After Georgia's impressive 77-70 victory of Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, I was curious to read what some of the Kentucky bloggers and mainstream media had to say about the game. While wading through the excuses for their loss by a vocal minority, (and I am referring to some fouls and no-calls....hey, it's the SEC and you're on the road. It happens) the majority of the Kentucky fans and writers did give our squad much deserved credit. On Saturday, Georgia was the better team. We shot the ball reasonably well (44.9% to UK's 38%), stuck to the gameplan by feeding the ball into the low post whenever possible, but more than anything, played as aggressively on defense as I can ever remember which is easy to do considering Georgia basketball is, except for a few magical seasons, quite forgettable.
To me, the difference in the game was foul shooting and, ultimately, coaching. As a team, coming into Saturday's contest, our foul shooting, was, foul. Through 13 games, Georgia converting from the charity stripe at about a 62% clip. The early season, double overtime loss to Notre Dame was due to horrible foul shooting, where the Red and Black went 10-20 from the line, a not-so-neat 50%. Fast forward to Saturday and the Dawgs exceeding anyone's wildest expectations by shooting an unconcious 88% from the foul line, going 30-34. As we were pulling away, Kentucky had to foul. This would have been good strategy
6 weeks ago last week. Whatever Coach Fox said to the team and whatever drills he had them do, it paid off with dividends.
Mark Fox did everything right. He's emotional, but measured. He displays a control on the sideline, but gets his point across when those emotions are warranted. Obviously, he prepared his team for victory. I'm sure he communicated to his team to not panic for the inevitable post-halftime run that Kentucky would make, and eventually, fade away. He made constant adjustments, including a key time-out when Georgia was not dealing with Kentucky's press very well. He drew up some plays on-the-fly to maximize Trey Thompkins (particularly late) and to keep the pressure on a Kentucky team that was in foul trouble early. In short, Coach Fox did everything right and had his guys up to the challenge.
What we have in Mark Fox is a coach who understands the situation he came to, understands what he needs to do to win (the right way) and understands where he's going. His "Tweet" in response to those fans that were chanting "overrated" was perfect.
But please do me 1 favor, next time please chant underrated not overrated. UK's a great team-not an overrated one. Today we were underrated
This was awesome. Winning with class isn't just for the guys on the floor.
In reading through a few comments last night, one Kentucky fan (perhaps optimistically) agreed that Fox was a good coach who would only be in Athens long enough to secure interest from "a bigger program." We're a pretty big program, but I get his point. Why risk it? Whatever it takes, we need to lock this guy up. It's awfully hard to awaken a sleeping giant. Our man has the giant not only awakened, he's at the breakfast table. Feed him.