About the Game
- Just 72 hours after beginning its season, Georgia will play host to Youngstown State as part of the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic.
- The 12-team field participates in the regional or subregional rounds before Georgia joins "hosts" No. 1 Indiana, No. 13 UCLA and Georgetown in Brooklyn at the brand-new Barclays Center next week for the championship rounds. Georgia will continue action in the Progressive Legends Classic with Thursday night home contest against Southern Miss and then face consensus No. 1 Indiana next Monday. They'll face either Georgetown or UCLA the following night.
- On Friday night in its season opener, Georgia topped the visiting Jacksonville Dolphins 68-62 for its seventh consecutive season-opening win. Sophomore forward Nemanja Djurisic picked up his second career double-double, tallying 14 points and 12 boards.
- Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looks to be picking up right where he left off. After leading the team in scoring (17 points) Friday night, he has led Georgia in scoring in 15 of the 33 (45.4%) games he's played in while at Georgia.
- To prepare for the season, Georgia -- as allowed by NCAA rules -- played a "private" scrimmage at home against Clemson on Oct. 27 and, most recently, defeated Division II foe Young Harris 86-52 in its only exhibition game last Friday. Rules allow for two scrimmages against D1 opponents, two exhibition games vs. non-D1 teams or any combination thereof.
- The Bulldogs return four starters from the 2012 team that went 15-17, led by sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Greenville, Ga., native is Georgia's top returning scorer (13.2 ppg) and rebounder (5.2 rpg). Somewhat surprisingly, it's only been five years since a guard ranked as the Bulldogs' top returnee in both of those categories (Sundiata Gaines). On a side note, the SEC announced last week that he had been named to the Preseason Coaches All-SEC first team.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record at Georgia / Years: 50-46 / 4th season
Overall Record/Years: 123-43 / 9th season
Assistant Coaches: Kwanza Johnson, Philip Pearson, Stacey Palmore
|YOUNGSTOWN STATE PENGUINS
|F||21||Damian Eargle||6-7||225||Sr.||Youngstown, Ohio||11.1||7.5|
|F||5||Kamren Belin||6-7||235||Jr.||Atlanta, Ga.||---||---|
|G||4||Shawn Amiker||6-5||185||So.||Oak Park, Mich.||1.6||1.2|
|G||3||Kendrick Perry||6-0||180||Jr.||Ocoee, Fla||16.8||3.2|
|G||1||Blake Allen||6-1||180||Sr.||Tampa, Fla.||12.8||3.3|
Head Coach: Jerry Slocum
Record at Youngstown State / Years: 75-135 / 8th season
Overall Record / Years: 656-460 / 38th season
Assistant Coaches: Michael Wernicki, Brian DePaoli, Steve Hall
Georgia vs. Youngstown State
- Monday night's game is the first ever meeting between Georgia and Youngstown State in basketball, as well as Georgia's first ever meeting with a team from the Horizon League.
- The Penguins return their top three scorers from last season-Kendrick Perry, Blake Allen and Damian Eargle-along with six other members of the 2011-12 squad.
- Also returning for the Penguins is 65.2 percent of its scoring, 66.7 percent of its rebounding and 66.9 percent of its assists.
- Last season, the Penguins went 16-15 to experience their first winning season since the 2000-01 campign.
- The Penguins are coming off the "year of the three." They set the school's single-season
record for most 3-pointers with 270 last season It was also the first time in school history that more than four players made at least 50 3-pointers in the same season.
A LOOK BACK:
> On Saturday in its season opener, Youngstown State topped George Washington 80-73. Senior Blake Allen and freshman Bobby Hain each scored 19 points. Three others (Eargle-11, Amiker-10, Cole-12) scored in the double figures. Hain, a freshman, also had 11 rebounds, notching a double-double in his first career game.
