Feb. 1, 2013
About the Game
- Georgia resumes its 2013 SEC schedule with a Saturday afternoon contest at South Carolina. This will be the first of two meetings for these "permanent rivals," as designated last spring by the SEC in its new scheduling process. They'll complete their regular-season series three weeks from today in Athens.
The Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 9-11 overall record, 3-4 in the SEC, having rebounded from an 0-2 start in league play with wins in three of their past four games. Most recently, Georgia defeated Auburn 57-49 in Athens three nights ago.
- As he has in 18 of 20 games, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia in scoring against Auburn with 20 points. It marked the continuation of a theme for the Bulldogs. In each of their three SEC victories, he has excelled, and with great efficiency. "KCP" has a 21.3 ppg average in those three wins, with a field-goal percentage of 61.1% overall, 44% from 3-point range and 100 percent from the line. He's also averaged 6.7 boards in those three games.
Caldwell-Pope remains the beacon of light for this young Georgia team. Thus far he's the only Bulldog to have started all 20 games and to be averaging over 30 minutes per game (33.5, 3rd in SEC). He ranks among the SEC leaders in nine of the categories for which statistics are kept. He has taken 27 percent of the team's 967 field-goal attempts, and 41 percent of its 3-point attempts. KCP also leads Georgia in rebounding (6.6) and steals (47, 2nd in SEC, 16th in NCAA).
- Georgia leads the series with South Carolina by only an 50-48 margin. The two teams split meetings last year, Carolina winning at home 57-56 and Georgia returning the favor 67-55 in their regular-season finale.
- The Bulldogs remain on the road for their next SEC contest next Wednesday at Tennessee in an 8:00 p.m. tipoff.
|F||31||Brandon Morris||6-7||205||Fr.||Lithonia, Ga.||4.2||2.1|
|F||15||Donte' Williams||6-8||230||Jr.||Ellenwood, Ga.||5.5||4.7|
|F/C||32||John Florveus||6-11||240||Sr.||Miami, Fla.||2.6||3.1|
|G||11||Vincent Williams||6-0||165||Sr.||Homestead, Fla.||4.9||2.4#|
|G||1||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||6-5||205||So.||Greenville, Ga.||17.5||6.6|
#Assists Per Game
|F||14||Laimonas Chatkevicius||6-11||255||Fr.||Klaipeda, Lithuania||3.7||2.6|
|F||30||Lakeem Jackson||6-5||235||Sr.||Charlotte, N.C.||9.3||6.9|
|F||24||Michael Carrera||6-5||212||Fr.||Anzoategui, Venezuela||9.8||7.0|
|G||5||Eric Smith||5-11||205||Jr.||Mullins, S.C.||6.1||3.4a|
|G||23||Bruce Ellington||5-9||197||Jr.||Moncks Corner, S.C.||10.0||3.2|
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Frank Martin
Record at South Carolina / Years: 12-8 / 1st season
Overall Record / Years: 129-62 / 6th season
Assistant Coaches: Brad Underwood (Assoc. HC), Matt Figger, Lamont Evans
Georgia vs. Auburn
Saturday's game is the 99th all-time meeting between Georgia and South Carolina in basketball. Georgia leads the series 50-48.
In the 21 years of divisional play (1992, 2011), Georgia and South Carolina split their regular-season games evenly at 21 apiece. That includes regular-season sweeps by Georgia (1994, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2011) and by Carolina (1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2009).
Just once have these two teams met in the post-season SEC Tournament. That occurred in the 1997 tourney in Memphis, where Georgia won a semifinal matchup, 78-63.
Before 1992, these two schools were annual opponents -- mostly once a year, other times twice and occasionally thrice -- from 1938 until 1964.
A geographical breakdown of the series follows:
Games in Athens: UGA leads 30-15
Games in Columbia: USC leads 30-16
Neutral-Court Games: UGA leads 4-3
Georgia shoots for its third straight SEC win today, which would match the longest such streak of the Mark Fox era. The longest win streak, period, of these past 3+ seasons is a 9-game run in the 2010-11 season. Georgia's last SEC win streak longer than three games was a 4-game streak in the 2002-03 season. Two years before, in the 2001 season, Georgia rang off six consecutive SEC wins, equaling win streaks put together by the 1992-93 teams (spanning both seasons) and also the SEC championship team of 1990.
Georgia's win at Texas A&M caused a jump in its RPI rating of nearly 35 points, from a 183 of last Friday to its rating of 145 on Friday. Why? Because the Bulldogs' win in College Station represented their first over a Top 100 opponent, let alone on the road. Georgia's schedule is currently rated 43rd most difficult in the country.
Georgia outrebounded Auburn 38-33 on Wednesday night, marking just the third time in seven SEC games that the Bulldogs have gained the edge in that department. The distinguishing feature from the Auburn game was that all 11 Bulldogs that saw action had at least one board, the second time that's happened this season (Youngstown St. was the other).
Right now, Georgia has just one player (KCP at 17.5 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...
Four different players have led Georgia in scoring this season: KCP, Vincent Williams, Nemi Djurisic and Charles Mann. Eight different Bulldogs have taken turns being the 2nd-leading scorer. Most frequent among those is the freshman Mann, who has owned that distinction six times...
Georgia has used 11 different starting lineups this season. The one constant through all 11 lineups was, of course, has been Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Four other teammates (both Williamses, Morris 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.
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:
He earned Freshman All-SEC honors in his first season of 2012.
KCP ranked second among all Bulldogs in scoring and led them in rebounding, minutes and steals.
His 422 points were the fifth-highest total by a UGA freshman in school history. Just as important, his 166 rebounds (5.2/game) were the tenth-best total by a UGA rookie and the most ever by a guard.
Caldwell-Pope last year was also Georgia's leader in 3-point shots made (65) and taken (214).
KCP is the fourth-leading returning scorer in the SEC, behind Boynton (Fla.), Young (Ark.) and Golden (Tenn.).
He is also the league's fifth-leading returning rebounder and its only guard among the group.
He ranks second among all returning SEC players in minutes per game (32.1), behind only LSU guard Andre Stringer (32.2 mpg).
True to form, Caldwell-Pope is the Bulldogs' only player thus far to average over 30 minutes per contest this season. He currently ranks 3rd in the SEC in minutes at 33.6 per game. Georgia's next most active player is Donte' Williams at 23.3 minutes per game.
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.