prospect, there’s no doubt about it and anyone who questions that is insane, but he cannot be expected to carry this team on his own. That’s not fair to Maten and quite frankly, if all five players on the floor were able to contribute with the same level of freedom, he would be more efficient and the shots would not be as challenging. #MakeYantesDayEasier
- Juwan Parker’s main contribution was as a rebounder, he was not able to hit any of the jump shots he took.
- Derek Ogbeide was not getting it done on the glass: Ogbeide was doing everything well except for rebounding. He played only 11 minutes though despite controlling the paint offensively.
- Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump played a total of two minutes: Marquette’s freshmen Hauser and Howard scored 34 points and pushed the Golden Eagles toward victory.
- J.J. Frazier did not get it done inside the perimeter in the half court: His points came off the transition opportunities inside the perimeter and he was more effective as a distributor from inside the perimeter. He’s being forced to drive right rather than left, but regardless he is met with defenders trying to keep him out. Frazier had plenty of options to pass, but he did not take them until Georgia’s comeback in the second half. His best plays of the day were passes: One out on the wing to Turtle Jackson for a three and the other in transition behind him to Kenny Paul Geno for a layup.
- Mike Edwards was effective at scoring in the paint and drawing fouls to get him to the line.
- E’Torrion Wilridge did a little bit of everything today. He played with more confidence and he can do more for this team. Fox kept him in the game because he was effective on defense.
Finals Week starts at UGA on Tuesday and the next game is against Louisiana-Lafayette on December 14. It’s Year 8 of the Mark Fox era (Year 4 since Michael Adams left) and winning these games are to be expected. This is the most talented and deep team of the Mark Fox era and yet this team is playing like a program that is in the grey area between rebuilding and trying to compete for an NCAA Tournament run. Georgia only has one more opportunity for a quality non-conference win, which is against Texas in the Big XII-SEC Challenge. Georgia has to sweep through the remainder of the non-conference schedule to have a chance at an NCAA Tournament run. No bad losses is nice, but this team actually has to beat a quality opponent.