Bulldogs Blog

Frazier sparks Georgia to win over UNC-Asheville

Georgia guard J.J. Frazier (30) during the Bulldogs’ game against UNC Asheville at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia guard J.J. Frazier (30) during the Bulldogs’ game against UNC Asheville at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia Sports Communications

J.J. Frazier became the 47th player in Georgia history to score 1,000 points in his career.

He did so in the Bulldogs’ first victory of the 2016-17 season, which came in a 60-46 win over UNC-Asheville on Monday evening. UNC-Asheville (0-2) kept the game fairly close through the game’s first 30 minutes, despite Georgia having a clear size advantage. Three of UNC-Asheville’s starters were 6-foot-3 or smaller but possessed a scrappy group of defenders that forced 17 turnovers.

Georgia (1-1) held only a 46-41 lead the 8:47 mark of the second half. Coming out of a timeout, Frazier quickly hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and followed it with another bucket for a quick 5-0 run. Georgia would use those scores to help pull away from UNC-Asheville.

Georgia ended the game with a decisive rebounding advantage, winning that area 45-29.

Frazier scored 18 points and went 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point line. The 5-foot-10 sharp-shooter now has 1,017 points in his career, which put him tied for 42nd all-time with Allan Johnson. In the process, Frazier passed Dustin Ware (1,007), Fred Edmondson (1,012), Joe Jordan (1,012) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1,013).

Georgia also got a big contribution from forward Yante Maten, who scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Three who mattered

Frazier: Needing a spark, Georgia got it from Frazier, who quickly scored five points following the timeout at the 8:47 mark. When Frazier plays well, good things to happen for the Bulldogs. Frazier also dished six assists, recorded five rebounds and made all five of his free-throw attempts.

Maten: With Georgia having a size advantage down low, the Bulldogs fed the ball to Maten quite a bit. In addition to his 19 points, Maten recorded a game-high nine rebounds and posted two assists.

Georgia guard Juwan Parker: While Parker totaled nine points on only 4-of-12 shooting, he came up with seven rebounds and four assists. Three of his rebounds came on the offensive end.

Turning point

Georgia ended the game on a 14-5 run over the final 8:47. The Bulldogs seemed in control throughout, even when the scoreboard didn’t indicate it. But Georgia was able to make that final run and put the game away.

Observations

Searching for rotation: Not counting the two players who came in with the game decided, Georgia saw 12 players log minutes with the game still in question. Head coach Mark Fox is still trying to figure out what kind of rotation he wants and said he’ll reduce it when the time is appropriate. But this is clearly still a team that’s a work in progress on both ends of the court and needs some time before rounding into shape.

Crump’s minutes still limited: While freshman guard Tyree Crump will likely see his minutes increase over time, he’s started the year without the kind of playing time some may have expected. Crump only played six minutes Monday and missed all five of his shots. He’s not afraid to shoot and put up a couple of looks that just didn’t connect. He’s not likely to lose confidence as a shooter, so missing on some shots won’t be an issue. Crump’s defense needs to improve before Fox trusts him enough to play him more minutes.

Needing additional scorers: Frazier and Maten were the only consistent offensive threats against UNC-Asheville. Much like last year, the Bulldogs need to find a way to get more players to contribute on the offensive end. Behind Maten and Frazier, the next two high-scorers were Parker with nine and Derek Ogbeide with six. Georgia will hope to establish consistent points elsewhere in addition to its top two players.

Worth mentioning

First career start: Georgia guard Turtle Jackson earned the first start of his career against UNC-Asheville. The Athens native scored two points and recorded two rebounds and an assist.

More on Frazier’s milestone: Frazier is now one of three active SEC players with over 1,000 career points. The other two are South Carolina guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell. Frazier is the third Georgia player to score over 1,000 points in the Mark Fox era, with Ware and Charles Mann being the other two.

Harris debuts: Freshman Jordan Harris made his collegiate debut in the second half of Monday’s win. After being on the floor for 46 seconds, Harris hit a 3-pointer from the right side of the floor for his first career points. Harris didn’t play in the opener at Clemson.

They said it

Fox on Georgia’s growth from the Clemson loss to Monday’s win: "We showed more poise and we competed better, but we were home. We have to be able to grow up and play a little better in adverse situations on the road and adverse environments. We won’t have the chance to do that in a while but (Monday) we played better basketball and that is progress, which is good."

Maten on Georgia having a height advantage on UNC-Asheville: "They were definitely playing all the inside plays. They were well scouted and knew what we were trying to do, so they pretty much tried to beat everything and make us play outside-in. But we still tried to make do with what we could get in the paint."

Frazier on Georgia’s defensive output through two games: "I think we did OK at Clemson. We could’ve done better. (Against UNC-Asheville) we were pretty good defensively. But we got to keep carrying that. We’ve got to keep building off this game and keep learning from mistakes. Even though we played well we made a lot of mistakes. But our effort covered them. We have to go back to the film and look what we did wrong."

What’s next?

Georgia will return to Stegeman Coliseum Thursday to host Furman at 7 p.m.

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