Georgia started and finished strong, but the middle portion of the game was discouraging.
Georgia won a game that was supposed to have been livestreamed, but UNC Charlotte TV pulled a last-minute switch to previously recorded programming at 7 PM Eastern Time. Georgia knocked off Charlotte in a game that showed the Dawgs’ superior skill and talent level while also showcasing their immaturity. This Georgia team will play with greater maturity and control, but that time was not tonight. This game was one of major runs and plateaus and Georgia weathered the storm even though it probably should never have been such a struggle in the first place.
Charlotte tried to beat Georgia while playing Georgia’s pace
Georgia’s turnovers, fouls, poor shot selection, and inability to make layups were giving Charlotte opportunities to win this game. However, when Charlotte took the lead, they were not necessarily committed to playing the pace that they were accustomed to playing. During the initial 19-6 run by Georgia, the pace of play was very rapid and defined by Georgia scoring in transition. Charlotte’s comeback and 24-4 run came from Georgia’s turnovers and lack of discipline, they slowed the pace a little bit once they attained the lead, but were sped back up again.
Giving Georgia more possessions in the game was a critical mistake as Charlotte was simply unable to make Georgia pay for the missed Free Throws, high foul count, and turnovers that were committed. Georgia was able to wear down Charlotte with the team’s depth and ability to shoot threes, which is why Charlotte was not able to put away the Dawgs. 77 possessions is more in line with what Tom Crean wants to see, not what Ron Sanchez wants to see. Charlotte forgot who they were.
It Was a Good Tyree Crump Day
Tyree Crump was taking three point shots in rhythm and active when his teammates were not on the glass. Crump had a silly turnover with Anthony Edwards on a telegraphed dribble hand-off, but generally speaking Crump had a strong performance and kept Georgia from going under in a game that this team had no business losing. Georgia loses this game if Crump was not sharp and not returning fire with making three point shots.
The Emphasis on Christian Brown
Christian Brown was very quiet against Valdosta State and disconnected, but tonight he was fully engaged. If it seemed like he played a large role in this game, he certainly did. The surprise is that he played 15 minutes, even though it sure seemed like he played more minutes. His usage rate was very high for a College Basketball player and he played a very physical offensive game tonight that earned him Free Throw Attempts.
Brown stepped up tonight to shoulder the load when Toumani Camara struggled, Jordan Harris was burdened with foul trouble, and Anthony Edwards dealt with foul trouble and carelessness of his own before emerging at the very end to send away the 49ers as very unhappy prospectors.
Charlotte’s furious rally and inability to create distance with Georgia during the middle segment of the game wore out the 49ers. Georgia’s depth and willingness to prevent second chance points in the last 8 minutes of the game made a difference.
- First Half Defensive Rebounding Rate: 73.8%
- Second Half Defensive Rebounding Rate: 84.2%
Defensive rebounding on missed three point shots needs to be a point of emphasis. There is no excuse for Georgia giving Charlotte four 3 point shot attempts in one possession.
Georgia was a strong offensive rebounding team last season and the Dawgs only were able to get 2 second chance points in the first half, but in the second half this figure soared to 15. Georgia had a 47.3% offensive rebounding rate in the second half compared to 12.5% in the first half.
The Turnovers Still are a Problem
It was not like Georgia was giving up an extraordinary number of steals, but the Dawgs were committing a lot of offensive fouls. 2/3 of Georgia’s turnovers were dead-ball turnovers. While these are preferable turnovers, it is still bad. Charlotte scored 26 points off Georgia’s turnovers. For every Georgia turnover, Charlotte scored 1.44 points. A higher quality opponent would have made Georgia pay for these mistakes. 23.37% of Georgia’s possessions ended up with a turnover.
The turnover problem is a shared misery and it is not isolated to one player. There were positives to gather with the turnover situation.
- In the first half, Georgia committed 12 turnovers and in the second half, Georgia committed 6 turnovers.
- Georgia’s turnover rate fell from the Valdosta State game. That was a home game against a Division II opponent, this was a Division I opponent on the road.
- Sahvir Wheeler had a 4:1 turnover to assists ratio.
Officials were Whistle Happy
This is to be expected. Officials will call more fouls and have a more sensitive trigger with calling fouls during the non-conference season. There is more subjectivity during the conference season as there is greater familiarity, the exception to this is usually the Pac-12 Conference.
Georgia did a better job in the second half of being the aggressor and getting Charlotte to foul them rather than committing sloppy offensive fouls.
65.4% at the Free Throw Line is not going to cut it. If you are going to draw fouls, attack the lane, draw contact, and not cash in, it is leaving free points on the floor. When in the bonus, a missed front-end one-and-one is a basically a turnover.
This was a learning experience
Western Carolina is the official opener on November 5 and there are lessons to be taken away from both this game and Valdosta State so that Georgia does not have any upsets at Stegeman Coliseum before taking a trip to Maui to face an experienced and physical Dayton team.
- Improving movement without the ball
- Finishing lay-ups
- Free Throw composure
- Positioning for the long defensive rebounds to prevent second chance opportunities off three point shots
- Shot selection. The fancy shots impress scouts when you make them, but they generally do not win games.