With Georgia advancing to play the Cats tomorrow morning, everyone wants to know one thing: how is Yante Maten’s knee? The Georgia big man had 12 points and 5 rebounds in 26 minutes for the Bulldogs in his first game back after spraining his knee vs. Kentucky back on February 18. After the game, Maten said his knee felt fine.
“It’s pretty good, no pain right now,” Maten said, adding later that he felt a little slow at the start of the game. How about that big brace he’s wearing on it?
“It wasn’t too bad. It’s not really too restricting. It’s pretty much a hinge.”
Although Yante was able to contribute, Mark Fox said it’s clear he’s still knocking off the rust.
“You know, I felt like we could get 22 or 24 minutes out of Yante. I knew with about three minutes to go, he was just over that. And we were worried about his conditioning, but there were enough stops in the game that he looked fresh. And I asked him if he needed a blow. He said, “No, I’m good.” I don’t think — I don’t think I managed his reentry into our team as well as I hoped. I thought we were very out of rhythm and had more turnovers at the half than we’ve been averaging the last couple games. We got to bridge that gap a little better than we did tonight.”
With Yante not at 100% and Frazier missing all sorts of shots, Georgia looked vulnerable vs. Tennessee. Will they be able to pull it together in time to upset Kentucky tomorrow? Fox sounded worried.
“We’re going to have to play — we’ve had a couple games in row with Kentucky that have been great games, but we didn’t — we haven’t been over the hump. We have to do some difficult things. Our team is way different right now, too. We’ll have to come up with a obviously a new plan.”
“I thought J.J. played very poorly early in the game and just — he just didn’t seem like himself and then our rotation with Yante coming back. I don’t think I as a coach managed that probably as like — I’m not sure I could have done it a lot differently. It’s just hard to bring your guy back and your substitution pattern changes, your minutes change.”
Something tells me both Maten and Frazier will play great tomorrow.