After tough times at home, Dogs hit road to a town where they’re 5-54

LEXINGTON, Ky. — After a homestand that fell short of expectations, the Georgia men’s basketball team faces a daunting stretch on the road.

The Bulldogs, who lost two of three games on their longest SEC homestand of the season, play five of their next seven conference games away from Athens. The stretch starts with a 4 p.m. game Saturday at Kentucky, where Georgia’s all-time record is 5-54.

The Bulldogs (14-5, 3-3 SEC) beat Kentucky (15-4, 3-2) in Athens in both teams’ league opener on Jan. 8, but that remains Georgia’s only win of the season against an SEC East opponent. The Dogs subsequently lost at Vanderbilt and at home to Tennessee and Florida, dropping into the cellar of the closely bunched division.

“We’ve just got to get back up,” guard Dustin Ware said, “and just keep working and just keep trying to improve, like we’ve done all season.”

Granted, the Bulldogs are only ½ game behind the four teams tied for second place in the SEC East and two games behind first-place Florida. But the upcoming seven-game stretch looks almost ominous in the aftermath of a 1-2 homestand.

The Kentucky trip is followed by a game at Arkansas on Wednesday. Then, after returning home for an SEC game against Auburn on Feb. 5 and a non-conference game against Xavier on Feb. 8, the Bulldogs face conference games at South Carolina (Feb. 12), at home against Vanderbilt (Feb. 16), at Tennessee (Feb. 19) and at Florida (Feb. 24).

Both losses on the recent homestand were agonizing for the Bulldogs. They lost to Tennessee on a buzzer-beating put-back by Vols center Brian Williams, who later said he was surprised not to be called for a foul on the play, and lost to Florida in double overtime after a 30-foot shot by the Gators’ Erving Walker tied the game with one second left in the first overtime.

“There are worse things in life that are going to happen to [the players],” coach Mark Fox said after the loss to Florida. “They have no choice but to get back up, and they will. I’ll make sure they do that.”

Georgia figures to encounter a motivated and rested Kentucky team. The Wildcts lost to the Bulldogs 77-70 three weeks ago, and with no mid-week game this week, they’ve had extra time to prepare for the rematch.

“Georgia beat us good down there,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “They played rougher than us; they played physical; they were good, from [Trey] Thompkins to their guard play to their physical defense. We couldn’t drive the ball and get a clean look. . . . They just manhandled us.”

Kentucky’s last loss in Lexington was on March 4, 2009 -– 90-85 to Georgia, led at the time by interim coach Pete Herrmann. The Wildcats have won 28 consecutive games in Rupp Arena since then, the nation’s second longest current home winning streak behind Duke’s 30.

Etc.

Fox said the Bulldogs are “a little dinged up” with nagging injuries but “everybody is going to play. It’s just the normal things.” . . . Thompkins is among those dinged up. Fox wasn’t specific on Thompkins’ injury but said “he’ll play through it.” . . . Calipari on the Wildcats: “I think there’s no team in America that has more upside than this team.” . . . Kentucky has two of the SEC’s top five scorers: freshmen Terrence Jones (third at 18.3 points per game) and Brandon Knight (fifth at 17.6). . . . The Wildcats also have the SEC’s top two rebounders, Josh Harrellson (9.2 per game) and Jones (8.9). . . . Georgia’s all-time record vs. Kentucky is 25-112, with eight of the wins in the past 10 years.

– Tim Tucker, UGA Blog

59 comments Add your comment

trey

January 28th, 2011
6:12 pm

This road trip will determine what this team is really made of. I really don’t think they’re a championship calibre team quite yet but this road trip will definitely tell.

IlliniDawg

January 28th, 2011
6:30 pm

This team has broken my heart. I probably put too much stock into all of the pre-season hype, but I honestly thought that this could be the season where we finally turn the corner.

Not gonna happen. They’ve shown that they are still very immature and lacking in so many fundamentals. Not a very smart, savvy team at all. Too many turnovers, too many missed free throws, too many stupid shots. I think the NIT might even be a stretch at this point.

D A DoubleU G

January 28th, 2011
6:51 pm

Good luck, always, to Mark Fox and the Hounds……

But how many days til kickoff??…… 218!!!!!!!!!

