Posts Tagged ‘Bulldogs’
How will they replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s scoring? Where will the offense come from? Surely they cannot win as many games after losing the SEC Player of the Year to the NBA draft…
These concerns were the consensus question marks surrounding Coach Mark Fox’s team heading into the 2013-2014 season from just about every major media source that previews college basketball. This year’s team was picked to finish somewhere around 10th or 11th in the SEC before the season began.
Sophomores Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines had different ideas.
Georgia’s backcourt combined for 44 of UGA’s 69 points today in Baton Rouge, hoisting the Dawgs on their backs and carrying their team to a critical 69-61 road win against LSU.
The UGA duo played lights out on Saturday with Gaines scoring 20 points for the 4th time in the last 7 games. The sophomore was white hot in the first half, connecting on all four of his three-point attempts.
The entire Bulldog team was hitting shots before the intermission, making over 52% of their attempts from the floor. The problem wasn’t UGA’s shooting, though, it was their ball security. Georgia committed 13 first-half turnovers, yet they still managed to take 30-28 lead into the break due to some poor LSU shooting.
The Dawgs held a 21-18 advantage over the Tigers with 11:24 left before the half after a three from J.J. Frazier. Georgia remained stuck on 21 points for nearly 6 minutes until Kenny Gaines hit a three to reclaim a 24-22 lead. During that 6-minute drought, UGA committed 5 turnovers, and the only thing that kept them in the game was the fact that the Tigers could not find the rim.
In the second half, Charles Mann took over, scoring 16 of his game-high 22 points and snagging 7 of his game-high 10 rebounds (yes, Mann secured his first double-double of the season in probably the most important game of the year). Mann basically did what he does best: he got the line, where he made an incredible 12 of 14 attempts.
Georgia held an 11-point lead with less than 8 minutes left, and they were barely challenged for the remainder of the game other than a very brief LSU spurt that saw the Tigers cut the UGA advantage to 65-59 after an Anthony Hickey three-pointer. Charles Mann immediately buried a pair of free throws that shot the lead back to 8 points, and Georgia notched its 12th conference win of the season.
As far as LSU’s offense is concerned, the Tigers were led by Andre Stringer’s 22 points.
LSU’s leading scorer – Johnny O’Bryant – was a non-factor, mustering only 5 points while committing 5 turnovers. Coach Fox had a masterful game plan for JOB, doubling down on him at almost every opportunity. O’Bryant appeared flustered with the UGA defense, which held him to a season-low in scoring in conference play.
For Georgia, this victory was absolutely enormous.
The Dawgs finish the year 18-12 overall and 12-6 in the SEC, giving them the 3-seed in next week’s conference tournament.
Georgia will get the winner of the Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt/Mississippi State game in the quarterfinals round on Friday night.
The NCAA selection committee may or may not have UGA on its radar, but after winning 8 of their last 10 games to close out the regular season the Bulldogs are making themselves harder and harder to ignore.
(These late tip-offs make it difficult to put together a full-length post, so here are just some quick thoughts on this game)
Tonight’s win marks the first time a Georgia Bulldog Men’s basketball team has notched 10 conference wins since the 2002-2003 season.
It’s no secret that UGA’s defense was what won this game tonight. Missouri entered this contest averaging almost 74 points a night in league games, and they were third in field goal percentage (44%) and second in three-pointe percentage (37%).
The Tigers ran into a brick wall this evening in Athens, though, where the Dawgs held Mizzu to a season-low 56 points on just 32% shooting from the floor. The Tigers made only 3 of their 18 attempts from beyond the arc.
Mizzu’s big trio of scorers – Jabari Brown, Jordan Clarkson and Earnest Ross – came into tonight’s game netting more than 55 points per contest in SEC play. However, Georgia’s defenders held these guys to just a combined 38 points, which was a big reason why the Tigers appeared so stagnant on offense.
Nice bounce back game by Charles Mann:
Charles Mann scored a total of 12 points in his games against Tennessee and South Carolina last week. Tonight, however, Charles was in charge, dropping 19 points to go along with a team-high 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Great production from the bench for Coach Fox:
UGA’s bench combined for 17 points on 46% shooting from the floor, and they hauled in 13 rebounds. Mizzu’s backups tallied a total of just 4 points. Fox got some nice minutes from Neme Djurisic, who hit two big three-pointers to give Georgia a 31-22 lead at the half. Those three’s were Neme’s only points of the game, but he did grab 6 boards.
