Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Hoops update

Tuesday February 26, 2008

Not many people expected a favorable result from a road swing to Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and the 0-2 result is no surprise. While we can take some pride in being in position to win at Kentucky or leading after a half in Nashville, losses continue to pile up. It’s becoming very much like the 2004-2005 season where the Dawgs were often competitive but usually ran out of gas against deeper and more talented SEC teams. While this Georgia team is a bit more talented than the group that went 2-14, the results are looking similar.

After a home game against Florida, Georgia gets three opportunities against struggling SEC West teams. Can they break through with road wins at Auburn and LSU? Can they prey on the road woes of Ole Miss?

Florida comes to Athens on Wednesday in the unique position of being both the two-time defending national champion and also a bubble team. The Gators are just over .500 in the league, and their nonconference resume isn’t particularly impressive. With the spoiler role one of the few things left for Georgia, making Florida sweat the postseason would be a small consolation.

Speaking of the postseason, I think there are only three SEC teams who can feel certain of a bid at this point – Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State. Kentucky, Florida, and Arkansas all have good chances thanks to conference records above .500, but those three teams also have plenty of warts that make them classic bubble teams.

SEC Men’s Power Ranking

1. Tennessee: Welcome to the top of the mountain.
2. Kentucky: Got a big win over Arkansas to keep NCAA hopes alive.
3. Miss. St.: Survived against South Carolina.
4. Vanderbilt: There’s no place like home, but will that matter against Tennessee?
5. Arkansas: Missed a chance at Kentucky to solidify their postseason position.
6. Florida: Tough four games to finish the season. Are they on the bubble?
7. South Carolina: Took MSU to overtime.
8. Auburn: Holding their own against the dregs of the SEC West.
9. LSU: Impressive win over Ole Miss. This could be a dangerous SEC Tournament team.
10. Ole Miss: The freefall continues.
11. Georgia: Need to turn effort into wins.
12. Alabama: And still only a game out of third place.

Lady Dogs

As we enter the final week of the SEC season for the women, the postseason picture is becoming clearer. The top four seeds – LSU, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky – are more or less set. Georgia’s win over Auburn combined with Auburn’s loss at Ole Miss have the Lady Dogs in good shape for the #5 seed. That means that the Lady Dogs would be playing on Thursday for the first time since 2004, but they should have an easy path to a quarterfinal meeting with Kentucky.

Georgia had some business to take care of on Sunday before they could look at the standings. After a 30-point loss at Auburn early in January, the Lady Dogs came out in Sunday’s rematch determined to show that the loss was a fluke. They quickly built a double-digit lead thanks to a 2-3 zone that made Auburn star Dewanna Bonner a non-factor for much of the first half. With Auburn unable to hit from outside, the zone was able to choke off the interior.

A 6-0 run to close the first half brought Auburn to within 13 points and gave them some momentum, but Georgia built the lead back to as many as 21 points with 9 minutes left. When it looked as if Georgia might be headed for a 30-point win of their own, Lady Dog turnovers fueled a 17-2 Auburn run that closed the lead to just six points with only three minutes left. A Tasha Humphrey baseline jumper stopped the bleeding, and Georgia was able to hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Congratulations to Tasha Humphrey who became Georgia’s #2 career scorer in Sunday’s win. She doesn’t have much chance of matching Janet Harris’s 2,600+ career total, but few players in SEC history have been in that class. Humphrey has passed such Lady Dog legends as Teresa Edwards, Katrina McClain, and Kelly Miller, and it seemed as if she showed up on campus scoring 20 PPG and pulling down 10 rebounds.

SEC Women’s Power Ranking

1. LSU: In control of the SEC, but UConn too much to handle.
2. Tennessee: Coasting.
3. Vanderbilt: Auburn should be their final tuneup before the postseason.
4. Georgia: Tough to beat when they get offense from the guards.
5. Kentucky: Put a scare into LSU, but offense remains a problem.
6. Auburn: Two straight losses have them looking at a .500 SEC record and the postseason bubble.
7. Ole Miss: Nice home win over Auburn highlights a 2-0 week.
8. Florida: Unforgivable home loss to South Carolina.
9. Miss. St.: Tough to close with Tennessee and LSU.
10. South Carolina: Proving to be pesky.
11. Arkansas: And to think that this team was ranked once.
12. Alabama: Sacrificial lamb for the eventual #5 seed.

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