Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Game Preview - at Georgia

Hoping to wash out the taste of a miserable final five minutes at Auburn, our guys will travel to Athens looking to bounce back. Tip time is 8 PM. The game will be televised on ESPNU. The Bulldogs have two of the best players in the league in Yante Maten and J.J. Frazier. Georgia is coming off a gut-wrenching 1-point loss at Texas A&M in which they let a 9-point lead slip away in the final two minutes, but were also the victim of a controversial clock stoppage issue at the end of the game that prevented them from even getting a final shot off. For a team clinging to the bubble, that loss could loom large in March.





Alabama
Georgia









68.3 PPG 73.3



63.4 OPP 67.6



42.5 FG% 44.8



40.7 OPP 39.4



48.6 EFG% 48.8



47.2 OPP 45.2



31.7 3PT% 32



36.1 OPP 31.6



62.3 FT% 74.3



67.7 OPP 67.5



38.8 FTRATE 42.1



38.5 OPP 33.6



38.8 RPG 39.2



32.8 OPP 33.9



33.9 OREB% 31.3



24.7 OPP 26.7



13.6 TOPG 13.9



15.1 OPP 12.4



19.9 TO% 19.6



22 OPP 17.3



76 KenPom Ranking 41


My Two Cents: Alabama's weaknesses on the offensive end have been managed for the most part by the team's strong defensive effort. But on Saturday, Auburn made shots and got to the free-throw line, which put pressure on our guys to keep pace on the offensive end. When it's all said and done, this team just isn't comfortable having to score 70+ on average. Despite Bama's strength on defense (still top 25 in defensive efficiency), expect difficulties in winning games against teams that can score.

Players to Watch: Braxton Key appears to be growing in confidence on the offensive end. He's averaging 15 ppg in the last four games. As DJC pointed out in his Auburn recap, Braxton at times tried to do too much on the offensive end despite finishing with 18 points (he did have 4 turnovers). I'm okay with that to an extent, because this team needs someone willing to step up and try to make plays when nothing much is working. They'll be some ups and downs, but anything beats getting stuck in a halfcourt set going nowhere.

Maten and Frazier make this team go, but they're a much better team when a third option emerges on the floor. Juwan Parker is beginning to look more and more like that consistent third guy. In the last eight games, Parker is averaging 12.7 ppg. Maten and Frazier have to be at the top of the scouting report, but it's important to keep at least one eye on Parker.

Prediction: As far as tempo goes, this should be a more favorable match-up for Alabama; both teams rank in the bottom five of the conference in adjusted tempo. Unfortunately, Georgia will have the best two players on the floor, and I think that alone may be enough. Georgia - 72 - Alabama - 63 

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