Georgia takes a fifth straight win over Georgia Tech at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia passes its first challenge of the 2019-20 season by defeating a Georgia Tech team that simply could not handle Georgia’s depth and aggression. Georgia’s strengths and weaknesses were on display against in-state arch-rival Georgia Tech as the little things mean much more and the margin of error shrunk considerably. The “stars” made their presence known by the end of the game, but what is very clear is that Georgia is still learning how to function as a mature team and it is always good to learn while winning.
Georgia Tech’s approach may be replicated
Does your team have a strong shot blocker like James Banks? Have him patrol the restricted arc exclusively and not commit him to a particular man, it worked on Georgia for a good 4 1/2 minutes to start the game. Georgia Tech played a reverse version of the Box and One and disguised their defenses at times to make it look like they were in 2-3, 1-2-2, and 1-3-1 Zones. This is Georgia Tech and it is never a surprise to see a wide variety of defenses.
Georgia was intimidated by James Banks and Banks was able to assert his presence on the defensive end by garnering blocked shots and altering shots, it was rather bothersome. However, Banks was getting away with hacks early in this game and on three occasions either made too much contact or his appendage landed on a Georgia player’s arm. Officiating did not pick up on this and it helped explain why the score was 3-0 at the first media timeout.
Georgia’s response to this intriguing defense was to overload Banks’ location with drivers and cutters and see if the help defense or even his own defense can be compromised. Turns out, this did happen as Georgia was able to force Georgia Tech into serious foul trouble. Foul trouble for Georgia Tech is far more troublesome than foul trouble for Georgia because the teams had different levels of depth. Georgia’s depth and ability to handle Rayshaun Hammonds’ foul trouble was not cause for Head Coach Tom Crean to change his offensive or defensive approach.
Georgia was more aggressive than Georgia Tech at attacking the rim. Georgia had second chance opportunities that were missed, but the attempts were at least happening.
How Georgia created its double digit lead
Georgia controlled the glass
The efforts to come back from a 20-12 Georgia Tech lead to eventually lead at the half 35-27 were spurred by rebounding. Georgia Tech was not getting second chance opportunities, they tied with Georgia in second chance points, but they did not get second chance opportunities. Georgia Tech was getting closed out on possessions in the first half and this continued on until once this young Georgia team believed the game was in hand later in the game.
Georgia had a 90% defensive rebounding rate and a 30% offensive rebounding rate, which are winning rebounding rates. Georgia Tech’s effort on the glass did not match Georgia. Georgia took extra Field Goals.
Georgia Tech missed Free Throws
Georgia Tech was terrible at the Free Throw Line and this handed Georgia opportunities throughout the night. A bad foul would not be so bad because of the missed Free Throws.
Georgia Tech went 3/10 in the first half from the Free Throw Line, but improved in the second half going 9/14. However, missed shots came as front ends on 1-and-1s and this is like a turnover. Georgia Tech left points on the board.
Georgia Tech could not defend Rayshaun Hammonds
Rayshaun Hammonds is a versatile 6’9″ 245 pound Forward. He goes where he wants, takes shots where he wants, and it is whenever he wants.
Hammonds was simply unguardable and Georgia Tech’s zone was busted by him as he was content to take the short jumper. In the “reverse box and one” or the one-man pack arc or whatever it is going to be called – it is a junk defense, Hammonds forced mismatches along the perimeter and inside the perimeter. James Banks was secondary defensive help and Hammonds figured out Georgia Tech’s defensive alignment first.
Georgia’s transition offense and dribble drive
Georgia forced early foul trouble in the second half on the Yellow Jackets that would eventually intensify in the final minutes of the game. Sahvir Wheeler and Anthony Edwards were making Moses Wright and James Banks move and creating tough situations that led to points in the restricted arc, shots along the perimeter, and free throws.
The transition offense caused by aggressively attacking the passing lanes set up transition points and pushed the lead out to 16.
How Georgia lost the double digit lead and let Georgia Tech back in the game
Not securing rebounds
A theme this season will be rebounding and Georgia needs to rebound well to win. Everyone has to be able to secure rebounds, but this was not the case as Georgia Tech made their comeback. Careless or poor efforts to rebound the basketball were punished by the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia had a 74.4% defensive rebounding rate for the game, which is a rate that is good enough to win. However, in the second half, the Dawgs had a 58.3% defensive rebounding rate. Georgia let Georgia Tech outscore them in second chance points.
