Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Bulldogs’
The Georgia Bulldogs continued their stampede through the Southern Conference, dismantling the UT-Chattanoonga Mocs in Athens on Monday night 87-56, marking the beginnings of UGA’s first win streak of the 2013-2014 season.
While tonight’s win does improve the Dawgs to 3-1 against the SoCon and 3-4 overall (yes, Georgia has yet to beat a team from outside the SoCon), anyone who watched this game could clearly see that Chattanooga did not offer up much resistance.
In the first half, the Mocs implemented a press that seemingly failed to cover anyone near the opposing basket, which Georgia attacked willingly. UTC cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 17-9 on an Eric Robertson three-pointer with 13:02 left before intermission, but this moment was as close as the Mocs would get to catching up.
Rather, UGA exploited the porous UTC press and scored on a flurry of wide-open dunks and lay-ups. After nearly 10 minutes of play, Georgia had reeled off a 25-8 run, taking a commanding 42-17 lead following a J.J. Frazier lay-in with 3:27 remaining in the half.
For the remaining 20-plus minutes, Coach Mark Fox played a slew of various lineups as his Bulldogs cruised to an 87-56 home victory.
Georgia had three players finish in double figures with Neme Djurisic, Juwan Parker and Kenny Gaines scoring 14, 11 and 10 points, respectively. UGA had a total of 13 players record points on the night, giving a lot of guys the opportunity to get some regular season minutes.
Offensively, Georgia shot over 50% from the floor en route to scoring a season-high 87 points as a team.
Coach Mark Fox got another solid defensive effort out of his team, limiting the Mocs to just 56 points on under 30% shooting from the field – though, one cannot help but wonder if the Dawgs improved defensive play over the past two games is a credit to this team’s effort or just a case of facing offensively-challenged opponents.
The Georgia Bulldogs used 13 second-half points by Charles Mann to pull away and topple the Appalachian State Mountaineers, snapping a four-game losing streak and pushing their record on the season to 2-4.
More importantly, though, the Dawgs are now 2-1 against the Southern Conference already this year. With games remaining against Chattanooga and Western Carolina, Coach Mark Fox has a legitimate opportunity to prove that his team could finish in the upper echelon of this season’s SoCon.
In regards to yesterday’s contest, Georgia looked fairly mediocre for the game’s first 20 minutes, allowing a 1-4 App State team to knock down 4 three-pointers before intermission – UGA took a narrow 33-32 advantage into the break.
The teams exchanged the lead a couple of times during the first minute out of the half, but then the Dawgs went on a 12-1 run that extended the UGA lead to 47-37 following a Neme Djurisic lay-up with 12:32 left.
The Mountaineers were never able to cut the lead by less than 8 points during the remainder of the game, and Georgia cruised to a 71-53 win.
Friday’s game was by far Georgia’s best defensive effort since the season-opener (against Wofford), limiting the Mountaineers to just 53 points on less than 33% shooting from the floor. After yielding the 4 three-pointers to App State in the first half, the Dawgs tightened up around the perimeter for the final 20 minutes and they did not permit another basket from beyond the arc.
UGA entered this game with the 255th worst defense in the country – allowing opponents more than 76 points per game – so Friday’s performance on the defensive side of the ball was much-needed for Coach Mark Fox’s team.
Georgia was led offensively by Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines, who scored 14 points apiece in this one. As mentioned, 13 of Mann’s 14 points came after the break, with the sophomore failing to notch a field goal until nearly 4 minutes had eclipsed in the game’s second half.
Mann did the majority of his damage on Friday from the free throw line, where he connected on 8 of his 10 attempts. Unfortunately his teammates were not as proficient from the line, making only 6 of their 13 shots from the charity stripe. As a team, UGA shot just under 61% on free throws, which is somewhat disappointing since Fox mentioned before the game that the coaching staff had really emphasized that segment of the game this week in practice.
In addition to Mann and Gaines’s scoring, Neme also chipped in 10 points, marking the fifth time this season that Georgia has had three or more players finish in double-figures.
