Feb. 11, 2013
About the Game
- Georgia plays the first of two regular-season games against Alabama in a Tuesday night contest at Stegeman Coliseum. They'll complete the series in the regular-season finale on Saturday, March 9 in Tuscaloosa. This is the first home-and-home series between the two since 1991, when the SEC expanded and was pared into divisions.
- The Bulldogs arrive at this game with an 12-11 overall record, 6-4 in the SEC. Most recently, they completed a regular-season sweep of Texas A&M by defeating the Aggies 52-46 in Athens three night ago. The victory, Georgia's fifth straight, brought its record over the .500 mark for the first time since the season opener on Nov. 9. The Bulldogs' current 5-game winning streak, the longest for the program in SEC play since 2001, matches Kentucky for the league's longest current streak.
- The 2001 season was also the last time Georgia won six straight SEC games, a feat the current Bulldogs will be shooting for tonight. That team lost its SEC opener, posted wins in their next six games and eventually earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
- Leading the way through this 5-game streak, of course, has been sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Greenville, Ga., native is averaging 19 points and 6.8 rebounds during this streak, shooting 63 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 91 percent from the FT line. All these numbers include a season-low 10-point game in Saturday's win over Texas A&M, against which he did not score a field goal for the first time of his young career.
- Caldwell-Pope's quiet night did not deter the Bulldogs, thanks to yet another stellar contribution from the bench, which has outscored its counterparts by an average of 27-12 over these past five games.
- After tonight, three of Georgia's next four SEC games will be on the road, starting this coming Saturday night at Ole Miss.
|F||31||Brandon Morris||6-7||205||Fr.||Lithonia, Ga.||4.0||2.0|
|F||15||Donte' Williams||6-8||230||Jr.||Ellenwood, Ga.||5.3||4.6|
|F/C||32||John Florveus||6-11||240||Sr.||Miami, Fla.||2.5||3.4|
|G||11||Vincent Williams||6-0||165||Sr.||Homestead, Fla.||5.2||2.1#|
|G||1||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||6-5||205||So.||Greenville, Ga.||17.5||6.3|
#Assists Per Game
|ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE|
|C||14||Moussa Gueye||7-0||255||Jr.||Thies, Senegal||1.5||4.4|
|G||5||Trevor Lacey||6-3||215||So.||Huntsville, Ala.||11.9||3.2#|
|G||12||Trevor Releford||6-0||195||Jr.||Kansas City, Mo.||14.9||2.1|
|G||20||Levi Randolph||6-5||205||So.||Madison, Ala.||7.8||4.0|
|G||21||Rodney Cooper||6-6||215||So.||Hurtsboro, Ala.||10.6||4.4|
Head Coach: Cuonzo Martin
Head Coach: Anthony Grant
Record at Alabama / Years: 78-47 / 4th season
Overall Record / Years: 154-72 / 7th season
Assistant Coaches: Dan Hipsher (Assoc. HC), John Brannen, Tony Pujol)
Georgia vs. Alabama
- Tuesday's game is the 139th meeting between Georgia and Alabama in basketball. Alabama leads the series, which began in 1922 and has continued annually since 1947, by an 91-47 count.
- Georgia has won just 12 times in Tuscaloosa, but five of them have come in its past 10 trips there. That includes the first four trips to Tuscaloosa after 1992, when the SEC expanded and was pared into divisions.
- These two teams have met in the SEC Tournament 10 times and Alabama owns a 6-4 edge in those games. Georgia defeated Alabama 86-71 in the championship game of the 1983 tournament, a performance that served as a springboard for the Bulldogs' march to the NCAA Final Four that year.
- This game holds particular significance for fourth-year Georgia assistant Philip Pearson. The Montgomery, Ala., native spent 16 years representing the Crimson Tide program, either as a player or coach, the last half-season (2009) as its interim head coach.
- A geographical breakdown of the series follows:
Games in Athens: UA leads 31-29
Games in Tuscaloosa: UA leads 51-12
Neutral-Court Games: UA leads 9-6
SEC Tournament Games: UA leads 6-4
> Its starters have been outscored 204-170 (avg. 41-34). The Georgia bench, however, has outscored the opposing reserves 133-61 (avg. 27-12).
> In the past five games, Georgia is shooting 46 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range. Caldwell-Pope leads this surge, with shooting percentages of 63 and 50 percent, respectively.
> In the last 5 minutes of these four games, Georgia is shooting 70 percent from the field, 75 percent from the line, 75 percent from 3-point and has outrebounded the opposition 23-16.
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.
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.