Three things I learned: UGA v. Vanderbilt

Georgia picks up its first SEC win, beating the Commodores 70-67

The few, the proud

While injuries have certainly plagued the team, the concern about lack of personnel may have been overdramatized. Juwan Parker (achilles), whose miss marked his first non-start all season, was probably the biggest loss for the Bulldogs. But in his absence, J.J. Frazier got the start. And it’s safe to say he can handle the starting minutes and responsibilities.

Though Yante Maten (out with concussion) has made important defensive contributions off the bench, the veterans on the team know how to offset the loss when a young guy is out with injury.

And don’t worry, the 5-foot-10 Frazier made sure he got up for a block to help make up for Maten’s absence too.

A good defense is the best offense… So they say

Despite a shaky end, Georgia really limited Vanderbilt’s shooting in the first period. The Commodores didn’t sink their first 3 until 30 seconds until halftime.

And overall, Georgia’s defense against the 3 was much improved. Vanderbilt’s Riley LaChance proved to be the clutch shooter of the night for the Commodores, punishing the Georgia defense late in the game. Until LaChance’s end-of-game surge, Vandy only shot .250 from the 3-point range.

If they can figure out a way to extend their first 20 minutes of defense to a full 40 minutes, the rest of conference play should look more win-heavy for the Bulldogs.

The best things in life are free (throws)

If nothing else, the Dogs know how to keep you watching. Three SEC games in a row coming down to an intense end doesn’t exactly leave room for fans to breathe.

But with Georgia’s first conference win, Wednesday’s game —especially the second period —gave glimpses of real improvement.

For starters, Charles Mann looked markedly better at ball control and court management than during the LSU game. After a slower first half, Gaines rocked the second half with 14 points, two steals and a block. Amid those stats, he’s almost forgiven for missing both free throws.

On the note of free throws, in the last 8:30 of the game, Georgia went 11-12 from the line, a point of inconsistency for the Bulldogs. And this adjustment couldn’t have come at a better time for the Bulldogs as LaChance was netting 3s to keep the Commodores’ too close to a comeback for comfort.

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