Nov. 12, 2012
About the Game
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Jerry Slocum
Georgia vs. Youngstown State
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:
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.