- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia was never an offensive juggernaut, even with Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie and Jeremy Price on the roster a year ago.
But without any sort of formidable scoring presence in the post -- a presence those three departed players provided last season -- the Bulldogs’ offensive numbers have fallen off a cliff.
“The one thing that we felt like we’d be able to do more consistently was shoot the ball,” said Georgia coach Mark Fox, whose Bulldogs (10-11, 1-6 SEC) visit Tennessee (10-12, 2-5) at 8 p.m. ET Saturday. “When your interior game is not as strong as you need it to be, it puts a lot of pressure on your perimeter shooting. And our perimeter shooting has been very inconsistent, and that’s been an issue.”
After shooting a season-low 25 percent in Wednesday’s 59-51 loss at Auburn, the Bulldogs’ season shooting percentage dropped to 38.9 percent, which ranks dead last in the SEC and 322nd out of 338 NCAA Division I teams.
The Bulldogs have outscored only one opponent in the paint -- oddly enough, Georgia outscored top-ranked Kentucky 26-24 in the post -- which helps explain why Tennessee is the lone SEC team to have lost to Georgia. Auburn outscored Georgia 26-10 in the paint on Wednesday night and barely hung on for the win.
The Bulldogs’ inability to score inside or from the foul line, has put an inordinate amount of pressure on guards Gerald Robinson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Dustin Ware to produce points.
Freshman Caldwell-Pope is the team’s leading scorer at 14 points per game and senior Robinson is just behind him at 13.5, but none of them have been able to score with enough consistency to make up for the lack of a post scoring punch.
“I think all of our shooters are a little frustrated,” Fox said. “That’s what happened the other night. We didn’t handle frustration very well and it snowballed on us. You have to be mature enough to play through a miss or two. The only way you’re going to be able to make your next shot is to take it. We’ve got to handle frustration better than we have.”