Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean surmised “we are in a bit of a rut” on Friday afternoon, describing the state of his young basketball team after four straight losses.
The Bulldogs (11-9, 1-6 SEC) look to snap the streak at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Texas A&M (10-9 4-3) at Stegeman Coliseum (TV: SEC Network).
“We’ve hit a rough patch, there’s no doubt about that,” Crean said during a media availability in Athens, his team coming off a 72-69 loss at Missouri on Tuesday that saw UGA blow a 20-point lead.
“The biggest thing for us is we can’t allow ourselves to lose confidence. We’ve got to get over the hump.”
Freshman Anthony Edwards has been leaving it all out on the floor Edwards playing the full 40 minutes and recorded the first double-double of his collegiate career with 23 points and 10 rebounds against Missouri last Tuesday.
Junior Rayshaun Hammonds, however, has been wildly inconsistent.
Hammonds, a 6-foot-9, 245-pounder who has been leading the team in rebounds and was second in scoring, played 33 minutes in the loss to Missouri and managed just two rebounds and did not score, 0-for-1 shooting.
The game before, in a 70-60 loss to Ole Miss, Hammonds had 5 points and 4 rebounds. He was 1-of-8 shooting from the floor and 2-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line in 30 minutes.
Crean said he believes Hammonds will regain his early season form.
“He just has to be more aggressive, and I think he will be,” Crean said. “I think we have to focus on everything that makes (Hammonds) be aggressive and keep him moving.”
Hammonds is one of a handful of players left on the team that Crean inherited.
Crean, as much as anything, is trying to change a Georgia basketball culture that has accepted losing and lacked competitive players.
“We’re smack dab in the middle of building a program,” Crean said. “It’s the middle of Year Two, and that’s where we’re at.”
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