Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hoops - This is getting old

The misery continues against the Mutts this year, as the Jackets fall yet again in Athens 91-75. I really hate Georgia. Really, really hate'em.... Can you believe we are 3-23 in their house? the home team has won 10 of the last 11 in the series.

Well, things started nip-and-tuck, run-and-gun. It was a real up-and-down game, fast, aggressive, and pretty well played, with few turnovers. In fact the teams only had 8 turnovers between them in the 1st half. Georgia was shooting almost everything from long range, and they were hitting. There were all kinds of lead changes until UGA went up 32-31 at the 5:00 mark. Then it went downhill. The Jackets only hit one shot from the field for the rest of the half and a couple of free throws, and trailed 49-36 at the half.................. The 2nd half opened slow again for the Jackets, until they went on a little mini-run to pull the game within 11 at 60-49. UGAg responded and the Jackets again got to 70-60, but the mutts responded again, stretching the lead to 17. With about 9:00 in the game there was a bit of a scuffle with both teams doing a bit of pushing and jawing. Unfortunately it was more of the same the rest of the way. The Jackets could never make that run and bring the game within single digits and UGAg wins running away 91-75.

DEFENSE....... F
Totally lackluster for most of the game. The intensity was virtually non-existant until mid-way through the 2nd half. UGAg had free passing lanes most of the game, They got the ball to the open man over and over and over. They hit their shots. Heck, they scored 91 points. Let's think about that - 91 points from a Coach Hewitt team. ......... and there. Tech didn't contest passing around the perimeter and UGAg consistently penetrated off the dribble and either got the basket or kicked to an open man on the perimeter. All I can say is that this was a complete frosh-like effort on defense.

In addition to that, the Jackets forced very few turnovers. UGAg only had 7 for the entire game, 3 of which came from Jacket steals. UGAg ended the game with 17 assists and 7 turnovers for a ratio of 2.42. That's a killer. Consider we had a 0.53 assist/to ratio, that says a lot. In fact, UGAg had 29 field goals on their 17 assists - that's good...... for them.....

UGAg shoots 49% for the game, including 38% from long range, although it was higher for most of the game.

Overall a decent effort on the boards. But it should have been, as UGAg should have been outmanned in the paint. The Dawgs are a perimter oriented team, not a big banging team underneath. The Jackets outrebound UGA 44-29, and 20-15 on the offensive glass. A good effort, but many of those boards were the result of short misses and layups that just wouldn't drop.

Jeremis Smith had a monster night on the boards, pulling down 14, including 5 offensive. Anthony Morrow grabs 9 boards, and shows some real aggressivness in the paint. Where was Ra'Sean Dickey? Nowhere to be found. He ends the night with 1 rebound in 22 minutes. No, that is not a misprint. Ra'Sean Dickey might as well have been on the bench, because had more offensive fouls than rebounds. His point total of 5 didn't wow the opposition either.

Yuck. What happens when the closest thing you have to a point guard gets into foul trouble and the opposing team decides they are going to contest every single pass you make? Well, just look at the final score for your answer. The Dawgs just decided they were going to get after it on defense, and they did. The Jackets repeatedly setup the half court offense and couldn't even get one good pass on the perimeter. If you remember, this is something we've seen from Hewitt teams in the past. They never really exploited the overplay up top with inside cuts and interior passing. The offensive flow was terrible, passing was poor, and the team just didn't setup many good looks. Most of the baskets were really hard fought. You have to give some credit (gulp) to the mutts. Their intensity was just so much better.

Statistically, the Jackets had a grand total of 7 assists............ AS A TEAM!!!! Think about that - 7 assists total. That's pitiful. That's a result of poor ball movement and repeatedly trying to go one-on-one or firing from the outside.

Individually, A-Mo led the way with 28 points (8-17, 4-7). He was very aggressive most of the night on the offensive end, although I wasn't impressed on the defensive side.......... Jeremis Smith chipped in 19 points (5-12) to go with his 14 boards. He also had the only 3 steals by the entire team. Unfortunately there was a big weakness to his game tonight - free thows. Jeremis gets to the line 21 times, but only drops 9. If we're ever going to win more games, he's got to get that percentage to the 60-70% range. The rest of the team went 14-16, but when one particular guy goes to the lane 21 times, you'd like him to hit a few more.

Buck Fredrick had another off-night. He goes 1-12 from the field and scores 6 points. Unfortunately he had 3 assists and 4 turnovers. He had a few decent plays, but the guys (like Dickey) just didn't finish the play. IT wasn't all his fault, but he sure didn't do much to help the team tonight.

We tried to draw blood on yet another opponent. Didn't draw blood but gave the hot-headed Idrassi a nice black-eye. Man we're a physical team for sure.

Combined, these two teams shot 77 free throws. That's a lot. That was a result of 59 fouls.

It wasn't there. It's going to have to be there soon if we're going to win some games. There were only two guys that really left it on the court most of the game tonight - Jeremis Smith and A-Mo.

I don't get the sense watching Jeremis Smith that he's an explosive guy off the floor. If his knee is back 100%, then I would peg him as a guy who is outstanding at getting position and using his strength in the lower body to get boards and go back up. He isn't a "bouncy" guy. He seems to have to "wind up" to make his jump. If he gets a running start, watch out, but just at a standstill under the basket his nose for the ball and strength are what get him by.

We're 1-0 in the ACC. The Cav's lost to Fordham tonight at home, so don't expect them to be challenging Duke anytime soon. Fordham was 2-6 coming into that UVA game. UVA ain't that good.

We are an inexperienced team and nights like this are to be expected. The team is loaded with freshman and sophomores. Rinse and repeat.

Sorry, but this losing to UGAg thing stinks. It's getting old. Putting the rivalry aside, the most disturbing thing about this is the defensive effort. The first part of this season has seen some truly poor defensive efforts. A few good halves of ball, but neither was a keeper tonight.

December 10 versus Tennesse State, 3:00pm Saturday afternoon.