This victory puts UGA at 16-11 overall and 10-5 in the conference. While Georgia has yet to be listed officially on any NCAA bubbles, the Dawgs continue to burst the bubble dreams of their SEC counterparts. UGA’s sweep of Mizzu this season has to have the Tigers feeling pretty uneasy about their NCAA chances.
Georgia hits the road to take on Arkansas this Saturday in another game that could be bubbly.
Apparently, South Carolina was not made aware that there would be an additional 20 minutes of play following the intermission.
Or at least, so it seemed.
After a close first half that saw the Dawgs and Gamecocks knotted up at 34-apiece, Georgia capitalized on poor shooting from Frank Martin’s team to open up a big lead coming out of the break. UGA started out the half with a 9-1 run, giving them a 43-35 advantage following a Marcus Thornton jumper with 14:40 left in the game.
Carolina did not even convert a field goal until nearly ten minutes had elapsed, when Sindarious Thornwell knocked down a shot to make it 50-37, Georgia.
The Gamecocks connected on just 5 of their 31 second half field goal attempts in an offensive display that can only be described as pitiful.
UGA rode sophomore Kenny Gaines – who scored a career high 27 points – to the 73-56 victory.
Charles Mann followed up a disappointing 5-point effort at Tennessee earlier in the week with another dud of a performance in Columbia on Saturday. Mann finished with just 7 points on 1 for 10 shooting from the floor, and his lone field goal did not come until less than 4 minutes remained in the game.
Fortunately, Mann’s teammates were more than capable of picking up the slack and shouldering some of the scoring load. In addition to Gaines’s excellent play, Coach Mark Fox got 12 points apiece from Marcus Thornton and Brandon Morris. Thornton grabbed 10 rebounds as well, giving him his third double-double of the season.
Today’s win brings Georgia a step closer to securing one of the top four spots in the conference, which would mean a bye to the third round of the SEC tournament.
UGA now has three conference road wins on the year, and this victory bolsters the Dawgs to 15-11 overall and 9-5 in the SEC.
Georgia received a little help earlier in the day from the Florida Gators as they knocked off Ole Miss, sending the Rebels to 7-7 in the conference.
The Dawgs could really benefit from more assistance from around the SEC today as any losses for LSU, Tennessee or Missouri would add more cushioning to Georgia’s third place spot.
UGA plays again on Tuesday night in Athens against Missouri in a huge game that should have SEC tournament seedings on the line.
Some nights you have it, and some nights you don’t.
Last night, the Georgia Bulldogs (14-11; 8-5) certainly did not have it in Knoxville, where they fell 67-48 to the Tennessee Volunteers.
The Dawgs – a team that came into this game leading the SEC in rebounding – could not match the Vols’ physicality on the blocks. Tennessee won the battle on the boards by a count of 37-30, and they scored over half of their points (34) in the paint.
The main culprit of all of this inside dominance was Jarnell Stokes, who abused Georgia for 20 points and 11 rebounds.
After trailing Tennessee 34-28 at the half, Georgia managed to hang around for the most part to begin the second half of play. The Dawgs cut the Vols’ lead to 45-38 following a free throw from Nemanja Djurisic with 12:18 remaining.
Tennessee responded, however, with a 12-5 run that sent their advantage to 57-43 with only 8:00 minutes left in the game. This spurt was enough to put UGA away, giving the Vols their 7th conference win of the season.
Offensively, Georgia was led by Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier, who finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Frazier netted 10 of his 12 in the first half, providing Coach Mark Fox a much-needed spark off the bench in a game where Charles Mann was a non-factor.
Mann, who had been averaging nearly 17 points a night in the previous six SEC contests, was held to just 5 points in this one.
The Dawgs entered last night’s game shooting almost 30 free throws a night, but against the Vols Georgia took just 11 shots from the charity stripe, converting 8 of them.
The loss snaps UGA’s four-game winning streak, but the Dawgs still have a hold on 3rd place in the conference, thanks to a road win at Ole Miss by the Kentucky Wildcats.
Georgia hits the road again this weekend to take on South Carolina, a team that has been playing better as of late. The Gamecocks have won their past 2 home games, and they have been winners of 3 or their last 4 in Columbia.