Charles Mann continues to be a bright spot for the Dawgs – averaging 16.3 ppg on the year – and he has scored in double-digits in each of UGA’s first six contests. In addition, Mann is shooting nearly 8 free throws per game, which is the result of his ability to drive the ball to the rim on a consistent basis.
CMF may have the best point guard in the SEC on his team.
The Georgia Bulldogs failed to collect a win during this year’s Charleston Classic, losing 73-65 to Nebraska in the ultimate consolation game this afternoon, marking their fourth consecutive loss of the young season.
The Dawgs entered the game with the worst team defense in the SEC, yielding over 77 points per game to opponents in four contests this year. However, Coach Mark Fox’s team was not undone by its defense today; UGA’s shortcomings against the Cornhuskers came at the free throw line, where Georgia connected on just 16 of 30 attempts.
After trading leads for much of the second half, Nebraska coach Tim Miles shifted his team into a 2-3 zone in an attempt to better defend Georgia’s Charles Mann. This zone frustrated the Dawgs offensively, and Georgia managed to make just 5 field goals in the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Dawgs closed the Nebraska lead to 63-59 on a Nemanja Djurisic three-pointer with 3:27 remaining, but the Huskers responded with a 10-2 run that saw the lead balloon to 73-63 with only 18 ticks left on the clock.
Georgia was led offensively by Charles Man, who finished the game with 16 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Even though we are only 5 games into the season, Mann already looks extremely polished with the ball in his hands and I anticipate that he will go on to have a pretty big year.
Coach Fox also got scoring from forwards Brandon Morris and Marcus Thornton, who ended up with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Thornton looks like a completely new player so far, finishing near the basket on a fairly consistent basis.
Nebraska had four players score in double-figures with Terran Petteway leading the way with 15 points.
While Georgia did hold a team under 80 points for the first time in five games, much of that was due to the fact that Nebraska coach Tim Miles went into a zone, slowing down the tempo of the game.
At this point in time, UGA is not a very strong defensive team. Opponents routinely find cutters around the basket, and Coach Fox’s team struggles to close out around the perimeter, where team’s are making almost 36% of their shots from beyond the arc.
Georgia is scoring almost 16 points more per game through the first five games of this year compared to last season’s first five contests.
Coach Fox’s team does not seem to be missing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s offense.
They could use KCP’s defense, though.
The Davidson Wildcats will be looking to avoid their first 0-4 start since the 2009-2010 season on Thursday night in Charleston, South Carolina, where they will be taking on the Georgia Bulldogs – a team also trying to rebound from a recent loss to in-state rival Georgia Tech.
Davidson has been the flagship program of the Southern Conference for several years now, playing the role of “Cinderella” in numerous NCAA Tournaments. However, the Wildcats lost their top two scorers from last year’s team, a bunch that almost knocked off Marquette in the second-round of the Big Dance.
While this season’s Davidson team may not have quite the firepower of some of the 25-win teams of recent past, the Wildcats were still projected to finish second in the SoCon this year and they should no doubt provide a formidable challenge to Coach Mark Fox’s team.
If the Dawgs hope to remain competitive in Thursday night’s game, they will have to find way to contain preseason SoCon Player of the Year De’Mon Brooks, who is averaging 17 points and nearly 7 rebounds per game thus far. The senior forward shoots a very high percentage from both the floor and the free throw line, so Georgia’s bigs must keep tabs on him at all times.
Offensively, Coach Mark Fox needs to see production out of someone other than just sophomore point guard Charles Mann, who recorded a career-high 24 points in the loss to Georgia Tech. While Mann had a nice game, UGA will struggle to find much success this season if the scoring remains so unbalanced.
In a few months, Georgia will begin to explore life in the world of college basketball without the services of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was recently selected 8th overall by the Detroit Pistons in this year’s NBA draft. Losing the SEC’s Player of the Year would be a detrimental blow to any team in the league’s roster; however, Coach Mark Fox’s Bulldogs will have to adapt and find additional scoring while navigating through a 2013-2014 schedule that contains a number of difficult games that will be played outside of Athens.
