We are continuing this week's series on important questions each SEC team needs to answer. Today Andrew Parrish takes a look at Georgia and Kentucky.
Georgia: Do the Dawgs have a go-to guy that can score the ball consistently?
Georgia had an impressive start to their season from a record perspective, starting 7-0 before dropping their first three conference games to Mississippi State, LSU and Arkansas. The Bulldogs have a similar conundrum to Arkansas in that their schedule before SEC play was weak, but the more concerning factor of their play so far is the lack of a consistent offensive threat across games. Toumani Camara is probably the closest thing that the Bulldogs have to a consistent scorer, but he operates out of the post area where he does not have to create his own shot in the half court. Sahvir Wheeler and Tye Fagan have had their moments, but both players struggle to shoot the ball from the outside and Wheeler has struggled from the field overall (35% from the field). Overall, this collective of players along with the three graduate transfers the Bulldogs possess have carried them to that 7-3 record so far but meeting opposition that can contain Camara and Wheeler can provide some real challenges for the Bulldogs. Finding a scorer that they can go to outside of those two will go a long way toward competing in SEC games moving forward if they have to face a team with actual defensive chops.
Kentucky: Is Dontaie Allen the guy that turns this team around?
It’s no secret that Kentucky has been one of the biggest surprises in college basketball this season for all of the wrong reasons. The Wildcats have really struggled against teams that their talent would indicate they should beat, and these struggles boil down to the play of BJ Boston and Olivier Sarr, who have both struggled on the offensive end after bringing in hype from their previous teams (Boston from Sierra Canyon HS (CA), Sarr from Wake Forest). The Wildcats went 1-6 to start the season before winning their first three conference games against Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Florida. In that Mississippi State game, the Wildcats got a shot in the arm from an unlikely hero in Dontaie Allen, who had not played more than 8 minutes in a game this season before playing 32 minutes and scoring 23 points on 7-11 from three-point range. Allen was filling minutes for starter Terrance Clarke who missed the game with an ankle injury and the former Mr. Kentucky in high school took advantage of the newfound opportunity. Allen provides much needed shooting to a team that is 242nd in the NCAA in three-point percentage at just 31.1%, opening up the floor and allowing Sarr, Boston and point guard Devin Askew to operate in more space. Allen’s role will be interesting to monitor moving forward, especially after Clarke returns from his injury. Alabama held Allen to 8 points on Tuesday night-- will his production pick back up after facing the Tide?
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