Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Tennessee shows Georgia what a tournament-quality team looks like

Sunday March 4, 2007

Georgia basketball has come a long way since the 2-14 days when you just hoped they would be competitive. They’ve progressed to the point where we are let down when they come up just short against one of the SEC’s hottest teams. It’s disappointing to be on the other side of the bubble heading into the SEC Tournament, but that’s where we are this year. A 71-65 loss to Tennessee in the regular season finale provided a contrast between a team that was ready to head into the Big Dance and one that wasn’t quite there yet.

  • They finished strong. Tennessee has won seven of eight to end the season. Left for dead at 3-5 after a loss to Florida, they took their fate in their own hands and left no doubt about their postseason fate.
  • They took care of business at home. They were a perfect 8-0 in home SEC games. In fact, they didn’t lose a home game all season. Though they struggled to add a quality road win to their ledger, the ability to defend the home turf and pick up a few late road wins more than solidified their position.
  • They have a genuine go-to guy. Tennessee actually has THE go-to guy in college basketball. Though Chris Lofton struggled for much of the game, he was able to change Saturday’s game at Georgia with just two perfectly-timed three-pointers late in the second half. The shots let Tennessee reclaim the lead for good, and Georgia wasn’t able to respond. You won’t find many teams in the tournament without someone they want with the ball at the end of a game.
  • They play to their strengths. Tennessee put the ball in the hands of their guards. Ramar Smith, JaJuan Smith, and Lofton had the bulk of Tennessee’s field goal attempts and points. Meanwhile, Georgia struggled to get the ball inside against a smaller Tennessee team. Takais Brown only had five field goal attempts. Georgia shot 59% for the game inside the arc (17-of-29) but still insisted on putting up 21 three-point attempts and missing all but five of them

Georgia’s heading in the right direction, and hopefully they can pick up a few more of the qualities that they’ll need to get over that final hump and become a regular NCAA Tournament participant. In the meantime, the season isn’t over yet, and Georgia will have a chance to build on something in the SEC Tournament and then likely the NIT.

Comments are closed.