Bulldogs Battle Gamecocks on Saturday
Feb. 22, 2013
About the Game
- Georgia completes its regular-season series with South Carolina in a Saturday afternoon contest at home. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks are "permanent rivals," as designated last spring by the SEC in its new scheduling process.
- Saturday's match-up will be the 100th between the two schools. Georgia holds a narrow 51-48 edge in the series, thanks partly to its 67-56 win over the Gamecocks in Columbia three weeks ago today. The Bulldogs have won five of its last six bouts with South Carolina.
- Georgia arrives at this game with a 12-14 overall record, 6-7 in SEC play. Less than 48 hours ago, the Bulldogs dropped a 62-60 decision at Arkansas. The loss, their third straight, dropped them into a 3-way tie for 8th place in the SEC standings as play began Saturday.
- Leading the way throughout this season has been sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Greenville, Ga., native enters this game averaging 17.6 points per game, which ranks second in the SEC. In fact, he ranks among the SEC leaders in nine of the 13 categories for which individual stats are compiled. During Georgia's recent 5-game win streak, Caldwell-Pope shot 63 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 91 percent from the FT line, averaging 19 points and 6.8 boards per game. All these numbers included a season-low 10-point game in last Saturday's win over Texas A&M, a game in which he did not score a field goal for the first time of his young career.
- Several Bulldogs have taken their turns in a supporting role to Caldwell-Pope. In Georgia's recent run of success, that status was shared between reserves Kenny Gaines (three double-figure games in past five) and Nemi Djurisic (dbl figures in consecutive recent games).
- The latest to take his turn among the top supporters was Sherrard Brantley, who scored a career-high 10 points Thursday at Arkansas. The Dublin, Ga., native scored seven in the first half, keeping the Bulldog offense afloat until its more productive second half nearly pulled off a significant comeback.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record at Georgia / Years: 62-60 / 4th season
Overall Record/Years: 185-103 / 9th season
Assistant Coaches: Kwanza Johnson, Philip Pearson, Stacey Palmore
|SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCK
|F||14||Laimonas Chatkevicuis||6-11||255||Fr.||Klaipeda, Lithuania||4.1||2.9|
|F||24 ||Michael Carrera||6-5||212||Fr.||Anzoátegui, Venezuela||10.5||7.3|
|F||30||Lakeem Jackson||6-5||235||Sr.||Charlotte, N.C.||8.2||6.4|
|G||5||Eric Smith||5-11||205||Jr.||Mullins, S.C.||6.1||1.5|
|G||23||Bruce Ellington||5-9||197||Jr.||Moncks Corner, S.C.||9.9||2.9|
Head Coach: Frank Martin
Record at South Carolina / Years: 13-13 / 1st season
Overall Record / Years: 130-67 / 6th season
Assistant Coaches: Brad Underwood (Assoc. HC), Matt Figger, Lamont Evans
Georgia vs. South Carolina
- Saturday's game is the 100th all-time meeting between Georgia and South Carolina in basketball. Georgia holds a 51-48 lead in the series. Georgia won the first match-up of the season, a 67-56 victory in Columbia three weeks ago.
- Georgia is 5-2 versus South Carolina under head coach Mark Fox.
- 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.
- Georgia will be going for the season sweep of South Carolina, a feat it's accomplished only five times since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1991.
- Georgia has one five of its last six match-ups with the Gamecocks dating back to 2/7/09.
- A geographical breakdown of the series follows:
Games in Athens: UGA leads 30-15
Games in Columbia: USC leads 30-17
Neutral Court Games: UGA leads 4-3
- A month ago, Georgia began its SEC schedule with an RPI rating of 205. The Bulldogs enter today's game with an RPI of 122. Why the significant jump? Mostly because three of Georgia's past five wins were against Top 100 teams, two on the road, to boot.
- Right now, Georgia has just one player (KCP at 17.6 ppg) averaging in double-digit scoring. Not only is it the sole 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 seven times...
- Georgia has used 12 different starting lineups this season. The one constant through all 12 lineups is, of course, has been Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Five other teammates (both Williamses, Morris, Florveus and Djurisic) now have double-digit starts.
- KCP is on pace to reach 1,000 career points by season's end. If he gets there, he'll be the 42nd player in UGA history to reach that milestone, but he'll be the first since Jarvis Hayes (2002-03) to reach it in just two seasons.
- One more interesting tidbit about Caldwell-Pope. He's one of just 11 players in all of NCAA Division I that have scored in double figures in each of their team's games. He's the only SEC player to accomplish this feat and one of just five from the "BCS" leagues to do so. Against Ole Miss, he needed two free throws with 17 seconds left to keep that streak intact. On Thursday, the streak looked in doubt again as Caldwell-Pope didn't score his first point until the 13:31 mark in the 2nd half.
- Nemi Djurisic was the fifth-leading scorer on last season's Georgia team at 7.0 points per game. This year he's raised his average to 7.8 per game but is now the No. 2 scorer on the current squad.
- A key for Georgia's success this season: Defense. Georgia is 9-1 when allowing less than 59 points. Georgia ranks fourth in the league in defensive rebounding (24.8/.699), and ranks second in the league field goal percentage defense (.390)
- Some revealing observations from Georgia's recent 5- game win streak:
> Its starters were outscored 204-170 (avg. 41-34). The Georgia bench, however, outscored the opposing reserves 133-61 (avg. 27-12).
> In those five wins, Georgia shot 46 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range. Caldwell-Pope led this surge, with shooting percentages of 63 and 50 percent, respectively.
> In the last 5 minutes of these five games, Georgia shot 70 percent from the field, 75 percent from the line, 75 percent from 3-point and outrebounded the opposition 23-16.
- Georgia's recent 5-game win streak was the longest in SEC play under coach Mark Fox. The longest win streak, period, of the Fox era is a 9-game run in the 2010-11 season. The school record for consecutive SEC wins is six, established three times: in 2001, 1992-93 teams (spanning both seasons) and also the SEC championship team of 1990. The last time for a 7-game league win streak occurred in the 1930-31 season, when the Bulldogs belonged to the Southern Conference.
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.