Nov. 8, 2013
About the Game
- Georgia tips off the 2013-14 season when it entertains Southern Conference foe Wofford on Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs began pre-season practice six weeks ago to the day, on Sept. 27. Since then, they have staged a series of intrasquad scrimmages, a closed scrimmage against Mercer in Athens and, most recently, their only exhibition game on Monday against UNC-Pembroke. Georgia defeated the Braves by an 81-69 tally. More details on that contest follow later in this package.
- Wofford will be starting its season on the road for the 19th consecutive season. For a contrasting viewpoint, Georgia will be opening at home for the eighth straight year. Only three times in the past 30 years, in fact, has a Bulldog team opened the season by playing a true road game. The last time that happened was in November of 1999, when that UGA squad opened at N.C. State. Georgia's last time starting a season outside of Athens came in November of 2005, when the Bulldogs played three games at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
- Georgia and Wofford opened the 2011-12 season against one another in Athens, with the Bulldogs taking a 62-49 decision. Just nine of the 23 players that participated in that game [5 for UGA (2 starters), 4 for Wofford (0 starters)] will be available for action Friday.
New Faces Abound on Bulldog Roster
Georgia's core of returning players remains solid for the 2014 season, yet coach Mark Fox will be incorporating a slew of newcomers into the lineup. Senior Donte' Williams and sophomore Brandon Morris are the only two returnees who were starting at the end of last season. Three key players, however, have seen significant playing time, plenty of which came as starters: redshirt junior Marcus Thornton, junior Nemi Djurisic and sophomore Charles Mann. The latter, in fact, earned Freshman All-SEC honors last season in primarily a reserve's role. Djurisic is Georgia's top returning scorer, despite his part-time starter status. Thornton had started seven of nine games before a knee injury ended his 2013 season.
|F||2||Marcus Thornton**||6-8||235||RJr.||Atlanta, Ga.||3.8||4.4|
|F||15||Donte' Williams***||6-9||225||Sr.||Ellenwood, Ga.||5.1||4.8|
|G||3||Juwan Parker||6-4||200||Fr.||Tulsa, Okla.||---||---|
|G||4||Charles Mann*||6-5||210||So.||Alpharetta, Ga.||6.7||2.9a|
|G||12||Kenny Gaines*||6-3||195||So.||Atlanta, Ga.||3.7||1.1|
#Assists Per Game
|F||31||C.J. Neumann||6-7||230||So.||St. Paul, Minn.||2.4||1.8|
|F||34||Lee Skinner||6-6||220||Jr.||Lombard, Ill.||10.3||7.4|
|G||32||Spencer Collins||6-4||195||So.||Easley, S.C.||12.4||3.2|
|G||2||Karl Cochran||6-1||175||Jr.||Marietta, Ga.||15.6||4.3|
|G||5||Eric Garcia||5-11||170||Fr.||Aurora, Colo.||--||--|
Head Coach: Mike Young
Record at USC / Years: 169-172 / 12th season
Overall Record / Years: 169-172 / 12th season
Assistant Coaches: Dustin Kerns (Assoc. HC), Darris Nichols, Tim Johnson
Georgia has an extensive history against Southern Conference teams, having been a charter SoCon member itself back in 1921. It has an all-time record of 80-19 against current SoCon schools, most notably the 22-4 mark against Furman and 11-4 against Georgia Southern. After tonight's game against Wofford, the Bulldogs are slated to play four more of the Terriers' conference brethren this season: Davidson, Appalachian State, Chattanooga and Western Carolina.
Much has been made of the new enforcement of existing rules, as well as new rules, for the coming basketball season. Specifically, the following are supposed to be different from past seasons:
Under the revised block/charge call in men's basketball, a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass. If the defensive player is not in legal guarding position by this time, it is a blocking foul. Previously, a defender had to be in legal guarding position when the offensive player lifted off the floor.
It is believed that the rule change will:
1) Allow for more offensive freedom;
2) Provide clarity for officials in making this difficult call; and
3) Enhance the balance between offense and defense.
Additionally, officials will be required to adhere to new points of emphasis, all designed to encourage "freedom of movement" in the game of basketball. They include:
1) When a defensive player keeps a hand or forearm on an opponent;
2) When a defensive player puts two hands on an opponent;
3) When a defensive player continually jabs by extending his arm(s) and placing a hand or forearm on the opponent;
4) When a player uses an arm bar to impede the progress of an opponent.
Thus far, as all participants adjust to these changes, the volume of called fouls has risen measurably. In Georgia's exhibition win Monday, there were 47 fouls called. For what it's worth, last season there were an average of 36 fouls called in Georgia's games.
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 travels 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 played just 17 games and dotted its schedule with random groups like Lawson General Hospital and Robins Airfield -- has this phenomenon occurred.
Williams a Seasoned Veteran
With Marcus Thornton receiving a medical redshirt season from 2013, Donte' Williams became the Bulldogs' lone senior this season. He is already the most experienced Bulldog, having started 59 games in the past two seasons. That's more than twice the total of Thornton, who is second on the team in career starts with 27, including seven in his truncated season of 2013. Williams enters this season with 471 career points, second among all Bulldogs behind Nemi Djurisic, who has tallied 475 in two seasons.
Mann is the Man
Charles Mann enjoyed one of the best seasons by a freshman guard in Georgia history last year. The Alpharetta resident ranked third on the team in scoring at 6.7 points per game. He led the Bulldogs in assists with 92 and free-throw attempts with 170. All of the above numbers were excellent considering he started just eight of 32 games and averaged 21.5 minutes per contest. Mann's 92 assists, in fact, were the most by a freshman guard since Dustin Ware's 108 in 2009. Ware started 17 games and averaged over 25 minutes that season.
Mann's 170 trips to the free throw line --- fifth-best total in the SEC last season -- were the most by a Georgia freshman guard since Litterial Green tried 187 foul shots in his rookie season of 1989.
Djurisic is Dogs' Top Scorer
Junior forward Nemi Djurisic is Georgia's top returning scorer for the 2013-14 season. The 6-8 native of Montnegro averaged 7.9 points during the entirety of the season, 7.8 during 18 SEC games. This marks the first time in nine years that Georgia has no double-figure scorer coming back from the previous season. In the 2004-05 season, Levi Stukes was the Bulldogs' highest-scoring returnee at 9.5 points. The 7.9 ppg average by Djurisic is the smallest average by the highest-scoring returnee since Ray Harrison led the 1996-97 Bulldogs with a 6.3 scoring average.