Charles Mann is undoubtedly the center point of Georgia’s offense, and he is a major factor as to why his Bulldogs are averaging 7 more points per game in conference play this year as compared to last, despite losing SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Mann is the proverbial straw that stirs the drink – look no further than his second free throw attempt – which he buried – that secured a thrilling home victory last Saturday in a crucial showdown with the Ole Miss Rebels.
It was fitting that Mann won the game from the line, since he tends to spend so much time there.
Currently, Charles is 16th in the nation in free throw attempts with 202 on the season, and he is taking nearly 9 shots a night from the charity stripe.
Mann’s ability to get to the basket and draw contact from the point guard position is a coveted skill in the world of college basketball. His aggressiveness can put defenses on their heels. He can also use his driving ability to get his team back into games – much like he did last week when Georgia trailed early to both Missy State and Ole Miss.
When the Dawgs were struggling to convert baskets in the first half in each of the aforementioned games, Mann took the ball to the rack, got fouled and converted points from the line – he cut the Missy St lead to under ten, and he got his team to within three against Mississippi, all from the free throw line.
Over the past six SEC games, Mann’s free throw percentage has been slightly above 76%, which is a dramatic improvement when compared to the fact that he was converting only 60% of his attempts from the line through the first six league contests.
Mann has been so prolific in his capacity to generate free throw attempts that he is already halfway (372) to the all-time record of 744 held by former Georgia-great Laterial Green. Considering that Charles is in the midst of just his sophomore year, I would say that he has an excellent chance of surpassing Green’s mark, should he remain at UGA for all four years.
After a little more than 10 minutes of play on Wednesday night, the Georgia Bulldogs (13-10; 7-4) looked completely lost inside The Hump in Starkville. With 9:54 remaining before the half, Mississippi State held a 22-8 lead, and Georiga had committed 5 turnovers and just 1 field goal.
Ten seconds later, Nemanja Djurisic tossed the ball out of bounds for the team’s 6th turnover, and Dawgs’ coach Mark Fox called a 30-second timeout.
Whatever Fox said to his team during that brief exchange – which appeared heated – worked.
Georgia closed out the final 9 minutes of the first half on a 20-5 run, receiving a spark from reserve freshman Kenny Paul Geno, who scored 6 of points during that stretch. The man with three first names was instrumental in the UGA comeback, and the Dawgs actually took a 28-27 lead into the break after a pair of free throws from Juwan Parker.
Georgia’s onslaught continued into the second half as UGA immediately went on a 13-4 run that put them up 41-31 with 15:19 left in the game, following a layup by Marcus Thornton.
The Dawgs’ offense was clicking on all cylinders at this point, connecting on nearly 74% of their shots from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
UGA pushed its advantage to as high as 23 points following a bucket by Brandon Morris with 1:58 left in the game. The Dawgs won the game 75-55, leaving The Hump with their second SEC road victory of the season.
Georgia’s Charles Mann led all scorers with 19 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists, including a sensational performance from the free throw line, where Mann knocked down 10 of 11 attempts.
While Mann’s effort was sublime, the play of freshman Juwan Parker – who scored a career-high 16 points (14 of which came in the second half) – deserves to be mentioned as well. Parker finished in double-figures for the fourth time this season, and he continues to show flashes of the scoring potential that lies ahead in his career.
The Dawgs won another rebounding battle against the Maroon Dawgs (38-30), making UGA the number one rebounding team in the conference in SEC games this season at just under 40 a night.
Wednesday’s win was absolutely huge for Georgia as it puts them in a tie for third with the Ole Miss Rebels – a team that UGA will host in Athens this Saturday.
A victory over the Rebels would give the Dawgs sole possession of third place in the league as well as a very legitimate shot of ending the season with an above .500 conference record.
Ever since Georgia exploded for 97 points in their last conference win over South Carolina, the UGA offense has looked extremely inept, resulting in three straight losses.
While it should be noted that UGA played two of those games without Kenny Gaines – Kentucky and Vandy – they did have Gaines in the lineup yesterday against perennial SEC bottom-feeder Auburn and the Dawgs still failed to put the ball in the basket consistently.
