Consecutive victories by the Bulldogs over Mercer and Southern Cal have garnered a smidgen of respect from ESPN’s Myron Metcalf, who writes the network’s weekly conference power rankings for the SEC. In the list that came out today, the writer had moved Georgia (4-7) out of the cellar and into the #13 slot (or second to last) – right above Missy State and just below Auburn. If Georgia could notch a win in Stegeman over the 4-7 Florida A & M Rattlers on Saturday they may see themselves climb even higher in those rankings.
FAMU came into the season with tempered exceptions, and thus far, they have been meeting them. After beginning the season with five-straight losses, the Rattlers won 3 of their next 4 before getting drilled 80-57 at Clemson on December 15th. While FAMU does score a decent number of points per game – nearly 73 – they have yet to provide much in the form of offense against any teams of substance.
The Rattlers have four players averaging in double-figures with junior guard Jamie Adams leading the way at 15.5 points a clip. Adams is a streaky shooter who is hoisting up nearly 7 three’s per game, yet so far this season he’s making only 26% of those attempts.
Coach Mark Fox has Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at his disposal, which should be enough to give UGA a significant edge over FAMU. KCP has been Georgia’s “Mr. Do Everything” this year, scoring 18.1 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals. Pope has already racked up two double-doubles this season, and his scoring and steals numbers have him ranked 58th and 23rd in the country, respectively, in those two categories. KCP’s improved play over the last few games has been so solid that it has landed him back on nbadraft.net’s 2013 Mock Draft, going #22 to the Chicago Bulls.
Since the team took final exams in early December, Georgia has looked like a completely different team, especially on the offensive end of the floor. During the Dawgs 2-8 start to the 2012-2013 season, Georgia looked mystified on offense all too regularly, with the team netting only 56.8 points per contest. However, during the last thee games (of which UGA has won two), Coach Fox’s younger lineup has really started to gel, averaging nearly 63 points a game in that same span.
A win over FAMU on Saturday would add a bit more confidence to a team that is trying to turn around its season.