Bulldogs Look To Protect the Rim Against Rebels Saturday

Feb. 14, 2014

Georgia Bulldogs (13-10, 7-4) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (16-8, 7-4)
Saturday, February 15, 2014 - Tipoff Time: 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Stegeman Coliseum - Athens, Ga.
TELEVISION
Telecast on FSN (Dave Neal and Larry Conley)
GEORGIA RADIO
Bulldog Sports Network by IMG: Scott Howard (Play-by-Play), Chuck Dowdle (Color)
Local station: In Atlanta: WSB (750 AM) & WSBB (95.5 FM). In Athens: WRFC (AM 960).
Radio Affiliates
SATELLITE RADIO
Sirius: Ch. 117, XM: Ch. 200
ON THE INTERNET
Audio streaming georgiadogs.com (subscription required).

Video Streaming: None
Live Stats: GameTracker




Donte' Williams

About the Game

  • Georgia plays host to Ole Miss in a Saturday afternoon contest at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs will be shooting for their fourth straight victory, building upon what is already their longest win streak of the SEC schedule.
  • Most recently, Georgia improved its records to 13-10, 7-4 in the SEC, with a 75-55 win over Mississippi State in Starkvile on Wednesday night. The visiting Bulldogs erased a 14-point deficit in the game's first 10 minutes to take an unlikely lead by halftime. They followed with a second half that included making their first eight shots and 73 percent shooting overall. Charles Mann led the Bulldogs with 19 points, but it was the contributions of two freshman reserves -- Juwan Parker's 16 points and six from Kenny Paul Geno -- that proved vital to Georgia's victory.
  • Against Mississippi State, the Bulldogs made over 50 percent of their shots for the 10th time this season and the third time in SEC play. Just as important, Georgia outrebounded its 10th SEC opponent in 11 tries thus far. Senior Donte' Williams had his second straight 10-rebound game and Marcus Thornton chipped in eight boards.
  • Saturday's game is the 108th all-time meeting between Georgia and Ole Miss in basketball. Georgia leads the series, which began in 1928 and has been renewed annually since 1947, by an 66-41 count. The two programs met just once last season, on this same Saturday in 2013 in Oxford. Ole Miss overcame an 8-point deficit in the final segment of regulation and won 70-68 in overtime.
  • Georgia returns to the road with a pair of games next week. The first will be the only regular-season meeting with Tennessee on Tuesday in Knoxville. The Bulldogs will finish the week with the return matchup against South Carolina, their "permanent" rival, as designated by the SEC. Georgia won the first game between the two this season 97-76 on Jan. 22.


Probable Starters

GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown PPG RPG
F 2 Marcus Thornton** 6-8 235 RJr. Atlanta, Ga. 7.6 5.9
F 15 Donte' Williams*** 6-9 225 Sr. Ellenwood, Ga. 5.7 5.5
F 31 Brandon Morris 6-7 215 So. Lithonia, Ga. 9.5 3.5
G 4 Charles Mann* 6-5 210 So. Alpharetta, Ga. 13.7 3.0#
G 12 Kenny Gaines* 6-3 195 So. Atlanta, Ga. 11.6 2.6

#Assists Per Game

Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record at Georgia / Years: 78-73 / 5th season
Overall Record/Years: 201-116 / 10th season
Assistant Coaches: Stacey Palmore, Philip Pearson, Jonas Hayes

OLE MISS REBELS
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown PPG RPG
F34Aaron Jones6-9220Jr.Gautier, Miss.6.67.0
F11Sebastian Saiz6-9233Fr.Madrid, Spain5.16.1
F13Anthony Perez6-9213So.Cumana, Venezuela6.93.1
G22Marshall Henderson6-2177Sr.Hurst, Texas19.31.9
G32Jarvis Summers6-3186Jr.Jackson, Miss.17.03.8#

#Assists Per Game

Head Coach: Andy Kennedy
Record at Ole Miss / Years: 168-95 / 8th season
Overall Record / Years: 189-108 / 9th season
Assistant Coaches: Sergio Rouco, Al Pinkins, Bill Armstrong
The Last Meeting
Georgia74  
Ole Miss84(OT)
February 16, 2013
Oxford, Miss.
Ole Miss Sneaks By Georgia in Overtime, 84-74
Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson scored 25 points, 19 of which came in the second half and overtime, to hand Georgia a 84-74 overtime loss Saturday night at C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum.

