Georgia - Arkansas Game Notes

Feb. 7, 2012

Georgia Bulldogs (10-12, 1-7) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (16-7, 4-4)
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Tipoff Time: 8:00 p.m. (EST)
Stegeman Coliseum - Athens, Ga.
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Live regional TV coverage by the SEC Network (Dave Neal and Barry Booker)

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Local station: WSB (750 AM) & WBTS (95.5 FM). In Athens: WRFC (AM 960).
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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
About the Game

• Georgia returns home to entertain Arkansas in a Wednesday evening contest. The Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 10-12 overall record, 1-7 in SEC play, after dropping a 73-62 decision at Tennessee last Saturday. Georgia led the Volunteers for 25 minutes of this game, but a rash of foul trouble -- two fouled out and a third finished with four fouls -- proved too great a challenge to overcome.

• Georgia's outstanding performer against Tennessee was senior guard Dustin Ware. His hot shooting propelled the Bulldogs to an early lead, which continued into the second half. He finished with 15 points, his third straight double-digit scoring effort but by far his most efficient game of the SEC schedule. Against UT, he made six of the seven shots he took, including three of four from 3-point range.

Ware remains within reasonable distance of becoming the 42nd player in UGA history to score 1,000 career points. With a minimum of nine games left, he needs just 68 points to reach the mark. What makes Ware so unusual is this: he would become just the 3rd player in UGA history to reach 1,000 points by making more 3-pointers than 2-pointers, a fitting salute to the 25th anniversary of the 3-point shot in college basketball.

• Georgia continues to be led by freshman guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has held team scoring honors throughout the season. Rare is it that a first-year collegian is asked to shoulder this much of the load. He currently leads them at 14.0 points per game, and also has team-high numbers in minutes (32.1 mpg...only Bulldog over 30 minutes per game), defensive rebounds (82), steals (39), shots taken (273) and 3-pointers taken (152). His rookie season-high of 25 points against Ole Miss on Jan. 21 marked the first time in 13 years a Bulldog freshman had scored that many in a single game.

Probable Starters

GEORGIA BULLDOGS
No.NamePos.Ht.Wt.Cl.PPGRPG
F 15 Donte' Williams 6-9 220 So. 7.5 5.4
F 42 Marcus Thornton 6-7 235 So. 2.3 4.7
G 1 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 6-5 200 Fr. 14.0 5.2
G 22Gerald Robinson Jr. 6-1 180 Sr. 13.5 3.7#
G 3 Dustin Ware 5-11 172 Sr. 8.4 2.0

#Assists Per Game

Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record at Georgia / Years: 45-41 / 3rd season
Overall Record/Years: 168-84 / 8th season
Assistant Coaches: Kwanza Johnson, Philip Pearson, Stacey Palmore

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
Pos.No.NameHt.Wt.Cl.HometownPPGRPG
F 31Michael Sanchez 6-9 235 Sr.Springdale, Ark. 4.3 3.6
C 21Hunter Mickelson 6-10 234Fr.Jonesboro, Ark. 4.8 3.7
G 1Mardracus Wade 6-3 175 So.Memphis, Tenn. 11.0 2.1
G 3Rickey Scott 6-3 195 So.Irving, Texas 10.4 3.9
G 23Julysses Nobles6-1 193 Jr.Jackson, Miss. 9.2 3.4#

#Assists Per Game

Head Coach: Mike Anderson
Record at Arkansas / Years: 16-7 / 1st season
Overall Record / Years: 216-105 / 10th season
Assistant Coaches: Melvin Watkins (Assoc. HC), Matt Zimmerman, T.J. Cleveland


Georgia vs. Arkansas

  • Wednesday's game is the 29th all-time meeting between Georgia and Arkansas in basketball. Arkansas holds a 16-12 lead in the series. These two schools had never met before 1992, when the SEC expanded and was pared into Eastern and Western Divisions.

  • Six of Georgia's wins in this series have come in Athens (1992-96-98-02-04-08). Three have come in Fayetteville (2003-07-11). The other three took place during SEC Tournament play on neutral courts: 1997 in Memphis, 2008 in the SEC Tournament Championship game in Atlanta, and 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.

  • In just 19 years, these two teams have played in the SEC Tournament eight times already.

  • A geographical breakdown of the series follows:

    Games in Athens: UGA leads 6-4

    Games in Fayetteville: Arkansas leads 6-3

    SEC Tournament Games: Arkansas leads 6-3

    Noteworthy...

