The Problem? These Turnovers

Georgia won’t be able to get away with these slow starts in the future - that much I know.

To say that Georgia, which is now 5-2 in the SEC, was sloppy to start the game against woeful Vanderbilt, which is now 1-6 and in last place by itself in the league, is being kind. Georgia managed to dribble the ball off its foot, set illegal screens and generally play badly during Tuesday night’s 70-62 win.

Two media timeouts into the game, Vanderbilt had a four-point lead, and Georgia was lost. Eventually the better team took over and won, but this sort of carelessness with the basketball isn’t going to work from here on out.

Vanderbilt is, at this moment, the worst basketball team in the SEC. Georgia is going to be able to get away with some things against Vandy it will not be able to get away with in the future. South Carolina, in the same ballpark of bad as Vandy, will be a real challenge for the Dawgs no matter how Georgia starts the game.

South Carolina hates Georgia, and it is always a challenge playing in Columbia - even though the Cocks overbuilt their gym and frequently welcome hundreds of fans from other schools during games.

But I am sidetracking… the point?

Georgia has to play well all the time. This group can work its way up to as high as a six seed in the coming weeks. A loss at Kentucky will be glossed over if Georgia keeps winning--it is one of the few no-lose situations Georgia will find itself in this season.

In the future, there are a few things Georgia needs to concentrate on: free throw shooting has to improve. And is important not to fall in love with three-point shooting. To add to all that, this season the Dawgs are turning the ball over too much - way too much. Right now Georgia has more turnovers as a team than assists.

The only reason the win over Vanderbilt was competitive was that Georgia turned the ball over nine more times than Vandy. If the Bulldogs weren’t so much better than Vandy, they would have lost with that sort of turnover margin.

Georgia has had nine games where it has turned the ball over 15 times or more.

That’s crazy - that’s half the season with that many turnovers.

These Bulldogs have to play cleaner on offense. They are shooting well. And Marcus Thornton is playing very, very well. Scoring, for the most part, is being distributed amongst multiple players. There’s a lot to like about Georgia right now, but these turnovers are going to take what could be a 27-win season and turn it into a 22-win season.

Three of Georgia’s five losses have come in games where they have turned the ball over 15 times or more, 6-3. 14 turnovers or fewer? Georgia is 8-2.

That might not seem like that much difference, but it is the difference in losing in the second round and going to the Sweet 16 for only the third time in school history.


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