Six quick notes and observations from Georgia’s 68-66 loss to Kansas State on Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
ANOTHER CLOSE ONE, ANOTHER LOSS
Georgia played its best first half of the season, only to fall thanks to poor offense early in the second half, and the shot-making of Kansas State’s Dean Wade.
Wade hit two baseline jumpers – from each side of the basket – in the final minute, including one with 4.1 seconds left. Wade had 17 points, all but one of them in the second half.
Georgia’s J.J. Frazier tried a contested 3 at the buzzer. It was short, and while Georgia and its fans wanted goal-tending, referee Pat Adams and his crew refused and walked off the court.
The Bulldogs fell to 3-3, losing for the second time at home, both by two points. Their six games have been decided by an average of 4.8 points.
They led by 12 at one point in the first half, and by nine at halftime. But its offensive foibles early in the second half let Kansas State back in it, and it was back-and-forth from there.
GOAL-TENDING OR NOT?
Frazier’s final shot resulted in some controversy, as Mark Fox and Georgia fans wanted a goal-tending call. Maten and a Kansas State player both went up towards the basket – and Maten said later he thought both he and the Kansas State player touched it, he just didn’t know which one did first.
But Referee Pat Adams, after hesitating a second, waved it off, then he and his two colleagues walked off the floor.
“I thought the ball was going in the basket,” Fox said. “I don’t know who touched it first. I’ll have to review the tape.”
Fox said he was “very surprised” Adams and his crew did not review the play.
Maten’s view of the play: “It looked like it was coming off, from my point of view. So he went up to go get it, and I tried to go up and get it, because it looked like he was about to touch it. It was a split-second call for a ref, or what-not. We’ve just gotta live with it.”
Frazier said he didn’t have a good look at it.
“But it shouldn’t have come down to the last play,” he said.
GAINES STARTS FAST, THEN GOES QUIET
It’s become apparent that Georgia’s offense is better when it goes through Kenny Gaines and he takes the most shots possible. He took nine shots and had 13 points in the first half, and Georgia led by nine at halftime. He only had four shots and four points in the second half.
“Obviously as well as he played in the first half I’m sure they (Kansas State) talked about him at the half and he’s gotta learn that he’s higher on the scouting report this year, and people are gonna really guard him,” Fox said.
Gaines also spent several minutes on the bench early in the second half, along with fellow senior guard Charles Mann, during which time Georgia’s offense sputtered and Kansas State pulled closer.
“We had a very poor start to the second half, very poor,” Fox said. “They know better than that. So I sat them down. Because they weren’t playing well.”
MATEN COMING ON
Maten, the sophomore post player, is becoming the scoring factor the team needs him to be.
Maten had 20 points, after setting then equaling his career high in the previous two games (21 against Seton Hall and then Oakland).
He also continues to be a strong defensive presence, swatting away a closeshot attempt with 1:05 left.
FINALLY A FAST START
This was easily Georgia’s best beginning to a game – the first time all season it had the lead four minutes into the game. In fact the Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-2 lead, scoring on their first four possessions.
The 37 points were Georgia’s most in the first half this season.
How bad had Georgia’s starts been? It trailed early against Chattanooga (13-3), Murray State (6-3), High Point (4-0), Seton Hall (13-9), and Oakland (18-9).
THE DEBUT OF OGBEIDE
Derek Ogbeide finally made his Georgia debut, checking in at the 17:27 mark of the first half. He didn’t end up playing long, checking back out 30 seconds later, and only making one more brief appearance in the first half. But it was an encouraging sign for the Bulldogs to finally have the 6-foot-8 freshman cleared to play.
Fox said Ogbeide only cleared to play around 2 p.m.
“I just wanted to give him 45 seconds here or there just to get him to relax, so he had been out there before,” Fox said.
Georgia’s rebounding suffered the first five games without Ogbeide, as the Bulldogs were beat on the glass three times and only equaled Oakland.
Juwan Parker remains out with an Achilles injury, and has yet to play this season. It was the same injury he had surgery on in the offseason after causing him to miss half of last season.