The “Go Big Blue Chant” was a sign of the end for an undisciplined Georgia Basketball Team.
At the 8 minute media timeout, the “Go Big Blue” chant rang through Stegeman Coliseum and the seats that mysterious turn from vacant to blue made the difference in rattling and intimidating the Georgia Bulldogs. The things that Georgia was doing right in the game were undone much like the pardoning of a child rapist. For Georgia to beat Kentucky in a sport that they have pooled all their resources takes a lot of commitment and discipline. Losing in Men’s Basketball is unacceptable at Kentucky, this is a base that will literally run coaches out of town. It all fell apart like it usually does for Georgia and it did not have to be this way. Georgia took a step forward on Saturday and then took a step backward in the Second Half.
What Georgia did right before letting the Blue Klux Klan Lynch Mob burn it down.
Attack the rim consistently
Next season, Georgia is going to attack the rim far more than this season’s team. Nobody is playing to try to impress scouts or be the hero nobody asked for just like West Coast and Acela Corridor journalists telling coal miners to learn to code.
Nobody asked for it.
After falling behind 10-5, Georgia went back to attacking the basket after realizing that shooting three point shots and mid-range shots off the dribble is not an offense. Not-so-magically, the team attacked the basket off the dribble and with strong cuts. Georgia took the lead as a result. It’s mindblowing to consider. Georgia was able to draw fouls, which is a consequence of doing a good job with attacking the basket and this led to Nick Richards coming off the floor. Without Nick Richards on the floor, Georgia was able to rebound at-will against the Wildcats. The second-chance opportunities went away. Did you know that Georgia had an 85.7% Defensive Rebounding rate in the First Half? Why?
An aggressive offense sometimes is the best defense. That is part of the scouting report. Nick Richards had 4 fouls or more in his previous five games. Of course, getting their frontcourt into foul trouble makes their team more one-dimensional. It is not that complicated, it should be as obvious as having to euthanize a horse.
Active Hands, Active Feet, Active Minds
This should be the motto of this team’s defense. Georgia was able to force turnovers, bad shots, and keep Kentucky off the Free Throw Line.
Rodney Howard was challenging shots, Christian Brown was corraling rebounds, Sahvir Wheeler and Jordan Harris were opportunistic defenders as secondary defenders forcing turnovers, Anthony Edwards was fighting on the defensive glass. It was solid defensive basketball and Georgia was playing into the bench while doing it.
How did it all come apart?
Selfishness and immaturity in the face of an environment that was not 100% supportive. How the UGA Athletic Association does not audit who actually gets the tickets in the lower rows and upper rows is a mystery. It is very evident that there are Kentucky fans who give to the Georgia Basketball Enhancement Fund just to attend this one particular game and sell the rest of the tickets or leave the seats empty. It is incredibly embarrassing to let this happen. This is something that could be easily prevented like Mountain Dew Mouth.
All of the stars in attendance, NBA Draft scouts, and face time with national television personalities feigning an interest in the student-athletes just so they can have enough content to fill a 2 hour time window took the eyes off the prize for this immature Georgia Basketball Team.
Selfishness through Shot Selection
The shot selection was dreadful against a painfully thin Kentucky roster that was clearly worse without Nick Richards on the floor. Challenged and cramped shots along the wing and quick shots taken out of rhythm were emblematic of Georgia’s offensive effort in the first five minutes of the game and the last 10 minutes of the game. Georgia was able to pick up fast fouls on Kentucky to force the foul shooting bonus in both halves of the game, the team was able to make more of the Free Throws in the Second Half, but was not able to weaponize the foul counts because of greed, self-interest, and a lack of consideration for the consequences much like the racking up a massive amount of unfunded liabilities..
Look at the shot selection, it is absolutely disgusting. 5/23 from three point range and only 11 assists in the game. It is not like Georgia had such a terrible Turnover Rate, 19.3%. However, just look at these shots and the Dawgs had only 18 shots in the restricted arc.
Kentucky was attacking the basket in this game, they took their fair share of bad mid-range shots, but they were getting to the basket. Georgia would go stretches in this game where there would be one pass and a shot or there would be a dribble lead-up to a shot at the start of a possession. It was an absolutely ridiculous display.
Georgia was getting away from what they were doing best against Kentucky and then completely melted down into desperation mode. It was inefficient offense and the defensive effort was not sustainable. Immanuel Quickley was left wide open on three point attempts, Tyrese Maxey was able to drive at will, and the frustration of missed jump shots ate away at this Georgia team. The team was not playing like a team and the Happy-Happyists with their creepy cult-like devotion were able to make this Georgia team fold. Just like previous Georgia teams. Different coaches, same story. Georgia would confront Kentucky, “Go Big Blue” chant happens, lightning strikes, and Georgia wonders where they are next. The cycle repeats.
The decision to “impress scouts” and get away from what was clearly working resulted in the following:
- A 58.8% Defensive Rebounding Rate in the Second Half.
- A 13.3% Offensive Rebounding Rate in the Second Half.
- A 58.6% Free Throw Rate for Kentucky in the Second Half.
- Georgia held the lead for 11 minutes 52 seconds in the Second Half and found a way to get down by 11.
- Georgia had only had 4 assists for the Second Half compared to Kentucky’s 11.
Kentucky just magically did not become a great team in the Second Half. It required Georgia to resort to its immature tendencies. Bad shots are turnovers and they fueled the fire that Kentucky needed to build burn down Georgia’s hopes of a victory.
What is there to be said? Hero Ball became Georgia’s undoing. The inability to maintain composure played a role in it. It is not a secret that Georgia is at their best when Rayshaun Hammonds plays well, in fact, the team is even better when the team plays well as a collective within the system. Most of the shots taken from three point range and in the mid-range were bad shots.
Crean has been telling his guys about the shot selection, but nobody listened. No games had been determined purely based on terrible shot selection, until tonight. This is a young team, they will be better. They are better when they play as a team and not buy into what the media tells them. It is a flaw that is easily fixed, but the question is whether they actually want to fix it. If all else fails, there’s always next season. If anything was obvious, it was that the torch will be passed and it will be in good hands. Tye Fagan, Rodney Howard, Christian Brown, Sahvir Wheeler, and Toumani Camara showed that they are up to the task and will be next season.
Jordan Harris played his heart out tonight. It hurts, he has been through a lot at Georgia.
Tonight hurts not because of the loss, but because it was self-inflicted, unnecessary, and runs counter to everything that this team was supposed to be. The media got exactly what they wanted to see and you just read a vintage gBb article.