GO DAWGS!!!!

Freehawk

January 28th, 2011
6:53 pm

Hey Tim, did the UGA women lose to USC women in basketball last night? Why is the AJC in denial.

D A DoubleU G

January 28th, 2011
6:55 pm

One thing is for sure…… if Trey Tompkins even thinks about turning pro after this year, show him tape of himself trying to stop Florida’s Vernon Macklin……. Then explain to him the boys in the NBA are bigger and stronger than him.

If Tompkins and Leslie (who I think may be able to play above the rim right now in the NBA) decide to come back for one more after this one, they will do something next year.

But this year just reeks of 2nd round SEC Tourney elimination and a trip to the NIT.

IlliniDawg

January 28th, 2011
7:02 pm

@DoubleUG: totally agree. The Florida and Tenn games exposed the flaws and relative immaturity in Thompkins and Leslie. Make no mistake – these guys have tremendous talent, but they will get absolutely schooled in the NBA.

Bright Idea

January 28th, 2011
7:06 pm

Georgia has to get more interested in playing tough defense. Make opponents earn it.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SECEastWire, SECSportsWire and The Commish, bulldogtweets.com. bulldogtweets.com said: #UGA After tough times at home, Dogs hit the road: LEXINGTON, Ky. — After a homestand that fell short of expecta… http://bit.ly/fcjbyx [...]

Billy Jack

January 28th, 2011
7:29 pm

We match up well with the Cats they are lazy on defense…but TT is correct..we need to beat Arkansas on the road and split with Fla/UT on the road and we need to win in Columbia…(the Fla loss really hurt) if we can win at Lex this Sat. the healing process takes a big step….I don’t see the dawgs losing at home again this year…

Worm

January 28th, 2011
7:37 pm

trey Tompkins is this years Cedric henderson..Play well trey!

Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:04 pm

I’ve been watching this team for a little bit and I can say that their not there yet. At least when it comes to making a deep run in NIT or NCAA Tourney, but still if you had high expectations then you had problems.

If we get to the NIT that’ll be a step in the right direction yeah it’s lesser than the NCAA Tourney, but you got to think where has UGA even been the last couple of years.

Give them about two more years heck even one more they will be making some noise Mark Fox has these boys on the right track just hope no one tries to hire him away from us.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

NCDAWG

January 28th, 2011
8:20 pm

Bring back FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

will-cobb

January 28th, 2011
8:25 pm

UGA is just not good enough defensively!!! I wish that was not the case, but it is…. That being said, I love the Dawgs, and I really enjoy watching Mark Fox’s team play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Billy Jack @ Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:36 pm

NIT….please man stop it…the Dawgs will make the big dance…come on over to my house I just made a pitcher of Kool-Aid…you need a glass sir…this Georgia team is talented…Notre Dame just beat #2 ranked Pitt and we lost to ND with Thompkins playing on 1 leg…UGA is fine we got screwed vs UT and UF..we’ll learn from it…

Dixie Redcoat Band

January 28th, 2011
8:36 pm

May be time for a coaching change if we keep getting beat.

Alphare

January 28th, 2011
8:53 pm

A bunch of dawgs led a Fox, interesting.

Michael

January 28th, 2011
9:23 pm

IlliniDawg, are you serious? Have you watched a game?

This team is fundamentally sound. They don’t take stupid shots. As a matter of fact, Georgia’s quickly crafted trademark under Mark Fox has been their brand…which holds even with their two heartbreaking losses. I don’t think there is a true Georgia fan right now who isn’t steaming from the ears with excitement about this team….not because of record…but because they are bringing a good brand and BASE for a successful basketball program in Athens.

This team is a few FREAK plays from being 16-3 and 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference…and would likely have a top 18 ranking, at least. Yes, I know the phrase “coulda shoulda woulda”…but to say this team is below NIT level is disgraceful.

They play with great fundamentals. They cover up their weaknesses and play to their strengths. They just had a tough, HEARTBREAKING week…and anyone who’s actually informed is aware of that. Even ESPN has them as a 9 seed right now for the NCAA Tournament.

