Georgia’s Lady Dogs dominated on Tuesday evening, beating Western Carolina 76-50. Joni Taylor’s in her third season as head coach and the wheels seem to be clicking finally. The team’s performance improved its record to 4-0 on the season. After struggling with depth last year, Taylor seems to finally have a full squad she can work with and show off her coaching talents.
After watching Tuesday’s game it’s obvious, this is a different squad mentally and physically from last season. The Lady Dogs produced a balanced attack on Tuesday, something they’ve shown in every game thus far. Georgia’s beaten its opponents with a combined score of 307-221 only allowing Virginia to score over 60 on them.
Taylor seems to have implemented an aggressive defense that fits the players’ personality. These girls are gritty, passionate, and seem to love to play for Georgia. That’s just the ones who returned from last season. Then you add in the three freshmen, and the Lady Dogs have too many weapons to count. Against the Catamounts on Tuesday, 11 players scored for Georgia. The Bulldogs shot 42.9 percent from the field and outrebounded Western Carolina by 20. Of course Georgia out-manned the scrappy Catamounts, but when the Lady Dogs found a rhythm they showed so much promise.
We have some depth,” Taylor said. “That makes things a lot better. It makes for better competition. The players can go out there and play hard knowing that they are going to get a break and not have to play for extended minutes.”
Georgia struggled to keep girls fresh last season and with the number of players that can score now, it will be interesting to see how Taylor utilizes them. She has three freshmen, Gabby Connally, Maya Caldwell, and Que Morrison that are already making a name for themselves. She mentioned that they are big pieces to the puzzle in the team’s success this season. With veterans like Mackenzie Engram and Haley Clark helping them along it helps to calm them down and pull the greatness out of them. And greatness begins with keeping girls fresh and having that extra depth which makes them a little more gritty and aggressive.
Well, I think more aggressive in a lot of ways. Not only in games but in practice.” Taylor said. “The schedule is a grind, and so you want to make sure they’re fresh but also they get the reps that they need. So it was always a balancing act last year of making sure they practice long enough but not too long. So when you have the depth it does a lot of things, it allows them to be aggressive in practice to be aggressive in games knowing they will get a sub. But it also keeps them looking over their shoulder a little bit. Friendly competition always makes you raise your level of play and I think that’s what you see. Its all in good comradery they’re happy for each other, you see them excited on the bench.”
The Lady Dogs are off to a good start, and Taylor seems to have them in the right mindset. Taylor appears confident in this team and sees their potential as they inch closer to SEC play.
I think they all understand playing together if they all contribute the chance we have to be a really good team,” Taylor states.
For Joni Taylor’s full press conference, check out the YouTube Clip below.
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