Georgia vs. Ole Miss

Saturday's game is the 108th all-time meeting between Georgia and Ole Miss in basketball. Georgia leads the series, which began in 1928 and has been renewed annually since 1947, by an 66-41 count. Ole Miss, in fact, is one of just three SEC opponents against which Georgia has at least a .500 record in its all-time series. South Carolina (53-48) and Auburn (90-89) are the others.

Georgia has won more games in Oxford (24) than at any other SEC road venue. The Bulldogs are 24-25 all-time there, including two wins in the most recent decade (2001, 2003) and one in 2011.

Ole Miss, however, has won the past three meetings in Athens, going back to 2008. Georgia's last home win over the Rebels came in the 2006 season.

Geographically speaking, the series can be broken down as such:
In Athens: UGA leads 38-12
In Oxford: Ole Miss leads 25-24
Neutral Court Games: Games are tied 4-4

Noteworthy

  • Now that senior Donte' Williams was replaced in the starting lineup Feb. 1 at Auburn, Georgia has no single player that has started all 22 games. The Bulldogs have just three players that have played in all 23 (Williams, Thornton and Djurisic). Kenny Gaines is the team's only player to have started every game for which he's been available (21 for 21).
  • While the team was a distant bystander to the winter storm that invaded Georgia this week, the Bulldogs managed to bring a souvenir with them to Starkville. A stomach virus infiltrated some members of the team and staff before they ever left Athens. It continued through much of the roster, literally as their win over Mississippi State transpired. Except during the actual game, surgical masks were standard equipment on the trip. By press time it remained to be seen whether or not the sickness had run its full course.
  • Charles Mann's knack for frequent trips to the free-throw line is no secret. As a freshman last season, he had the fifth most free-throw attempts of any SEC player (170). He surpassed that mark last Saturday in the Texas A&M game, and this year he's second in the SEC in that category behind Auburn's Chris Denson. He currently averages 8.5 free tosses per game, up from 5.3 tries last year. In SEC games, he averages 9.8 free throw attempts.
  • Mann's free-throw frequency leads an impressive showing by the entire Georgia team, which ranks 35th nationally in total FT attempts. Only Kentucky among SEC teams ranks higher. The Bulldogs are 62nd among all 351 D1 teams in total free throws made.
  • Georgia has shot over 60 percent in the second half on five occasions this season, including three of their last four SEC wins. The Bulldogs shot 73.9 percent in the second half Wednesday night at Mississippi State, despite reserves making just one of the team's final four FG attempts. Overall, Georgia shot 54.3 percent at State, even after missing its first eight shots.
  • Georgia's last two SEC opponents have combined to make just four of 44 attempts from 3-point range (9 percent). This, after its previous four opponents had shot a collective 45.1 percent from beyond the arc.
  • The Bulldogs have now posted three consecutive SEC wins by double digits. Not since the 1998 season has that happened previously, when the Ron Jirsa-coached Georgia squad defeated Florida (under 2nd-year coach Billy Donovan), Arkansas (coached by Nolan Richardson) and Vanderbilt (Jan Van Breda Kolff) in succession.
  • Amidst their up-and-down performance on offense and defense, the Bulldogs' one constant in SEC play has been their rebounding. Georgia has outrebounded 10 of its 11 league opponents thus far. The one exception? Florida, which it tied with 34 boards apiece. The Bulldogs lead the SEC in rebounding through 11 conference games at 39.4 per game. Highlights in the league schedule thus far have been a +9 ledger in a win at Missouri, +8 vs. Miss. State, +7 in a win over LSU, as well as a +22 margin in beating Arkansas.
  • Georgia's win over LSU on Feb. 6 was its fourth this season over an RPI Top 100 opponent. Those wins include: Missouri, Arkansas, LSU and Alabama, although Alabama's current rating has fallen beyond the 100 mark. Georgia's own RPI rating of 103 is its best of the season to date, after reaching as high as the mid-260s in late December.

