2012-2013 Season Wrap Up

Sorry for the lack of entries – I was unable to watch the LSU game due to work, and then I had to immediately shoot down to Amelia Island for a wedding, not leaving much time to write about Georgia basketball.

I was able to follow the flow of the UGA-LSU game on ESPN’s Gamecast however, and I was certainly amazed by the Dawgs’ ability to overcome a 20-point first-half deficit, almost tying the game with under a minute remaining.

At 15-17 overall, Georgia would be attempting to make history by getting an invite into the NIT, considering no team without a winning record has received a bid since 2006 when the selection committee removed the “must have .500 or better record stipulation”. Honestly, it feels like this basketball season is over.

All and all, I have to say I am pleased with what transpired on the court this year for Coach Mark Fox’s team. After an abysmal 2-7 start to the season which included home losses to Youngstown State and Iona, Georgia rallied to win 13 of their next 23 games, finishing at eighth place in the new fourteen-team SEC.

During the Dawgs’ initial slump, Coach Fox appeared to be gliding towards a hot seat. However, when conference play finished and UGA had won 9 games, members of the media began rumoring that CMF might be the league’s Coach of the Year (deservedly so). Florida’s Billy Donovan won that award, but I am not sure if what Fox did with this year’s UGA team isn’t more impressive.

Looking ahead to next year, any person who even remotely follows Georgia basketball knows that the success of the 2013-2014 teams relies heavily on whether Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returns for another season or not. Should Pope return, UGA would possess a lot of offensive firepower with more-seasoned versions of Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines and Brandon Morris.

Mann, who was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team this year, could be an All-SEC first-team player by as early as next year. Towards the latter part of this season, Mann really began to come into his own at the point guard position, consistently attacking defenders and driving the ball to the rim. In three of UGA’s final six games, Mann got himself to the foul line for double-digit attempts – he finished with 14 or more points in all three of those games. With his size, his level of play can only go up as he gains maturity.

Should KCP choose to return, I think he would enjoy a lot less double-teams and traps next season as teams will have to pay more attention to Mann and Gaines – Pope may actually have the opportunity to show NBA scouts what he can do in one-on-one type situations.

A KCP-led Georgia basketball team would have a legitimate chance of finishing in the top five of the SEC, and I would feel pretty confident that they could earn an NCAA-berth.

However, if Pope decides to leave for the NBA in the next two weeks, obviously UGA basketball fans will have to temper and readjust their expectations.

Whether KCP stays or goes, Coach Mark Fox is going to have to play with less depth at the guard position, since both Vincent Williams and Sherrard Brantley will be graduating. Not that either of the aforementioned players were key elements of this season’s team, but both of them shot better than 36% from beyond the arc, consistently making key shots late in games for this young team this year.

Georgia’s two incoming freshmen – JJ Frazier and Juwan Parker – are both guards, but neither player will be ready to make significant contributions next season (ESPN rates each as a two-star recruit).

For the sake of the UGA basketball program, everyone needs to cross their fingers and hope that KCP wants to play one more year donning the Red and Black.

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18 thoughts on “2012-2013 Season Wrap Up

  1. I’m wondering if we have any scholarships left to give? It seems we should have one as three guys are leaving (Brantley, V. Williams, and Florveous). Has anyone any idea about other recruiting targets for this year? Is there any info on Thornton’s ability to return? Knee injuries in basketball can be more devestating than in football because of the importance of the vertical dimension in BB. We do need a defender and banger down low and Marcus can fill those needs (plus rebound) IF he is healthy. I would not mind expending a scholarship on a JC big if the person was mobile and could score around the rim (a la Takis Brown of a few years back). But, please, no more big statues who can’t catch the ball–we have enough of those already. I’ve also heard that Juwan Parker is way better than a 2-star player, although how much help he will be next year obviously remains to be seen.

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    1. First, Hoop, thanks for your hard work in writing this blog. Great insights and fairness when some of us were going off the edge with Fox early on.
      We have one more scholarship this year and another if KCP leaves early. Fox is reportedly waiting to see whether KCP leaves before doing anything this year. He’s looking at at least one JUCO guy.
      Next year may be OK. We’ll have more balanced scoring with Mann, Gaines and Morris. But the bigs have to get better. Too many points lost in the paint-the LSU game again showed that weakness. Hopefully, Donte and Nemi will work hard over the summer. No outside players are coming to solve that problem, unless he can find a JUCO.
      I was not ready for the season to end.