Sophomore Charles Mann has been averaging nearly 16 points per game during the current skid, which is more than his SEC average of 14.5 ppg. The problem, however, is not Charles Mann. Rather, it’s the rest of the Bulldogs.
Opposing teams are starting to discover that if they sit in a zone they can provide more help on Mann’s drives to the basket. In addition, since UGA doesn’t have a legitimate perimeter threat, defenses can key on Mann without much fear of giving up too many open shots.
A look at Georgia’s offensive statistics in conference play is quite staggering, so brace yourself.
UGA is dead-last in the SEC in field goal percentage (37%), assists (9.4), assist-to-turnover ration (0.7) and three-pointers made (4.9).
The poor shooting has landed Georgia 11th in the league in scoring at just under 66 points per game.
Unfortunately, the Dawgs have been pretty careless with the ball as well in SEC games, committing over 14 turnovers per contests, which is second to last in the conference.
About the only thing Georgia is doing well consistently in league play is rebounding – UGA is tied with LSU for first in the league at nearly 40 boards a night.
Georgia leads the conference in offensive boards with over 15 per game; however, that’s probably just because they are getting so many opportunities with all the missed shots.
The Dawgs’ low output of assists can be directly attributed to a lack of talent. Assists were a hallmark of Mark Fox’s first two years where he saw his team lead the SEC in team assists for both the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons.
But that kind of makes sense when you think about the players that Fox had at the time to run his offense, which relies heavily on passing and spacing – both of which work better when you have players like Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson, Jr. Defenses had to respect those player’s abilities to score, which created passing lanes and open routes to the basket.
In the last three years, however, Georgia has found itself in the lower-half of the conference in team assists, leaving fans to wonder if Fox’s offense is feasible without two NBA players on the roster.
After a disappointing preseason, the Dawgs offered fans a glimmer of hope by starting out 2-0 in SEC play. At one point in January, it appeared as if UGA may have been locked in for at least an NIT trip this year.
However, Georgia’s ineptitude on offense has taken their conference record to 4-4, and the idea of postseason play is beginning to seem more abstract.
Neme Djurisic brought a new haircut and a hot hand to Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday night when his Georgia Bulldog team took on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Neme shot a perfect 9 for 9 from the floor (including 3 three-pointers), leading all scorers with a career-high 22 points. The junior from Montegro started fast, scoring 9 of UGA’s first 11 points.
Georgia was too much for Carolina on offense on Wednesday, making over 50% of their field goals. From beyond the arc, UGA hit 10 of 17 attempts – a season-high on made three-pointers for this team.
The Dawgs led by double-digits for much of the night, taking a 45-34 advantage into the intermission. Coming out of the half, Georgia went on a 19-8 run which helped bolster their lead to 64-42 following a Djurisic three. From that point, UGA was basically able to coast to the 97-76 victory, pushing their SEC record to 4-1 on the season.
In addition to Neme, UGA had four other players – Marcus Thornton (12), Kenny Gaines (14), Charles Mann (10) and Brandon Morris (11) – finish in double-figures in scoring.
Georgia entered this game with the 5th best rebounding margin in the conference at +5.0 per game. The Dawgs won another rebounding battle on Wednesday night, besting the Gamecocks by a tally of 35-25.
South Carolina was led offensively by Sindarious Thornwell, who topped all scorers with 23 points.
Both teams struggled to move their feet on defense tonight as they racked up a combined 59 fouls, which caused the game to take an extremely long time to wrap up.
Since losing to Florida on January 14th, Georgia has won consecutive basketball games at home to Arkansas and South Carolina.
The schedule gets a bit tougher from here though, starting out with a road trip to Lexington this Saturday where Georgia will take on the Kentucky Wildcats (who are also 4-1 in league games).
Georgia (8-6, 2-0) spent the first month of the season near the bottom of the conference in team defense, which makes the Dawgs’ performances this week against Missouri and Alabama all the more shocking. In a span of four days, UGA held the Tigers (56) and the Tide (58) to season-scoring lows during regulation play.
The Dawgs limited Alabama to under 37% shooting from the floor, and matched a season-high of 10 blocks – five of which came from senior Marcus Thornton.
Trevor Releford, who finished with 17 points, failed to convert a basket until finally scoring a lay-up with 30 seconds remaining in the first half. The 6′ Releford found it hard to create offense against a much bigger Charles Mann for the game’s first 20 minutes.
