Georgia at Florida, 7PM Wednesday
Jan. 8, 2013
About the Game
Georgia begins its 18-game Southeastern Conference schedule with a road contest at Florida. The Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 6-7 overall record but riding a season-best 4-game winning streak. Most recently, Georgia defeated Atlantic-10 foe George Washington last Friday in Athens by a 52-41 tally. The win completed a 4-1 homestand for the Bulldogs during the holiday season.
Perhaps the most significant development from the recent homestand was the progress of sophomore Nemi Djurisic as Georgia's No. 2 scorer. The 6-8 forward has played his best basketball of the season in the Bulldogs' two most recent games. He scored a team-high and career-best 21 points in the win over Florida A&M, becoming the first Bulldog other than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to lead Georgia in scoring. Djurisic followed with a 17-point outing against George Washington, matching KCP for team honors.
Still, Caldwell-Pope remains the focal point of all that Georgia does. He's the only Bulldog to have started all 13 games and to be averaging over 30 minutes per game (33.5, 4th in SEC). He has taken 27 percent of the team's 654 field-goal attempts, and 41 percent of its 3-point attempts. The Greenville, Ga., native also leads Georgia in rebounding (7.2, 10th in SEC, only guard in SEC's top 10) and steals (30, 4th in SEC, 26th in NCAA).
Last Friday against George Washington, these two sophomores accounted for 34 of the Bulldogs' 52 points (17 points apiece). The next-highest total by any teammate was a 5-point effort by senior Vincent Williams.
Georgia and Florida meet for the 206th time on Wednesday and they'll complete this regular-season series two weeks from tonight in Athens. Florida leads the series 106-99. The two teams split home victories last season.
Wednesday's game is the third contest for Georgia thus far this season against a Top 25 opponent. The Bulldogs dropped neutral-court games against then-No. 1 Indiana and No. 11 UCLA in the first month of the season. Georgia will play both of the nationally-ranked SEC teams in its first three games of the league schedule.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Billy Donovan
Georgia vs. Florida
Wednesday's game is the 206th all-time meeting between Georgia and Florida in basketball. Florida leads the series -- which began in 1924 and has been renewed annually since 1945 -- by a 106-99 count.
Florida is the most frequent opponent in the history of basketball at UGA.
Florida has gained the advantage in the series by winning 15 of the past 18 meetings. The two teams have split games in three of the past four years, however.
A geographical breakdown of the series follows:
Games in Athens: Georgia leads 62-36
After the George Washington game, Georgia now has a positive average scoring margin (+0.5/game) for the first time since after the season opener vs. Jacksonville...George Washington became the first UGA opponent in 261 games to NOT make a 3-point basket. The last one? Mark Fox's 2004-05 Nevada squad, which won 58-47 in Athens despite going 0-10 behind the arc....Georgia used eight different starting lineups through the pre-conference schedule. The one constant through all eight lineups was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Just two other teammates (both Williamses) have double-digit starts....Caldwell-Pope led Georgia in rebounding as a freshman (5.2) last season. Barring something unforeseen, he'll repeat as the team's top board man. What's more impressive about his production this season is that he's rebounding mostly from the `2' guard position, compared to 2012, when he played primarily at the `3' spot...Freshman Charles Mann made the most of the recently completed 5-game homestand in late December. Including his first three starting assignments, he averaged 28 minutes over those five games. That's more than twice his average playing time through the first eight games of the season (13.0 mpg).
About the Schedule
Georgia in 2012-13 could play as many as 19 games against teams that participated in the postseason last year.
As part of the new 18-game Southeastern Conference schedule, the Bulldogs will face former Eastern Division foes Kentucky and Vanderbilt just once. It will be the first time since 1964 that Georgia has not played home-and-home series with these two longstanding foes and, since 1992, Eastern Division rivals. In exchange for those two contests, the Bulldogs will now pick up a series with new member Texas A&M and renew a 2-game annual series with Alabama for the first time since 1992.
The addition of Texas A&M and Missouri has also added another day of competition to the post-season SEC Tournament, slated for March 13-17 in Nashville, Tenn. The Nos. 9-12 seeds in the final regular-season standings will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, with the tournament resuming its traditional schedule Thursday. It's conceivable that a team could capture the SEC Tournament championship by
Frazier, Parker Sign with Dogs in Early Signing Period
The early national signing period began Wednesday, Nov. 13 and Georgia got signatures from a pair of high school seniors:
J.J. Frazier, Guard, 5-9, 160, Glennville, Ga. (Faith Baptist Christian Academy - Ludowici, Ga.)...Frazier is regarded as the top point guard of his class in the state of Georgia...he averaged 26.2 points, 4.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals as a junior at Faith Baptist Christian, which won 33 games last season...played AAU basketball for the South Georgia Kings program from Hinesville, Ga.
