Youngstown State deals Georgia its first loss of the season

The Georgia Bulldogs (1-1) were spanked 68-56 on their home floor by Youngstown State on Monday night, leaving me wondering if it might not be better if the loser did not automatically advance in the Legends Classic to play the #1 Indiana Hoosiers on November 19th in Brooklyn, New York?

After a sloppy first game against Jacksonville last Friday, the Bulldogs followed up that performance with more of the same on Monday, committing 15 turnovers as well as losing the rebounding battle 41-31.  In addition to these shortcomings, Georgia added atrocious shooting to their repertoire against the Penguins, hitting under 33% from the floor as a team inside Stegeman.  In fact, the Dawgs made just 3 of 24 first-half field goal attempts, resulting in the Penguins taking a 24-15 lead into the break.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored a career-high 27 points, was the only Bulldog to make a field goal prior to the intermission; Sherrard Brantley became the second Georgia player to connect from the floor with 18:35 left in the game.

This game seemed ominous for UGA from the start, with the Dawgs quickly trailing 8-0 after the game was only 4 minutes old.

Coach Mark Fox’s backcourt was unable to corral preseason All-Horizon League player Kendrick Perry, who finished the game with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.  Perry dominated his counterparts – Vincent Williams and Charles Mann – who combined for 1 point (on 0 for 8 shooting), 1 assist and 5 turnovers (all Mann’s).

On the block, Atlanta native Kamren Belin (Walton High School) poured in 17 points for the Penguins to go along with 6 boards.  According to, Belin’s only legitimate scholarship offer a few years ago came from Youngstown State.

Other than KCP, the only other Georgia player’s performance worth mentioning was that of sophomore Tim Dixon, who scored 8 points and nabbed 4 rebounds in a productive 19 minutes.

Even though we are just two games into this season, I am already concerned about the lack of observable progress that has been made by UGA’s post players from last year to this one.  Donte Williams remained sidelined again for disciplinary issues, and his presence on the court has been sorely missed.  However, Donte cannot fulfill this team’s inside needs by himself (especially since he tends to get into foul trouble regularly), and Coach Fox hopefully has another big that can step up and make an impact or this season could become PAINFULLY long.

Georgia’s poor shooting, turnovers and lackadaisical rebounding against Jacksonville and Youngstown State have me concerned as to how exactly this UGA team plans to navigate through an SEC schedule.

17 thoughts on “Youngstown State deals Georgia its first loss of the season

  1. Why does he continue to play Thornton. That guy is an automatic turnover. I wish he would get Cannon and Dixon on the floor more often. Thornton’s butt should be super glued to the pine.


    1. This team looks like last seasons team without Dustin, Gerald, and Donte out on the floor. So in other words absolutely no improvement from what I’ve see so far it could be a long year hope not though. Go Dawgs


      1. I was definitely worried about the loss of GR2 and how that might impact this team’s offense, and unfortunately, some of those worries are beginning to materialize.


        1. Yeah no question let’s face it GR2 could have played guard for any college team in the country last season. And Dustin Ware was a great outside threat but even if he wasn’t on (which we seen a lot of last season) he did a great job of taking control of the team in tough situations and became a leader which prevented ALOT of turnovers that were seeing already this season. I think we took GR2 and Dustin for granted last season you just can’t replace guys like that.


    2. Keith, I cannot provide a concrete answer as to why Coach Fox continues to start/play Marcus Thornton. However, let me offer this analogy:

      Have you ever had a buddy who was dating a girl that you and all your other friends did not like for numerous reasons, yet your buddy had blinders on and remained infatuated with the girl? I believe that Georgia’s Coach Mark Fox is in a similar situation in regards to his relationship with Thornton, and he might require an intervention from some outside sources/friends.


      1. I totally agree. That game was really painful to watch last night. I hope Mr. William’s suspension was only 2 games or they may be 1-2 before the mega beat down they will receive from Indiana.


