Georgia basketball: Three takeaways from Georgia’s victory over Vanderbilt

Georgia basketball avoided another bad conference loss thanks to a buzzer beater by Tyree Crump. The Bulldogs defeated Vanderbilt 80-78 and improved to 14-13 overall and 4-10 in SEC play.

Georgia basketball erased a five-point deficit in 16 seconds Saturday night to defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores.

A layup followed by a pair of free throws by Sahvir Wheeler made the Commodores pay for missing free throws. Tyree Crump sealed the deal with his deep three-pointer at the buzzer. The Bulldogs improved to 4-10 in the SEC and can still secure a first round bye in the SEC Tournament. Here are three takeaways from Georgia’s win over Vanderbilt.

Anthony Edwards is a “Damn Good Dawg.”

He might only be a one-year player in Athens, but that Shouldn’t affect his legacy. Anthony Edwards is an all-time great Georgia Bulldog and he proved that Saturday. Vanderbilt entered the game excelling at slowing down its opponents best shooters. Edwards became the exception with his 19 points, all of them scored in the first 29 minutes of the game.

Edwards didn’t score in the last 11 minutes, but that doesn’t mean he vanished. Vanderbilt had to go the extra mile to stop him and that left teammates open. Five different Bulldogs scored in the last 11, including Wheeler’s two big drives at the end and a pair of three-pointers by Jordan Harris to keep the game close.

Perhaps his best plays of the game were his fouls. After Wheeler’s shots, Edwards quickly rushed to the ball handler to foul. He fouled out, and he could have chosen not to foul because he was in foul trouble. But his quick fouls saved valuable seconds which Georgia used to win the game.

Bulldogs are growing up fast

Maturity is why Georgia lost eight of nine games entering the matchup with Auburn last Wednesday. Unfamiliarity with big time college basketball games on a nightly basis led to comeback loses to Florida, Missouri and Alabama, and had a hand in other defeats. For 39 minutes Saturday, inexperience doomed he Bulldogs again.

Then those final 20 seconds came and Georgia showed composure and maturity. The freshman-filled team didn’t panic. Every decision made was a good one. The quick fouls, the choice of shots, everything. When the game was on the line, Georgia played perfectly.

Vanderbilt however, looked like the immature team. Two different players missed four free throws in the last 13 seconds. The Commodores were lazy on defense and let Wheeler run straight to the rim twice. Even when they made a big play with an offensive rebound, Vanderbilt cancelled it out with a travel.

The season isn’t over

Georgia’s record right now is terrible, there’s no denying that. Georgia’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament are a long shot, but not impossible. The Bulldogs are playing winning basketball right now and have four games left on the schedule. Three of those games are against likely NCAA Tournament teams (Florida, LSU and South Carolina). The team that is still on the bubble (Arkansas), is ahead of Georgia in the conference standings.

There is still the SEC Tournament to think about. If Georgia wins out, the Bulldogs might move into No. 10 in the standings, giving them a first round bye in the tournament. With momentum and favorable matchups, Georgia can win a couple of games in the tournament, improving its record further.

Georgia could have a 20-14 overall record and 10-11 conference record with wins over Memphis, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, LSU and Auburn. Add in a ratings draw like Anthony Edwards and Georgia presents the tournament committee with a conundrum.