    • Counting his two seasons at Tennessee State, Gerald Robinson enters tonight's game with 1,719 career points, 698 at Georgia and 1,021 in two seasons (2008-09) at TSU. That combined figure would rank 4th on Georgia's career scoring list, just ahead of Dominique Wilkins (1980-82).

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was named as the SEC's Freshman of the Week on Dec. 19. It marked just the seventh time in 12 years of this award that a Georgia Bulldog had earned the honor. It was the first since Trey Thompkins won the F-O-W award for the week of Dec. 1, 2008.

    Currently, there are eight freshmen in the SEC that are scoring in double figures. KCP ranks third among those rookies behind BJ Young of Arkansas and Bradley Beal of Florida at 14.0 points per game. He also ranks 3rd among SEC freshmen in minutes played (31.8) behind Miss. State's Rodney Hood and Bradley Beal of Florida. Additionally, KCP leads all freshmen in shots taken (259), ranking 3rd among all SEC players.

    • There likely hasn't been as valuable a freshman to Georgia since 2005, when point guard Sundiata Gaines led the Bulldogs in minutes played, assists and steals, and he was also second on the team in both scoring (12.0) and rebounding (4.9). Gaines, however, did not lead Georgia in scoring in 2005; that honor went to sophomore Levi Stukes. The last Bulldog freshman to lead his team in scoring at season's end was All-SEC forward Jumaine Jones in 1998 (14.7 ppg).

    • Turnovers per Game...as in, Fewest Per Game. It's a stat that isn't kept officially by the SEC office but can be found with a little digging. Georgia leads the league with 10.8 miscues per game, a figure that ranks 8th among 338 Division I teams (the NCAA does indeed keep this stat.). Already this season Georgia has had 10 games of single-digit turnovers, including a season-low five TOs last Saturday at Tennessee. Not since Jan. 13, 1982 -- in a pre-shot clock, slow-down game won by Georgia over Miss. State 26-20 -- has a Bulldog team committed as few as five turnovers.

    • A few things about senior Dustin Ware: 1) He has led Georgia in scoring six times in his career. Of those six games, four of them have been losses. 2) He stands a reachable chance to become just the 7th player in UGA history to score 1,000 points and get 350 assists in a career. He'll need at least a 7.5 scoring average over the minimum remaining games to reach the 1,000-point mark. 3) Should he reach 1,000, Ware would become just the 3rd UGA player ever to achieve that mark by making more 3-pointers than 2-pointers. G.G. Smith (1996-99) and Levi Stukes (2004-07) are the others.

    • Two Bulldogs have posted measurable increases in their productivity during SEC play. Most notably:

    > Nemi Djurisic averages 7.9 points per game in the SEC schedule, just 6.6 overall.

    > Donte' Williams averages 8.1 points in SEC play, 7.5 overall.

    Vincent Williams had two inconspicuous seasons in 2010 and 2011. This year, however, he has thrust himself prominently into a crowded backcourt rotation, even starting 11 of 21 games at the point position. He's already established new career highs in scoring, rebounds and minutes, most recently scoring a career-best 11 points against Mercer on Dec. 20.

    During Georgia's 5-game winning streak, Williams has compiled a +4/1 assist/turnover ratio as the Bulldogs' starter at point guard.

    • Sophomore Donte' Williams has also benefitted from a greatly increased role this season. The 6-9 forward has become Georgia's top frontline offensive threat, with double-figure scoring four times already, including a career-high 17 points against South Dakota State. In just 17 games, Williams quintupled his scoring output from his 2011 total. He also leads Georgia in blocked shots with 30.

    • The 2011-12 Bulldogs began this season amid fairly low expectations...externally, at least. In the SEC-sponsored media poll -- a panel that featured two jounalists from each school's coverage area -- Georgia was pegged for an 8th-place finish in the SEC. This, after a year in which the Bulldogs posted the program's first winning record in SEC play since 2003.

    • Georgia senior Gerald Robinson was named to the Coaches' Pre-Season All-SEC 2nd Team. The Nashville, Tenn., native was one of 16 players picked to two 8-man squads by the league's head coaches. Robinson is the top returning scorer and assist man for the Bulldogs.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's 25 points vs. Ole Miss on Jan. 21 were the most by a UGA freshman in almost 13 years. D.A. Layne poured in 26 points in a Feb. 6, 1999 win at home against South Carolina.

    Dustin Ware's current career 3-point shooting percentage ranks him among the best ever in UGA history. Following are the top five long-range shooters at Georgia.

