In its 75-59 loss to South Carolina, the Georgia men’s basketball team lacked life throughout the contest.
The Bulldogs failed to score until a pair of Jordan Harris free throws once three minutes and 47 seconds had passed. Georgia was unable to find a rhythm after being thoroughly outplayed.
“We were not ready to be in the fight tonight with South Carolina,” head coach Tom Crean said. “We got our heads down because we were not scoring.”
On a team where size is a chronic issue, Georgia has used energy and momentum as a tool to gain an advantage against its opponents. Freshman guard Anthony Edwards has often worked the crowd this season after the Bulldogs go on runs.
Georgia did not have a sense of urgency with the ball, which contributed to its problems early on. The Bulldogs had three turnovers before they could crack the scoreboard and became frustrated with their effort.
“They just outplayed us in every aspect of the game,” Edwards said.
On top of the low energy levels, Georgia let frustration creep into its mind. The Bulldogs were upset about foul calls and were in a state of disbelief when a loose rebound was called out of bounds off junior forward Rayshaun Hammonds. Both Hammonds and Edwards pleaded with the referee and pointed to the video screen to no avail.
Georgia was caught off-guard on the defensive end as well. Freshman forward Mike Peake, for instance, surrendered an easy layup after turning to complain to a referee.
The SEC, in particular, is one of the more physical conferences in the nation and aggressiveness is a must-have in every game. South Carolina was the aggressor on Wednesday and a majority of its shots came within 10 feet of the basket.
Georgia’s shot selection was passive and often times it settled for contested 3-pointers, going 3-24 (12.5%) from behind the arc.
“We've got to overcome this lack of aggressiveness that we've had in some pretty good cases, and tonight we didn't have it,” Crean said. “This league, when somebody imposes their will on you like they did tonight, you have to fight back, and we just didn't do a good enough job of that tonight.”
Effort has been a topic of conversation for the Bulldogs who surrendered two 20-plus point leads in their past five games.
Crean is not discouraged as much as he is angry and disappointed with his team’s performance. He cited a good week of practice and was not entirely sure why his team came out as lifeless as it did.
Senior guard Jordan Harris praised South Carolina for its defensive showing but still was not pleased with his group’s effort. Harris had a steal and a pair of thunderous dunks at the end of the first half, but the Bulldogs could not build off his energy burst.
“They make everything hard,” Harris said. “They definitely had the size advantage, but they just played harder than us tonight.”