  2. This team only has one real consistent scorer and that’s obviously not good and it showed tonight. But It all comes down to recruiting and getting more guys with talent like KCP that can make an immediate Impact. If not the program will always be in rebuild mode and will maybe have a good team every 5 or 6 years like 2 seasons ago. improvement starts with the university investing more into the program and by that I mean NEW ARENA!. I love the steg but it’s out dated and top recruits are not buying it. Ik it’s only the second game of the season but there just isn’t any reason we cant be better. GO DAWGS


    1. You hit the nail on the head CHI Dawg. Fox has yet to show us that he can bring some of the major basketball talent (4- and 5-star caliber players) out of Atlanta to Athens, especially in the big-man department.


      1. Big man aren’t good, especially watching Nemi miss from close time and again. But I think we wouldn’t look as bad there if we had some better perimeter options. Brantley and Williams have been pretty obviously not SEC caliber since they first stepped on the floor. Yet until this year, those two and KCP were the only backcourt players we brought in? You aren’t going to win many games if for 3 years, those + a transferring GR Jr is the only perimeter players you bring in. Our bigs aren’t great, but imo, our biggest issue is an almost complete lack of players that can dribble, pass, and shoot. At least he’s finally started to address our backcourt weaknesses, but it took long enough.


    2. Part of Fox’s serious recruiting problem has to do with the triangle offense. He has a hard time attracting the overflowing top talent in Georgia because many of the recruits are (or at least fancy themselves as) one-and-done type players. The triangle takes time to learn and recruits don’t want to spend a couple of years struggling trying to learn it when they could go somewhere else and find success playing immediately.

      The triangle is good for schools in talent-poor areas that have no choice but to take “lesser” recruits who can be “coached up”. Given the talent in-state, UGA shouldn’t be that sort of school. Maybe this explains why Fox is getting his head handed to him in recruiting by out-of-state programs-even ones with about as much basketball tradition as ours.


  3. A tough loss last night. As I eyeballed the roster at the end of last season, I worried that we would have a team that would struggle inside and would struggle to score points.

    I hope we can get some wins that will help us to gain confidence for the SEC schedule.


  4. The big men lost the game last night. Nemi was awful.The Thornton thing is a real puzzle. Many missed layups. Flat footed rebounding attempts, Future opponents only need to focus on KCP and we lose all offense. If we are going to lose ugly, play the freshman and look to the future. I see no improvement from last year.


  5. I have been too disgusted with what I saw last night to comment until now. We looked like a VERY bad basketball team last night, and I concur with Jerry–play the young guys and let them grow. I think that Charles Mann is going to be fine with some seasoning. Gaines looks like an athlete who plays basketball, and I’m hoping that he comes on like Travis did 3 years back. The jury is really far out on Brandon Morris, but given the state of our front line play, I say give him some minutes and see what shakes out.


  6. I understand the offense taking a while to work out with our gaurds being replaced, but there is no excuse for the sorry rebounding effort – that was ugly.

    Thornton can’t be allowed to touch the ball on offense please.

    Dixon actually showed some controlled moves in the post


  7. I don’t understand how Fox can keep Vincent Williams on the floor, or Sharrard Brantley for that matter. Those two dominated the ball for the first 4 minutes of the game and both went 0-3 while KCP only had 1 shot from the field. Either we need to run every single play through KCP or just put the Freshman on the floor and play through a rough season. I’d rather see development from the freshman throughout the year than deal with one more game of a Williams-Brantley backcourt.

    Also, feel like there is a consensus that John Cannon should get some more minutes. He takes care of the ball and he can rebound.


    1. The bad thing is other then KCP I don’t think we were the most talented team on the floor last night period and the score showed it. But I think some of the young guys have great potential but their still adjusting to the college game I put this loss on the experienced guys for not showing more leadership and still playing like freshman their self. That’s also a coaching issue but I’m not going to start that yet but if this level of play continues there maybe some changes because let’s face it we looked like a confused little league team out there last night. Go Dawgs


    2. I would love to see Cannon get a bigger role on this team. As you said, he protects the ball and rebounds. He also can receive the ball on the block (with his back to the basket) and score using legitimate post moves, which is more than I can say for some of the other bigs on the team.


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