Georgia looks to rebound against Southern Mississippi

The Georgia Bulldogs (1-1) return to action Thursday night to take on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in Athens, just a few days after falling 68-56 in Stegeman to the Youngstown State Penguins.

The Golden Eagles were projected to finish in the middle to latter half of the Conference USA league this year by a majority of the preseason previews.  In their season-opener, however, Southern Miss outlasted Western Kentucky 67-64 at home for an overtime victory.

The Golden Eagles lost three starters (as well as their coach) off last year’s NCAA Tournament team, meaning that first-year skipper Donnie Tyndall will most likely be in rebuilding mode this season (also known as “Georgia mode” in local circles).  JUCO transfer Michael Craig should make the biggest impact on offense this year for Southern Miss – the junior wing netted 13 points and 8 rebounds in the team’s first game.  Craig, who stands at 6’7″, is the tallest player on this undersized Golden Eagle team that plays significant minutes.

I can imagine that the past few days of practice have been rather unpleasant for the Georgia big men.  After yielding 15 offensive rebounds to a smaller Jacksonville team, the Dawgs were out-rebounded by a tally of 42-31 on Monday night by Youngstown State.  On Thursday evening, Georgia will once again have a distinct height advantage, and hopefully for the post players’ sake they can command control over the offensive and defensive glass.

UGA’s shooting on Monday – much like last season – was horrid, with the Dawgs connecting on only 32% of their field goal attempts.  All of the players not named KCP combined for a 7 for 35 performance from the floor, leaving players, coaches and fans wondering if anyone from this team will be able to step up and provide some offensive support to Pope this year.

Coach Mark Fox has been quiet as to whether junior Donte Williams will see the floor on Thursday.  Williams, who has been held out of the first two games due to disciplinary reasons, should be the Dawgs’ top scoring and defending big man this season, and Georgia could definitely use his presence on Thursday night (if not just to get a game under his belt before facing Indiana next week).

After Monday’s home loss to the Penguins, I (along with many other fans) am really at a loss when it comes to expectations for this year’s Bulldog team.  In the season’s first Coaches Poll, Georgia showed up in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was named First-Team All-SEC in the preseason, and he was one of six SEC players selected to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50.  Even Neme Djurisic received a plug from CBS Sports, naming him to their “30 Players Likely to Breakout” field.

These accolades had me hoping for a significant improvement upon last year’s 15-17 campaign.  At this point, I am not holding my breath for too much.

Hopefully Thursday night the Dawgs can take some steps in the right direction to help restore some of those initial perceptions.

11 thoughts on “Georgia looks to rebound against Southern Mississippi

  1. Hoping to see a better showing tomorrow night. I too hope that Donte plays to shake some of the rust off. Hoop what are your thoughts on the two signees. Do you have any insight other than what is listed on the athletic association site?


    1. Both guys are listed as 3-star players by, meaning hopefully Fox can develop them into productive players by their second or third years.

      Frazier is tiny.

      I guess of the two I am more excited about Parker based upon all the other offers he was receiving from othe power conference schools.


  2. Georgia is only a 4 point favorite, which means Las Vegas thinks another ugly loss can happen.As for Donte, we could have won with him. The game got out of control because of the poor rebounding and missed layups underneath.Donte was not suspended.I had the feeling during that game that CMF was OK with losing, to teach the whole team a lesson.He did not have the best players on the court. IMHO, he treated the game like an exhibition game.


  3. Ugly as Monday was, I have faith Fox can turn this around (although I’m worried our game Monday could get ugly). I think one thing we’re seeing is how important it’s going to be to have our key players in the game. Not having Donte has been huge. We just don’t have enough competent inside play to compensate for him sitting. To have any success this year, we’ll need to keep KCP, Donte, Nema, and Vincent all healthy and playing.

    Great thing about hoops, one bad night doesn’t spoil the season. Go Dawgs!


  4. Don’t know if you’ve seen the AJC today, but there is a story (on the web) about our two guard recruits and another about the 5-star point guard and big forward that Brian Gregory signed at Tech. Things seem to be getting worse and worse on the recruiting front. I’m really glad CMF is happy to have a team completely consisting of his own guys. Now let’s hope that they improve enough that they don’t get him fired.


  5. Just watched the game and coaching lost us that game. I have 2 questions.
    1. You come back in the first half behind nice play from Mann and Cannon and you don’t see them hardly at all the second half. Why?
    2. You have the team in the double bonus 10 minutes into the second half and your offense continues to consist of passing it around the perimeter and then chucking up a three.

    Might be time for a search committee.


    1. I have no idea why Cannon did not see the floor more in the second half. Maybe he offended the coaching staff by hustling and scoring before the intermission?

      The second-half offense was exactly as you stated – tossing it around the perimeter until somebody put up a hurried three-pointer. Even when Georgia had the ball with a minute left in the OT the best shot that UGA could secure was a KCP three falling to his left?

      Another tough loss to swallow. I’m sure the creators of the Legends Classic did not envision Georgia dropping both the home games before heading to Brooklyn to take on Indiana.

      If I can recover and work up some enthusiasm I may get a blog entry up tomorrow…


      1. It’s kind of embarrassing to lose both of these games and still advance to play a team like Indiana. Don’t worry after that we either play Georgetown or Ucla… Wow but go dawgs I’m in this for the long haul georgia hoops will see better days just not this season


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