Georgia at Missouri, 8PM Wednesday
Jan. 15, 2013
About the Game
Georgia continues the 2013 SEC schedule with its first-ever conference game at Missouri. It will be the only regular-season meeting between these two programs this season.
The Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 6-9 overall record, 0-2 in SEC play. Most recently, they fell 72-61 at home to Mississippi State on Saturday. The two teams fought evenly through the first 31 minutes before State assembled a 12-1 run and held off Georgia in the final minutes to claim victory. It was State's first win over Georgia in three years.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Bulldogs in scoring -- as he has in 14 of 15 games thus far -- in the State game with 16 points. Seven different teammates have taken turns behind KCP in scoring honors this season. Freshman guard Charles Mann has held that distinction more times than the other six players: four times, including both of the SEC games to date.
Still, Caldwell-Pope remains the beacon of light for this young Georgia team. This, despite the fact that the Greenville, Ga., native is just 47 games into his collegiate career. Thus far he's the only Bulldog to have started all 15 games and to be averaging over 30 minutes per game (33.4, 3rd in SEC). He has taken 27 percent of the team's 748 field-goal attempts, and 41 percent of its 3-point attempts. KCP also leads Georgia in rebounding (6.7, 12th in SEC, only guard among SEC leaders) and steals (35, 3rd in SEC, 25th in NCAA).
Though it's the first-ever conference game between these two programs, they have met three times before. Missouri has won all three previous meetings, including a home-and-home series in the 2009-10 seasons and a 2001 NCAA Tournament first-round game in Greensboro, N.C.
The Bulldogs will return home for their next two SEC contests, including LSU this Saturday night and 10th-rated Florida on Wednesday. The latter game will mark Georgia's third matchup against a Top 25 opponent in its first five SEC games.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Frank Haith
Georgia vs. Missouri
Wednesday's game is the fourth all-time meeting between these two programs. Missouri has won all three previous meetings.
Most recently, Georgia and Missouri met in 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.
A pair of Missouri players have history against Georgia at their previous schools. Earnest Ross scored 34 points in three games against Bulldog teams in 2010-11, including a career-high 30 in an overtime loss to Georgia in the latter season. A first-round SEC Tournament loss to the Bulldogs became his last game at Auburn before his transfer.
Keion Bell scored six points for Pepperdine in a 64-47 loss at Georgia in December of 2009.
Right now, Georgia has just one player (KCP at 16.9 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 214. 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 (9) and SOS rating (13)...Georgia used its 10th different starting lineup of the season last Saturday against Miss. State. The one constant through all 10 lineups was, of course, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Just three other teammates (both Williamses and Djurisic) 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
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.
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.
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