Coach Mark Fox once again got an incredible effort from his team as they out-rebounded the Tide by a count of 41-32. The Dawgs were aggressive all afternoon, snagging 14 offensive rebounds, which led to 10 second-chance points.
Offensively, Georgia struggled to find the basket initially against an athletic Alabama zone. The Tide actually held a 10-7 advantage with less than 9 minutes left before intermission before Kenny Gaines knocked down a three to tie the game at 10-apiece.
Gaines was sensational in the game’s first half, burying 4 three-pointers en route to scoring 16 of his career-high 22 points. His offense sparked a 19-8 UGA run that enabled the Dawgs to take a 34-23 lead into the break.
After shooting 44% from the floor in the first half, Georgia only managed 4 field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes, hitting just 19% of their shots.
Bama managed to cut the Dawgs’ advantage to just 3 points with 7:57 remaining following a Trevor Releford lay-up, and it seemed as though the Tide were poised to take control of the game.
Amazingly, Georgia found most of its second-half offense from the free throw line, where the Dawgs scored 23 of their 32 points after the intermission. UGA entered Saturday’s game shooting just 64% from the charity stripe, yet Georgia was able to convert nearly 71% of their attempts against Bama, which ultimately aided them in holding on and securing the 66-58 victory.
Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines carried the Bulldogs with 22 points each, going a combined 17-21 from the free throw line.
Saturday’s win completes an unbelievable first week in conference play for the Dawgs, and Georgia is currently one of four teams still undefeated in SEC play.
On Tuesday, UGA travels to Gainesville to take on another one of those teams – #10 Florida – in a game that could leave the winner in sole possession of first place in the league.
Who saw this coming a week ago?
(Sorry for the late post – I had to head to a holiday event immediately after exiting Stegeman yesterday)
Georgia completed its run through the Southern Conference on Saturday, finishing with a record of 3-1 after taking down the Western Carolina Catamounts 65-63 in Athens. At this point in the year, it’s hard to determine whether UGA’s success against the SoCon is meaningful or not, since App State (3-8) and Chattanooga (4-8) haven’t exactly gotten out to the best starts. Even Davidson – Georgia’s only SoCon loss – is sitting at just 4-8 on the season.
Regardless, the Dawgs narrowly escaped yesterday from a Western Carolina team that led for all but the final two minutes of the second half. Nemanja Djurisic waited until the end of the game to score his only field goals on the day – an NBA-range three-pointer that put UGA up 61-58 with 1:25 remaining, and then a driving lay-up on the ensuing possession to break another tie, giving the Dawgs a 65-63 advantage with only 50 seconds left on the clock.
The Catamounts refused to go away though, and Tom Tankelewicz (try saying that three times fast) evened up the score once again, knocking down a pair of free throws with just 20 ticks remaining.
Fortunately for Georgia, Charles Mann was able to draw contact on his a drive on UGA’s final possession, and the sophomore calmly buried both free throws to finalize the 65-63 Bulldog victory.
While Mann did knock down the game-winning shots from the line, he struggled for much of the afternoon from the charity stripe, finishing with 5 makes on 11 attempts. As a team, UGA only hit 24 of 38 free throw attempts, leaving a lot of points on the table.
The Dawgs had their hands full trying to contain Carolina’s senior point guard Trey Sumler, who led all scorers with 21 points. Sumler showed an ability to score both off the dribble and from the outside, where he connected on 4 of his 5 three-point attempts.
Georgia’s leading scorer on the afternoon was sophomore Kenny Gaines, who quietly put together a 17-point effort, which included going 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Gaines’s shooting performance yesterday was a nice rebound from his previous two games against Lipscomb and Gardner-Webb, where he went only 1 of 8 from three-point land.
This game should leave UGA fans both relieved and concerned. The Dawgs are on a five-game win streak, but they failed to win any of the last three contests by double-digits, making me wonder just how much better Georgia is than Lipscomb, Gardner-Webb and Western Carolina.
UGA’s schedule is about to get a whole lot tougher starting next Saturday when Georgia travels to Boulder to take on the #20 Colorado Buffaloes. Then, the Dawgs start 2014 with another road trip on January 3rd, taking on a 10-1 George Washington team before opening up SEC play at #23 Missouri on January 8th.