1. This team is inexperienced – At first glance when you watch the Bulldogs play you immediately think: “This team is young.”
But it’s really not all that young – Georgia is starting two seniors and a junior. Its obvious watching Georgia move the ball on offense that its playmakers are just not used to playing heavy minutes. Shot selection, crisp passing and players other than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scoring from the floor seemed like a struggle on Monday night. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons the Bulldogs struggled mightily to score points. Offensively the game looked like a replay of the start of Georgia’s SEC schedule last season.
The offense is not going to be effective with Vincent Williams shooting poor perimeter shots. He should facilitate as much as possible. To some degree the Bulldogs are going to have to get used to the fact that Gerald Robinson is not the point guard any more, and that spot doesn’t have the blow-by ability it once had. Robinson led to some very, very easy points for others at times. Williams can’t do that, or he’s not yet shown that he can do that, so things will have to be adjusted to compensate for that.
At the same time, the only Bulldog to put the ball in the bucket in the first half while the clock was running was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. As I wrote extensively in the January edition of Dawg Post the Magazine that KCP can’t be the only productive player on the roster if this team/program are going to be successful.
There was a time in the first half, late in the first half, when the Bulldogs had more turnovers than points… that’s a bad sign. Twice going scoreless for multiple minutes at a time is a bad sign. Being down 18 points at home with less than eight minutes to play in the game is a bad sign. But more than anything else all of those things combined are not good – not good at all.
Georgia got its act together coming out of halftime, but this team is not nearly good enough to start games off the way they did against Youngstown State and expect to be competitive let alone win games when SEC play starts in a month and a half.
2. The team is inexperienced because of recruiting – Its that simple really. It would be one thing for these Bulldogs to be this inexperienced because the program was coming off of back-to-back runs deep into the NCAAs the way Florida did a few years back, but that’s not at all the case.
The roster is, as Mark Fox has put it, all players Fox himself recruited to the Bulldogs. He’s stated that he looks forward to coaching the players on the team – which no one should doubt. But in order to make great strides this season the players on the roster are going to have to develop quickly – very quickly. The addition of Donte Williams to the team (he’s been suspended by Fox for an undisclosed reason the first two games of the year) will help in terms of production, but the roster is set, and it was set a long time ago.
Recruiting needs to improve. That’s not a knock on the current players on the roster – its simply the cold, hard truth about playing in the SEC, and in college sports in general… you can always get better through recruiting.
3. The basketball culture, for lack of a better term, at Georgia still has a long, long way to go – On a Monday night in the middle of November you would think that Georgia could pull more fans in to enjoy a night of entertainment than what was shown on TV.
Stegeman Coliseum, for all of the complaints about its age, is a really good place to watch a basketball game at. It’s a place that’s pretty easy to get in and out of. Stegeman Coliseum has cushioned seating… really it’s all pretty nice to take in a basketball contest.
This is a cultural problem that is not unique to the Bulldogs, but it seems like one that’s totally unnecessary. Fans will go to watch basketball, but they want to watch the team play well and win, and neither of those things happened tonight.