    Career 3-Point Percentage Leaders

    (Minimum 150 3FGs Made)

    1. .444 (172-387) by Jody Patton, 1988-91

    2. .429 (194-453) by Bernard Davis, 1991-94

    3. .396 (231-583) by D.A. Layne, 1999-2001

    4. .395 (215-544) by Litterial Green, 1989-92

    5. .377 (180-477) by Dustin Ware, Present

    Of RPIs and Such

    A few observations about Georgia's place in the world of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI):

    • The Bulldogs have a current RPI of 125 and their schedule is rated 24th most difficult in the country.

    • Despite a dificult early-season schedule for Georgia, Kentucky represents its highest-rated opponent yet at No. 5.

    • From a strictly RPI point of view, Georgia's two best wins of the season were its Nov. 16 victory over South Dakota State at home and Nov. 22 over Notre Dame on a neutral floor. SDSU currently checks in with an RPI of 59, begin the week with a 17-6 record and boast a 19-point win at Washington on their resume. Notre Dame has boosted its RPI a whopping 54 places in the past two weeks, from 119 to its current standing of 56, thanks to three straight Big East wins, including No. 1 Syracuse.

    Georgia and the NBA

    Georgia's two premature departures from 2011 have seen early-season action with the NBA team that drafted them in the second round. Both Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie have played for the Los Angeles Clippers, the former in nine games and the latter in five.

    Perhaps more noteworthy, however, is the progress of 3rd-year pro Sundiata Gaines, who finished his career at Georgia in 2008. After playing in the D-League for 1 1/2 seasons, Gaines was signed in 2010 by Utah, had cups of coffee in Minnesota and Toronto and seems to have found a home in the New Jersey Nets. The Jamaica, N.Y., native is the Nets' 5th-leading scorer, averaging 6.5 points per game and playing almost 15 minutes.

    For just the third time ever, Georgia now has four alumni currently playing in the NBA: the aforementioned trio, as well as elder statesman Damien Wilkins, who now plays in Detroit. Just once has UGA placed five alums in the NBA at the same time: the 1993-94 season (Dominique Wilkins, Willie Anderson, Vern Fleming, Litterial Green and Alec Kessler).

    It's also worth mentioning that Georgia's other two departures from last season -- frontcourt men Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes -- are both playing professionally now, the former in Finland, the latter in Lithuania.

    Georgia and the SEC

    Following are a few tidbits about Georgia's history in the SEC:

    • Georgia's all-time record in SEC games, covering 77 years, is 485-717 (.404). That ranks 10th of the 12 current SEC members.

    • Georgia can claim one SEC regular-season championship (1990), one regular-season divisional title (2002) and two SEC Tournament crowns (1983, 2008).

    • Georgia has had just one AP SEC Player of the Year: Dominique Wilkins in 1981 and no POY, as voted by the league's coaches since 1987. Other superlative post-season awards include Coaches' SEC Defensive Player of the Year (Rashad Wright in 2004), AP SEC Newcomer of the Year (Jarvis Hayes in 2002), and Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Dave Bliss in 2008).

    • Wilkins was the first of four Georgia players to lead the SEC in scoring at season's end. He averaged a league-best 23.6 points per game in 1981. Others to follow him have been Vern Fleming (19.8 ppg in 1984), Jumaine Jones (18.8 ppg in 1999) and Jarvis Hayes (18.6 ppg in 2002).

    • Georgia has an all-time SEC Tournament record of 38-49. The 2008 tourney marked the first time since 1997 that Georgia has reached the finals.

    • Since the league expanded and was pared into East and West Divisions in 1992, Georgia has a 139-180 (.434) record. Eight times since `92 Georgia has had a league record of .500 or better (1993, `95, `96, `97, `01,'03, 07, `11).

    • Since the league's expansion, Georgia has a 75-124 record (.376) record against the Eastern Division, a 63-58 mark (.518) against SEC Western Division teams. Bulldog teams have had winning records against the West in 13 of 19 years. Georgia's only undefeated season against the West came in 2003.

    • In the 16-game SEC schedule format, Georgia's most wins came in 2003, when it compiled an 11-5 mark. The Bulldogs' timing, however, left much to be desired. That same year, Kentucky won the East with a perfect 16-0 mark and Florida placed second at 12-4. Georgia's 11-5 mark would've won the West by two games.

    • In case anyone was wondering, Georgia is 0-3 all-time against Missouri and has never played a basketball game against Texas A&M. The 2001 Bulldogs lost to Mizzou in the NCAA Tournament first round. The two schools also played a home-and-home series during the 2009-10 seasons.

 
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