Georgia finally puts it all together in win over Arkansas

With an 8:05 p.m. tip, Georgia’s basketball game against Arkansas Wednesday night was one of those slam-it-in-for-print kind of games. So following is a recast of my game story on the Bulldogs’ impressive 81-59 win updated with quotes from players and coaches, some minor tweeks and some addition quotes at the end.

ATHENS — Two teams on divergent paths met at Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday night. But it was the one supposedly heading downward that came out on top.

Georgia, which won one of its eight games during the first half of the SEC schedule, started the second by doubling its conference total with a 81-59 victory over Arkansas. The Razorbacks (16-8, 4-5 SEC) came in with wins over three ranked teams but searching for their first SEC road victory.

The Bulldogs (11-12, 2-7) got a career-high 27 points from senior guard Gerald Robinson — including 17 in the first half — along with five assists and SIX rebounds as the SEC’s worst offensive team trumped the league’s worst defensive team.

“We needed it bad,” said Robinson, whose previous career high was 22 points. “I think it came at the right time. Basketball is a long season, so it was time to turn it around. We need to keep going up from here.”

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 18 points, and Nemanja Djurisic (14) and Marcus Thornton (10) gave the Bulldogs four double-figure scorers for the first time since Dec. 27. Georgia shot a season best 52.6 percent from the field and out-rebounded Arkansas by the astounding mark of 44-21.

“Tonight we played very well,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “That’s probably as well as we’ve played maybe all year. No question about it.”

Georgia entered the game averaging only 56.2 points per game in SEC contests. It scored more than 80 points for just the second time this season. The Bulldogs return to the road to face Mississippi State, which was tied with Arkansas as the league’s worst defensive team.

Arkansas, which fell to 0-7 on the road this season, was led by freshman B.J. Young with 16 points and sophomore Madracus Wade, who had 15 points on five 3-point shots.

“I thought it was one our worst performances,” said first-year Arkansas coach Mike Anderson. “It was just flat. There was no energy and I’m probably the most surprised about that.”

The pregame environment didn’t hint at what was about to happen. Georgia students are taking mid-term exams this week, and they were uncharacteristically poorly represented. The Bulldogs’ poor record coupled with a late tipoff on a school night didn’t lend itself to a crowded, vibrant atmosphere.

But the Georgia players were unaffected by that. They came out blazing, quickly building an 6-0 lead on three baskets by Robinson and remained undeterred even after the Razorbacks tied the score at 8-all.

After playing to an 8-8 tie, the Bulldogs ran off 15 consecutive points, with four different players accounting for the scoring. Donte’ Williams dunked off a no-look, alley-oops pass from Robinson that gave Georgia a 23-8 lead with 8:15 remaining in the half.

“We were sick of losing,” said Djurisic, who was 3-of-4 on 3-pointers. “We wanted to play well from start to finish and we did that tonight. It came from everywhere. It came from every player.”

The Bulldogs built that into a 24-point advantage when Robinson made two free throws at the 2:08 mark. They would be both Georgia and Robinson’s last points of the half. He went to the locker room with 17. Caldwell-Pope had 13.

The 43 points were the most in a half this season for the Bulldogs.

There were a lot of firsts in the game. Thornton made a 3-pointer at the 6:55 mark of the first half. He had not made a field goal since he went out with an injury Dec. 20 against Mercer. He matched his career high with 10 points.

Freshman Tim Dixon also made a rare appearance — playing for the first time in five games — and recorded his first basket in six weeks.

“You’re having fun when you’re winning,” Robinson said. “Losing ain’t fun by no means. People just looked real confident out there. I was glad to see the looks I saw on their faces tonight. I was real proud of them.”

42 comments Add your comment

TGTHAYGOODM

February 8th, 2012
11:47 pm

I am pleased but shocked!

62-39-5

February 8th, 2012
11:47 pm

62-39-5

February 8th, 2012
11:48 pm

Is it Correct, 3-13 correct vs teams finishing top 10 all 11 years of Mark Richt ?

February 8th, 2012
11:55 pm

How great is Arky in basketball ?

I hardly think we can say we put it all together in mens’ basketball with our 26 highly-rated recruits in Football Mark Richt signed to Scholarships, that spilled over to the basketball team now not having significant players who could have seriously impacted the sorry inside game we have in mens’ basketball. 26 highly-rated signed scholarships given out by Mark Richt for this up-coming 2012 season which shows so much promise based on the sorry easy cupcake-filled creampuff schedule of 13-1 easily guaranteed.

above

February 9th, 2012
12:15 am

I’ve read that 3 times and am still missing your point.

