Dawgs fade at the end

ATHENS – Georgia dropped it SEC opener to Tennessee Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum. The loss places the Dawgs at the bottom of the SEC standings, where most predict they will stay all season.

The reason for the loss, besides Tennessee's talent advantage, was the Bulldogs' inability or unwillingness to drive the ball. The Vols sat in a zone during the most important parts of the nights and Georgia's guards dribbled or passed the ball – in an unthreatening manner – around the perimeter.

Channing Toney, Georgia's best slasher, was held in check by the Vols all game long. That left Sundiata Gaines and Levi Stukes to do nearly all of Georgia's offensive damage.

That will not work in the SEC.

Gaines torched the Vols on the scoreboard, but needed to drive the ball to get a hot Stukes the ball for open three-pointers. Georgia's big men seemed to hold their own against the Vols defensively, which is encouraging considering the throng of big men they will face in the SEC. But offensively, Georgia's big men were virtually scoreless.

Still, the Bulldogs were within two points at the 4:39 mark in the second half. Somehow these Dawgs fight and scratch their way into games at the end.

But these Bulldogs' bad habits seem to catch up to them with a minute to go Georgia found itself down ten, and out of the game. Sitting around passing the ball with no cutting does not work against a zone defense. It does not work against any defense (save the wacky NBA), but that's what the Dawgs were doing.

The Bulldogs won't be in that many games this season –this was one of them. Because any win this season is a premium, Georgia can not afford to let any more slip away.

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