Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post On to Oxford

Wednesday February 21, 2007

Tonight’s men’s basketball game at Ole Miss is a challenge on many levels. The big story is that Ole Miss has lost only once at home this year. They are led by a trio of senior guards, and the Abernathy-Gaines matchup should be very entertaining.

Despite the challenge, this is very much of a “how much do you want it” game for the Bulldogs. It’s a chance for a valuable quality road win in the conference. It’s a test against another quality team also trying to play its way into the postseason.

Georgia’s advantage is on the inside, and this game will pair one of the SEC’s better rebounding teams against an Ole Miss team that is in the bottom half of the rebounding stats. If the rebounding numbers are anywhere near close, something is going very wrong. Limit them to one shot, give ourselves more chances on the offensive glass…that’s Georgia’s formula for success tonight. Our guards rebound well, and our bigs are more than capable against what they have.

As you might expect with such a veteran group of guards, Ole Miss’s strength is in the turnover numbers. They lead the league in turnover margin as the only SEC team with a +4 advantage. They are second only to Vanderbilt in the assists-to-turnover ratio. Though they aren’t the best shooting team in the conference, they are going to get a shot off: only Tennessee has attempted more field goals.

So the game will likely come down to possessions and which team can use its advantages to create and limit possessions. Georgia will try to limit Ole Miss possessions by controlling the defensive glass while creating more opportunities with offensive rebounds. Ole Miss will try to get as many shots as they can through efficient ball control while taking advantage of a turnover-prone Georgia team.

We saw Georgia’s frontcourt advantage shine in last year’s meeting in Athens. I understand the Rebels have a new coach and aren’t quite the same team last year, but as thin as Georgia’s frontcourt was last year, Ole Miss was the one game where we had and used the advantage up front. Bliss played big. Kendrick Johnson was a factor. We had 16 offensive rebounds. We won despite shooting 21% from outside because we were so effective inside.

Brown, Bliss, and Singleton have no better chance to make their mark on Georgia’s run to the postseason than in this game.

Comments are closed.