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Preseason Preview: Georgia

2017 Marquette Madness

Photo by Ryan Messier/ Paint Touches

The first official practices of the 17-18 college basketball season are in the books and Paint Touches is celebrating by counting down every Marquette opponent from worst to first. Each preview will contain a look at how the opponent did last season, who they lose, who they gain, reasonable expectations for their season, and our own prediction of how their matchup(s) with Marquette will go. This series will start with the most under of underdogs and progress all the way up to most unbeatable of opponents. Next team up features one of the best players Marquette will see all season, Yante Maten of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Team: Georgia Bulldogs
16-17 Record: 19-15 (9-9 SEC)
Postseason?: Snagged a 2 seed in the NIT but was upset in the opening round by Belmont
16-17 KenPom: 61
Date: 12/02/17
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center
Coach: Mark Fox (9th Season)
Projected KenPom Range: 50-75
Projected Conference Finish: 10/14 in SEC

Departures from 16-17
JJ Frazier: Starting PG: 34.6 mpg, 18.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 2.4 tpg, .406 FG%, .304 3P% (Graduated)
Kenny Paul Geno: 5th Man off the Bench: 9.0 mpg, 1.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.1 bpg, 0.1 tpg, .438 FG%, .368 3P% (Graduated)
Houston Kessler: 7th Man off the Bench: 6.3 mpg, 0.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.1 tpg, .278 FG%, .000 3P% (Graduated)
Brandon Young: Benchwarmer: 1.1 mpg, 0.0 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.0 tpg, .000 FG% , .000 3P% (only appeared in 8 games) (Graduated)
29% of scoring, 16% of rebounding, 36% of assists, 39% of steals, 6% of blocks, 35% of 3PM

Arrivals:
Rayshaun Hammonds: 4 star PF, ranked #48 per 247Sports
Nicolas Claxton: 3 star PF, ranked #227 per 247Sports
Isaac Kante: 3 star PF, ranked #358 per 247Sports
Teshaun Hightower: 3 star PG, ranked #389 per 247Sports
Christian Harrison: Transfer SG from Troy

Probable Starters:
PG: Will Jackson II: 6-4 185 lb JR: 17.5 mpg, 4.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.2 bpg, 0.8 tpg, .356 FG%, .342 3P%
SG: Juwan Parker: 6-4 205 lb RSSR: 26.8 mpg, 9.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.7 tpg, .383 FG%, .157 3P%
SF: Rayshaun Hammonds: 6-8 227 lb FR: 4 star PF, ranked #48 per 247Sports
PF: Yante Maten: 6-8 240 lb SR: 29.0 mpg, 18.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.5 bpg, 2.5 tpg, .519 FG%, .488 3P%
C: Derek Ogbeide: 6-8 245 lb JR: 23.2 mpg, 7.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.4 spg, 1.1 bpg, 1.3 tpg, .567 FG%, .000 3P%

Probable Bench:
Michael Edwards: 6-9 225 lb JR PF
Jordan Harris: 6-4 190 lb SO SG
E’Torrion Wilridge: 6-6 220 lb JR SF
Pape Diatta: 6-7 220 lb SR SF
Nicholas Claxton: 6-11 215 lb FR PF
Tyree Crump: 6-1 182 lb SO SG

Probable Benchwarmers:
Isaac Kante: 6-7 236 lb FR PF
Teshaun Hightower: 6-4 180 lb FR PG
Christian Harrison: 6-4 200 lb RSJR SG
Connor O’Neill: 6-6 220 lb JR SF

Notes:
• Georgia was a fringe bubble team for most of the season though by the end they really need to win the SEC tournament to get in. They only lose one player of note but he is a doozy of a player. All SEC PG JJ Frazier is gone via graduation. Last season he led the Bulldogs in points, assists, steals, and three pointers. Besides Frazier Georgia only loses a few back of the rotation type players. With all of that returning talent Georgia should be an improved team that could challenge for an NCAA tournament berth….if they can find a starting PG.
• Frazier’s departure leaves a gaping hole at the point guard position. The only true PGs on the roster are lowly ranked true freshman Teshaun Hightower, and rising junior Will Jackson II. Jackson was the first man off the bench last season but he wasn’t much of distributor averaging around 1 assist per game. He’s a big guard and a capable on ball defender but doesn’t bring much offensively. His career high for points is 10 (twice) and he’s only ever had more than 2 assists in a game twice, once against D2 Morehouse….and the 2nd was his 3 against Marquette last season. The other option is Juwan Parker. After taking a medical redshirt in 15-16, Parker came back and showed himself to be a capable slashing guard. He was 2nd on the team in assists with 1.8 and showed a nifty ability to get to the rim and draw fouls. His jumpshot is non-existent with only 8 deep balls made on 16% accuracy. He is much more a shooting guard than a point but the lack of options may demand that he take on the role.
• Every scouting report on Georgia is going to have one name bolded and underlined. Yante Maten was the other All SEC first team player on Georgia last season. He earned the distinction by averaging over 18 points and nearly 7 rebounds a game. He was the definition of consistency scoring double digits in every game but two. Maten is an elite low post scorer, scoring 1.09 points per low post possession (to give a comparison, Luke Fischer only scored 0.77 in the same stat). While he loves his time in the lane, Maten has the ability to shoot from outside, pull up in the midrange and take his man off the dribble. On defense his a switchable in the truest sense of the term. He can keep bigs out of the post, shut down penetration on the perimeter, and send shots back with a vengeance.
• Most of the Dawgs’ 2017 class is of the low ranked three-star variety but they did manage to pull in one gem. Just about an hour down the road from Athens, Coach Fox found Rayshaun Hammonds from Norcross. Hammonds lands just inside the top 50 by most scouting services. He is an athletic southpaw who thrives in transition. He uses his length to create turnovers on one end and his speed to turn them into thundering dunks on the other end. He has great strength when charging straight at the basket but can step back and hit the open jumpshot when he needs to. His build and skillset could mean that he’s the next Maten down in Athens.
• Coach Fox likes to throw a lot of players onto the floor. Last season he consistently went 12 players deep. But beyond big man Mike Edwards and sharpshooter Jordan Harris, there isn’t much on that bench that you want on the floor for any length of time. One must wonder how long of a leash Coach Fox has going into the season. In his 8 seasons in Athens he has made the tournament twice and gone 0-2 in those appearances. Early exits from the NIT are not exactly confidence builders for the administration. Fortunately for Fox, Georgia’s football has underperformed for most of his tenure so the fans have been thoroughly distracted.

Prediction:
Last season Marquette went down south and beat the Dawgs by double digits. Georgia was a two man show with Frazier and Maten combining for 46 of their 79 points. Marquette countered with their dynamic freshmen duo of Sam Hauser and Markus Howard who hit 7/13 from range and combined for 34 points. Jajuan Johnson’s double double with 5 steals and 3 assists didn’t hurt either. This season, Maten will get his but won’t have the supporting cast around him. Marquette battles tough and eventually overwhelms the Dawgs to the tune of a 10-15 point victory.

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Categories: Home, Offseason, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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