Saturday Marks Annual Clash of the Bulldogs
Jan. 11, 2013
About the Game
The homestanding Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 6-8 overall record, 0-1 in SEC play. They dropped their conference opener three nights ago at 11th-ranked Florida 77-44. Georgia was undone by 19 turnovers, including four during an 11-0 run by Florida to start the game. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Bulldogs with 11 points after not making a 3-pointer for the first time this season.
Still, Caldwell-Pope remains the beacon of light for this young Georgia team. This, despite the fact that the Greenville, Ga., native is just 46 games into his collegiate career. Thus far he's the only Bulldog to have started all 14 games and to be averaging over 30 minutes per game (33.3, 4th in SEC). He has taken 27 percent of the team's 690 field-goal attempts, and 41 percent of its 3-point attempts. KCP also leads Georgia in rebounding (6.9, 10th in SEC, only guard in SEC's top 10) and steals (31, 4th in SEC, 26th in NCAA).
Saturday marks the annual reunion for all UGA basketball lettermen. Attendees will be recognized at halftime of the game. This occasion will also be used to recognize the 1983 Georgia team, which will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the program's crowning achievement to date, a run to the NCAA Final Four. That squad earned a berth into the tournament by capturing the school's first-ever SEC Tournament title. Hugh Durham, coach of that 1983 team and 16 other Bulldog squads, will be among the honorees and will also address the lettermen at a pre-game reception.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Rick Ray
Georgia vs. Mississippi State
Right now, Georgia has just one player (KCP at 17 ppg) averaging in double-digit scoring. Not only is it the only SEC school with such a distinction, but that also makes it the only Bulldog team of the past 50 years with just a single double-figure scorer...Just taking a gander at current RPI numbers: Georgia has the 11th-best RPI rating among the 14 SEC schools at 197. Its strength-of-schedule rating of 71 is the 8th best among SEC teams. Florida -- Georgia's opponent twice in its first five league games -- has the top-rated RPI (15) and SOS rating (11).Georgia used nine different starting lineups through the pre-conference schedule. The one constant through all nine 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.
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, for 20 years, 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. 11-14 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 winning games on five consecutive days.
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.
2012-13 Bulldogs a Year Older
Year Four of the Mark Fox era at Georgia features his first roster comprised solely of players chosen by Fox and his staff. The Bulldogs of 2013 have a lone 3-year letterman in guard Vincent Williams, as well as two other seniors who took the junior-college route before arriving in Athens.
Last season the Bulldogs began the year with just two players that had experience as a starter on a Division I basketball team. This year, however, that number is now up to six, including four players that were regular starters at season's end. That quartet is comprised of two sophomores and two freshmen. In all, Georgia returns players who logged over 68 percent of its total minutes played in 2012.
Thornton Out Indefinitely
Junior forward Marcus Thornton will be out indefinitely after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Dec. 26. The native Atlantan has been plagued by injuries to both knees throughout his career in Athens. He missed five games last season because of knee surgery in December, and he underwent another surgery on his right knee immediately after the 2012 season ended, a process that kept him out of most off-season workouts.
When healthy, Thornton significantly enhances Georgia's frontcourt presence with his physical play. Before his latest setback, he had already set career highs in scoring and rebounding.
Georgia and the SEC
Following are a few tidbits about Georgia's history in the SEC:
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.
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.
Georgia went 2-1 on its tour of games, winding up with a 17-point victory on the same day they visited the Colosseum in Rome. Given the anticipated roles of Georgia's freshmen this coming season, perhaps more important than the trip were the 10 practices that preceded the Bulldogs' departure overseas.
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