What in the world are you doubters smoking? There are great things going on with the program right now. This program is hitting a MAJOR turnaround…as someone who’s tried to watch as many UGA hoops games as possible for the past seven years, I can see a blatant difference.

VinceVanGo

January 28th, 2011
9:24 pm

I know one thing the Bulldogs need. Better play from Gerald Robinson. Between being in foul trouble and making terrible passes he just killed the Dawgs in the Florida game. What he needs to do is go to the basket more, especially when the opponents go into a zone. The reason the other teams are playing more zone lately is because it shuts Thompkins down and Georgia doesn’t have the 3 point shooters to break it. If Robinson will drive to the basket when other teams are in the zone he will either get a layup, get a foul, or free another player for a short shot. The Georgia guards(subs too) are going to have to start hitting some three’s or the opponents will stay in the zone.

Michael

January 28th, 2011
9:27 pm

@Dixie RedCoat Band…

that’s the dumbest thing. what am I thinking? idiots will be idiots

RAID

January 28th, 2011
10:17 pm

Most of you folks have never set foot on a gym floor….Coming from someone who has ACTUALLY played college BB, this team is incredibly fundimentally sound!……They are constantly in ball movement, they out rebound the opponent most every game,make free throws, and have maybe the quickest pg in the country………. and although I think they will drop a couple more games due to the way the schedule falls, they have the potential to go far in the tourney………..Ifd they make it, and even the national analyist’s agree, they can go far because of their inside tallent…..Do’nt sell these guys short, they’re good!…Noone expects us to win at KU but then again, who does?…This coming from a 6′6″ small forward….and has played big time BB…..These dudes have it goin on!

Michael

January 28th, 2011
10:20 pm

thank you, Raid!!

Rishi

January 28th, 2011
10:35 pm

The biggest room for improvement is defense for this team to be a contender. Their pick and roll defense, especially in the first half of the FL game was horrendous, as well as Price/Barnes/Thompkins inability to play defensed effectively in the post (see Macklin’s performance).

Upstate Dawg

January 28th, 2011
10:59 pm

Thank you Michael & RAID, excellent posts. This team is a really good one. I’d feel better about our chances had the Cats not had a week to prepare. Even so, we match up well against UK. If we can keep our turnovers low and hit our free throws again, we’ve got a good chance to sweep ‘em. GO DAWGS

Hoops Dawg

January 28th, 2011
11:36 pm

I concur with Michael and Raid as well. I wish we had another big man defender to throw in the mix, even if he rarely scored. I was hoping that D. Williams would evolve into that role, but it looks like he gets shoved around a lot down low. He’s athletic and may develop but needs to put on some serious poundage–get thee to the weight room! But I do think that the dance is a distinct possibility if we stay relatively injury free.

gatorphil

January 28th, 2011
11:37 pm

You dog fans are incredible. From the tone of previous posts, you guys have already packed it in for the season. Your team is very talented, could’ve just as easily won both of those games and there’s still a lot of basketball to be played-.and yet you criticize gator fans!

WJ

January 28th, 2011
11:53 pm

Uhhhhh…. lemme see if I have this right. The Dawgs have lost five games to 4 top twenty five teams and one just outside the top 25. Two in Double OT, one at the buzzer in regulation, and none worse than seven points on the road to an absolutely determined Vandy team.

YET! Gerald Robinson needs to reevaluate his game- and the Dawgs will be lucky to get invited to the NIT????????

I wonder why I read this junk sometimes.

In my opinion they go 6-5 out of the last eleven (8-8 in the league) for a (20-10) record and get invited to the dance as a 7-10 seed.

or- I may watch them lose at KY (a place where tons of terrific teams lose) and declare that the enitre team is a bunch of losers–and that Mark Fox should call me for advice.

WJ

January 29th, 2011
12:10 am

Lord, the more I think about it…..I wish I was in the same room with some of you so I could clunk your heads together like Moe in a Three Stooges Episode….

…course most of you have better chance at flying to the moon than you do commenting on basketball or figuring out who the three stooges are….

Top Row Dawg

January 29th, 2011
12:10 am

6-54 looks better to me.

DAWGSARETOAST

January 29th, 2011
12:32 am

in Rupp Arena ..The Cats will teach these pooches that UK is The SEC in basketball has been for 75 years..Stick with football and leave basketball to the experts..

