Back when sports blogging awards were a thing, there was one called the “Job Award.” It went to the poor soul who kept plugging through his or her team’s awful season. It’s easy and fun to write about a winning season like the one we just enjoyed with Georgia football. Things were less fun in 2010, but, still – we’re not talking about a 2012 Auburn season. You have to salute (pity? wonder about?) those fans who not only show up for and watch every game but also try to make sense of it all for the rest of us.
That all applies to anyone writing about Georgia basketball these days. It’s just not enjoyable. And as bad as it is to watch and then revisit, it’s that much worse to play and coach through. It’s tough on a team that’s not all that good to come to practice and prepare for the next game with the right outlook and attention to detail that will create the foundation on which a poor team will become a better team.
Georgia’s loss at Florida in the SEC opener wasn’t unexepected, but the hosts weren’t even challenged. Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State was a missed opportunity to defend the home court against one of the league’s poorest teams. It was a measuring stick against a conference peer, and the Dawgs came up short. The offense that had a fairly productive first half by Georgia standards fell apart once Caldwell-Pope went quiet after a defensive adjustment. Georgia had some chances midway through the second half to take control of the game, but they couldn’t separate. MSU, and Jalen Steele in particular, made the Dawgs pay with their own run in the final minutes to open up the game, and Georgia wasn’t able to recover.
At 0-2 in the league, Georgia faces a tough four-game stretch where a home game against a decent LSU team might be Georgia’s best (only?) shot for their first conference win over those four games. We know by now that this team is just going to struggle to put points on the board, and so they’ll struggle to win when they can’t bring the kind of defense it takes to hold games under 60 points. With the direction of the season fairly evident now, we’ll look to the development of some promising freshmen and see if they can offer fans hope for a better future.