March 8, 2013
About the Game
- Georgia conludes its regular season with a road contest against Alabama on Saturday. This homestretch marks the second time in two weeks that the Bulldogs have played the Thursday-Saturday feature to the SEC schedule.
These two teams met 25 days ago in Athens with Alabama prevailing by a 52-45 score. The loss ended Georgia's 5-game SEC win streak, the program's longest in 12 years. The Tide, in fact, has won the past four meetings and leads the overall series, 92-47.
- The Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 15-15 overall record, 9-8 in SEC play. Most recently, they defeated Kentucky 72-62 in Athens less than 48 hours ago. The win assured them of just their third SEC record of .500 or better in the past 10 years.
- Leading the way throughout this season has been sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Greenville, Ga., native enters this game averaging 18.2 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. Additionally, KCP began this week ranking 43rd nationally in scoring, 54th in 3-point FG percentage and 31st in steals. Caldwell-Pope is fresh off his sixth-career double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against Kentucky on Thursday
In the last 5 minutes of Georgia's 17 SEC games, he has an absurdly good record. He has scored 43 percent of his team's 217 total points (95) -- almost three times as many as any teammate -- in the last 5 minutes, and he's shooting 65 percent from the field, 62 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the line. He's amassed 30 percent of his total scoring output in SEC games during the last 5 minutes.
- By the time this game tips off, Georgia should have a much clearer idea of its possible finish in the SEC standings, and also its seeding at the SEC Tournament next week in Nashville. Before this day, the Bulldogs stood a chance to finish anywhere between sixth and ninth place, depending on games that began before theirs on Saturday.
|F||31||Brandon Morris||6-7||205||Fr.||Lithonia, Ga.||3.9||2.3|
|F||15||Donte' Williams||6-8||230||Jr.||Ellenwood, Ga.||5.4||5.0|
|F/C||32||John Florveus||6-11||240||Sr.||Miami, Fla.||2.6||3.1|
|G||11||Vincent Williams||6-0||165||Sr.||Homestead, Fla.||5.0||2.3#|
|G||1||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||6-5||205||So.||Greenville, Ga.||18.2||7.0|
#Assists Per Game
|ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE|
|C||14||Moussa Gueye||7-0||255||Jr.||Thies, Senegal||1.4||4.0|
|G||5||Trevor Lacey||6-3||215||So.||Huntsville, Ala.||12.1||3.2a|
|G||20||Levi Randolph||6-5||205||So.||Madison, Ala.||7.4||4.1|
|G||21||Rodney Cooper||6-6||215||So.||Hurtsboro, Ala.||10.9||4.8|
|G||12||Trevor Releford||6-0||195||Jr.||Kansas City, Mo.||15.5||2.7a|
Head Coach: Anthony Grant
Record at Alabama / Years: 82-50 / 4th season
Overall Record / Years: 158-75 / 7th season
Assistant Coaches: Dan Hipsher (Assoc. HC), John Brannen, Tony Pujol
Georgia vs. Alabama
- Saturday's game is the 140th meeting between Georgia and Alabama in basketball. Alabama leads the series, which began in 1922 and has continued annually since 1947, by an 92-47 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 32-29
Games in Tuscaloosa: UA leads 51-12
Neutral-Court Games: UA leads 9-6
SEC Tournament Games: UA leads 6-4
- Right now, Georgia has just one player (KCP at 18.2 ppg) averaging in double-digit scoring. No Bulldog team of the past 50 years has had that distinction.
- Even with KCP starting all 30 games, the Georgia starters this season have been outscored by an average of 7.0 points (38.4 - 45.4). The Bulldog bench, however, has outdone its counterparts by an average score of 22.5 - 16.0 (+6.5). Georgia's win over Kentucky two nights ago was right on target for the Bulldog subs, who outscored UK's 22-17. Last Saturday, Georgia's reserves outscored Tennessee's 41-13 in defeating the Vols 78-68.
- With its 72-62 win on Thursday against Kentucky, Georgia has scored 70+ points in two consecutive games for the first time this season. Georgia's 78 points vs. Tennessee last Saturday-- its highest total of the SEC season and its highest in a conference game since mid-February of last year -- pushed the Bulldogs' cumulative scoring average over 60 points per game. It was first time over the 60-point mark since the third week of last November. Georgia has scored above its seasonal average in each of its past six games.
- 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 (currently with 967). 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. By comparison, Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins reached 1,000 points in his 46th game at UGA, which came near the end of his sophomore season. Wilkins played in just 16 games as a freshman because of a foot injury. Jacky Dorsey, 2-time All-SEC forward in 1975-76, is the fastest Georgia player ever to 1,000 points, reaching the mark in the 43rd game of his career.
- One more interesting tidbit about Caldwell-Pope. He remains one of just 10 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. Only four SEC players have accomplished the feat over an entire season since 1996: Glen Davis of LSU (2005-06), Marquis Daniels of Auburn (2002-03), Ron Slay of Tennessee (2002-03) and Ansu Sesay of Ole Miss (1997-98).
- OK...a couple more items about KCP. He began this week ranking 56th nationally in scoring at 17.7 ppg, 77th nationally in 3-pointers per game at 2.44, and 30th nationally in steals at 2.15/game.
- With his 24-point performance on Thursday, KCP moved into fifth place among players who have scored the most during their sophomore season with 545. He is just five points away from passing D.A. Layne and 19 points away from passing Jumaine Jones. He also has the ninth-highest rebounding season by a UGA sophomore (211 rebs.) and is the only guard on that list.
- 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 7.9 per game but is now the No. 2 scorer on the current squad.
- Caldwell-Pope and Charles Mann each surpassed the 150 free throw attempts mark during Thursday's game. It's been 23 years since Georgia had two players try that many in a single season (Alec Kessler and Litterial Green in 1989-90). Mann's current total is the most by a freshman guard at UGA since Green in 1989.
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 2nd in the SEC in minutes at 33.7 per game. Georgia's next most active player is Nemanja Djurisic at 23.5 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.
Frazier, Parker Sign with Dogs in Early Signing Period
The early national signing period began Wednesday, Nov. 13 and Georgia got signatures from a pair of high school seniors:
J.J. Frazier, Guard, 5-9, 160, Glennville, Ga. (Faith Baptist Christian Academy - Ludowici, Ga.)...Frazier is regarded as the top point guard of his class in the state of Georgia...he averaged 26.2 points, 4.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals as a junior at Faith Baptist Christian, which won 33 games last season...played AAU basketball for the South Georgia Kings program from Hinesville, Ga.
Juwan Parker, Guard, 6-4, 190, Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington HS)...Averaged 20.5 points and 9.4 rebounds as a junior at Washington, which won Oklahoma 5A state championships in his freshman and sophomore seasons...Rated the nation's No. 30 shooting guard prospect by Scout.com, No. 39 by Rivals.com. Named the 2011 Player of the Year in his home state by the Tulsa World...Two-time Tulsa World All-State pick, and also twice a "Super 5" selection by The Oklahoman newspaper...Older brother Jason Parker played at Tulsa and was coached by current UGA assistant Kwanza Johnson.
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.
"SEC Storied" Series Spotlights 2008 SEC Tourney
With its premiere last Sunday, the latest episode of ESPN's "SEC Storied" series focuses on the 2008 SEC Basketball Tournament. Georgia captured the '08 championship by winning four consecutive games, including two overtime contests and two on Saturday. A category F2 tornado struck the Georgia Dome during 2nd-round play, causing the postponement of the Bulldogs' game vs. Kentucky and the moving of the tournament's remainder to the on-campus arena at Georgia Tech.