Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Needs Help, But From Whom?

Posted by Brian Joyce on December 5th, 2012

As pointed out in this Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s SEC M5, Georgia’s offensive ineptitude is prohibiting Mark Fox’s squad from winning games. The Bulldogs haven’t topped 68 points all year, and they are shooting 38.8 percent on the season. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been the only reliable scorer, averaging 17.4 points per game, but the next highest scorer averages 7.8 points per contest. Georgia needs someone to step up on the offensive end, but who is capable?

Will Somebody Please Help Kentavious Caldwell-Pope?

The Georgia offense is horrid. The Bulldogs rank 266th in effective field goal percentage, 231st in turnover percentage, 225th in offensive rebounding percentage, and 208th in free throw rate. When a team can’t break into the top 200 on any of the offensive four factors, it is not likely to win many games. And the Bulldogs have only been able to win twice this season. In both of their two victories, Georgia held the opposing offense to under 38 percent shooting. Even when winning, it hasn’t necessarily been the offense doing the dirty work. Georgia has players ready to shoot the ball, but perhaps they are not the ones Fox needs carrying the offensive load. Is there someone on the team who could take on a bigger role in the offense to take some of the pressure off KCP? We’ll turn to advanced statistics to find out.

An in-depth look at the statistics for Georgia’s offense.

After analyzing Georgia’s individual offensive statistics, it is clear that finding a suitable second scoring option could be a challenge. By analyzing the data we may be able to determine if there is a capable scorer who isn’t getting the opportunity. First, we want to narrow down our search by eliminating anyone with under a 45.0 effective field goal percentage (which is not asking for much!). That leaves us with just six players (taking Caldwell-Pope out, since we are in search for the Robin to his Batman), and then we eliminated anyone with fewer than 10 shot attempts. Very few field goal attempts is likely the only reason their shooting percentage qualifies, and if they haven’t shot at least 10 shot attempts already this season then what makes us think they will start hoisting the ball up now. That gives us three possible additional scorers:

  • Sherrard Brantley
  • John Cannon
  • Donte’ Williams

Of the three potential scoring options, only Williams has scored in double figures this season (12 points against ETSU), demonstrating a modicum of ability to be a scorer. Could he be the answer to Georgia’s problems on the offensive end? Fox was blunt following another loss on Tuesday night that Williams can do more. “Kentavious is doing all that he can. We need somebody else to finish the plays,” Fox said. “I feel that our front line — Nemi (Djurisic) and Donte’ (Williams) — have got to be more effective. … We’ve gotta find some other guys that can score. We can’t put it on one person’s shoulders. That’s probably our No. 1 issue right now.”

Williams is averaging fewer minutes (21.8 MPG this year compared to 25.9), points (6.2 PPG to 7.8 last year), and rebounds (4.5 RPG as compared to 5.1) than he did last season. However, his field goal percentage has increased to 58.6 percent so far this season. For a team desperate to score, why not give the 6’9″ junior more chances to score the ball? He can’t be any worse than the putrid offensive options UGA is currently relying upon. If Williams is given the opportunity to increase both his minutes and his number of shots, he may be the missing element in Georgia’s offensive game.

Brian Joyce is a writer for the SEC microsite and regular contributor for Rush The Court. Follow him on Twitter for more about SEC basketball at bjoyce_hoops.

Brian Joyce (333 Posts)

Brian Joyce is an advanced metrics enthusiast, college hoops junkie, and writer for the SEC basketball microsite for Rush the Court.

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