Beast from the East

January 29th, 2011
6:26 am

Tough place to play.
Good luck, Dawgs.

UGASlobberknocker

January 29th, 2011
8:50 am

Even if we lose today to go to 3-4, I believe 9-7 is possible in conf play. If we can beat Xavier, that would put us at 21-9 and in the NCAA tourney IMO. If we go 8-8 and/or lose to Xavier, then now we have 19 wins or so and would prob have to win one or two in the SEC tourney to get to the NCAAs. I think that is doable and that the Dawgs will succeed. One good thing is that the selection committee looks at how teams end their season, and the “easiest” stretch of games for us is at the end of the year.

UGASlobberknocker

January 29th, 2011
8:51 am

Hey WJ, we’ll make a deal with you. If you leave this board and never come back..you wont have to read our junk, and we wont have to read yours either. Now be a good boy and go take out the trash before Mom gets mad.

WJ's Mom

January 29th, 2011
8:52 am

WJ, quit hitting your sister! She cant help it you’re an idiot.

[...] Could tough times be ahead now that Georgia is back on the road? asks Tim Tucker of the AJC. [...]

WJ's Mom

January 29th, 2011
8:53 am

Enter your comments here

WJ's Dog

January 29th, 2011
8:53 am

Even I cant stand the guy

Buckeye

January 29th, 2011
9:07 am

Will be rooting for you, Howard and Co. Good luck.

Funny, one again UGA is the undercard game at 4pm followed by the # 1 ranked and undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes at 6PM.

It’s good to be a Buckeye!

hammerhead

January 29th, 2011
9:10 am

Obviously, many of the posts above are rival fans posing as Georgia fans. Sadly, however, I think many are actual Georgia fans that only care about football. If you don’t care about the basketball team, don’t comment on the basketball team. And, IlliniDawg, seriously? To call this team unsound fundamentally proves you have no idea how the game is played.

harold

January 29th, 2011
10:21 am

GEORGIA IS NOT A BB SCHOOL LIKE TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY, AND FLORIDA. DAWGS FINISH FOURTH IN THE SEC EAST!

hammerhead

January 29th, 2011
10:43 am

Thanks WJ – bout the only sensible post i read…

GoBigBlue

January 29th, 2011
1:00 pm

Dawgs are toast today!

Ok UGA

January 29th, 2011
4:56 pm

I’m convinced now, you’re going nowhere this year … all that hype and gasp/shock … last in the SEC East

Buzz2010

January 29th, 2011
5:01 pm

Those Dawgs are tough!! All

dbc

January 29th, 2011
5:01 pm

UGA basketball is nothing more than a mirage. Just like the football team, they don’t play anywhere near their potential. Kentucky is abusing them as we speak. Dawgs look listless and asleep — if you can’t get up to play Kentucky then something is wrong. Fox needs to teach them to play some form of defense. Fundamentally, their ball handling skills leave a lot to be desired — too many turnovers. With Leslie and Thompkins gone after this season, it’ll be back to the cellar of the SEC.

Buzz2010

January 29th, 2011
5:04 pm

Dawgs are tough! All the talk of Sweet Sixteen”, etc… My gosh they are last in the SEC again. (East Div.) Oh my Coach Fox !! Bring in Harrick…

crabapplejoe

January 29th, 2011
5:12 pm

I wonder why UGA didn’t try to recruit Jimmer Fredette?…..BYU’s ranked in the top ten with him shooting lights out….meanwhile the ghetto Dawgs can’t crack the top twenty five….LMAO.

Sid

January 29th, 2011
5:28 pm

what a mess….until you have players with some smarts this is what you get. The first decent offer Fox gets he should bolt.

funny...

January 29th, 2011
5:46 pm

This team was the “sleeper” to win the East. LOL…

They don’t follow their shots, they don’t rebound, they play flat footed, the inbounds plays are the worst in college basketball, Travis Leslie is the most overrated player in the nation, Trey Thompkins is timid (maybe a little tweak of the ankle), and they’re unlucky; just missing loose balls, that midget from uf hitting that shot from half court and Williams was over the back.