Jan. 2, 2014
About the Game
- Georgia wraps up the non-conference portion of its 2013-14 schedule with a Friday night contest at Atlantic 10 Conference member George Washington. The Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 6-5 overall record. Most recently, they dropped an 84-70 decision last Saturday at 21st-ranked Colorado. It was Georgia's first true road game of the season, and also its first contest against a nationally-ranked opponent.
- Despite the loss, Georgia managed a relatively productive outing on offense. In a difficult venue, the Bulldogs had four double-figure scorers, shot an even 50 percent from the field and nearly matched their seasonal scoring average. Wide disparities in free-throw shooting (9-26) and rebounding (22-34) proved too great to overcome.
- The Colorado game marked Georgia's seventh time this season shooting at least 50 percent from the field. As this week began, the Bulldogs ranked 39th nationally in field-goal percentage at 48.3. Addiontionally, the 2014 Georgia squad is averaging nearly 13 points more than last season (73.3 to 60.8) and shooting almost eight percentage points higher (48.3 to 40.8 percent). Four regulars are currently shooting over 56 percent, including Nemi Djurisic, who also leads the Bulldogs in shooting 55 percent from 3-point range.
- Friday's game is just the second all-time meeting between Georgia and George Washington in basketball. It fulfills the home-and-home series that began with last season's meeting on Jan. 4 in Athens. The Bulldogs won that contest 52-41, a margin that belied its competitive quality. More details on that contest follow later in this notes package.
- The GW game continues perhaps the most challenging stretch of the 2013-14 season for Georgia. Four of the Bulldogs' next five games are against teams currently included among the nation's top 60 RPI teams. Three of those contests are on the road. Georgia begins SEC play next Wednesday at No. 25 Missouri.
|F||2||Marcus Thornton**||6-8||235||RJr.||Atlanta, Ga.||6.5||4.5|
|F||15||Donte' Williams***||6-9||225||Sr.||Ellenwood, Ga.||6.9||5.5|
|G||31||Brandon Morris||6-7||215||S0.||Lithonia, Ga.||10.3||3.5|
|G||4||Charles Mann*||6-5||210||So.||Alpharetta, Ga.||13.2||3.1a|
|G||12||Kenny Gaines*||6-3||195||So.||Atlanta, Ga.||11.8||2.4|
#Assists Per Game
|F||21||Kevin Larsen||6-10||264||So.||Copenhagen, Denmark||10.2||5.8|
|F||32||Isaiah Armwood||6-9||210||Sr.||Baltimore, Md.||11.4||7.5|
|G||1||Maurice Creek||6-5||195||Gr.||Oxon Hill, Md.||16.1||3.2|
|G||11||Kethan Savage||6-3||201||So.||Fairfax, Va.||13.8||4.5|
|G||22||Joe McDonald||6-1||183||So.||Lorton, Va.||8.4||5.2|
Head Coach: Mike Lonergan
Record at GW / Years: 34-40 / 3rd
Overall Record / Years: 411-196 / 21st
Assistant Coaches: Hajj Turner (Associate HC), Maurice Joseph
Georgia vs. George Washington
Friday's game is just the second all-time meeting between Georgia and George Washington in basketball. They played the only previous meeting on Jan. 3 of last season, with Georgia winning 52-41 on its home court. Of the 21 players that saw action in last year's game, 14 will be available for Friday's contest. Most prominent among the departed players is Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who led all scorers with 17 points. KCP declared for the 2013 NBA Draft after scoring 1,013 points two seasons at Georgia. He was taken 8th overall in the draft by the Detroit Pistons.
This will be just the third trip to the nation's capital for basketball and first since playing in the 2008 NCAA Tournament against Xavier. The only prior trip came in a 3-game participation in the 1977 Georgetown Invitational, during which the Bulldogs defeated Troy State and St. Leo before falling to the Hoyas in the championship game.
