Photo by Tony Walsh / UGA SID

Georgia Destroys Tennessee 80-63

January 15, 2020

ATHENS - Georgia was ready for this game. 

The beating Georgia (11-5; 1-2 SEC) put on Tennessee tonight was another step in the right direction for a program that really needed a win to correct a two-loss losing streak to Kentucky and Auburn. 

Those two teams seem to be at the top of the SEC (at least the Cats did until laying a turd tonight in Columbia). I’m not certain we can say the same about the Vols after this drubbing.

It didn’t hurt the Dawgs that Anthony Edwards brought his A game for this one. This Georgia team is going to be a pain in the ass to beat in Athens. Had Kentucky come to the Classic City later in the year (perhaps a week later as it turns out) that game might have turned out very differently. 

Still, Georgia pounded the Vols tonight - and this thing “basketball” has become fun for fans and students. Tom Crean has sold this program for months. He’s one out and recruited for months. He’s had his hands all over the development of this program, and now it is something that folks are string to pay attention to. 

Tom Crean has done a hell of a job so far. He has assembled the team you need to make playing in the Coliseum really difficult. 

Back to the game: Georgia beat Tennessee’s brains in all night, and it was on Edwards’ back. Unstoppable might be the wrong way to put it, but Edwards tossed in 20 points in the first half and ended the game with 26. Rayshaun Hammonds dumped in another 21, and the chants of “Just like football” echoed as the game closed.

This team can do some damage… if it can stay focused there’s no telling how far they can go. My question is how focused can they be when it matters, which is in the middle of March - not the middle of January. 

Basketball is about building to a point in the calendar. Wins and losses in the winter give way to games that actually matter in the spring. Can you tell me the outcome of the UGA-Florida game last year in basketball? 

I can’t remember it, because you make memories in the spring in basketball. That’s where this is headed. Can this team learn enough in this limited amount if time to make a run in March? 

That’s the question. 

The 80-63 win over Tennessee, which had an NCAA net ranking of 70 coming into this game, was more about how lopsided it looked on the floor rather than the impact of the win on the season. Auburn beat Georgia about this bad on Saturday. 

Georgia was locked in the entire game… can we say that about what happened at Auburn? What about the second half against Kentucky? This young group might be starting to understand that a run in a game, or even a good-to-great half, doesn’t win games. 

And winning games is the entire point of keeping score. And while we are keeping score take note of this: Georgia didn’t let the Vols get within 20 points very often in the second half. 

Easy wins make seasons easier. Don’t take my word for it… ask Dabo Swinney and whoever wins the Big 12. They are experts on the subject.

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