Go Dawgs!

February 9th, 2012
12:18 am

Let’s get this tradition started of saying “Go Dawgs!” instead of ‘first’.

Go Dawgs!

JW

February 9th, 2012
1:43 am

WHAT??!! Chip your finally doing your job as a UGA beat writer…your writing articles about other sports other than football!!!

is this better?

February 9th, 2012
2:06 am

Arkansas is not that great. We have no big men who do a darn thing inside. We have football players who were supposed to be helping that. Counted as recruits in one sport, playing this sport mens’ basketball.

Our mens’ basketball struggles are not all from not having several key members of our football recruiting numbers counting toward football, not playing what should have been a big role in mens’ basketball. The others inside have not stepped up at all. I watch them. I played this sport too; I see the inside players that I felt could be significant. They are not. Why ? Doesn’t really matter does it ?

This basketball program needs some help. After this season, we lose several key outside guys. We need to round-out this roster in mens’ basketball. It wouldn’t hurt if everyone wasn’t so deflated to be playing in such a small horrible old ugly out-dated itty-bitty antiquated cow palace.

We have plenty of money to build us a gym for women’s basketball, men’s basketball and all our other sports – one with twice the number of seats we have. Can’t fill up the one we have. Excuse me, we don’t have one. We can’t expect Mark Fox to recruit to that gym. He should have made it part of his hiring process that every day every interview he would ask for a new gym, and be allowed to say that daily.

Our Athletics Department just sits there like a bump on a log. No indoor practice facility, no top teams beat, 26 transfers out of football program in the last 12 months, no recruits in mens’ basketball, and we do nothing about anything. We don’t even pay it lip service – all these glaring Athletic Department woes.

Some of the guys on the team could put forth more effort. 1 basketball game won all season long in The SEC until a home game tonight; I mean wow. Now, we get this thread probably for a week by Chip Towers like I am supposed to talk about mens’ basketball with all the off-season turmoil in football, in a season up-coming which we play absolutely no team who might end up top 25, or 1 at most, the entire regular season. This is what the Athletics’ Department gives us for all our monies in football.

I know. It’s a basketball thread. I am bored with the basketball gym, players and program. I am fully engaged in football, and again as in 2008, just when it looks like we have an easy schedule with the missing parts filled in, we go right down the drain with only now 77 scholarships in football and that includes 5 carry-overs as walk-ons who never play offense or defense, just our # 80 Special Teams with no coach.

And, what I love most, is coming in here and reading not 1 post about anything, just that they cannot read the point.

The point is obvious. We suck in mens’ basketball, never blog about the womens’ basketball team, who for 30 years have had it going on I love to watch instead and they would benefit from a new gym too. And, here we are the same Athletics’ Department with no gym, no indoor practice facility, the 2nd most Cash in All of America for an Athletics’ Department, and no EXTENSION costing us in recruiting in a huge way. And, with all these off-field problems AGAIN as last season too with all these transfers out and kicked off the team amid COVER-UPS to have only positive news, and all you can say is you don’t see the point.

How’s this ? Better ? Post something yourself. Excuse me, you’ve never posted here, have you ?

bob

February 9th, 2012
7:33 am

I used to agree about Stegman but after this last round of renovations it is now a decent arena. I don’t think anyone can justify 200 million for a new building. I think Coach Fox will work out but it takes time to build a winner. The key is when he starts winning consistantly and an established school wants to hire him away UGA will have to step up and spend the money to keep him. Winning brings in players, not the building.

Kramer

February 9th, 2012
7:38 am

OK, who is the moron that keeps posting dumba** comments and posting as a question for a name? Another tech fan pretending to know sports. Please, get a life or at least something close to one.

is this better?

February 9th, 2012
7:50 am

bob that is silly sir. That gym does not compete with the vols’ gym or Kentucky’s gym, Arkansas’ gym, or South Carolina’s gym, or Florida’s gym, or Alabama’s gym, or Vanderbilt’s gym, or LSU’s gym, or even Mississippi State’s gym. Take a recruit there to those places. Bring him here, and tell me Mark Fox has a chance ? I just hate it when someone actually points out that we HAVE THE SECOND MOST CASH IN THE NATION AS AN ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT, and the 1st time someone mentions our gym sucks and costs us at recruiting, obviously, there is always someone who runs in here and says what a great gym the Stegosaurus is.

