Show Me My Opponent, 2020-21: Georgia

Lineup notes

Georgia:

  • As an aside, it is extremely nice to do these previews where the opponent has had the same starting lineup in all but four games and has a consistent rotation they rely on. Wheeler, Kier, Fagan, Horner, Camara should be the starters for the eighth-straight game.
  • Wheeler never fouls and has averaged 35 minutes a game in conference play, so you’ll see a lot of him. Fagan is the only starter who hasn’t cracked the 30-minute mark even once in conference play. The other four regulars have all topped 30+ minutes at least four times.
  • If I had to name something that might change here, it would be K.D. Johnson potentially stealing Fagan or Kier’s starting spot. He’s played at least 22 minutes in six of Georgia’s last eight games.

Tennessee:


  • Vescovi, Johnson, Springer, Pons, Fulkerson until further notice.
  • It’s barely a sample size at all at 82 possessions, but small-ball lineups with Pons at the 5 have outscored opponents by 20 points in said possessions. We’ve got to see more of it.
  • Of similar note: the three-man backcourt of Vescovi, Johnson, Springer is currently outsourcing opponents by nearly 40 points per 100 possessions and has an elite 59.8% 2PT% hit rate. That’s your March backcourt.

Key matchups

Sahvir Wheeler vs. Santiago Vescovi. I honestly don’t think Wheeler is very good at this point because he can’t shoot very well and turns it over all the time, which makes this a matchup Vescovi needs to win badly.

Toumani Camara vs. John Fulkerson/Yves Pons. I imagine both will get the opportunity to go up against Camara, who is Georgia’s best all-around defender. The quicker one of them gets Camara into foul trouble, the better. Even after luck and schedule adjustments, Georgia’s offense goes from a 112.2 Offensive Rating (roughly 32nd-best nationally) when he’s on the court to 100.2 (205th-best) when he’s off. That’s a massive drop that comes entirely from Camara being the straw that stirs the drink at the rim.

Three predictions

  1. Georgia commits at least 15 turnovers;
  2. Both teams post a 30% OREB% or better;
  3. Tennessee 77, Georgia 63.

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