Denny Medley / USA TODAY Sports

Yante Shrugged

For a quarter of the game, Georgia showed that it can play with the best in the country.

The rest of the game everyone not named Yante Maten showed just how far they have to go this season. 

With the exception of the star big man, who would start for the Jayhawks, no one from Georgia was ready for what the Kansas had to offer. J.J. Frazier was shut down like he can be against teams with the guard talent of Kansas. He was a total non-factor in this game. 

And when Frazier is a non-factor, that usually means UGA is in real trouble, and it was tonight. 

No one outside of Maten mattered in this game for the Dawgs. That’s such a disappointing fact considering how well the team played at the start of the contest. I mean, the Dawgs were ready to run, and they did. But looking back, that was really just Maten doing his part - lifting this team like he always has to for it to be competitive. One way or the other, the team really did play well collectively in that time. 

I don’t want to undersell how well Georgia played in the opening ten minutes of the game. I know - they really got smashed after that - but it was probably the best ten minutes they’ve played all season. And considering the circumstance - going up against the No. 5 team in the country in their backyard - that means something. But can this team move forward playing 40 minutes rather than ten?

Then Georgia was back to its old self… depending too much on one player to lead the way; far too much watching and not moving; unforced errors just when you don’t want them. 

Deep into the second half Maten had 60% of Georgia’s points. That’s not a sustainable path for the rest of the year. Someone has to step up and make themselves available to at least take some of the burden off Georgia’s best player since Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. 

But, and I will continue to write this until it gets figured out, Maten can’t do it by himself. He’s got to have some help. Example: When Kansas was in a zone defense, players other than Maten need to at least put forth some effort in moving around to act like they are interested in attempting to score. 

Fact: Maten has five games where he’s scored in double digits… they rest of the team has five games like that combined. 

Then there were the times when Maten was double or triple teamed. Those are great opportunities for Maten’s teammates to get easy buckets; didn’t happen, and Georgia fell 65-54 in Kansas City. 

I mean how did the entire Big Ten (a great basketball league) miss out on a player as good as Maten? What were those guys thinking? Better question: What happens at UGA when Maten doesn’t play well? How do these Dawgs plan on winning then?

They won’t. 

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