ATHENS, Ga. – The Georgia Bulldogs are a yearly staple amongst the top teams in the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference. We had a chance to check in with them for their game versus Illinois inside Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday. This year’s edition of the Lady Dawgs gave us no reason not to expect the red and black to compete for a conference title on the second weekend of March 2014.
You can read our in-game thoughts from Georgia vs Illinois here: Georgia Game Blog – Dec. 28, 2013
1) Shacobia Barbee is a matchup nightmare.
Barbee was an all SEC Freshman team selection in 2012-13 for good reason. The versatile forward proved right off the jump in Athens that she can be counted on to make the right play more times than not at the small forward position. At 5-foot-11, Barbee help do my assignment has good size and a smooth skill set that allows her to finish the ball in traffic at the rim or from the outside. After serving as the rookie of the bunch last year, Barbee has quickly emerged through her play as the veteran leader of this year’s roster. Georgia will need her to continue playing like an all league selection throughout the remainder of the season.
2) Tiaria Griffin has to be consistent.
Griffin, a sophomore shooting guard, was a key component of last year’s Elite Eight team starting the last ten games of the season. Her consistency and production was a pleasant surprise as she fit in nicely with Barbee and three seniors who all moved on to the WNBA this past spring. Griffin, a slender 5-9 scorer, has to emerge as an even bigger factor down the stretch of this season inside conference play. She got back on the right track against the Illini and medical school essays was involved on seemingly every quality possession that the Lady Dawgs had inside the second half.
3) Andy Landers hasn’t lost an ounce of passion for coaching.
In his 35th season, it would seem easy for Landers to take a night off every now and then. Watching him work the sidelines on Saturday afternoon, it appears that Landers is more locked in and in tune with the game in front of him than ever. His passionate style of coaching even got him a technical foul during the second half as he went to battle on an offensive foul call against the aforementioned Barbee. Landers team executed as well as they have all year in the latter part of the first half into the second half of the game on Saturday pulling away from Illinois to win by 22.
4) Khaalidah Miller is this year’s X-Factor.
A senior guard, Miller was an ELITE 100 prospect online essay helpers as a high schooler at Douglass in Atlanta. The 5-9 perimeter threat played arguably the best basketball of her collegiate career on Saturday. More performances like that are imperative as the Lady Dawgs try to make a run at the SEC championship in March. Miller can play both on or off of the basketball and shot the open 3-pointer well against the Illini. She gives Landers and his staff a legitimate third scorer in a league where the teams who finish in the upper echelon almost always boast at least three double figure scorers nightly.
5) The Lady Dawgs are back recruiting amongst the nation’s elite.
There have been a lot of changes on the staff for Andy Landers in recent years. Former assistants have moved to head coaching positions themselves. Cameron Neubauer is the coach at Belmont while Michael Shafer is the coach at Richmond. Landers current staff – Joni Crenshaw, Angie Johnson and Robert Mosley essays service for helping write essay – is in the midst in their second year together and the emerging continuity is paying dividends for the perennial SEC powerhouse. According to ProspectsNation.com, they will welcome the nation’s No. 13 class next fall headlined by three ELITE 150 in-state prospects in Jasmine Carter, Mackenzie Engram and Nasheema “Fruit” Oliver. Looking into the class of 2015, the Dawgs are on the short lists of in-state ELITE 25 prospects Te’a Cooper, Asia Durr and Caliya Robinson. This success inside state lines is reminiscent of the days of home grown standouts Ashley Houts, Christy Marshall and Angel Robinson in the mid-2000’s.
Brandon Clay is the owner of the JumpOffPlus.com International Report, Peach State Basketball, Inc., and ProspectsNation.com. The JumpOffPlus.com is picked up by more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the Elite Basketball Academy Camps. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com