Daniels not satisfied

Daniels leads the team and ranks among the SEC leaders with 25 blocked shots, including five against Minnesota and South Alabama.

ATHENS, Ga. - Chris Daniels made such a surprise impact with his all-around play as a sophomore that he may have raised expectations too high for his junior season.

Count Daniels among those who are not satisfied with his play thus far for the 20th-ranked Georgia basketball team.

"I think this year I have been a little more inconsistent, I think, than last season when I played more at an even level,'' Daniels said Wednesday as Georgia (9-4 overall, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) practiced for Saturday's 6 p.m. ET game at Arkansas.

Added Daniels: "This year, I think there have been more ups and downs.''

Daniels scored only two points in Georgia's last-second 66-63 loss at Florida Saturday, though he had eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

As a sophomore, Daniels led the Bulldogs in rebounds, blocked shots and steals. His scoring average (10.6) is barely below last year's mark (11.3), and his field-goal and free-throw percentages are up.

Coach Jim Harrick agrees that Daniels has not been as consistent, especially in his scoring, but he says that is no mystery.

"I remember last year at this time he was having double-doubles (in points and rebounds) and big-time games,'' Harrick said.

"But people know him now. That's the price you pay when people start guarding you. Last year, they didn't know him. No one respected him. They just let him run around. Now, it's different.'' Added Harrick: "That's the tale of being the hunted.''

Daniels posted double figures in scoring and rebounding in seven games last season. In a stretch that included the first month of the conference schedule, he scored in double figures in 15 of 17 games.

Daniels has only one double-double this season, and he is averaging only 8.3 points for the last four games.

The one constant in Daniels' game has been his defense. Normally assigned to teams' top scorers, Daniels uses his quickness to make big plays on defense.

Daniels leads the team and ranks among the SEC leaders with 25 blocked shots, including five against Minnesota and South Alabama.

"His defense has been outstanding,'' Harrick said. "That has been our staple, I think, since (mid-December).''

Led by Daniels, Georgia has held five straight opponents under 50 points.

"At this level, everybody can shoot,'' Daniels said. "If you can stop people from scoring, that can separate you from a lot of players.''

Meanwhile, with defenses having to pay more attention to Daniels, it has been more difficult for teams to design schemes designed to focus on the outside shooting of leading scorers Jarvis Hayes and Ezra Williams.

Hayes has shot 50 percent or better on 3-point attempts in six straight games, and he is averaging 18.5 points per game. Hayes made 6 of 8 3-pointers and scored 25 points against Florida.

Williams, named the SEC Player of the Week last week, is scoring 17 points per game, despite making only two of nine shots from the field and scoring only 10 points in the loss to Florida.

The loss in Gainesville, Fla., ended an eight-game winning streak for Georgia.

"We have a full week to practice and fix the things we did wrong in the Florida game,''

Daniels said. "From here on out, we'll pretty much be playing two games every week.''

After Saturday's game at Arkansas, Georgia plays host to Tennessee and Auburn next week.

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