No, Bob, it is not, sir.

Kramer

February 9th, 2012
7:56 am

is this better? I think you truly believe that every opinion you opine here is fact. Fox came here to create a winning atmosphere and was going well until losing his top two players last year. He will get it done with a new gym or not. Of course, that is my opinion. You sure you are a UGA fan?

Dogs Rule!

February 9th, 2012
8:19 am

With that blowout win over arkansas, the Dogs are back! Look for a late run and some upsets in the SEC tourny!

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

February 9th, 2012
9:06 am

UGA basketball is total rebuild mode – need to be patient.
Fox lost his 2 best underclassmen to the NBA so the team has no depth and talent to off set this loss.

I would give Fox 2013 and 2014.

Recruiting is so crucial – but why go to UGA as a basketball player.
NO tradition.
Historically Poor to Mediocre program.
Atlanta and the state of Georgia has talent – but elite recruits will be attracted to KY, Louisville, Duke, UNC, GT, Vandy, UCLA and others before taking a step down to consider playing for a school
that has NO identity with basketball greatness.

The UGA basketball program is a very challanging position.

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

February 9th, 2012
9:10 am

I have been to the “Stegosaurus” and thought is was a pretty cool place to see a game.

You want to see a dump – look at where DUKE plays – Cameron is a dump – but a great place at the same time.

Another interesting arena is where the Vols play. Tennessee go so concerned with building a large facility – that it is exaclty that – a large facility. NO intimacy and to tell the truth – I liked UGA’s as a college venue better.

Nick

February 9th, 2012
9:16 am

If we are ever going to be relevent in basketball then we need to stop making excuses for our team. Our expectations need to be raised.

That being said, Stegman is a dump and its hard to convince recruits to come and play there when other SEC schools have better facilities. I am willing to be patient with Coach Fox, but the effort from the team has been lacking until last night. They really played well last night and if they can just show the effort and heart they did last night every night, then some of the losses to more talented teams would be easier to take.

AltamahaDawg

February 9th, 2012
9:25 am

above. It was Bulldawg. You don’t need to read his stuff to know what his point was. It’s always the same irrespective of the topic.

Steven

February 9th, 2012
9:25 am

Fox is a good coach but he’s got to continue and establish a base of talent that will carry over from season to season to consistently make runs at making the NCAA tournament. Continuity is key, got to have Caldwell-Pope stay another year or two and keep adding pieces.

BulldogBen

February 9th, 2012
9:29 am

“Stegeman is a dump” is the weakest excuse and false accusation against the program ever. When’s the last time most people have been there? Have you been there since the renovations? It’s pretty impressive in my opinion.

I also think there is only one thing that changes an atmosphere and brings big time recruits and that’s winning and to learn from the coach that wins. I’m happy for this win but I’m not ready to say we’ve turned the corner yet. Every team gets a game like this every season. It’s why it’s so hard to go undefeated for even great teams. We’ll see how they do from here.

That was fun

February 9th, 2012
9:38 am

So good to see the team actual win big so they could enjoy it for a change. It was very simple really; Arkansas’ defense is not good in the half court and they have to rely on turnovers and good shooting when they are on offense. For the better part of the game UGA protected the ball well and Gerald just ate them up when we got into the half court game. They had no answer for him.

Donte Williams has made huge progress this year; Marcus is showing some signs of his former self as well; tough when you are playing on bumb knees. Vincent Williams and KCP will make a solid backcourt next season and we just need some more recruits, especially bigs. Funny to see Jay Rome almost laughing at himself going in with the bench crew. A little change from the high school level for him. Go Dawgs!

That was fun

February 9th, 2012
9:41 am

Oh , and the Steg is not a dump anymore. Plus, the practice facility they built a few years ago, where they players spend the vast majority of their bball time, is still one of the best in the nation.

bob

February 9th, 2012
9:53 am

I never said it was great, just decent and about average for an arena that is mainly used by the school.

credit

February 9th, 2012
10:00 am

. Nabarmena post! Komentatuz Gorroto dut eta normalean ez i egin, baina delako i izan da hau, zer arraioa! Thanks ALOT :) !

old dog

February 9th, 2012
10:03 am

B-ball program is coming; give Fox a little more time. We gotta get good recruits, and convince the better in-state recruits to come to UGA (stay home!) I remember the games were exciting during the Durham days (students on the floor dawgin’ the other team) and the Herrick situation set us back for awhile. We can do it, though, and maybe last night was a breakthrough!