Juwan Parker, Guard, 6-4, 190, Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington HS)...Averaged 20.5 points and 9.4 rebounds as a junior at Washington, which won Oklahoma 5A state championships in his freshman and sophomore seasons...Rated the nation's No. 30 shooting guard prospect by Scout.com, No. 39 by Rivals.com. Named the 2011 Player of the Year in his home state by the Tulsa World...Two-time Tulsa World All-State pick, and also twice a "Super 5" selection by The Oklahoman newspaper...Older brother Jason Parker played at Tulsa and was coached by current UGA assistant Kwanza Johnson.
KCP One of UGA's Best Ever
Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returns as one of the SEC's top players. Among his freshman-year highlights included:
Fox Best at Molding Talent
Blogger and hoops junkie Dan Hanner of RealGM.com penned an article in February of 2012 that anointed Georgia head coach Mark Fox as the top coach in college basketball at player development. In a blog entry, Hanner used a complex formula to rate college coaches. Among Hanner's many observations he writes, "Mark Fox has truly been fantastic at getting the most out of his players."
The top five in the Player Development category include Fox; Bo Ryan (Wisconsin); Craig Robinson (Oregon State); Lorenzo Romar (Washington); and Mike Montgomery (Cal).
Fox Also Tops at Producing Grads
Head Coach Mark Fox must also receive some degree of credit for developing high-performing students in the classroom. Since his arrival in April of 2009, no fewer than 12 Georgia basketball players have earned their undergraduate degrees, including all four seniors from 2012. Every player that has exhausted his eligibility at UGA under Fox has completed his degree.
Prominent among this group of 12 includes Damien Wilkins - nephew of UGA great Dominique Wilkins - whose last year of eligibility came in 2004 and who has played professionally in the NBA ever since.
Hayes Joins Bulldog Staff
A face familiar to Georgia basketball fans joined coach Mark Fox's staff during the offseason. Jonas Hayes, a 3-year letterman from 2002-04 and an '04 UGA graduate, was named as the Bulldogs' Operations Coordinator in May of 2012. Hayes, a native of Atlanta, had spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C. He had also served brief stints as an assistant coach at South Carolina State, Morehouse and his alma mater, Douglass High School in Atlanta.
Hayes, whose twin brother Jarvis continues to play professionally overseas, became the first Georgia basketball alumnus to hold a full-time position on the staff at his alma mater since Shaun Golden was an administrative assistant on the staff in 1997.
Thornton Health Key for Georgia
Here's one reason why Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia in rebounding as a freshman last season from his combo guard position. Marcus Thornton, who had led the Bulldogs in that category in the early going, spent most of the latter half of the season nursing ill health.
Thornton underwent knee surgery just before Christmas and missed the next five contests. Even upon his return, his effectiveness was limited. By season's end, he needed a second surgery and the subsequent recovery period has kept him under close scrutiny ever since.
That supervision will continue as the 2013 season transpires. Thornton, a 6-8 junior, provides the Bulldogs much-needed heft and toughness under the basket, provided he is healthy. A sound bill of health for the 2013 season could mean good things for Thornton and the Bulldogs.
Italy Trip a Valuable Tool
For the first time since 2004, Georgia ventured beyond U.S. borders for a tour of exhibition games. The Bulldogs spent the first half of August playing three games and checking out the major cities and tourist spots in Italy. They also visited UGA's art school campus in Cortona, Italy.
The 2004-05 Georgia team played a series of exhibitions in Vancouver during Fall Break. Prior to the Italy trip, the last time any Bulldog team left the continent was in the 1988 season, when Georgia played in an invitational tournament in Tokyo, Japan.
Italy Trip Nearly a Homecoming for Djurisic
Trips home are few and far between for Georgia sophomore forward Nemi Djurisic, who left his native Montenegro several years ago to pursue both an education and a basketball career, American-style. That's why the Bulldogs' journey to Italy in August became so important to him.
One stop on Georgia's 10-day tour was Venice, where the Bulldogs spent two nights and played one of their three games. Djurisic's parents -- Snezana and Ranko -- made the 13-hour drive up the Adriatic coastline to see their son and meet his teammates and coaches for the first time. According to both parties, it was well worth the drive.