About the Game
- For just the second time this month, Georgia plays a game on its home court. The Bulldogs return to Stegeman Coliseum for a Sunday afternoon contest against Vanderbilt. They arrive at this game with a 12-13 overall record, 3-8 in SEC play, having dropped a 57-56 decision at South Carolina on Wednesday night. The loss ended their modest, 2-game winning streak that included the program's first road win over a Top 25 team in eight years (70-68 @Miss. State).
These two teams met five weekends ago in Nashville. Vanderbilt took a 77-66 victory in a game that was closely contested until the final minutes. Foul trouble, however, crippled any chance at a Bulldog rally. For the only time in the past six seasons, three Georgia players fouled out of a game.
- In its only appearance at home thus far in February, Georgia put together perhaps its best performance of the season in defeating Arkansas 81-59 on Feb. 8. The Bulldogs shot 53 percent from the field -- their only SEC game over the 50 percent mark -- and scored their highest output thus far in a regulation-time game.
- On Monday, senior guard Gerald Robinson, Jr., was named as the SEC's Player of the Week. He played key roles in both of Georgia's victories last week, including a career-high 27 points against Arkansas and 10 late-game points in the win at Mississippi State.
- Robinson's recent outburst has caused him to challenge freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for team scoring honors. KCP has held that spot throughout the 2012 season. He currently leads them at 14.2 points per game, and also has team-high numbers in minutes (32.6 mpg), defensive rebounds (94), steals (44), shots taken (310) and 3-pointers taken (177).
- The Bulldogs enjoyed a rare Friday off two days ago in preparation for, in a technical sense, a 3-game week: today vs. Vandy, Wednesday at LSU and Saturday back home vs. Florida.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record at Georgia / Years: 47-42 / 3rd season
Overall Record/Years: 170-85 / 8th season
Assistant Coaches: Kwanza Johnson, Philip Pearson, Stacey Palmore
|F||5||Lance Goulbourne||6-8||225||Sr.||Brooklyn, N.Y.||8.9||7.0|
|F||44||Jeffery Taylor||6-7||225||Sr.||Norrkoping, Sweden||18.0||6.0|
|C||3||Festus Ezeli||6-11||255||Sr.||Benin City, Nigeria||10.4||5.7|
|G||1||Brad Tinsley||6-3||210||Sr.||Oregon City, Ore.||9.1||4.5#|
|G||23||John Jenkins||6-4||215||Jr.||Hendersonville, Tenn.||19.8||2.8|
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Kevin Stallings
Record at Vanderbilt / Years: 254-156 / 13th season
Overall Record / Years: 377-219 / 18th season
Assistant Coaches: David Cason, Brad Frederick, Dan Muller, Tom Richardson
Georgia vs. Vanderbilt
- Sunday's game is the 135th all-time meeting between these two schools in basketball. Vanderbilt leads the series, which began in 1914 and has been renewed annually since 1951, by an 85-49 count.
- This year marks the 54th time that Georgia and Vanderbilt have played a home-and-home series. Georgia has swept the series just seven times and not since 2001. The two schools have split their series nine of the past 11 years.
- Vanderbilt took both regular-season matchups last season: 73-66 in Nashville in early January and 64-56 five weeks later in Athens.
- Oddly, these two programs have met twice in post-season play on their respective home courts. Georgia defeated Vandy at Memorial Gym in the 1991 SEC Tournament second round. Seven years later, Georgia defeated Vandy at Stegeman Coliseum in the NIT third round, earning a trip to New York for the NIT Final Four in the process.
- A geographical breakdown of the series follows:
Games in Athens: UGA leads 33-27
Games in Nashville: Vandy leads 53-13
Neutral-Court Games: Vandy leads 5-3
Of RPIs and Such
- 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 10.4 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 11 games of single-digit turnovers, including a season-low four TOs last Saturday at Miss. State. Game-by-game stats are available only back to the 1979-80 season. There is no game during that time span -- 1979 to the present -- where Georgia committed fewer than its four turnovers from last Saturday.
- Counting his two seasons at Tennessee State, Gerald Robinson enters tonight's game with 1,770 career points, 749 at Georgia and 1,021 in two seasons (2008-09) at TSU. That combined figure would rank 4th on Georgia's career scoring list, five points shy of Vern Fleming (1981-84).
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was named as the SEC's Freshman of the Week on Dec. 19. It was the first time for a Georgia player since Trey Thompkins won the F-O-W award for the week of Dec. 1, 2008.
Currently, there are seven freshmen in the SEC that are scoring in double figures. KCP ranks second among those rookies behind Bradley Beal of Florida at 14.2 points per game. He also ranks 3rd among SEC freshmen in minutes played (32.6) behind Miss. State's Rodney Hood and Bradley Beal of Florida. Additionally, KCP leads all freshmen in shots taken (310), ranking 5th 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). 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).
- Dustin Ware remains within reachable distance of becoming the 42nd player in UGA history to score 1,000 career points. With a minimum of six games left, he needs just 49 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; G.G. Smith (1996-99) and Levi Stukes (2004-07) are the others.
- Dustin Ware last season ranked 5th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio. This season he doesn't meet the minimum qualifying standard for national ranking (3.0 assists/game). Still, his current A/TO ratio of 3.17 would rate him fourth among all Division I players in that statistic.
- Georgia's win at Miss. State on Saturday was its first road victory over a Top 25 opponent since Jan. 17, 2004, when the Bulldogs defeated then-No. 5 Kentucky 65-57 in Rupp Arena.
- Despite a scoring margin of -1.3, the Bulldogs have tallied more total field goals and more 3-pointers than their opponents this season. The discrepancy rests at the free-throw line, where Georgia's opponents average scoring 3.7 more points -- and 5.4 more attempts -- than the Bulldogs. In the 11-game SEC schedule, the margin is even greater. SEC opponents are averaging 17.1 FT points compared to 10.1 by Georgia.
- Sophomore Donte' Williams has benefitted from a greatly increased role this season. The 6-9 forward has become Georgia's top frontline offensive threat, with double-figure scoring seven 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 32.
- 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. .374 (185-494) by Dustin Ware, Present
A few observations about Georgia's place in the world of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI):
- Georgia began last week with an RPI of 99, having climbed over 25 spots with back-to-back Top 100 wins. It begins this week back into triple digits at 108, thanks to its loss at No. 167 South Carolina.
- Georgia's win at Miss. State caused a 14-point improvement in the Bulldogs' RPI, from 112 to 98. Conversely, the outcome caused State's RPI to balloon from 31 to 45.
- Georgia now has four victories vs. RPI 100 teams. Chronologically, they are:
1) 72-61 at home on Nov. 16 vs. No. 63 South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are currently 21-7 with a 19-point win at Washington on their resume.
2) 61-57 neutral-court win vs. No. 38 Notre Dame, which has improved to 17-8 after seven straight Big East wins.
3 & 4) Most recently, 81-59 at home over then-No. 59 Arkansas and 70-68 at then-No. 31 Miss. State.
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 11 games and the latter in seven.
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' No. 5 scorer, averaging 6.2 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 487-718 (.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.