It was a night of firsts in the 2019-20 Season for Georgia
No drama, a wire-to-wire lead, a blowout, an opportunity to give everyone playing time, and the frontcourt stepped up in Georgia’s win over the clearly overmatched Delaware State Hornets. It was a game that is hoped will bring some level of confidence and depth improvement going forward. After all, this is why these games are scheduled, even if a 3rd party set it up (Maui on the Mainland). The challenges become much greater as a fifth straight opportunity to beat Georgia Tech and the Maui Invitational loom.
Georgia’s Frontcourt Domination
Rodney Howard may have had his struggles, but everyone else was able to gain confidence and showcase what they can do against the overmatched Hornets. Delaware State lacked depth and size, which gave opportunities for Rayshaun Hammonds and Amanze Ngumezi to dominate inside and out. Hammonds and Ngumezi were made three point shots that looked well-practiced, they made mid-range jump shots, attacked the rim, scored on second chance opportunities, and controlled the glass. More on Hammonds to come, but he was not the only one who was able to show what they can do tonight from the frontcourt.
We saw the debut of Mike Peake
Mike Peake is not redshirting. Peake played tonight and he showed that while he’s defensively behind, he’s a very energetic player on the offensive glass and he is able to attack the rim. Peake is similar to UGA alumnus Chris Barnes when he was a freshman, lots of bounciness and aggression while still behind with shooting and fundamentals.
Peake took advantage of an undersized and worn down Delaware State team to put up 8 points and 4 rebounds.
Camara and Brown gained some more experience
Toumani Camara did a little bit of everything tonight. He was a distributor, a disruptor, and even a shooter. Camara’s most impressive offensive trait is still his ability to pass from both the perimeter and in the interior to set up his teammates. He’s not dominating the game and he’s not expected to do so, but he needs to be engaged because he can make things happen.
Christian Brown showed his ability to hit a three off a well executed catch-and-shoot. Brown’s shooting and turnovers are his two weak points. Brown didn’t play much tonight, but he was disruptive on the defensive end.
Rayshaun Hammonds’ Dominance
Delaware State had no way to stop Rayshaun Hammonds from imposing his will, even if it looks he is doing it in a comatose fashion like Sam Perkins or Tracy McGrady would.
Hammonds was very efficient on the offensive end and he was ending Delaware State possessions by taking the ball up the floor himself and making something happen. Hammonds decided to be a 6’9″ 245 pound Anthony Edwards tonight against a Delaware State team that had no way to defend him or stop him on the glass. Hammonds looked like the player who was supposed to be a First Round NBA Draft Pick last season. Can Hammonds follow up and play like this again against Georgia Tech?
It was almost a complete showcase of everything Hammonds has to offer as a basketball player, now he has to do it against better competition.
No more pouting and self-pity. Everyone is watching Georgia Basketball this season and it is Hammonds’ opportunity to win back the minds of NBA scouts so that he can join Chuma Okeke and Nicolas Claxton in the NBA next season with possibly a better contract.
Did the Passing Quality Improve?
Yes, there was improvement in passing quality to set up perimeter shots for the most part. Anthony Edwards did not feel the need to force things and was very content to set up his teammates and so did Sahvir Wheeler as they both had 7 assists. The idea of two UGA players having 7 assists in a game is still jarring coming out of the Mark Fox and Dennis Felton eras. The lack of dynamism that was associated with the teams of the past 15 years still makes it rather jarring to watch and even comprehend such phenomena.
Passes were setting up perimeter shots from the inside-out and they were higher percentage shot attempts, but they were also made to set up cutters and open players in the restricted arc. A lot of good unselfish basketball.
The bad shots once again came from Tyree Crump who has no filter with the three point shot. He was at his best attacking the basket and being a pest in the passing lanes, but he took 5 bad shots of his 8 three point attempts and made only one of them. Crump went 3/8 and he went 2/3 on shots that would be considered clearly replicated shots from practice. Crump benefits most from inside-out action as it forces him to slow down his follow-through and there’s a greater familiarity in his shooting form. Everything else looks forced and that’s too much of a gamble. Transition 3 point shots may get the crowd going, but when you force up shots too quickly off passes that do not set you up very well, you miss them. Miss those shots far too often and there are going to be groans. The person who convinced Tyree Crump to be a volume three point shooter cost him a lot of money.
Donnell Gresham Jr. came into the season as the best three point shooter on this team and he did not take a single three point shot, he instead did the dirty work out there grabbing offensive rebounds and setting up his teammates. 5 Assists, 4 Offensive Rebounds, and 2 Steals from the graduate transfer.
Speaking of passing, Georgia had 30 Assists… that’s right 30. Sure, it is against Delaware State, but 30 Assists is just wild to think about when it comes to any team, but when it is the typically staid Georgia Bulldogs… it’s a big deal. Georgia had a 30:11 Assists-to-Turnovers Ratio. It is no wonder that Georgia had an Adjusted Offensive Efficiency of 121.2 tonight.
The most impressive part of it all is that Georgia did this all against mostly zone defense, which is what Georgia will face in their next game against Georgia Tech.
Defensive Rebounding is Still An Issue
A 66.7% defensive rebounding rate is not acceptable, even on a night when Rayshaun Hammonds pulls down 12 defensive rebounds. Most notably, Amanze Ngumezi has to be more active on the glass. However, defensive rebounding is a team effort and the fact that Delaware State only had 6 second chance points is incredibly fortunate for Georgia. Other teams will cash in on 12 offensive rebounds in a much more efficient fashion.
Offensive rebounding for Georgia was a strength and there was a massive comeback in this metric tonight as the Dawgs had a 48.5% offensive rebounding rate, which is excellent and expected against a team like Delaware State.
Georgia has to step up to dramatically tougher competition in the next four games. Tom Crean’s squad will not be able to get away with bad shot selection, poor Free Throw shooting, poor defensive rebounding, poor help defense against the dribble drive, and not putting up a hand in a shooter’s face. This is a team capable of a lot, but the team now has to show some growth in maturity.