    More Noteworthy

  • Four Bulldogs this season have made their first starts at the Division 1 collegiate level: Kenny Gaines, Cameron Forte, Juwan Parker and Taylor Echols.
  • One effect of not having Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on this year's team: last year, 30 percent of Georgia's total field goals were scored from 3-point range. This year, just 19 percent thus far have come from beyond the arc. Perhaps another way to view this difference: last season's Georgia team averaged scoring 22 points in the paint area. This season, that number thus far has risen to 33.5 points in the paint.
  • Most discussion involving KCP's absence has revolved around its effect on the Georgia offense. Little discussion has pertained to its effect on the Georgia defense, which this year has allowed its opponents a .404 overall field-goal percentage, .337 from 3-point range, compared to .388 and .329, respectively, with KCP in the lineup last season.
  • On Dec. 28, when Colorado sank all 26 of its free-throw attempts, it marked the first time in almost 19 years a Bulldog opponent had shot 100 percent. Tennessee went 10x10 against Georgia on Feb. 11, 1995. That was 584 games ago. For Georgia, it's been 772 games since its last 100 percent shooting night...back to Jan. 14, 1989 vs. Vanderbilt (12x12).
  • Georgia has now shot at least 50 percent from the field 10 times this season. That's more than the number of 50 percent shooting games over the previous two seasons combined.

    Offense on the Uptick

    One thing is apparent through the season thus far: Georgia's offense appears to be measurably more effective than last season, even without its best scorer from 2013. In 15 of 23 games thus far, the Bulldogs have scored well over their seasonal average (60.8) of last season. The team's overall shooting percentage has also risen from 40.8 of last season to its current mark of 44.7.

    When Georgia defeated LSU 91-78 on Feb. 6, it marked the first time since 1995 in which Georgia had cracked the 90-point mark twice during the SEC schedule.

    About the Schedule

    Conference expansion manifests itself in many strange ways, not the least of which occurs in scheduling. Georgia fans noticed this oddity most recently as their football team has traveled to Auburn in consecutive seasons.

    This season their basketball team will experience one of the oddest quirks to its schedule in years. Kentucky will not travel to Athens for a game this season for the first time since the 1962-63 season. Same for Tennessee. For Florida, which also won't play a game in Athens this season, the last time it didn't play in Athens was in 1961-62. The Gators are the most frequent opponent in UGA hoops history.

    It took a World War to keep all three schools out of Athens together in the same season the last time. Not since the 1943-44 season -- when Georgia dotted its schedule with random groups like Lawson General Hospital and Robins Airfield -- has this phenomenon occurred.

    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 80 years, is 505-736 (.410). That ranks 10th of 12 SEC members (excluding Missouri and Texas A&M).

    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 two AP SEC Player of the Year: Dominique Wilkins in 1981 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope last season. 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 40-51. The 2008 tourney marked the first time since 1997 that Georgia has reached the finals.

    Staff Changes for 2014

    For the first time of his 4+ seasons in Athens, head coach Mark Fox made changes to his immediate coaching staff. Three-year UGA letterman (2002-04) Jonas Hayes was promoted from Operations Coordinator to Assistant Coach. A native Atlantan, Hayes returned to UGA in 2012 after serving as an Assistant Coach at Belmont Abbey in North Carolina for five seasons. He had also assisted the programs at South Carolina State, Morehouse and his alma mater, Douglass High School, after graduating from UGA in 2004.

    Hayes, whose twin brother Jarvis continues to play professionally overseas, became the first Georgia basketball alumnus to hold a full-time assistant's position on the staff at his alma mater since Mark Slonaker assisted Hugh Durham from 1989-95.

    To replace Hayes in the Coordinator's position, Fox hired Byron Samuels in May of 2013. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native, is a veteran of the collegiate ranks whose career includes head coaching stops at Hampton, Radford and, most lastly, at Hillsborough Community College, where he coached recent UGA alum John Florveus. Samuels is a veteran of SEC basketball, having assisted four Tennessee teams that earned NCAA Tournament berths.

    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. 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).

    Perhaps the most tangible proof of Fox's talent development is the number of NBA draftees and current pros that have played for him. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope became the 11th player under his tutelage to get drafted by an NBA club. He was the fourth 1st-rounder.

    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 14 Georgia basketball players have earned their undergraduate degrees. Every player that has exhausted his eligibility at UGA under Fox has completed his degree.

    Prominent among this group of 14 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.

    Last summer the Georgia program was recognized by the NCAA for its Academic Progress Rate (APR) scored of 990, which ranked among the top 10 percent of all men's basketball programs.

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