Georgia secured 6 offensive rebounds and only came away with 4 points.
Late in the game with a lead, the objective is to take high quality shots and not feel the need to rush. Georgia went wild from three point range and attacking the basket unnecessarily. Rayshaun Hammonds, Tyree Crump, and Anthony Edwards all got a bit too excited thinking they could run up the score late, but their quick shots and desire to blow away Georgia Tech gave the Yellow Jackets new life. The pressure was on Georgia Tech to score quickly, not Georgia.
Not defending Mike Devoe
Mike Devoe was carrying Georgia Tech to a 20-12 lead on Georgia. Devoe was then shut down to an extent and Moses Wright largely carried the water to keep Georgia Tech from not outright being embarrassed in Stegeman Coliseum. Devoe emerged once Georgia thought the game was over and it was thought to be over a second time with 3:11 to go after a Toumani Camara alley-oop dunk. The other time was with 6:57 left in the game after an Anthony Edwards attempt at an old-fashioned three point scoring possession, which was not to be.
During the last 3:11, nobody defended Devoe with any sort of urgency. Devoe was able to score 13 points in the last 1:18. Is that acceptable? No.
Finishing games means continuing to play lock-down defense on a guy who had 21 points, even when up 13 with 3:11 to go in the game.
There are major takeaways from tonight’s win
- There must be a commitment to playing with the same level of intensity regardless of the time and score. This is a game that could have been an immature meltdown loss.
- Georgia’s biggest strengths are depth, aggression, and athleticism. Tom Crean’s team has a lot more of that than Georgia Tech. Wearing opponents physically and situationally is this team’s best trait.
- Free Throw shooting still must improve. If it was not for Red Gresham’s 10/12 night from the Free Throw Line this game could have been dicey at the finish. The late game Free Throw shooting will be tested in future games and this is not a strong Free Throw shooting team, even future NBA Draftee Anthony Edwards is only a 69% Free Throw shooter. Primary ballhandlers need to be able to hit Free Throws. Tyree Crump and Red Gresham are the only two reliable options Georgia has in late game situations.
- Rayshaun Hammonds is a major mismatch for opponents and he might be realizing how he can exploit his versatility, size, and strength. Hammonds was bummed this Summer about how he was not in the NBA yet, but he needs to show NBA scouts that he can be a dominant player. The past two games are helping build his case to jump up NBA Draft boards. According to NBADraft.net’s 2020 NBA Draft mock draft as of November 4, 2019, he would be selected 37th. Hammonds can put in a season that catapults him into the teens and he can be a multi-millionaire by July. He just needs to do what it takes to get this Georgia team to win.
- Mike Peake may be emerging ahead of Rodney Howard in terms of minutes. Peake’s energy level on offense and defense is giving Georgia a boost when Rayshaun Hammonds and/or Amanze Ngumezi are off the floor. Howard seems a few steps too slow, it is like he has lead weights in his sneakers out there and he is playing in slow-motion out there.
- Christian Brown needs to play more confidently on the offensive end. Brown curiously chose to dribble drive to the basket on a brilliant dribble drive feed from Sahvir Wheeler, when he had the rhythm three point shot lined up for him.
- This Georgia team is more than just Anthony Edwards, but clicks, hype, and views pay the bills until they don’t. According to Jeff Goodman, Rayshaun Hammonds does not exist and the only reason to watch Georgia is Anthony Edwards. Hammonds is just like that mysterious landmass between Louisiana and Alabama. Edwards is a great player, teammate, and member of the community, but to deny what is in front of you for the sake of clicks is shameful. Can these teetering media outlets go under already? We need to get to better reporting and coverage than what the old guard of “journalists” is putting out. Grady College to the f***ing rescue, please. We need disruption and better reporting now.
What’s next? Anthony Edwards gets to take an awkward walk on the beach with Jay Bilas. It sounds more comical than Monday Afternoon Basketball against the Dayton Flyers in Maui.