Nate the Great

February 9th, 2012
10:20 am

@is this better? the answer to you name is “yes”. It sounds to me like you would like to live in a mythical land with fairies, pixie dust, and national championships every year. I do have a solution for you: Buy a PS3 or Xbox 360 and NCAA12, then you can rattle off 30 straight national championships, recruit all the best athletes, and live a life of bliss. We happen to exist in reality, and in reality these are COLLEGE STUDENTS and an academic institute, not a professional program. You need to take a step back and really listen to yourself. Find a better cause to get up-in-arms about, not college athletics.

bucket

February 9th, 2012
10:23 am

Anyone posting that Stegeman is a dump either a) has not been there since the renovations, or b) is an imposter posing as a Dawg fan and trying to embarrass UGA.

Football Guy

February 9th, 2012
10:27 am

Enter your comments here

Abnerish

February 9th, 2012
10:27 am

I’m still stunned. Honestly, the only difference between last night and every other game this season is that the shots went in the basket. That’s it. Coaching basketball has to be the most frustrating profession because you can teach them how to get in the best possible position to score, but as coach, you cannot put it in the basket for them. No wonder Coach Fox has so little hair!

Football Guy

February 9th, 2012
10:28 am

Yeah right. Arkansas’ real tough.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahhahahahahaha………………………
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bucket

February 9th, 2012
10:32 am

@ Abnerish – good point. Any team that manages over 50% from the field is gonna be in a great position to win. Losing Leslie and Thompkins really set the team back a year in terms of being able to compete in the SEC consistently. It may also prove to be a blessing in the long run if some of the guys are really able to step it up next year after a year in the system.

Are you an UGA fan ?

February 9th, 2012
10:39 am

I love all these ninnies on AJ-C that run in here and read any post that has any truth in it, and all you can come up with – since your stance in life is that you are there to defend us against all comers – is are you an UGA fan. Or the more common, you are not an UGA fan. Or, the even most common, you are a Georgia tek fan.

So weak.

Pardon me for pointing out our basketball gym is way low on the scale in our own conference comparing just SEC gyms. Nationally ? Our gym is pitiful nationally. All these other schools, how do you think they steal all this talent in this state to their schools ?

How do they do it ?

No. Not you. You aren’t falling for that one. Attack the poster, not the point. Put up a post what a wonderful gym the Stegosaurus is – the itty-bitty, teeny-weenie, cow palace you don’t want to borrow money to invest in the programs we have in our Stegosaurus.

You cannot compare the Stegosaurus to the other gyms even within The SEC.

So you whine away your life at every poster who dares ruffle your feathers when you know how great our gym is. You didn’t play basketball, as I. It was a sorry gym then, too. It still is. Get off your high-horse that you are a fan and anyone daring to suggest areas we need to work on, isn’t as good a fan as you think legend in your own mind, you are.

Guess what ?

You are the problem.

You are the reason why our football program is going nowhere.

You are the reason why our basketball program is going nowhere.

You are the problem.

“We are fine.” Yeah, right, which explains why not once does anyone share anything on this blog, when you don’t run right back in and say what a nincompoop everyone else is, but yourself. Not once is anything shared here which then is – well, admitted, that we need to work on that.

You are the problem.

It’s pretty old reading weak posts that this poster or that poster is not as good a fan of the school as you are.

Right.

Stegemen is not the problem

February 9th, 2012
10:45 am

For everybody that is calling Stegeman a dump has not been to it since the it’s renovation. Yes, it is now a very complete and very nice venue. I may add that with the attached basketball training facility the all basketball Facilities are top notch!

The only thing the program lacks is a sting of winning seasons and then fan support (sold-out games)!

You pinheads that haven’t seen or been to a game or an event in stegeman should shut-up and go to one!

You Tech fans can go back and sucking your thumbs! We all know that what’s Tech Fans do best!

Jimmy Crack

February 9th, 2012
10:58 am

Thanks Chip for not ho-humming this win. The whole team and all concerned needed something positive to happen soon to bolster the young guys to finish the season the right way…Winning!

