After trailing with under eight minutes left, Georgia pulled away from Furman late in the game on the backs of Yante Maten and JJ Frazier, eventually winning 84-78. Those two combined for 55 points on 16 of 26 shooting. The more those two succeed, the more that the Dawgs will succeed this season. It appears that Mark Fox is shortening his bench, preferring Diatta and Harris over Wilridge and Geno as well as Edwards over Kessler. Georgia desperately needs Juwan Parker, Jordan Harris, Tyree Crump, Pape Diatta, or Turtle Jackson to evolve into a legitimate third option behind Maten and Frazier for this team to sniff the tournament in March.
The Good: the team's two studs played like studs. When Georgia needed a bucket, those two could almost always be counted on, but they should not have to play the entire game against teams from the SoCon.
The Bad: Offensive fouls and a lack of boxing out. Against a smaller, less physical team, there is no reason Maten and Ogbeide should be getting out bodied in the paint
The Concerning: Only 10 assists on 28 field goals. The Dawgs are playing too much iso ball which lends itself to large scoring droughts, like Georgia saw in the middle of the second half as Furman briefly took the lead.
Yante Maten - the offense has to run through him. Period. End of story. The more Maten succeeds, the more Georgia should succeed. He has really polished his jump shot which makes him a real mismatch with most collegiate big man. He finished the night with 27 points and 7 rebounds.
Turtle Jackson - would be great to see Jackson step up into a true third option for Georgia. With Frazier's lack of size, it may be difficult for him to create his own shots against larger backcourts. If Jackson can step up as a point guard/off guard, it could really help some of those dreaded shooting slumps that Mark Fox teams can find themselves falling into during the second half of games.
JJ Frazier - he splits a double team with more ease than I think I've ever seen. I'm going to say it a lot this year, but if he were 6'2", he'd be in the NBA next season. He played well tonight and will need to continue to run a two man game with Maten until the Dawgs can find another consistent option on the offensive side of the ball. His ability to seal the game late with free throws is huge, was 10/11 from the stripe and led Georgia with 28.
Juwan Parker - had two very pretty back to back step back jumpers to extend Georgia's lead from three to seven under five minutes. Showed improvement over last game and seems to be settling into his role a bit more. Needs to come off of screens more crisp to allow him to gain separation from defenders.
Derek Ogbeide - must be cleaner receiving entry passes and has to improve quickness on defense. He's still a bit of a raw/rusty product, but could serve as a legitimate second option to Maten if he can consistently finish around the rim.
Jordan Harris - either he or Pape Diatta must step up as a consistent wing, especially on the defensive end. He cannot allow players to penetrate, causing the big men to have to leave their man to help out.
Tyree Crump - I would love to see Crump get into a bit of a rhythm offensively because he has a great shooting stroke, but after an 0-5 performance on Monday against UNC Asheville, he looks a bit timid. He hit his only shot in five minutes of action.
E'Torrion Wilridge - I think he is falling behind Diatta and Harris a bit. Wilridge only logged five minutes tonight and did not appear on the stat sheet, while Harris and Diatta played at least 13 minutes each.
Pape Diatta - Confidence is what he needs. He does not necessarily a green light on offense, but Fox should encourage him to try and create his own shot a bit more.
Mike Edwards - Actually had a very impressive game off the bench. Edwards finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds. He seems to be the only big man on defense that does not consistently ball watch when the shot goes up. Great boxing out and above average athleticism, but needs to polish his offensive game a bit. If so, he will significantly diminish the playing time of Houston Kessler.
Kenny Paul Geno - with the development of Wilridge, return of Parker, and additions of Diatta and Harris, Geno's time may be limited moving forward. I'd expect to see him still play in some smaller non-conference games as Mark Fox solidifies his rotation.
Houston Kessler - other than getting crammed on that set modern defense back 10-15 years, he was relatively effective on defense in the first half. If he wants to ever see significant action, he can't be so timid every time he touches the ball on offense. He doesn't have to look to shoot every possession, but he looks like he wants nothing to do with the basketball