Georgia Basketball

Nicolas Claxton is a Budding Star That This Team Will Need More of to go Anywhere

November 27, 2018
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ATHENS - Nicolas Claxton had a plus/minus of plus-42 tonight. Georgia beat Kennesaw State 84-51.

That means that in the time Claxton was on the floor, the Bulldogs as a team nearly outscored Kennesaw State for the entire game. It was simple for Georgia—when he was on the floor, it was complete dominance.

 

Sometimes the plus/minus system can be a little misleading, but it in no way was tonight. His individual statistics were off the charts. He had 16 points, a game-high, 15 rebounds, a game-high, four assists, a game- I think you get the point.

 

Claxton is clearly the man on this team. When he would get his own rebound, he would often take the ball up the court himself. From around the 3-point line, he was able to find men cutting to the basket better than even the guards on this team. Tom Crean pointed to his improvement of “playing with his eyes up” in game.

 

Now, Crean wants to see that dominance continued and expand, even. Because Claxton has been inconsistent throughout the season. 15 points against Savannah State, seven points against Temple, 22 points against Illinois State, three points against Clemson and now 16 points tonight.

 

If this team wants any hope of reaching the NCAA tournament they will need the Claxton of tonight to show up to games on a consistent basis. When he does that, it doesn’t just bring the most from him. It gets the most from others, too.

 

“Nick has got to be a big leader for us,” Crean said. “It’s not about age, it’s not about your experience, it’s not about what class you're in. It’s about your talent and what you bring out of your teammates.”

 

On the path he’s been on, it’s hard to see if this will be an everyday Claxton. Maybe eventually in his career he will get there. But without it this year, Georgia will be in the same postseason-boat as they were in last year.

 
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