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Post Hoop Dawgs put on 2-hour infomercial for prospects who can score

Thursday December 10, 2009

Mark Fox’s team got their first opportunity on national television last night, and the best we can say is that they didn’t give up or get embarrassed in such a setting.

Georgia fell 66-56 to a decent St. John’s team at Madison Square Garden in the SEC-Big East Invitational. Georgia held their own in the first half and trailed by only three at intermission despite not being able to hit from the floor or the free throw line. It didn’t take St. Johns long in the second half to push the margin near double-digits, and the game remained an 8-to-12 point affair for most of the rest of the second half. Georgia made a small push near the end to cut the Red Storm’s advantage to just six points, but St. John’s put the game away from the foul line.

Trey Thompkins did well on the national stage by tallying 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He and Travis Leslie (14 points) were the highlights on offense for Georgia, but they got little help. The frontcourt was especially disappointing: Jackson and Price failed to score, and Chris Barnes – who ended up with 7 points – wasn’t used nearly enough. Leslie’s 10 free throw attempts were more than the frontcourt had combined.

It’s not much use to pick this team apart – we know who they are, and it’s no surprise that they’re going to have trouble scoring. Still, there are things like free throws and carelessness with the ball that can be corrected and keep the team competitive. There’s no question though that Georgia needs scorers to complement Thompkins. Leslie is a fine role player – and did you see the alley-oop at the end of the game? – but he’s not consistent enough to be your traditional scoring wing. We’ll see these issues again and again this year. Fox can get what he can out of the current group of players, but the chief imperative (and often the Achilles’ heel) of the Georgia job is turning around recruiting.

The Dawgs are off for exams until a December 19th game at the Gwinnett Area against Illlinois.

One Response to 'Hoop Dawgs put on 2-hour infomercial for prospects who can score'

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  • Pretty much my thoughts. Last night was the first chance I had to see Fox’s hounds… and all I could think was “man, we would be pretty good if we had more than 1 guy that could shoot.” Honestly, I think I could shoot 3’s better than Zloravic. Fox’s scheme definitely works though, our guys were getting good looks all night long. The inability to shoot from the perimeter though, and to make easy shots from the paint, along with some careless ball handling as you said, is what kept us form winning. Yeah, that’s a lot of problems, but none that can’t be solved by adding some better talent to this team.

    Recruiting is obviously the hardest part, but last night I at least sensed that we had a good game plan, something I never felt we had under Felton. If Fox can get a couple of players to compliment Thompkins, we should be able to make a pretty good run.