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  2. Quite frankly, I don’t understand why UGA would want Mark Fox back? He has been here 4 years and I know he was left with a so-so roster from Felton, but he is paid for performance. SEC was a terrible conference this year, ex for UF and Mizzou. LSU has a first year coach and won 19 games, and UK loses everyone and still wins 20. Basketball is a quick tournaround if your a good coach, see Tennessee. Frankly he will win 12 -16 games next year once again. $1.8 million is a lot of money for sub par work and the attendance is atrocious and he is about a boring as paint.

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    1. we beat Kentucky and LSU in Athens. this year Fox overscheduled. hopefully he will tone it down just a touch for next year while still having a few tough nonconference games for RPI. it was a young team that lost a lot of heartbreakers. next year not having to play freshmen we can expect to win a lot more of the close ones.

      If KCP returns I think 5th or 6th in the SEC is the WORST we would finish. If Donte Williams were to step up for his senior year along with KCP as by far the best player in the conference that could be an SEC championship team.

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  3. Hey Hoopdawg. Glad I found this blog. I used to post all the time on the Dawgvent – hoopvent. I left after they turned it into a pay site. I seriously doubt KCP returns. I don’t think his draft status is any higher next year considering he was SECPOY. Shooting guards are a dime a dozen in the NBA. I agree; Fox is off the hot seat. If Fox goes, we are back to square one. I don’t remember having tons of interest in the job after Felton was fired. It seemed like the top candidate was Lon Kruger. That being said I think the next 2 years are crucial for Fox on the court and recruting. He has to bring in impact players. 2 more years of 15-17; would make 5 out of 6 losing season with 1 post-season appearance. In terms of recruiting all I’ve heard is we signed a few 3 star guys.

    http://www.sicemdawgs.com/basketball/bk_rec.php

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      1. Hate to say it but It will be interesting at this time next year after yet another 16 win season. Ever sense Fox has been here all we do is lose to teams we shouldn’t in November and December and beat teams we shouldn’t in January February and March which is great but the SEC is terrible. Although I’m happy with the turnaround these guys maid this season I just don’t see our program getting any better. Btw it’s been over 10 years since our last NCAA tournament win in my eyes that’s sorry and we should be better. It’s not hard to build a good basketball team if you really know what your doing. I would actually settle for the NIT. Do you realize that 100 teams have a chance to play post season basketball and CMF has only done it once with someone elses talent. Oh well if KCP goes it won’t be long before changes are made. WE SHOUlD BE BETTER!!

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        1. If Fox can’t recruit a serious big man (which he doesn’t have coming in for next year as of yet) then I think that will ultimately lead to his undoing at UGA.

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          1. Rumors out there that Tony Parker will leave UCLA. Georgia could be a prime beneficiary of that move, even though he would sit out a year unless he is granted a hardship exemption. Very little playing time out there, but he looked pretty good last night in the loss to Tubby

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            1. Based on what I’ve seen of Parker this year, he is a project, albeit a low-risk project who should flourish with the right coach — one who can work just as hard on his work ethic as on his BB IQ and conditioning.

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  4. Uh-oh, ESPN has moved KCP from 2nd round to #19 NBA prospect in the last few weeks:

    #19–Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

    SCHOOL: Georgia

    Class: So.

    HT/WT: 6-5, 205

    POS: SG

    18.5 PPG

    7.1 RPG

    1.8 APG

    Caldwell-Pope is the highest riser on this list, and he didn’t even play a game last week. He makes the jump in part because of Pelton’s statistical work that gave him a projected WARP that would put him seventh overall in the draft. That assessment, as it turns out, agrees with what a number of GMs that use advanced metrics are saying about him. While many scouts see him as a second-rounder, there are enough front offices that factor in these rankings to move him up the list. When you factor in his age, size, athleticism and shooting ability, Caldwell-Pope, while far from perfect, does seem to pass the eye test as well.

    PREVIOUS RANKING: NR

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  5. Well this is great for KCP I guess. I sure hope he resists the siren song of the NBA this year because none of our sophs who made the jump lasted long in the NBA (and shooting guards are a dime a dozen at the next level). I think he may be a lottery pick after his junior year however.

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