THE TIES THAT BIND:
Georgia and Youngstown State have two common opponents this season: George Washington and South Florida. On Saturday afternoon in their opener, the Penguins beat to GWU 80-73...UGA will face GWU on Jan. 4 in Athens. YSU will play South Florida on Dec. 18; UGA will square off with them a couple weeks earlier on Nov. 30 in Tampa.
Though Georgia has no previous on-court connection to Youngstown State, UGA has plenty of Youngstown in its athletic heritage. Anthony "Zippy" Morroco, Georgia's first basketball All-American in 1953, hailed from Youngstown, as did football All-Americans Frank Sinkwich (1942) and George Poschner (1943). The family of Georgia baseball coach David Perno also hails from Youngstown.
2012-13 Bulldogs a Year Older
Year Four of the Mark Fox era at Georgia will feature his first roster comprised solely of players chosen by Fox and his staff. The Bulldogs of 2013 have a lone 3-year letterman in guard Vincent Williams, as well as two other seniors who took the junior-college route before arriving in Athens.
Last season the Bulldogs began the year with just two players that had experience as a starter on a Division I basketball team. This year, however, that number is now up to six, including four players that were regular starters at season's end. That quartet is comprised of two sophomores and two freshmen. In all, Georgia returns players who logged over 68 percent of its total minutes played in 2012.
About the Schedule
Georgia in 2012-13 could play as many as 19 games against teams that participated in the postseason last year. The Bulldogs are slated to face consensus current No. 1 Indiana in the Progressive Legends Classic at the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. They'll also face 2012 NCAA Tournament entry South Florida in Tampa as part of the annual SEC/Big East Challenge.
As part of the new 18-game Southeastern Conference schedule, the Bulldogs will face former Eastern Division foes Kentucky and Vanderbilt just once. It will be the first time since 1964 that Georgia has not played home-and-home series with these two longstanding foes and, since 1992, Eastern Division rivals. In exchange for those two contests, the Bulldogs will now pick up a series with new member Texas A&M and renew a 2-game annual series with Alabama for the first time since 1992.
The addition of Texas A&M and Missouri has also added another day of competition to the post-season SEC Tournament, slated for March 13-17 in Nashville, Tenn. The Nos. 9-12 seeds in the final regular-season standings will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, with the tournament resuming its traditional schedule Thursday. It's conceivable that a team could capture the SEC Tournament championship by winning games on five consecutive days, similar to what UConn accomplished in the Big East Tournament in 2011.
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).
Fox Best at Molding Talent
- 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 played more minutes (22) than any teammate during Georgia's lone exhibition game last week, also seeing a brief stint on the court at the point guard position.
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.
Hayes Joins Bulldog Staff
A face familiar to Georgia basketball fans joined coach Mark Fox's staff during the offseason. Jonas Hayes, a 3-year letterman from 2002-04 and an '04 UGA graduate, was named as the Bulldogs' Operations Coordinator in May of 2012. Hayes, a native of Atlanta, had spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C. He had also served brief stints as an assistant coach at South Carolina State, Morehouse and his alma mater, Douglass High School in Atlanta.
Hayes, whose twin brother Jarvis continues to play professionally overseas, became the first Georgia basketball alumnus to hold a full-time position on the staff at his alma mater since Shaun Golden was an administrative assistant on the staff in 1997.
Thornton Health Key for Georgia
Here's one reason why Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia in rebounding as a freshman last season from his combo guard position. Marcus Thornton, who had led the Bulldogs in that category in the early going, spent most of the latter half of the season nursing ill health.
Thornton underwent knee surgery just before Christmas and missed the next five contests. Even upon his return, his effectiveness was limited. By season's end, he needed a second surgery and the subsequent recovery period has kept him under close scrutiny ever since.
That supervision will continue as the 2013 season transpires. Thornton, a 6-8 junior, provides the Bulldogs much-needed heft and toughness under the basket, provided he is healthy. A sound bill of health for the 2013 season could mean good things for Thornton and the Bulldogs.