Toumani Camara stood out tonight in Georgia’s ugly 73-64 win over Georgia Southern.
Before getting into Toumani Camara’s strong night against Georgia Southern, there is much to say about the sloppiness of the performance tonight. Georgia Southern did not do anything particularly special against the Dawgs, but it was an exercise in frustration that was a bit of a throwback to the performances from the first four games (including the two exhibition games) of this season. It was another case of Georgia being able to win a close game and close things out, which is a massive departure from what Bulldog Nation expects to see. It was not the best strategized game and it was definitely a game that was lacking in execution, but the Dawgs pulled off the victory and even covered the 8.5 point spread.
But first, let’s talk about the officiating.
Officiating can mess with a team, especially when calls are very one-sided and a team thrives on their aggression. Georgia was not getting the calls that Georgia Southern was getting in the restricted arc and in the hand-to-hand action on the glass in the first half. Georgia Southern was able to force Anthony Edwards into early foul trouble because they were able to play aggressively. Georgia was not able to do the same and this made Georgia Southern’s press, man-to-man defense, and variety of zone defenses rather tough to crack.
Georgia played softer on the glass and became a jump shooting team as a result of their inability to avoid committing offensive fouls, a newfound tentativeness, and Georgia Southern’s permitted physicality.
Officials have been pressured to look for flopping by the NCAA and this is a seasonal point of emphasis that has resulted in missing the plot when it comes to allowing freedom of movement. What has happened is that officials have sparingly called players for flopping and instead have swallowed their whistles as they cannot detect intent.
Both teams ended up not visiting the Free Throw Line much because the officials largely swallowed their whistles in the second half. If the recent trends with officials continue, expect conference play to feature grind-fests in almost every conference in College Basketball. This offseason is going to be loading with complaints from coaches and influential media members like Jay Bilas of ESPN are going to campaign for re-emphasizing freedom of movement and forget about flopping.
Tyree Crump and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night
Tyree Crump was exclusively a three point shooter tonight and his shot selection was generally terrible. Only one shot attempt came on an inside-out shot and he was taking challenged shots. Crump’s best possession came on a shot that he passed up and chose to drive and dish for a layup.
Georgia fared much better without Crump on the floor and his last three point shot came at the 3:21 point in the second half and he was pulled from the game with 3:19 left. Georgia was able to pull away in the last 3:19 without Crump. Crump was an odd final media timeout substitution by Tom Crean as Crump was struggling mightily.
Shot selection matters
It was another terrible three point shooting night for the Georgia Bulldogs as a team beyond Tyree Crump’s struggles. Georgia’s missed three point shots were not rebounded and were followed by a distracted defensive effort. This is a problem for Georgia, the missed shots get to the team in a negative fashion. Made shots are followed by too much congratulating as if this team had never seen a shot go in before and this becomes a problem when getting back into man-to-man defense.
A 4/22 (18.2%) performance from three point range is not acceptable. Georgia was 29/41 (70.7%) inside the arc and 24/27 inside the restricted arc. Think this is not a big deal? It is. Georgia is very efficient at the rim and teams are going to pack it in against this team or try to play zone like the way Georgia Southern did. Georgia was slowed down and Mark Byington’s team was uncharacteristically forcing a slower pace.
Since Georgia came back from Maui, opponents and officials are not giving the Dawgs many opportunities to get to the Free Throw Line. Whether the team is trying to force Georgia to commit offensive fouls or officials are swallowing whistles, it is impacting the team’s Free Throw Rate and hurting the team’s offensive efficiency.
Defensive engagement is so critical for this team because too often players get lost and offenses do a very good job of manipulating the Georgia man-to-man defense. Georgia’s inability to close out possessions with a rebound on the first try is a major bugaboo. Georgia did just enough on the glass to beat Georgia Southern with a 72.5% defensive rebounding rate, but Ike Smith and his teammates were able to get second chance opportunities. Georgia was fortunate to only allow Georgia Southern to score 9 points on 11 offensive rebounds.
Dribble drive defense, struggles with denying the post (making the undersized Isaiah Crawley look like Obi Toppin), and open three point shooters have plagued Georgia’s man-to-man defense.
Georgia does not play enough zone and do not press enough to be able to improve at running these defenses.
Toumani Camara’s Big Night
Toumani Camara was ready for a breakout performance this season. Camara was doing a lot of the little things and playing disruptively on defense. Georgia Southern was the appropriate opponent for Camara to make his Instagram worthy dunks and make a major defensive impact. Camara went 8/8 from the field getting his points in the restricted arc, which makes this night different from others. Camara has not been the most efficient within 5 feet of the basket compared to his teammates and tonight he was able to get high percentage attempts, mostly dunks.
Camara played 32 minutes and helped turned the tide in this game in the favor of the Dawgs. Camara, Harris, Wheeler, Gresham, and Edwards were able to close out the game and make the plays on both ends to push the team toward victory. Camara and Edwards pushed Georgia to victory tonight, but Camara was able to play 32 minutes and hold the water for this team.
Camara led the push in exploiting Georgia Southern’s inability to prevent shot attempts in the restricted arc and Georgia took 42.8% of their shots there. However, this number could have been much more without the bad shots taken on the perimeter.
Winning the X-Factor Points
The X-Factor points are the extra possession shots and earned Free Throws that come through effort and disruption plays. Calculating X-Factor Points is as simple as adding Free Throws Made, Points off Turnovers, and Second Chance Points.
- Free Throws Made: Georgia 3, Georgia Southern 5
- Points off Turnovers: Georgia 19, Georgia Southern 4
- Second Chance Points: Georgia 13, Georgia Southern 9
Georgia wins the X-Factor Points 35-18, which indicates that Georgia was taking advantage of the effort plays on the floor.