Jan. 7, 2014
About the Game
- Georgia tips off its SEC schedule with a Wednesday night game at No. 21 Missouri. The Bulldogs arrive at this juncture of the season with a 6-6 overall record. Most recently, they dropped a 73-55 decision last Friday night at George Washington. Wednesday's game is the third consecutive road contest for Georgia, and third straight on the road against a quality opponent. The Bulldogs began this streak on Dec. 28 at Colorado, which has risen to 15th in the current AP Top 25 and has a 13-2 record. George Washington, which began this week with a 12-2 mark, received votes in both polls that were released on Monday.
- Tonight's game will also mark the fourth year in five under coach Mark Fox in which Georgia has opened the SEC schedule against a Top 25 opponent. In Years 1 & 2 it was Kentucky; Year 4 it was Florida; and this year it is Missouri. In the only season that didn't follow this pattern (2012), the Bulldogs opened SEC play against Alabama, which later earned a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
- Wednesday's game is just the fifth all-time meeting between Georgia and Missouri in basketball, and only the second as fellow members of the SEC. Missouri has won all four previous meetings, most recently a 79-62 decision in Columbia last season. More information from that game follows later in this notes packaeg. The Tigers will make their first-ever conference road trip to Athens for a Feb. 25 contest.
- Georgia is in the midst of perhaps the most challenging portion of its 2014 schedule. Missouri marks the third game in a six-of-eight stretch in which the Bulldogs will face a Top 100 RPI opponent. Before this stretch, Georgia had faced just one Top 100 team in Nebraska, which currently has a 67 RPI rating.
|F||2||Marcus Thornton**||6-8||235||RJr.||Atlanta, Ga.||6.7||4.6|
|F||15||Donte' Williams***||6-9||225||Sr.||Ellenwood, Ga.||6.3||5.3|
|F||31||Brandon Morris||6-7||215||S0.||Lithonia, Ga.||9.6||3.4|
|G||4||Charles Mann*||6-5||210||So.||Alpharetta, Ga.||13.0||2.8a|
|G||12||Kenny Gaines*||6-3||195||So.||Atlanta, Ga.||11.5||2.2|
#Assists Per Game
|F||3||Johnathan Williams III||6-9||223||Fr.||Memphis, Tenn.||6.8||7.6|
|F||44||Ryan Rosburg||6-10||252||So.||Chesterfield, Mo.||5.1||4.7|
|G||5||Jordan Clarkson||6-5||193||Jr.||San Antonio, Texas||19.3||4.1a|
|G||32||Jabari Brown||6-5||214||Jr.||Oakland, Calif.||18.4||5.2|
|G||33||Earnest Ross||6-5||228||Sr.||Cary, N.C.||14.0||6.5|
Head Coach: Frank Haith
Record at Mizzou / Years: 60-17 / 3rd season
Overall Record / Years: 189-118 / 9th season
Assistant Coaches: Tim Fuller, Dave Leitao, Mark Phelps
Georgia vs. Missouri
Wednesday's game is the fifth all-time meeting between these two programs. Missouri has won all four previous meetings.
Most recently, Georgia and Missouri played once last season, on Jan. 16, 2013 in Columbia. Missouri won the contest 79-62 in the only meeting between the two as SEC members.
Before that meeting, Georgia and Missouri played a home-and-home series, agreed upon by previous head coaches at both schools, during the 2009-10 seasons. Missouri won 83-76 in Athens in January of 2009, then followed with an 89-61 victory in Columbia the next season.
The first meeting between these two schools came in the 2001 NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Missouri won 70-68 on a last-second shot by guard Clarence Gilbert.
- Much has been made of the new enforcement of existing rules, as well as new rules, this season. Thus far, as all participants adjust to these changes, the volume of called fouls rose in the beginning but has leveled off recently. There has been an average of 40 fouls called in each of Georgia's games thus far this season, compared to 36 fouls per game last season.
- The Colorado game on Dec. 28 marked Georgia's seventh time this season shooting at least 50 percent from the field. As this week began, the Bulldogs ranked 44th nationally in field-goal percentage at 48.1. Addiontionally, the 2014 Georgia squad is averaging nearly 12 points more than last season (71.8 to 60.8) and shooting almost eight percentage points higher (48.1 to 40.8 percent). Four regulars are currently shooting over 50 percent, including Nemi Djurisic, who also leads the Bulldogs in shooting 51 percent from 3-point range.
- Perhaps no statistic has had a greater effect on Georgia's fate this season than in rebounding. Simply stated, when the Bulldogs have outrebounded their opponent, they've won. When they haven't, they've lost. In Georgia's six wins, the Bulldogs have compiled a +11.5 rebounding margin, topped by a 49-24 difference in the season opener against Wofford. Their rebounding margin in six losses is a -4.5.
- Another telling statistic this season: Georgia's opponents have combined to shoot over 76 percent from the free-throw line. That's the highest figure for any SEC school thus far, and by a significant margin. In addition to Colorado's perfect 26-for-26 effort, three other UGA opponents have shot over 80 percent at the line.
- As Georgia finds its best rotation, the Bulldogs are one of seven SEC schools with no player currently averaging 30 minutes of playing time per game. Alabama and Missouri lead this category with three 30-minute players each.
- Georgia began this season amidst low expectations...externally, anyway. The Bulldogs were picked by the media that cover SEC basketball to finish 11th in the 14-team league, ahead of only South Carolina, Mississippi State and Auburn. This, despite a 9-9 SEC record last year and an eighth-place tie in the final standings. Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee were picked 1-2-3 in the same poll. Additionally, no Bulldogs were selected to the 16-player pre-season All-SEC lists.
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.
Wednesday's game is Georgia's third 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.
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 12 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 48.1.
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 71 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.
- Four Bulldogs this season have made their first starts at the Division 1 collegiate level: Kenny Gaines, Cameron Forte, Juwan Parker and Taylor Echols.
- 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 16 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 36.5 points in the paint. Most discussion involving KCP's absence has revolved around its effect on the Georgia offense. Little discussion has pertained to its effect on the Georgia defense, which this year has allowed its opponents a .406 overall field-goal percentage, .345 from 3-point range, compared to .388 and .329, respectively, with KCP in the lineup last season.
- On Dec. 28, when Colorado sank all 26 of its free-throw attempts, it marked the first time in almost 19 years a Bulldog opponent had shot 100 percent. Tennessee went 10x10 against Georgia on Feb. 11, 1995. That was 584 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.