About This Game
- Georgia returns to the court this Saturday in a rare West Coast trip when the Bulldogs play at Southern Cal. Ten days have passed since Georgia last competed. The break allowed for UGA's Fall Semester final exams, which ended Wednesday of this week.
The Bulldogs arrive at this game with a 4-5 record, having dropped the past four games in a difficult early-season stretch. Most recently, Georgia lost 68-56 at home to rival Georgia Tech on Dec. 7. It was the third consecutive game in which the Bulldogs succumbed after leading at halftime.
Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continues to lead Georgia in scoring, as he has all season, at 13.4 points per game. Gerald Robinson, coming off the bench in the past three games, is the Bulldogs' only other double-figure scorer at 12.6. He comes off a 20-point outing in the Georgia Tech game. At his current clip, Caldwell-Pope would become the first freshman to lead Georgia in scoring since Jumaine Jones in 1998.
- Georgia and Southern Cal meet for just the second time ever in basketball. Georgia won the only previous meeting 77-74 on Dec. 29, 1972 in the Quaker City Tournament in Philadelphia. The Trojans are the third Pac 12 team that Georgia will have faced this season, having already dropped games to Cal and Colorado.
- The Bulldogs are currently wrapping up a 7-game stretch that would rival any program's in degree of difficulty. During this stretch, the Bulldogs have faced three Pac-12 schools, two Big East teams and one each from the ACC and A-10. Just two of those seven games have been at home.
- This is Georgia's first game in the Pacific Time Zone since December of 2005 and its first time in the L.A. area since playing in the 2002 Wooden Classic.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record at Georgia / Years: 39-34 / 3rd season
Overall Record/Years: 162-77 / 8th season
Assistant Coaches: Kwanza Johnson, Philip Pearson, Stacey Palmore
|F||14||Dewayne Dedmon||7-0||255||So.||Lancaster, Calif.||7.0||5.7|
|F||21||Aaron Fuller||6-6||235||Jr.||Mesa, Ariz.||11.7||6.3|
|G||2||Greg Allen||6-3||180||Jr.||Eureka, Calif.||3.6||1.1|
|G||10||Maurice Jones||5-7||155||So.||Saginaw, Mich.||15.1||3.1a|
|G||25||Byron Wesley||6-5||210||Fr.||Etiwanda, Calif.||6.2||3.7|
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Kevin O'Neill
Record at USC / Years: 39-35 / 3rd season
Overall Record / Years: 227-229 / 15th season
Assistant Coaches: Bob Cantu, Dieter Horton, Tony Miller
Georgia vs. Southern Cal, Pac 12
- This will be just the fourth game Georgia has ever played in the Los Angeles area. The 1992 squad played a single game at UCLA, and the 1998 & 2003 squads participated in the Wooden Classic in Anaheim. Other games in the Pacific Time Zone have included one each in Oakland, Fresno, Portland, Ore., and Reno, as well as two in Spokane, Wash.
- Georgia this season is tasked with overcoming the early departures of two All-SEC players, forwards Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. Their absences, combined with the graduation of seniors Jeremy Price and Chris Barnes, have left a significant hole in the Bulldog frontcourt. Together this foursome averaged 43.4 points and 23.7 rebounds per game last season.
- The aforementioned pair of early entries into the professional ranks could possibly attend Saturday's game. Thompkins and Leslie, both second-round draft picks by the L.A. Clippers, are currently going through pre-season camp at the team's training facility in Playa Vista.
- Georgia's top returning rebounder heading into the 2012 season was senior point guard Dustin Ware, who brought down a whopping 2.9 boards per game last year.
- Ware is also Georgia's top returning 3-point shooter. He led the SEC at 43.5 percent from beyond the arc last season. His senior year, however, is off to a slow start; he's made just 30 percent of his 44 tries. Not to worry...last season Ware made just eight of his first 26 tries (31%) over the first eight games before breaking out with a 7-of-9 effort at Georgia Tech.
- This is the 26th season of the 3-point shot in college basketball. Georgia's current per-game average of 22.2 treys attempted per game would be the second most ever by a Bulldog team. Currently, the most by any Georgia team is the 22.9 attempts by the 1998 squad.
- Vincent Williams had two inconspicuous seasons in 2010 and 2011. This year, however, he has thrust himself prominently into a crowded backcourt rotation, even starting four of the past five games. He's already established new career highs in scoring, rebounds and minutes, most recently scoring a career-high 10 points last week in the game against Georgia Tech.
- Sophomore Donte' Williams has also benefitted from a greatly increased role this season. The 6-9 forward has become Georgia's top frontline offensive threat, with double-figure scoring twice already, including a career-high 17 points against South Dakota State. He also leads Georgia in blocked shots with 14.
- The 2011-12 Bulldogs enter this season amid fairly low expectations...externally, at least. In the SEC-sponsored media poll -- a panel that featured two jounalists from each school's coverage area -- Georgia was pegged for an 8th-place finish in the SEC. This, after a year in which the Bulldogs posted the program's first winning record in SEC play since 2003.
- Georgia senior Gerald Robinson was named to the Coaches' Pre-Season All-SEC 2nd Team. The Nashville, Tenn., native was one of 16 players picked to two 8-man squads by the league's head coaches. Robinson is the top returning scorer and assist man for the Bulldogs.
