Coach Mark Fox and his Georgia Bulldogs’ basketball vacation in Italy last week caught the eye of ESPN College Basketball guru Andy Katz, who focused on the Dawgs in one of his segments in his weekly 3-Point-Shot column.
The most exciting news for UGA basketball fans has to be that sophomore Tim Dixon (who was rarely used last season) tallied 9 points and 9 rebounds per game in Italy. If Dixon can put up similar numbers in SEC play this year he would provide much-needed support and depth to a Georgia frontline that will be entering the season with a lot of question marks.
The only portion of the paragraph that might leave Dawgs fans questioning Katz’s knowledge of the team came towards the end of the piece in which he states the following:
“Marcus Thornton, arguably the team’s best player, didn’t play because he hadn’t been cleared since having surgery in the spring.”
I would say that as long as Kentavious-Caldwell Pope is donning the Red and Black that I would have to argue with Mr. Katz that KCP is in fact UGA’s best player.
Next season, Coach Fox is going to need to figure out a way to get offensive production from the guard position after losing his senior backcourt of Gerald Robinson, Jr. and Dustin Ware. I am somewhat concerned that Vincent Williams wasn’t mentioned in this article (or any of CMF’s tweets during his time in Italy) as I think he will be the starting point guard to open up the season.
All and all, it sounds as though this trip provided a lot of good experience for several of Georgia’s players who as of right now haven’t had much of it.
Mann will join Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for the 2012-2013 season in what looks to be a very big UGA backcourt – Pope is listed at 6’4″.
With the additions this off-season of John Florveus (7’0″), John Cannon (6’11”) and Tim Dixon (6’10”), it is becoming pretty apparent that Coach Fox is transforming the Georgia basketball team into a taller, leaner version of itself.
After last night’s win, CBS Sportsline has the Dawgs RPI at 73 (almost on the coveted first page!) and their Strength of Schedule is 6th hardest in the country.
On Feb 14,2004, the Dawgs beat Kentucky 74-68 in Athens…this was the last time Georgia beat an opponent ranked in the Top 10 (and they’ve had 9 tries).
As my friends and I were walking into the game, we heard people negotiating ticket prices in excess of $75 dollars apiece. Coach Fox definitely is generating some interest in UGA basketball around the Bulldawg Nation.
Bruce Pearl played both Cameron Tatum and Melvin Goins against Georgia on Saturday. This was the first game that these two players saw action in since the “incident”. That means that not only did the Dawgs end the Vols’ 5-game post-Tyler Smith win streak (something the Kansas Jayhawks couldn’t do), they did it against a stronger Tennessee lineup (with 8 scholarship players).
Calling out Mark Bradley – after the Georgia Bulldogs upset the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Athens earlier this season, Mark Bradley of the AJC made the bold statement that the Bulldogs had merely one player (Trey Thompkins) who would make Tech’s 10-man rotation.
First off, I would take Trey Thompkins over any player on the Yellow Jacket roster – he is averaging more points than anyone on Tech and he beat them in a head-to-head matchup. Gani Lawal is a great forward that plays very hard, but he doesn’t have the outside game or ball-handling skills that Thompkins possesses.
What about Travis Leslie? Does Bradley really believe that Paul Hewitt wouldn’t prefer to have Leslie (13.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 ESPN Highlights) instead of D’Andre Bell, Iman Shumpert, Brian Oliver, Glen Rice, Jr., etc? I won’t even list these players statistics because they are not comparable – click here if you like numbers.