The 10-7 Georgia Bulldogs invade Rupp Arena to take on the No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats (14-4) in a showdown of 4-1 SEC teams; a game in which both squads will look to keep up with first place Florida. Here are hour Game Notes:
- Georgia head coach Mark Fox's first collegiate coaching gig came at the University of Washington, where Fox worked under one-time UK assistant coach Lynn Nance.
- Nance, older UK fans will remember, had to be held back from gutting Bob Knight after the Indiana coach slapped Joe B. Hall -- at that time, one of Knight's fishing buddies -- on the back of the head during a game in 1974. Nance had been an FBI agent before beginning his coaching career and was not at all intimidated by Knight.
- It was at Washington that Fox first met Trent Johnson (who was also a UW assistant coach), who would become Fox's boss at Nevada. It was Johnson who first introduced Fox to his future wife, Cindy.
- Fox also worked under Tom Asbury at Kansas State.
- Fox was hired at Georgia only days after John Calipari matriculated to UK.
- In 2011 Fox led UGA to 21 wins, the most victories for a Georgia squad since 2002, and only the 11th 20-plus win season in Bulldog history.
- Georgia's 9-7 league record in 2011 were the most SEC wins for UGA since 2003.
- And unlike Jim Harrick, Fox didn't shatter the NCAA rulebook into a million pieces while winning in Athens.
- Fox posted a 123-43 record at Nevada (.741 winning percentage), and coached Nick Fazekas, Ramon Sessions, Kirk Snyder, and Luke Babbit during his time at the Reno school.
- The Bulldogs have three players averaging double-figures in scoring, led by 6-5 sophomore guard Charles Mann at 13.1 points per game.
- Mann's back court mate, 6-3 second-year player Kenny Gaines, puts up 12.0 points per contest, second on the team.
- Mann and Gaines have combined for 66 assists and 76 turnovers on the season, a .8 assist/turnover ratio.
- Mann and Gaines have combined to make only 30-of-100 shots from beyond the arc (30.0 percent).
- A native of Montenegro, 6-8 forward Nemanja Djurisic has connected on 22-of-41 shots from beyond the arc (53.7 percent). Djurisics's overall shooting is also strong as he has made 60-of-115 of his shots from the floor (52.2 percent).
- Of Georgia's five losses, only two have been blowout setbacks: at a good Colorado club, 84-70 (and that's borderline blowout territory), and at Florida, 72-50.
- Georgia won at Missouri, 70-64 in overtime.
- The Dawgs have also beat Alabama, 66-58, Arkansas, 66-61 in OT, and South Carolina in a 97-76 whipping.
- In Georgia's win over UK last season, 6-9 senior forward Donte' Williams netted 10 points and eight rebounds in only 21 minutes of action. This season Williams is second on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game and leads the Dawgs with 1.4 blocks per game.
- The 2010 Georgia Mr. Basketball, 6-8 forward Marcus Thornton, leads the Dawgs in rebounding at 5.6 boards per game.
- The Bulldogs allow opponents to shoot 35.2 percent from distance (114-324).
- Brandon Morris, a 6-7 forward, averages 9.0 points per game and shoots 58.6 percent from the floor (41-70).
- On the season, Georgia has 37 more turnovers than assists.
- Am I the only one who thinks Cal's hair has become more noticeably gray over the last month or so?
- I'm not sure if that's good or bad. On one hand, his hair may be turning gray because he thinks this team is/could be really good, and he feels the self-pressure of wanting to win. Or, it could be he thinks this team doesn't have what it takes to make a serious run at a title, causing self made pressure and stress, on top of the external pressure one feels when things don't go well at Kentucky.
- Or, it could be the fact that he's not 35 anymore.
- Now on to the good stuff.
- UK has made 22-of-50 shots in each of its last two games (40.0 percent).
- The 'Cats haven't shot over 50.0 percent from the field since playing Belmont seven games ago. Since the game against the Bruins, Kentucky has connected on 45.3 percent of its shots.
- The 51 points scored by Texas A&M were the fewest points UK has allowed since holding Robert Morris to 49 in the fourth game of the season.
- In the five games that UK attempted 20 or more 3-pointers, the 'Cats shot 25.7 percent from long-range (27-105). In the 13 games Kentucky took fewer than 20 treys, the Wildcats' 3-point percentage climbed (significantly) to 34.0 percent.
- UK was tagged with 30-plus fouls in two games this year, committing 31 fouls at both North Carolina and Arkansas. In the other 16 games, Kentucky averaged 17.6 fouls per game.
- In only eight games this season have the 'Cats recorded more assists than turnovers -- UK's assist/turnover ratio for the year is .97.
- The Wildcats have not posted double-digit blocks in a game since swatting 10 Boise State shots 10 games ago. UK's blocks per game average now stands at 5.4 per game.
- For the season, UK has made 397 free throws, while its opponent's have attempted 371, allowing Kentucky to outscore the opposition by 149 points from the line, an average of 8.3 points per game.
Alex Poythress, in the last five games, is averaging 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, he's made 19-of-31 field goals (61.3 percent), and 15-of-18 free throws (83.3 percent), with 10 of those 15 free throw makes coming consecutively (over three games). Poythress has put up those numbers while playing only 23.8 minutes per game.
- Poythress has played well all year. But now he has offensive confidence. As he should.
- In the last five games, Julius Randle has averaged 10.5 rebounds per contest. In the five games previous, Randle averaged only 7.5 boards per contest.
- Over the last three games, Randle has connected on 20-of-25 free throws (80.0 percent).
- Andrew Harrison, in the last four games, has 17 assists and nine turnovers (1.9 assist/turnover ratio).
- Harrison has been true on 8-of-18 3-point shots over the last five games (44.4 percent).
- The first nine games of the year, Harrison had 17 rebounds (1.9 per game). The last nine games, UK's point has grabbed 39 boards (4.3 per game).
- If you have read this entire post, you are a true ...
- ... fan of the Blue.
Thanks for reading and Go 'Cats!