The Georgia Bulldogs struggled shooting the basketball against the stifling defense of the Kentucky Wildcats, getting blown out at Rupp Arena, 82-48.
The Georgia Bulldogs had no answer on either end of the floor in their laugher of a loss to the No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats, falling to UK 82-48 in Rupp Arena in Downtown Lexington Tuesday night.
Georgia shot an abysmal 22.0% from the field (11-50) and struggled from beyond the arc as well, connecting on 27.3% of their threes (3-11). The Dawgs couldn’t buy a basket in the paint and only one player on the team had more than 10 points in this 34-point loss to Kentucky.
Yante Maten was the only Dawg in double figures scoring. He had 16 points on 4-14 shooting. Maten did most of his work offensively at the free throw line, sinking all eight of his free throw attempts. He would also finish with 11 rebounds.
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While the Georgia Bulldogs did out rebound the Kentucky Wildcats, 36-34, it’s hard to win a game on the road when your team loses the turnover battle (15-7), has only five assists, and doesn’t force a single steal.
This game wasn’t as painful as the crushing loss earlier in the year to the Texas A&M Aggies, but this loss to Kentucky essentially means that for the Georgia Bulldogs to make it back to the NCAA Tournament this spring, they will have to win the SEC Tournament.
While a win on the road at Rupp Arena was probably not going to happen for Georgia, one would have liked a better performance from the No. 6 team in the SEC. Sure, Kentucky has won 34 straight games on their home court, but UGA played Kentucky tough last year in Stegeman against what was certainly a better Wildcats team.
What this loss to Kentucky did was epitomize the ultimate shortcomings of the 2015-16 Georgia Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team: a lack of depth and inexperience in the frontcourt.
For Georgia to hold its own in the physical SEC next season, the Dawgs have to become a more dynamic offensive team in the low post. Its entire offense in the paint can’t rely solely on Yante Maten hook shots.
Outside of Maten, we haven’t seen a player on the Georgia Bulldogs improve considerably in 2015-16. That’s concerning since two of the team’s best players in Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines are seniors and won’t play for UGA in 2016-17.
It’s hard to rationalize, but we just aren’t seeing the underclassmen develop under Mark Fox this season. Yes, Kentucky is a great team, but the Dawgs’ problems in the frontcourt are becoming the Achilles’ Heel for the team.