The Climb Continues in '07
Georgia's 19-14 record in 2007 represented yet another incremental step in the rebuilding process under head coach Dennis Felton. Two years ago, his second Bulldog team won just eight games. In 2006, Georgia broken even at 15-15.
Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the 2007 Georgia team was its break-even ledger in Southeastern Conference play. Its 8-8 SEC record -- a far cry from the 2-14 mark of two years earlier -- would have tied or the Western Division title. Because the Bulldogs toil in the East, however, 8-8 was good enough only for fifth place.
This upward progress was achieved during a season in which the SEC, and the Eastern Division in particular, enjoyed unprecedented success. Four East members played in the NCAA Tournament and three advanced to the round of 16.
Georgia also enjoyed the taste of post-season success after a drought of several years. The Bulldogs won an SEC Tournament game for the first time in three years. They also won their first-round game in the National Invitation Tournament, the program's first legitimate win in either the NIT or the NCAAs since 1998.
Georgia also achieved its on-court success while playing the last 10 games without starting guard Mike Mercer. The sophomore guard was averaging 13.6 points per game when he went down with a knee injury in the Bulldogs' win at South Carolina on Feb. 10.
Stukes Etches Name in History
The 2007 campaign was an historic season for senior guard Levi Stukes. The Randallstown, Md., native started the season off by joining Georgia's list of 1,000-point career scorers. During the season, he climbed 24 spots on that list, finishing with 1,393 career points.
In late January, Stukes has also became the school's all-time leading 3-point shooter. In the LSU game on Jan. 28, he moved past D.A. Layne (1999-2001) as Georgia's career leader in 3-point attempts. On Feb. 10 at South Carolina, he moved past Layne as the Bulldogs' all-time leader in 3-pointers made.
Stukes' final career numbers for 3-point shots are as follows: 261 of 683 (38.2%).
Bulldogs Among Best on Boards
The 2007 group of Bulldogs rated among the strongest rebounders of recent UGA vintage, perhaps of all time. They finished the season ranked 22 nationally among all Division I teams in rebounding margin, second in the SEC behind champion Florida.
A few random notions about Georgia's rebounding success this year:
The Bulldogs outr ebounded 12 of their 16 SEC opponents.
Georgia out rebounded the two highest-ranked opponents on its schedule -- Florida and Wisconsin -- each by a decisive margin.
Georgia accrued these numbers without a truly great rebounder in the post position. Point guard Sundiata Gaines led the Bulldogs in rebounding for the second straight season at 5.7 boards per game.
As far back as team stats are available (1960), no Georgia team had as large a rebounding margin as the current mark of +5.7.