Georgia has a limited history against the current membership of the Atlantic 10. Bulldog teams have a 10-4 record vs. current A-10 schools, though many of the previous games occurred while those schools belonged to other leagues: 0-1 vs. Dayton; 0-1 vs. Duquesne; 1-0 vs. Fordham; 1-0 vs. GW; 3-2 vs. LaSalle; 1-0 vs. Rhode Island; 1-0 vs. Richmond; 2-0 vs. Saint Louis; and 1-0 vs. VCU.
Under the revised block/charge call in men's basketball, a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass. If the defensive player is not in legal guarding position by this time, it is a blocking foul. Previously, a defender had to be in legal guarding position when the offensive player lifted off the floor.
It is believed that the rule change will:
1) Allow for more offensive freedom;
2) Provide clarity for officials in making this difficult call; and
3) Enhance the balance between offense and defense.
Additionally, officials will be required to adhere to new points of emphasis, all designed to encourage "freedom of movement" in the game of basketball. They include:
1) When a defensive player keeps a hand or forearm on an opponent;
2) When a defensive player puts two hands on an opponent;
3) When a defensive player continually jabs by extending his arm(s) and placing a hand or forearm on the opponent;
4) When a player uses an arm bar to impede the progress of an opponent.
About the Schedule
Conference expansion manifests itself in many strange ways, not the least of which occurs in scheduling. Georgia fans noticed this oddity most recently as their football team has traveled to Auburn in consecutive seasons.
This season their basketball team will experience one of the oddest quirks to its schedule in years. Kentucky will not travel to Athens for a game this season for the first time since the 1962-63 season. Same for Tennessee. For Florida, which also won't play a game in Athens this season, the last time it didn't play in Athens was in 1961-62. The Gators are the most frequent opponent in UGA hoops history.
It took a World War to keep all three schools out of Athens together in the same season the last time. Not since the 1943-44 season -- when Georgia dotted its schedule with random groups like Lawson General Hospital and Robins Airfield -- has this phenomenon occurred.
Friday's game is Georgia's second true road game of the season. The Bulldogs have played seven home games and three neutral-court games thus far at the Charleston Classic in late November. They played their first true road game last Saturday at 21st-ranked Colorado.
Offense on the Uptick
One thing is apparent through the early going this season: Georgia's offense appears to be measurably more effective than last season, even without its best scorer from 2013. In 10 of 11 games thus far, the Bulldogs have scored well over their seasonal average (60.8) of last season. The team's overall shooting percentage has also risen from 40.8 of last season to its current mark of 48.3.
Already, Georgia has shot over 50 percent from the field in seven games, more than twice as often as in all of 2012-13. The Bulldogs began this week ranking 39th nationally in FG percentage.
Williams a Seasoned Veteran
With Marcus Thornton receiving a medical redshirt season from 2013, Donte' Williams became the Bulldogs' lone senior this season. He is already the most experienced Bulldog, having started 70 games in the past two+ seasons. That's more than twice the total of Thornton, who is second on the team in career starts with 36, including seven in his truncated season of 2013. Williams entered this season with 471 career points, second among all Bulldogs behind Nemi Djurisic, who has tallied 475 in two seasons.
As Georgia finds its best rotation in the early going, the Bulldogs are one of six SEC schools with no player currently averaging 30 minutes of playing time per game. Alabama and Kentucky lead this category with three 30-minute players each.
One effect of not having Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on this year's team: last year, 30 percent of Georgia's total field goals were scored from 3-point range. This year, just 17 percent thus far have come from beyond the arc. Perhaps another way to view this difference: last season's Georgia team averaged scoring 22 points in the paint area. This season, that number thus far has risen to 36 points in the paint.
Last Saturday, when Colorado sank all 26 of its free-throw attempts, it marked the first time a Bulldog opponent had shot 100 percent (with at least 10 tries) since Tennessee made all 10 shots on Feb. 11, 1995. That was 583 games ago. For Georgia, it's been 767 games since its last 100 percent shooting night...back to Jan. 14, 1989 vs. Vanderbilt (12x12).
Georgia has now shot at least 50 percent from the field seven times this season. One more such outing and the Bulldogs will equal the number of 50 percent shooting games over the previous two seasons combined.