Just before Thanksgiving, the Dawgs will take part in the 2013 Charleston Classic, where they start off with an opening round game against the Davidson Wilcats – a team that reached the second round of last season’s NCAA tournament. Depending on the outcome of that game, UGA will play either Clemson or Temple – schools that both boast a strong basketball pedigree.
Some time in December (the exact date has yet to be determined), Georgia will venture to Boulder, CO to play another team that reached the second round of last year’s Big Dance – the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs return all five starters from last year’s team, earning them a preseason #11 ranking by Sports Illustrated.
In conference play, UGA will face Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky just once each, respectively. Unfortunately for Coach Fox, all three of those contests will be played on the opposing team’s court.
At this point, it’s hard to predict how this upcoming Georgia basketball team will perform without KCP on the court. More than likely, Fox will rely heavily on sophomores Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines and Brandon Morris to supplement the scoring load that Pope shouldered last season.
One thing is for sure though, this bunch will be tested regularly on the road.
The first time Georgia (15-16,9-9) and LSU (18-11,9-9) met this season, the Dawgs rode Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 22 points en route to a 67-58 home victory – their first SEC win of the season. The victory over the Tigers set the Bulldogs off on a run in which they would win 5 of their next 6 games, with the lone loss coming at Florida.
LSU had a “UGA-like” resurgence as well following the loss to the Dawgs, which put them at 0-4 in league play. Since that game, the Tigers have posted a 9-5 conference record, notching wins over Missouri, Alabama and Arkansas.
A large part of LSU’s improved play has rested on the broad shoulders of sophomore big man Johnny O’Bryant III, who has put together an All-SEC calibre season. In conference play, O’Bryant averaged 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds. The 262-pound forward has registered 11 double-doubles in his 18 SEC games this year. In the loss to Georgia back in January, O’Bryant netted 16 points to go along with 14 boards.
Containing O’Bryant’s physicality in the paint will be a challenge for the Dawgs on Thursday. However, Georgia’s biggest challenge in their first tournament game could be more emotional than physical. After suffering yet another heart-breaking road loss at the buzzer in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, UGA must regain its poise and be ready to deal with a competitive LSU team.
No team in the SEC has had worse luck away from home than Georgia this season, with the Dawgs losing in overtime to Ole Miss as well suffering 2-point, 1-point and 3-point losses at Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Alabama, respectively.
Obviously, how deep UGA goes into the tournament in Nashville relies heavily on the play of KCP, the SEC Player of the Year. The sophomore averaged 18.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals in league games this season, and he played an integral part in all 9 of the Dawgs’ league wins. The true measure of an MVP is how important he is to his team’s success, and Pope – without question – has been absolutely essential to this UGA squad.
In the latest NBAdraft.net projection for the 2013 draft, the site had KCP going at the 30th pick of the first round – the last pick.
Win or lose on Thursday, hopefully it will not be Pope’s last game as a Bulldog.
Georgia headed to a timeout after Kyle Wiltjer hit a three-pointer that cut the UGA lead to 50-47 with 7:47 left in the game. For the first time Thursday night, the Kentucky faithful were on their feet making noise in Athens. The Dawgs had held a 10-point advantage over the Wildcats a little over a minute before this break in the action, but that lead had been cut down to just a possession ball game.
This moment was the exact point in the game when Georgia was supposed to crumple under the pressure of this furious Kentucky onslaught.
Unfortunately for the Cats, Georgia chose to respond, reeling off 12 straight points and opening up a 62-47 advantage with less than four minutes remaining. Georgia would go on to win from here 72-62, possibly putting an end to Kentucky’s NCAA hopes.
UGA’s team defense was tenacious on Thursday, holding the Cats to only 37% from the floor and just 62 points.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored 6 points during Georgia’s critical 12-point run, finished the game with 24 points and 10 boards for his sixth double-double of the season.
While KCP was once again the floor general for the Dawgs, Coach Mark Fox received magnificent play from both Donte Williams and Nemanja Djurisic.
