#35 Georgia Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Georgia Lady Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #6 SEC
#35 Georgia Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
Georgia Team Page


Georgia got off to a 17-3 start last season before an injury to Shacobia Barbee derailed their season. The Lady Bulldogs lost their next eight games and failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995. Barbee, a 5-10 wing, is back after averaging 11.6 points and 6.9 rebounds during her injury shortened junior year. Georgia will look a little different on the sidelines though. Andy Landers has been the head man for the Lady Bulldogs since 1979. The program ended up not looking too far away for their new leader. Former head assistant Joni Taylor will take over the head coaching duties.

2014-15 Record: 19-12, 6-10
2014-15 Postseason: None
Coach: Joni Taylor
Coach Record: 0-0 at Georgia, 0-0 overall

Barbee is not the only guard returning. Point guard Marjorie Butler and shooting guard Tiaria Griffin are also returning starters and experienced seniors. Butler is not much of a scorer, but she dished out 3.0 assists per game and added 1.4 steals. Butler is an underappreciated asset in this backcourt, but she makes the team tick. With a little more consistency with her outside shot, Butler could be even more dangerous. Griffin is by far the team’s most prolific outside shooter. She connected on 59 three-pointers, but Griffin is much more than just a shooter. When Barbee was out, Griffin did her best to take over and, for the most part, did it quite well. Now teamed back up with Barbee, Griffin and the rest of the backcourt will be much more effective. Junior wing Pachis Roberts and sophomore Haley Clark will add some depth. Newcomer Shanea Armbrister is listed as a guard, but the two-time junior college All-American has the size of a forward. She is 6-2 and will rebound like a forward and shoot like a guard.

The frontcourt will build around 6-3 senior Merritt Hempe and 6-2 sophomore Mackenzie Engram. Neither are prolific scorers, but Engram can stretch out the defense with her outside shooting. Georgia was not particularly strong in the rebounding department last season and the hope is both Hempe and Engram can be a little more effective in that area. Freshman Caliya Robinson could be the interior presence Georgia needs. It is her shot blocking ability that could turn a very good defense into a great defense.

Final Projection:
This will be a big season for Georgia. They are ushering in a new era with Coach Taylor and it would be nice to get off to a good start. The backcourt certainly has the talent and keeping Barbee healthy all season would help a lot. As always, the SEC is going to be tough, but this group has the defensive intensity to compete with the best the conference has to offer. That should lead to some upsets here and there and that should be enough for Georgia to start a new NCAA Tournament streak.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Marjorie Butler, Senior, Guard, 4.6 points per game
Tiaria Griffin, Senior, Guard, 11.3 points per game
Shacobia Barbee, Senior, Guard, 11.6 points per game
Shanea Armbrister, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Merritt Hempe, Senior, Forward, 7.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 58.9 (278th in nation, 13th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.2 (13, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 36.7 (287, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.7 (71, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (218, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 27.8 (289, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.2 (166, 4)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (86, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.4 (197, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.1 (171, 5)

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#31 Caliya Robinson


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