Charles Mann: Early Shooting Struggles a Concern?


Senior PG Charles Mann is shooting only .231 from the field in his first two games of the Georgia Bulldogs’ 2015-16 season. Is there cause for concern?

The Georgia Bulldogs earned their win of 2015-16 NCAA Season Friday Night with a 63-52 home win over the Murray State Racers. While UGA played an improved defensive game on Friday compared to their struggled effort versus the Chattanooga Mocs over a week ago, the offense outside of SG Kenny Gaines was almost non-existent.

While it perhaps is more important for the Dawgs to establish a defensive identity and a low post presence in the onset of 2015-16, not seeing Senior leader PG Charles Mann light up the scoreboard is a bit concerning.

Though Mann is averaging a decent 9.5 points per game, he’s shooting .231 from the field, .182 inside of the arc, and .600 at the charity stripe. His saving grace has been the three ball, where he has connected on .500 of his outside attempts.

For UGA to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament, the backcourt Hydra of Mann, Gaines, and Junior J.J. Frazier need to feed off each other’s energy and elevate each other’s play. Frazier led the Dawgs against Chattanooga with 22 points, while Gaines had a career high 35 against Murray State on Friday. Will Mann rectify his shooting woes versus High Point on Wednesday?

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In 100 games played for the Senior from Alpharetta, GA, Mann has averaged 10.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG. He’s averaging an absurd 10.0 free throw attempts per game in 2015-16 and is a decent outside shooter in his UGA career (.302).

The issue with Mann is that while he gets to line about as well as the Houston Rockets’ SG James Harden, he’s only a .686 free throw shooter for his NCAA career. He’s also not spectacular from the field (.391) or two (.413) since he’s been at Georgia. However, those two totals should indicate that he will improve as the year goes on with his shooting stroke.

Since Charles Mann has averaged at least 10.0 PPG since his sophomore, I don’t see any reason that he should have a problem with surpassing that threshold in his senior season. It’s an absurdly small sample size, given that the Georgia Bulldogs’ Men’s Program has only played two games, but I have faith that Charles Mann just had a bad game against Murray State on Friday night.

On the other hand, he has played in 100 games collegiately, so you would think that the game would have slowed down by now since he’s been in HC Mark Fox’s system since Fall of 2012. Perhaps that having more film of him out there than most point guards in the SEC has allowed opponents to better game plan how to attack him defensively. However, that wouldn’t explain the poor free throw percentage, as that’s all on the shooter.

Fortunately through these first two games of offensive struggle for Charles Mann, he is still giving great defensive effort, a sign of a great senior leader. His Defensive Rating is at its lowest in his collegiate career at 95.1, albeit it’s early. That should count for something, as his Offensive Rating of 80.0 has hurt the Dawgs offensively.

Next: Kenny Gaines Leads Dawgs in Win Over Murray State, 63-52

His ratings last year were 95.8 on offense and 99.6 on defense. Mann’s steals and rebounds per game are up (2.5 and 5.5, respectively), but so are the turnovers (4.5). It seems like he’s playing with great energy, but is forcing things, as opposed to letting the game come to him.

I have faith at some point this season, hopefully before SEC play, that the game will once again slow down for him. When he does become a .750 free throw shooter, the UGA offense will seriously take over with him distributing and driving to the basket.