Williams, who was a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line for the first time in his young life, contributed 10 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Donte played extremely strong inside for his team tonight, and his ability to make free throws may have been the difference in the game.
Neme snagged 6 boards himself, and he also netted 12 points, including a pair of monster three-pointers in the second half that helped UGA preserve their lead over Kentucky.
Credit Mark Fox for the turn around that this team has undergone right before our eyes this season. Against Kentucky, UGA committed just 10 turnovers; over the past three games, Georgia has given the ball away only 28 times, which is a major improvement for a team that was leading the conference with over 18 turnovers a contest earlier in the year.
The Dawgs followed up the Tennessee win with another dominant effort, and at 9-8 in the SEC they will travel to Alabama on Saturday with a chance to challenge for the 7-seed in this year’s league tournament.
One thing is for sure, this team will be ready to make some noise in Nashville next week.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, the network’s NCAA Tournament guru, has Kentucky currently placed in his “First Four Out” portion of the field, which implies that the Wildcats are riding the NCAA “Bubble” hard. A loss to the Georgia Bulldogs on Thursday night in Athens could certainly put a major damper on the Cats’ postseason hopes, meaning Coach Calipari’s team will probably be treating this game similarly to a playoff match-up.
However, the stakes in tonight’s game are pretty high for the Dawgs as well, who need a win to keep pace with Tennessee (10-7), LSU (9-8) and Arkansas (9-8) if they hope to avoid the dreaded 8-/9-seed game in this year’s SEC Tournament (UGA is in the 9-spot at the moment).
Since losing “Mr. Do-Everything” – freshman Nerlens Noel – Cal’s team has mustered just a 3-3 conference record (if you include the Florida game in which Noel went down with the knee injury). Noel anchored the Kentucky defense, averaging 4.4 blocks and nearly 10 rebounds a game. Over the past five games without Noel, the Cats have allowed SEC opponents to score 70 or more points in four of those games, which is definitely concerning since Kentucky had only allowed three league teams to post 70 points or more over the previous ten games.
Coach Cal’s team has not been able to get it together away from Rupp without the services of their big man, dropping road games at Tennessee and Arkansas (last Saturday). If the Cats want to dance this March, they will have to find a way to sneak out of Stegeman with a win on Thursday.
Offensively, Kentucky’s scoring is extremely balanced, with five players averaging over 8 points per game. Leading the way is freshman guard Archie Goodwin, who is netting a team-best 12.1 points per SEC contest.
For Georgia, Thursday’s game against Kentucky gives the Dawgs another chance to even up their overall record, which currently rests at 14-15. In addition, a victory over the Cats would greatly help UGA in its attempts to jockey for a slightly higher seed than 8 in next week’s SEC Tournament.
With Kentucky’s athleticism, I would be surprised if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope gets many good looks at the basket in this one. Coach Mark Fox will need more aggressive point guard play from freshman Charles Mann, who is coming off a career-high 18 points against Tennessee in game in which he repeatedly attacked the rim off the dribble.
Las Vegas is giving Kentucky a 3.5-point edge in this one, which may provide UGA with a little extra fuel leading up to the game.
While nearly 10,000 people packed into the Steg to see Tennessee last Saturday, I anticipate a near-capacity crowd Thursday night in what should be the most prestigious home game of the season.
Hopefully Georgia is ready.
Georgia freshman Kenny Gaines only played 8 minutes on Saturday, but he made the most of his time on the floor late in the game against the Vols. With Tennessee trailing UGA 50-45 and under 6 minutes remaining in the game, Charles Mann found Gaines in the corner where the frosh cooly buried a three-pointer, putting UGA back up by 8 points.
Gaines hit another monster three from the baseline minutes later, helping to extend the Dawgs’ lead to 62-50 with less than 3 minutes remaining.
Kenny put the stamp on the UGA victory by finishing a three-point play the old fashioned way off of another assist from Mann, giving Georgia a 67-58 advantage with only 1:25 left.
