Photo by Dean Legge / Dawg Post

Dawgs Fall on the Road at Temple

November 13, 2018
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The first game on the road is never an easy one. 

The result of Georgia’s Tuesday night contest with Temple was important, but what might have been even more critical was being able to see this team under the leadership of Tom Crean in a real game. 

And from what I saw there is work to be done. 

The most concerning aspect of the team/program right now is at point guard or the one spot. Georgia didn’t seem steady there Tuesday night. It might have just been when I was watching (I missed the start of the second half), but too often there were issues dealing with pressure either bringing the ball up the court or entering it into the offense. 

UGA turned it over 20 times. Temple scored 22 points on those turnovers. 

Ballgame. 

That’s a problem that long term is going to have to be addressed in recruiting, but in this season those ball handlers are going to have to play better, period. It is possible that recruiting a better-than-average one could make Crean’s young program very good very quick, so that’s something to monitor. 

I have to admit that other than that the game went about like I thought it would go. There was a time in the first half where Georgia was getting a ton of good looks and scoring on them in a big way. That’s how they had the lead early. It looked like they were the better team. 

But the Owls started clamping down on UGA, and the Bulldogs started turning the ball over far too many times. Turnovers are not the end of the world until you make them the end of the world. 

By the end of the game Temple had outscored UGA 22-7 on points off turnovers - that’s too much of a disparity. Georgia was blistering Temple with the fast break - more than doubling them up in that category - but it couldn’t make up for the deficit because of the turnovers. 

On one-handed passes being tipped is one too many (I hate one-handed passes; you can’t fake one-handed passes unless you are Magic Johnson; no one teaches a one-handed pass); it felt like there was worry bringing the ball up the floor; it is something the team and program are going to have to get better at and used to… because Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and the Gators are going to pick you up full court if they smell you being nervous about having the ball in your hands. 

Still, you can see that UGA is going to get cheap, easy points during games - that’s what you want. You don’t want to have to earn every bucket. That was rare under Mark Fox. 

Overall, however, I have to say that I was pleased - not impressed - but pleased with the effort. There were too many mistakes, and maybe Temple forced some of those. But this was about being sloppy with the ball, and it costing you a win. The Owls played better the bulk of the game, so they deserved to win. 

To some degree it felt like when Nicolas Claxton got his third foul late in the first half that Georgia kind of had a hard time from that point forward. Claxton is too good to not be a force - I doubt we will see him struggle a ton this year. 

As an aside - Tyree Crump knows no shot that he doesn’t like. He’s got virtually no fear. More than that, it was also refreshing to see a head coach have timeouts at his disposal as the game wound down to its conclusion. Georgia nearly stole this game at the end with the ball in hand down two with only second remaining. 

The Dawgs executed an offense coming out of a timeout - something you have to do in this sport to win. They just missed the game-tying shot. It happens. 

This was a solid start for Georgia - even with the loss. 

 
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