Actually, at this point in the season, Georgia has probably run out of the opportunity to win enough games that matter. Even with home games against the Cats and Gators coming up, there are are not enough games that matter to get where you need to go. Wins in those two games won’t erase the pain of could-have-been wins that have come and gone.
Also, one of UGA’s 13 wins, against Morehouse in early December, doesn’t count in Division I standings. Being only two games over .500 in Division-one basketball games shouldn’t be where this team is at this point.
Now each game the Dawgs play matters not just in terms of this season moving forward, but moving on period as a program.
The sad/bad part about Georgia’s last few games is that, with the exception of the carnage at the hands of Alabama, the Dawgs have played pretty well… they just haven't won of late. The collapse against A&M, Kentucky’s overtime win at Rupp; today’s loss to the Chickens… all tough losses.
In those games UGA played well - even better than their foes in two of those games - but lost.
“We’ve had four one-possession losses,” UGA coach Mark Fox said after the game. “I feel for our young people. But we have to find a way to make one more play.”
“We just have to stop making a couple of errors and make a couple of plays,” Yante Maten said. “Everyone needs to figure out what they need to work on, so we can get over the hump.”
There in lies the problem for this team as it stands right now - close losses are still losses. Getting over the hump certainly matters, but it matters much more on the road against the Gators, Kentucky and South Carolina than it does against Mississippi State or LSU at home.
Again, in the league this program plays in meaningful wins are difficult to come by. In my view, this game against South Carolina was very much a winnable game. It turns out the game up at Rupp was winnable at the end. Clearly the game in Gainesville was winnable.
In none of those cases Georgia won.
After losing four SEC games in a row and five of its last six in conference play, UGA will turn its sights to the Gators on Tuesday night… a team the Dawgs let off the hook earlier this season on the road.
We are past must-win games to get into the NCAAs. Getting into the NCAAs is a pipe dream for these Bulldogs.
After a while its hard to figure out what to write. I’ve written the same thing about UGA basketball for so long. This program, with a player who very well could win SEC Player of the year, won’t get to the NCAAs without winning the SEC Tournament in Nashville in March.
With the exception of the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons, that’s been the case every year since Jim Harrick was dismissed. Is that where this institution, which just got a check for $40 million, and passed a budget over $120 million, wants to be?
Apparently it is, which is the problem.