Chewing Nails

Sometimes, and my old college coach would say, you just have to chew nails.

And let me tell you - this was a nail-chewing day.

Auburn was not going to give anything to Georgia - nothing about today was going to be easy to start with. Kenny Gaines was out. Marcus Thornton got into foul trouble relatively early. Auburn, unskilled and relatively short, but physical, was going to try to ride the SEC’s leading scorer to another win over Georgia.

But Charles Mann - oh you Charles Mann - he simply punched Auburn in the face one too many times for the Tigers and Bruce Pearl to give Georgia another bad loss. The Bulldogs defeated Auburn 64-61 on Saturday.

Hate Charles Mann if you want. Complain about his butterfingers at times. Get aggravated with him however you want. But understand that without Charles Mann, and his mistakes, this team is no good.

Broad in the shoulders and perfect on the free throw line today, Mann bullied the Tigers. Georgia must have run the same high-ball-screen set six times in a row midway in the second half. And Mark Fox used Mann to bludgeon Auburn with it. Mann continued to figure out how to hesitate and then get his defender on his hip.

Once Mann has you on his hip it is over.

Then Mann converted every single free throw he shot. No need to shoot the three when you can convert 91% of your free throws.

This is Georgia basketball now - and its not that different from its football counterpart. These Dawgs are going to physical you up as much as possible. Though they are not tall - no major player over 6-8 - they can rebound with the best of them. Auburn, certainly not “the best of them”, was no match for Georgia on the boards; Dawgs out rebounded the Tigers 34-20.

That Georgia had no real answer for K.T. Harrell is nothing to be ashamed of. Once he gets the ball there’s no telling if he’s going to fire away. He’s not undefendable, but it seems like it at times. It looked like Georgia employed a box and one defense at one point - and let me tell you that’s not common in college basketball.

I’ll write a little further after the calculous is done on where Georgia can finish in SEC Tournament seeding. Right now Georgia could still be anywhere from No. 3, if Ole Miss loses Saturday night, to No. 6 if the Rebels win.

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