Game Recap

LSU Wins 94-64 Over a Lazy, Listless, and Lackadaisical Georgia Team

And Mercifully, It’s Over…

If this was the level of effort and decision-making that this Georgia team is going to have in Nashville, why show up?  Just forfeit.  Tyree Crump’s playing career at Georgia is over as he has mononucleosis, but it did not mean that his teammates should show up to Baton Rouge and pack it in on both ends of the floor.  It was so dreadful of a performance that analysis would seem wasteful for a performance that was just an amplified version of Georgia’s lowlights throughout the season.  There was nothing about this game that would be deemed acceptable outside of the effort on the offensive glass and defensive glass.

It seems repetitive.

  • Bad shot selection.
  • Not reading the defense when attacking the rim.
  • Going through the motions with the ball.
  • Not challenging three point shots.
  • Blowing defensive assignments.
  • Poor defensive footwork.
  • Not defending well with hands.
  • Not utilizing length on the defensive end.
  • No defensive shifts to play to the team’s strengths.
  • No chemistry.

Tom Crean has a lot of work to do this offseason.  When is Crean’s “Night of the Living Dead” moment?

Seems like now is the right time to give such a statement.  Frank Martin was making this statement in his first season as Head Coach at South Carolina.  He would four years, one month later be stewarding a team that bought in completely to his philosophy to a Final Four.

LSU did not do anything special.  They did use Box and 1 at times against Anthony Edwards, but this is completely unnecessary.  Edwards is too inefficient and often times too busy trying to show off for NBA scouts that he is his own worst enemy.  Edwards is very comparable to Markelle Fultz.  Top draft pick Combo Guards with questionable shooting abilities without NCAA Tournament appearances.

This is not a team and Tom Crean is responsible for fostering and encouraging this.

Usage rates bear itself out as the season goes along.  The overemphasis on Anthony Edwards has negatively impacted this group of players, we cannot even call them a team.  Nobody is on the same page, a lot of different agendas are out there, and nobody can agree to what they were doing in practice.  Sure, there’s immaturity, but over the course of a season there has to be some form of gelling.  It’s not there.  Like the three point shooting this season, the times when the team played together was fool’s gold.

There were no tweaks.  There were no adjustments during this regular season.  It was the same approach every game and the only difference was the attitude of the players.  Opposing coaches eventually had this team pegged and Will Wade was openly encouraging his team to let Anthony Edwards be a chucker from three point range and only care if he crossed the perimeter.  Metrics and tendencies be damned, the strategy never changes.  Tom Crean is making the same mistakes as his predecessor and he has to show that he learned something from this season in the 2020-21 Season.

Hype and smoke and mirrors do not build a culture.  Crean made mistakes in setting expectations and selling the program.  It has to be a targeted approach and he has to be honest about the process, instead he has been far too coy during the offseason and everyone seems to be caring about making the media happy rather than winning.  The hype and expectations of elevating Anthony Edwards has been a massive distraction.

Throw in Rayshaun Hammonds’ possible seasonal issues and a Senior Class who were not suited to lead this young, immature team and it was a recipe for a rough season.  14-16 is pretty bad, but it is a rebuild and there are talented players who need more consistency and an offseason to develop.  A lot of the issues with the freshmen were not only due to inexperience, but inconsistent playing time and a lack of understanding of what this season was supposed to be.

Tom Crean’s approach was never realistic about what he was trying to build and he burned the future for much of the season while trying to live up to lofty media expectations.  However, one player does not make a team and history tells us that addition by subtraction is a real phenomenon.  Giving veterans heavy minutes and significantly cutting the minutes of freshmen did not yield the results that Crean envisioned and now he has a tougher time evaluating his team in the offseason.  There has to be more forward-thinking and Crean did not do this.  The results will likely be transfers and possibly chasing after the next 5 star recruit that Crean thinks will make the media happy.  Has Tom Crean learned anything from the past five seasons of College Basketball?  It seems he has not in his first two seasons at Georgia.

He has a sabermetrician on staff and does not use the insights very well.  He sees the success that programs that are not bringing heralded recruits have, but does not see the pattern.  On this roster, the players with the brightest futures are from out-of-state (Christian Brown, Toumani Camara, Sahvir Wheeler, Mike Peake), not in-state.  His biggest headaches were in-state players and Georgia used to have a lot of in-state players, they did not come through for the team.  Players from the State of Georgia do not go very far in the NCAA Tournament, the major exception in the 2010s was Auburn last season.

What’s your mission, Tom Crean?  Do you want to win or do you want to make splashes?

It’s okay to have a demo season (Year 0), but Year 1 is supposed to be a foundational season and it seems hindered.  You want to shoot 40% of your shots from three point range, but yet you have a team that can only make the shots 29.5% of the time.  You promised a team that would use 3/4 court pressure and force turnovers, even emphasized deflections… yet this team is rather passive and press defense is rare.  The Class of 2019 is deep and talented, but minutes were never earned.

Stegeman Coliseum will not have the sellouts next season like this season.  Much of the base feels deceived and the Football fans have already turned against Tom Crean and want him gone in favor of a “real coach” because “Real Americans deserve a Real Coach.”  Whatever that means.

Catering to nativists and the media that fuels them is a bad idea.  There is much to reconsider.

Star Rating:  DUD

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