In-State Trio Signs With Bulldogs
Georgia coach Mark Fox announced on Nov. 9 the signing of three in-state high school seniors to national
letters-of-intent to attend UGA and play next season for the Bulldogs: Kenny Gaines, a 6-4 guard from Atlanta;
Charles Mann, a 6-6 guard from Alpharetta; and Brandon Morris, a 6-8 forward from Lithonia.
Gaines, at 6-4 and 190 pounds, is currently beginning his senior season at Whitefield Academy in Smyrna. As
a junior last season he averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in leading the Wolfpack to a 23-4 overall
record. He is rated as the nation's No. 20 shooting guard prospect by Scout.com and the #24 shooting guard by
Mann, at 6-6 and 190 pounds, is starting his senior season at AAAAA power Milton High School in Alpharetta.
Through the 2011 season, he had played at Union Grove High School in McDonough, where he averaged over 22
points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists per contest as a junior. There he won All-Region, All-County and Honorable
Mention All-State honors, as well as MVP of the Region, as voted by all of its head coaches.
Morris, regarded as a "combo" forward at 6-8, 195 pounds, is currently a senior at Miller Grove High School in
Lithonia. One of the top prep programs in Georgia, the Wolverines have won the past three Georgia Class AAAA
state titles, going a combined 88-10 over those three seasons. As a junior last season, Morris averaged 11.2 points,
8.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He was named to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) junior
All-Star North team at season's end, along with Mann.
"Green As the New York Jets"
As his Bulldogs prepared to begin the 2012 season, head coach Mark Fox alluded to the NFL's New York Jets in describing the team's lack of experience. And he's not too far off. Aside from seniors Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson, fellow senior Connor Nolte is Georgia's only other player to have ever started in a college basketball game prior to the 2012 season. Nolte started the Bulldogs' first three games of last season and he also started 15 of 60 games as a freshman and sophomore at Furman University in the 2008-09 seasons.
Additionally, because of the installation of the new court at Stegeman Coliseum, all of Georgia's newcomers had never even taken a shot on their home court until two weeks ago.
Schedule Among Nation's Toughest
Georgia's schedule features as many as 17 games that could come against teams that played in the 2011 postseason. In addition to the SEC, other so-called "power" leagues represented on the Bulldogs 2012 schedule include the following:
Atlantic Coast; Atlantic Ten; Big East; BigTwelve; Pac 12
Additionally, the Bulldogs are slated for at least 16 national television dates and 12 more regional TV appearances. They've been tabbed twice as part of ESPN's "Super Tuesday" coverage of college basketball, both times against SEC Eastern Division rivals: Jan. 10 at Florida and two weeks later at home against Kentucky.
"Masters" of their Field
Two Bulldogs, Gerald Robinson and Connor Nolte, will be playing the 2011-12 season while pursuing master's degrees. Both transferred to UGA in 2010, Robinson from Tennessee State and Nolte from Furman. Each completed his undergraduate degree and participated in commencement services in 2011. Robinson, whose bachelor's degree is in Speech Communication, is working towards a master's in Adult Education. Nolte earned his first degree in Marketing and is now earning his graduate degree in Sport Management.
Their graduation helped to mark a banner year, academically speaking, for the Bulldogs. Also earning diplomas in the spring of 2011 were Georgia's two 4-year seniors, Chris Barnes and Jeremy Price. The Bulldogs' next group of 4-year seniors is also due to graduate next spring: Matt Bucklin and Dustin Ware.
Upgrades to Stegeman Court, Sound
Just one year after a $13 million cosmetic facelift to Stegeman Coliseum, the 48-year-old arena received two major upgrades in the offseason. A new state-of-the-art sound system was installed duing the summer months by Baker Audio of Norcross, Ga., at a cost of nearly $620,000. In addition, the Bulldogs will enjoy playing on a nearly-new playing court. The UGA Athletic Association purchased the playing surface from the NCAA, which installed it for its 2011 Women's Regional at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. Typically, the NCAA hires Connor Sport Court International of Amasa, Mich., to manufacture courts for its eight Regional sites, as well as the two Final Four sites. It then sells the slightly-used courts to interested schools. Total cost for purchasing, resanding and finishing the floor for use in Stegeman Coliseum: $90,000.
KCP the Latest McD's All-American
When Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was named a 2011 McDonald's All-American, it had been almost 20 years since the last Georgia signee earned the prestigious honor. Athens' own Carlos Strong arrived on campus in 1992 as a McD's appointee.
Technically, Damien Wilkins was the most recent McDonald's All-American to play at Georgia, but he signed with and played at N.C. State for two seasons before transferring to UGA in 2002.
UGA signed five McD's all-stars in a 3-year span from 1979-82. They formed the nucleus of the group that reached the 1983 NCAA Final Four.
SEC Race, Tournament to Have Different Looks in 2012
Just shy of their 20th birthdays, the SEC Eastern and Western Divisions have seen their final days. The league's basketball coaches voted first, followed by its ADs and then its presidents and chancellors, to adopt a 1-12 seeding in the conference post-season tournament, with byes going to the top four finishers. All teams will play the unbalanced, 16-game schedule for the coming season but will increase that total for the 2013 campaign, likely to 18 games, as it was before the SEC was pared into divisions for the 1991-92 season.
The SEC Tournament returns this season to New Orleans for the third time ever, but for the first time at the New Orleans Arena, home to the NBA's Hornets.