There was not much that would be deemed “Acceptable”.
Georgia lost at Stegeman Coliseum in an absolutely embarrassing fashion. This is not supposed to happen, especially against a team that Georgia matches up well. However, it did and Georgia looked like a team that was unwilling to get their hands dirty, fight, play through contact, dive for loose balls, and do anything that required physicality. What made it worse was that Georgia also looked disjointed on offense with teammates standing around watching dribble drives rather than making themselves an option on a possibly collapsing defense. It was all compounded by a home atmosphere that still does not understand how to be an intimidating home court. Losses like these build character and for Tom Crean, the build continues and games like this are what fuel offseasons.
Did the missed layups drive you crazy?
In 17 layup attempts, Georgia made 8. Ole Miss does not have impressive size or shot blocking ability. Georgia just missed layups repeatedly and it is not a fluke because the missed layups have been an issue plaguing the team during SEC play. However, Georgia was facing teams that had interior players who could deny and alter shots at the rim. Ole Miss mixed up defenses and was either fouling on the layup attempt or letting the shot attempt happen.
Ole Miss was able to get 14 of their 17 layup attempts made. Ole Miss was not trying to avoid contact when doing so. They confidently attacked the rim and Georgia let them get their points.
Georgia controlled the offensive glass in this game, but only had 11 second chance points to show for it. Georgia had 18 offensive rebounds (a 43.9% offensive rebounding rate) and only 11 points out of it for the entire game. This is inefficient. Georgia was not attempting tough mid-range shots, they were attempting shots in and around the basket, but yet the shots did not fall. Airballs from 3 feet away from the basket should never be happening.
It is passive basketball. They are playing weak and small because they believe they are weak and small. When fouled, this is a team that does not punish opponents at the Free Throw Line. Toumani Camara is going out of his way to avoid having to visit the Free Throw Line. It is a bad combination of undeveloped bodies meeting a lack of shooting ability.
The Shot Selection and Shots Not Falling
Georgia is a three point shot dependent team that cannot make three point shots. The team struggles to shoot in general, which means that shots inside the perimeter are worse shots. Going 7/23 from three point range is not encouraging. Anthony Edwards and Tyree Crump went a combined 4/17 from three point range, the shots were not necessarily set up well. To see airballs and shots that were completely mis-aimed along the wing was rather bizarre, it was a throwback to the worst seasons of Georgia Basketball. Jordan Harris went 3/4 from three point range and he helped keep the team’s three point shooting percentage from becoming an absolute joke. Harris was also the only one willing to fight for the team tonight.
Ole Miss attempted nine three point shots and the shots were generally of good quality, it does not mean that Georgia should copy this method, but Georgia’s inability to make jump shots from anywhere is a concern. The designated three point shooters should not be shooting as frequently and the only time the team was able to get into a rhythm was when the team played physical defense and was able to get into transition.
Donnell Gresham Jr. did not have a single three point shot attempt, even though he is the best collegiate three point shooter on the team going into the season. Tyree Crump a sub 30% three point shooter this season was given free reign to jack up seven three point shots. Missed shots are dispiriting and it eats away at the defensive effort. The missed three point shots gave Ole Miss opportunities on the other end of the floor.
Rayshaun Hammonds’ shooting form is inconsistent and Toumani Camara’s shooting form is clearly broken. Tyree Crump’s shooting form is never going to change and he will continue to chuck the ball believing his press clippings… from THE TOUR OF SPAIN. However, going back to Hammonds’ form, it is very obvious that Hammonds has inconsistencies because his shot arc is variable. Usually, a well-practiced shooter at the Free Throw Line has an arc and pace that are within a relatively consistent range. Hammonds’ shot has too much variance and that is due to his mechanics and delivery. Toumani Camara has a very flat arc on his shot and this explains why his Free Throw percentage is so low and he struggles from three point range for the same reason. However, Camara’s shooting stance from the three point arc is far too spread (his footwork is disgusting) and he cannot shot fake out of it, which makes it even less effective.