Shocking! What a wonderful game I saw last night. The team looks just about ready to compete against the upper tier. Just about. KC-P needs alot of work and some of our bigs need a big plate of red beans and rice, but they are coming together quite nicely under Coach Fox.

Can someone at the online ajc sports please put a box score (or a link to one) next to these stories instead making the reader click 3 times to find the box, or have to go to espn.com for stats. Also on your stat page you STILL have Trey Thompkins and the entire 2010 gang right below our present record. If you click “stats” under “basketball” in the box marked “UGA Scores and More” it still has the 2010 stats and the old roster. FIX THAT, please!

Go Dawgs!

bucket

February 9th, 2012
10:58 am

@ The question mark – I did not say that all is fine with either the football or basketball programs. I am responding to this particular blog and the issues that you are raising in this thread regarding Stegeman. We are having trouble attracting top in-state talent to the basketball program right now, but it has nothing to do with the venue that UGA plays in. The reason that we are losing the talent is because UGA has not been a consistent winner in basketball for a long time. UGA is never going to compete for the “one and done” type players because they are going to sucked up by the traditional powerhouses, but UGA can compete for some good to great players if and when they start appearing in the NCAA tournament on a consistent basis. If Leslie and Thompkins had come back they would have made it 2 straight appearences, but that didn’t happen. They have some pretty good recruits lined up for nexy year, but they still need that one big name.

Hoops Dawg

February 9th, 2012
11:46 am

Fox has acutually done a pretty fair job with the players he has. Donte, Neme, and Thornton have come a good ways from their play at the beginning of the year, and I hadn’t rrealized that Thornton had knee problems to the extent that he has. The guy is a warrior out there on defense, but his offense is limited by lack of mobility. If we can recruit a skilled big man and IF either Dixon or Florveous develops into a meaningful contributor, our front line can become a strength–our young guys have received an incredible dose of extremely valuable (and often humbling) experience this season that will help to make them much better. we are going to miss Robinson big time next year–i just hope that Vince Williams aned KCP can hold down the fort long enough for our two freshman guards to develop. Sure would be wonderful to land Tony Parker–then I’d be really optimistic about next year. Oh to dream….

Nick

February 9th, 2012
12:37 pm

I have been since the rennovations, and it is not a place that is going to get quality recruits to come in and play. If so, then were are the results?

bob

February 9th, 2012
1:08 pm

Since the other gyms were brought up I decided to do a little research, google is a wonderful thing. In the SEC Auburn, Georgia, and MSU all have arenas right at 10,500. Ole Miss is at 9061. Fla is a little larger at 12,000. Vandy and LSU are right around 14000. (Even though Vandy has the benches on the baseline) Then you have Bama around 15000. These are the ones that are predominatly college arenas. Yes Stegeman is in the lower half but not by as much as we were led to believe. Is it great? No. Is it decent? Yes. A 20,000 seat arena is not economically viable for that area, at the most it would be 15,000. Is it worth 150 million to add 5000 seats?

Nick

February 9th, 2012
1:48 pm

It’s not just size, if we add seats we wouldn’t sell them except for Gymnastics events anyway. The Swim Team is a great example, we have great facilities, great coaches, and have established a longevity of success. That is what we need for basketball, until then we will never consistently compete for tourney spots and conference championships.

Thomas Brown

February 10th, 2012
3:33 am

Why are you afraid to spend $ 150 million dollars. We make that much CASH every single year. We can easily pay off a 30-year loan like the known world does in Real Estate Investments. You have read everyone’s posts here on this blog, since the white-wash. The gym by your own accounts doesn’t measure up to more than just the bottom-feeders in just this conference. Please don’t do any research AFTER you said how great the gym is and limit it to The SEC. We are losing our players in-state to EVERY CONFERENCE.

bob

February 10th, 2012
7:28 am

Again, I did not say it was great, just decent. The point is most players leave the state to go play for someone with a winning tradition more than the building. As someone pointed out earlier Cameron at Duke is a dump that only holds 10,000 but coach K does not have a problem getting good talent. The key is to find a good coach, pay to keep the good coach, show kids that basketball is a priority, and most of all, support the team and players through the growth process.

Arena

February 11th, 2012
9:23 am

why waste $100 million on a new arena? ga fans don’t care about BB–save the money and expand the football stadium instead. FB rules in athens!

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