Georgia won an offensively dominated Basketball Game against The Citadel.
It was an atrocious defensive performance for Georgia that was also filled with missed offensive opportunities. Georgia was expected to blow the doors off The Citadel like Hurricane Hugo, but instead everyone was treated to an offensive spectacle. Anthony Edwards once again started slow, but came on late to push Georgia in the right direction. Edwards single-handedly made up for the team’s horrible defense along the perimeter in the second half and this is not something that SHOULD NOT be happening. Sure, it is entertaining, but it is disturbing as well for a team that is supposed to have NCAA Tournament aspirations.
Teams grow and if it is not obvious, there’s more parity in College Basketball than ever as more coaches fail to assess recruits, transfers, and JUCO transfers. However, this is not an excuse for being in danger of an upset to a program that would harm a team’s NCAA Tournament resume. The difference between the #1 team and the #353 team is narrower, but a loss to a lesser regarded program holds the same weight as it did several years ago, even with a new set of metrics to determine qualifying teams.
Defensive Rebounding and Turnovers were NON-ISSUES
Georgia’s Defensive Rebounding and Turnover Rate are often two of the Four Factors that cause the team the most problems. However, this was not the case tonight. Georgia had a 76.4% Defensive Rebounding rate and an astounding 9.5% Turnover Rate. The Turnover Rate was in the territory of pursuing excellence and the Defensive Rebounding rate was in the territory of trying to be in the top third in the country.
On the topic of Turnover Rate, the last time a Georgia Team had attained a Turnover Rate of 9.5% or lower was March 7, 2018 when Georgia defeated Vanderbilt 78-62 in the SEC Tournament (7.8%).
This was a game with an estimated 84 turnovers and Georgia only turned it over 8 times with three of the turnovers being steals. This is a massive accomplishment even though it was against a team that is deemed UGA’s second weakest opponent.
Scoring 95 points was not much of an accomplishment
Georgia played with an Adjusted Offensive Rating of 98.6, which was not good. This was an inefficient performance despite the lack of turnovers. Georgia won this game because the team was able to get to the Free Throw Line and turn The Citadel’s turnovers into points. If the defense was more conservative in ball-hawking, there would be a lot of angry people. Georgia had 13 steals, which means that Georgia had a 15.48% steals rate and that is something that is astounding for anyone who has been watching Georgia Basketball for the past decade. Georgia forced The Citadel to have a 26.1% Turnover Rate, which was not accomplished since November 19, 2017 in a 68-65 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Why was Georgia so inefficient?
There are two main culprits. Bad shot selection and Free Throw Shooting.
The shot selection was dreadful, especially behind the arc. There was a common theme in this game with the perimeter shooting and that was the shots that were made came from inside-out ball movement. Passes ahead or along the perimeter without moving defenders to set up any sort of a rhythm shot were not made. Tyree Crump took bad shots along the perimeter and so did Anthony Edwards.
Crump, to his credit early in the game, recognized his poor shot selection and turned down a three point shot on a typical pass that would result in him attempting a three point shot. Crump actually chose to attack the rim and made a great pass to set up a basket inside the restricted arc. However, Crump did not continue this line of thinking for the rest of the game and he went 2/11 from three point range, but 3/4 inside the perimeter.
Edwards scored 29 points, but he was getting his work done inside the perimeter and at the Free Throw Line. A 2/9 shooting night on shots that were out of rhythm took the shine off an impressive night forcing turnovers and setting up his teammates.
Even Jaykwon Walton was sucked into the bad shot selection trend when he took his first official shot attempt from three point range, but he redeemed himself on his second shot as it came off inside-out action and he nailed the shot.
Georgia typically makes up for poor shot selection with strong offensive rebounding, but this was not the case tonight. Georgia’s strength became a weak point as the team only had a 22% offensive rebounding rate and that meant a lot of long rebounds on missed three point shots, which set up The Citadel to run right back up the floor to test the Georgia perimeter defense.
The Free Throw Shooting was atrocious for a team that is going to draw a lot of fouls and is dependent on cutting and dribble-driving for offensive momentum. 70.9% is an improvement over Game 1, but this team needs to be shooting better from the Free Throw Line, especially at Stegeman Coliseum. Rodney Howard is going to be a Hack-A-Shaq like target. Rayshaun Hammonds went from an 80.6% Free Throw shooter to starting cold from the line this season, he went 2/5 from the Free Throw Line.
Poor Perimeter Defense and Man-to-Man Defense
Georgia forced an extraordinarily high steals rate against The Citadel, but the perimeter defense was awful. Help defense never came, shooters were not attempting shots with hands in their faces, and everyone was getting the blow-by. The only redeeming features of the defense tonight were the defensive rebounds and turnovers forced.
There are no excuses for letting The Citadel get easy shots coming off a scoring possession. The defensive effort was lazy and the ease that Kaelon Harris had attacking the rim had was embarrassing. The Citadel was able to get bounce-back shots off Georgia scoring possessions from three point range, they went 14/33 against Georgia’s man-to-man defense. It is possible that The Citadel is a really good three point shooting team, but last season Hayden Brown was a 28.8% three point shooter and he lit up the Georgia perimeter going for 4/7 from three point range while also attacking the basket off the dribble.
For the most part, there was no pressure in the 3/4 court on The Citadel and UGA was burned along the wings and corners from three point range. This is a weak spot that must be addressed.
- Georgia has to play more alert on defense in more transitional situations.
- This team has to improve with perimeter defense.
- Forcing turnovers may be a team strength.
- Dawgs cannot win against higher quality opponents without a better effort on the offensive glass.
- Changing up defenses may be helpful and using the 2-2-1 Zone Press and an extended 1-2-2 Zone to contain opponents may be a good idea.
- Better ball movement and shot selection are needed for setting up perimeter shots.
- Improvement is still needed at the Free Throw Line.