Prior to tip-off in this one, Fox had listed Gaines as a “game time” decision – thankfully, Gaines’s heel bruise seemed good enough to play on and Kenny was able to play a major role in Dawgs’ win.
A major concern for Georgia heading into today’s game with Tennessee centered on dealing with the Vols’ star point guard, Trae Golden, who had been scoring 19 points per game during the team’s recent six-game winning streak.
Charles Mann – UGA’s freshman point guard – stepped up and played his best game of the season while taking Golden completely out of his game. On offense, Mann took the ball right at Golden en route to the rim at nearly every opportunity, getting to the line for 14 free throw attempts (of which he made 12). Mann’s aggressiveness led to a career high 18 points to go along with 8 assists, and he had Golden in foul trouble for the entire game.
Defensively, the 6’4″ freshman was too tough for UT’s point guard, limiting the smaller Golden to merely 4 points on an abysmal 1 for 10 shooting performance.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had his hands full on defense for much of the afternoon as he was matched up on Jordan McRae, who finished up with 35 points before fouling out.
However, KCP gave Georgia another excellent effort inside Stegeman today, scoring 25 points and grabbing 9 boards – just one short of his fifth double-double of the year.
UGA did an excellent job inside dealing with the UT bigs, who came into this contest with some of the better rebounding numbers in the SEC. Georgia outrebounded Tennessee by a count of 38-34, and the Dawgs scored 30 points in the paint to the Vols’ 14.
The win today puts Georgia at 8-8 in the conference and 14-15 overall, giving UGA a realistic shot of getting into this season’s NIT Tournament, should they manage to win another game or two.
This loss may have devastating consequences for Tennessee as the Vols have now dropped two games to the Dawgs (RPI 141), and I imagine they will find themselves on the outside of the NCAA Bubble tomorrow morning.
For Georgia, showing the ability to bounce back from such a difficult loss at Vandy on Wednesday to grab a victory against a very hot team displays a lot of maturity.
The atmosphere inside the Steg this afternoon was energetic as the home crowd of nearly 10,000 fans enthusiastically voiced their support of this young Bulldog team.
I anticipate an even bigger crowd on Thursday night when Georgia hosts the John Calipari-led Kentucky Wildcats.
After a pair of successful road wins at South Carolina and Tennessee over the past week, the Georgia Bulldogs (11-11, 5-4) will find themselves in unfamiliar territory on Saturday: home.
The Dawgs – one of the SEC hottest teams at the moment – will be playing host to the Texas A & M Aggies, the team that Georgia beat back on January 26th, marking the beginning of this four-game winning streak. In that game, UGA rode Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 22 points en route to a 59-52 victory. The Aggies’ star player, Elston Turner, managed 19 points, but it took a 5 for 14 shooting night from the floor to get to that total.
Since the loss to Georgia, the Aggies have been playing some inspired basketball as well, winning two of their last three games. One of those wins came on Thursday night in a 70-68 home upset of #21 Missouri. The lone loss during the Aggies’ recent three-game stretch came in overtime to the Kentucky Wildcats last Saturday.
Tomorrow’s game in Athens has the potential to be an influential game in the conference, considering that these two teams are just a game apart in the SEC standings. With the added depth to the league, Saturday’s game provides Georgia with a chance to further separate itself from the middle of the pack; conversely, the Aggies will be looking to entrench themselves deeper into the center of the SEC standings.
Fans attending and watching the game in Stegeman tomorrow should be treated to a pretty good defensive display. In league play, Texas A & M and Georgia rank 3rd and 4th in the conference allowing just 60.7 and 63.2 points per game, respectively. The Aggies basically play a pressure man defense for 40 minutes, so UGA must be strong with the ball and not let their offense get pushed too far outside of the perimeter.
With the way Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been playing over the past five games, I would not be at all surprised to A & M shading help to KCP’s defender for much of the game.
Pope has been nothing short of spectacular over the Dawgs’ run, averaging nearly 22 points and 7 rebounds a contest during these past 4 games.
Georgia hasn’t won five SEC games in a row since 2001.
Twelve years later, Coach Mark Fox’s team has a chance to do it again.