Georgia let South Carolina get out to a 25-5 start in the First Half and there was no comeback.
South Carolina is a tough, physical team that always has an identity and is playing deep. Georgia has been playing narrower in a quixotic and delusional bid for an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament. The approach coming into every game has been generally the same and tonight at Stegeman Coliseum that crowd matched the team’s energy – dead. This is the state of affairs this season, lots of on-paper talent according to so-called experts, but not much buy-in, adaptation, and strength. Georgia is not a team that is physically and mentally strong enough to get through this season, the offseason really cannot get here fast enough. Someone has to emerge as a leader on this team and there has to be some sort of chemistry exhibited. Georgia now falls to 11-12 this season and it is time to start thinking forward.
South Carolina was able to do whatever they wanted.
The Georgia Offense was Putrid
It is easy for South Carolina to disrespect Georgia because Georgia does not adapt offensively. The movement is there and when it is forced, it is forced. Getting Rayshaun Hammonds to move beyond a 1-on-2 dribble drive and a weaving drive to the basket on his left hand side is like pulling teeth. Screen and rolls, screen and slips, and even screen and fades do not exist in this offense, but yet they are there with other teams featuring 5 out offenses. South Carolina is not a team that responds well to ball screens and they generally went unchallenged.
Pressure defense is generally unnecessary because this is not a roster of players who could shoot very well. This is going to be an offseason of doctored shooting mechanics. If Tom Crean and his staff think this is a routine offseason, it is not. It is going to be the toughest offseason of Tom Crean’s career. Crean is inheriting a situation that is far worse than what he inherited at Indiana, it is more hostile and the buy-in from the holdovers has been minimal at best. This is what it is.
3/24 from three point range. Some of the shots were really good shots that were just plain missed. Air balls along the wings are far too common and rebounders are not ready on the weak side for a rebound when a shot is taken from the corner.
Footwork, positioning, decision making, catching passes, hauling in rebounds, playing through contact, and reading situations is still a problem. This is not a mentally or physically strong team. The upperclassmen are not setting the example because they came in not knowing any better or they simply are not picking it up. The underclassmen need an offseason.
South Carolina was able to get rolling. They were able to dominate the glass and they were ready to create live ball turnovers from Georgia’s offensive mistakes.
A.J. Lawson and Jermaine Couisnard dictated how this game would be played. Alanzo Frink was extremely active on the glass, which gave South Carolina second chance scoring opportunities.
Mistaking 5 Out Offense with Positionless Basketball
A Positionless Basketball Team is able to get the players to play all or most positions of the floor on both ends. This Georgia team is more defined defensively and does not have a clear direction for Toumani Camara or Christian Brown. On the offensive end, Georgia was playing a lot of 5 Out offense, which is not a bad thing. Michigan under John Beilein and Mike Brey’s Notre Dame team play 5 Out offense, but they have shooting threats and they know how to create and use mismatches. This team is not doing that.
A common sight tonight was to see a lone UGA rebounder come around too late to try to rebound a missed three point shot all alone. If the rebounder was able to get the ball, he would be a dead duck with the possibility of a turnover as he is outmanned considerably. Why aren’t there enough guys fighting for a rebound? Everyone was watching the shot and was disengaged.
The 2-3 Zone Still Makes No Sense
Have you ever seen a 2-3 Zone that was so easy to penetrate? Teams that run 2-3 Zone typically force opponents to have to pass the ball into a void in the middle. Not so against Georgia where the 2-3 Zone is penetrated off the dribble quite easily as if the defender up top was in man-to-man defense. This 2-3 Zone yields far too much space for shooters and yet yields the dribble drive. It is a token 2-3 Zone, it is a pointless 2-3 Zone.
Why is this team playing in an inactive, lazy 2-3 Zone?
Then again, why when down 14 does this team not press? Force South Carolina to make a mistake and keep up the momentum. Georgia is a team that needs to be in transition.
Here’s a bit of good news…
Every four years, College Basketball programs have the ability to go on foreign tours, which means extra practices, scrimmages, and opportunities to build chemistry. Georgia will be going on a foreign tour this Summer, this team needs this BADLY. Practice, chemistry, weight room time, and re-assessment from coaches is necessary. It is time to find an identity and play for the future.
Game Grade: 0 stars.