Is everyone on the same page offensively?
The answer is ‘no’. When Georgia has 8 assists in a game, that is a sure sign that the ball movement and movement without the ball was terrible. Positionless basketball is more than just being able to drive and shoot regardless of your size, it means that you must move without the ball and know your reads regardless of your size.
- Baseline cutters trying challenging reverse layups when unchallenged, despite having the ability to dunk the basketball.
- Opting to kick out prematurely to a shooter in the middle of a zone as opposed to making a read.
- Toxic isos that break possessions with ball movement.
- Not enough ball screens to create mismatches.
- Dribble drives that inspire a lot of watching rather than helping.
- Lack of preparation for a pass to come.
- The overeager Home Run Pass that is simply not there.
These are team chemistry issues on the offensive end. This team is not gelling, the team was actually better offensively as a team during the non-conference slate despite the plague of Hero Ball.
Defensive Physicality and Effort
An 80% defensive rebounding rate is impressive, but it does not mean much when the opponent is able to score so easily at the rim. More disheartening is that the defensive effort waned as the possessions grew longer, it lulled the Georgia defenders to sleep. Defensive footwork and stances worsened and allowed Ole Miss to get high quality shot opportunities.
There were a few possessions where Ole Miss players took bad shots and made them, but those should be welcomed and acknowledged as bad shots rather than taking every single basket to heart. If the Ole Miss possessions are wearing the team down mentally, the best approach would have been to play with physicality and pressure, it worked. Georgia was able to get in the lead of this game by doing exactly this, it should have inspired further play like this even though Ole Miss called a timeout. However, the team creeped back to old habits rather than being disruptive.
Georgia is at their best when the defenders are being disruptive and the passing lanes are being challenged. It means nothing to just merely get a deflection, if there is no commitment to dive for a loose ball. Everyone is afraid of taking on contact and making the necessary play to win the game. It all has to be wrapped up neat in a bow, nothing is like this. Ole Miss was willing to outwork Georgia. Georgia played like a high-maintenance team that just had their nails done and it has been this way for much of the season.
Strength and Conditioning are a weak point of this Georgia Basketball Team, but it must be overcome with effort and maximization of physicality to overcome weaknesses.
Showing Up and Making Noise at Designated Times is Not Enough
Sellouts are great, even for opponents that are not rivals like Ole Miss. However, just showing up and getting loud during the starting lineups, for cold chain “pizza”, and the last 4 minute media timeout festivities is not enough. Sitting down and watching the game as if it is a trip to Foley Field or a night at an opera is the wrong approach. A Home Court environment requires:
- Constant Noise one end of the floor
- Traditions to engage in the middle of the game.
This is not there for Georgia Basketball. It is very similar to South Carolina Football and how Lou Holtz inherited a passionate fan base that failed to understand how to express themselves. Winning at South Carolina did not change the number of spearmint green polo shirts, lack of color and cheer coordination, and focus on the game as required. After all, South Carolina was where fans would frequently have sex in the stands when the game was going on because the program was a laughingstock. It was not long ago that fans would actually urinate in the Stegeman Coliseum communal bathroom sink, remember that horrible thing?
That same passion and energy that is there for a Georgia Football game is not there for Georgia Men’s Basketball and it should be. During the Felton era, the fans were far more aware and active than they are now. The Fox era turned off students and alumni and turned on bigoted old men with money. During the Tom Crean era, it all still seems foreign to the students and others in attendance. The patrons are there in full force, they have potential energy, and they do not know what to do with it.
The base is much like the team. There is talent there, there’s a great potential, but they simply do not know how to make it all work yet. An offseason of work for the team in the practice gym and weight room is needed for the returning players just as a consensus as to how foster an exciting culture that surrounds Georgia Men’s Basketball and make it an experience that fans will love and opponents will hate.