That just can’t continue.
At the five minute mark 11 of the Vols’ 18 points came off Georgia’s screw ups.
Want to lose a basketball game? This is a great way to start that process, and it is not like this is something new. I wrote about this very issue after Georgia’s 70-62 win over Vanderbilt.
“Georgia won’t be able to get away with these slow starts in the future - that much I know. This season the Dawgs are turning the ball over too much - way too much.”
Georgia started off slow to lowly South Carolina and lost; then started slow in Lexington and killed off any real shot of an upset.
Mark Fox can’t get onto the floor and make the passes for them, or love the ball in a manner in which it must be loved, but perhaps he can scream at his team about the urgency by which they should be playing right now.
Maybe Fox is doing that. Maybe the players are ignoring it. Maybe they think they are already in the tournament. They must be crazy if they think they can sleepwalk through the start of a game with Tennessee - one of the powers in this conference that must be taken seriously no matter the sport. That, and the Vols limped into Athens by losing three of its last four games.
Georgia gave the Vols hope, and you can’t allow that. Without Georgia’s help, Tennessee would have been down nearly 20 at the half, and the second half would have been a scrimmage. But the turnover madness wasn’t just in the first half.
Up five with only two minutes in the game, Georgia managed to turn the ball over on back-to-back possessions. Its just bad basketball, and it covers up that Georgia was the better team.
These guys have to get it together, and quit making things so difficult for themselves. This game should have never been this close. Never.
Charles Mann needs to value the ball more. Nemanja Djurisic needs to understand that, no matter how much he protests or is confused, he does commit fouls. Thankfully Marcus Thornton returned from his concussion issue, and that seemed to help - they need his leadership and production right now.
This is a good team. This is a team that can do things that have not been done in Athens for over a decade. But this group has got to start valuing each job up and down the court. I’m not sold they can do that until they prove me wrong on a consistent basis.
Yes, Georgia won the game as they were the better team, but the start of these games is officially a major concern.