Bulldogs need more of same from Djurisic against Vandy

Georgia's Nemanja Djurisic (42) was an offensive and defensive force to be reckoned with in the Bulldogs' first-round win over Mississippi State. He'll have to be again tonight against Vanderbilt. (AP photo)

Georgia's Nemanja Djurisic (42) was an offensive and defensive force to be reckoned with in the Bulldogs' first-round win over Mississippi State. He'll have to be again tonight against Vanderbilt. (AP photo)

NEW ORLEANS — There were a number of reasons Georgia was able to dispatch Mississippi State in such a dominating fashion Thursday night. Nemanja Djurisic was a big one.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pound import from Montenegro became the Bulldogs’ first post player to record a double-double all season when he scored 11 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the 71-61 victory in the opening round of the SEC Tournament. Five of Djurisic’s rebounds came on the offensive end. He added a 3-pointer, an assist and a steal.

“Nemanja is a better player now,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said of the freshman. He’s more experienced and he’s just more comfortable. . . . I thought his effort on the glass was critical to the game. Obviously he made some real key plays for us.”

Two plays loom particularly large. Clinging to a three-point lead with barely three minutes to play, Georgia’s Donte Williams missed a long jump shot as the shot clock ran down. But Djurisic had fought for inside position on Arnett Moultrie underneath the basket and reach up grabbed the ball as it careened hard to the right. Djurisic quickly banked it in on a short fadeaway to increase the Bulldogs’ lead to 62-57 with 3:10 to go.

One minute later, Djurisic stole the ball from State star Dee Bost. He was fouled by Brian Bryant a short time later and made both free throws to stake Georgia to a 63-57 lead with 1:38 remaining.

The sudden surge in rebounding and defense by Djurisic was no fluke.

“Coach has been giving me a hard time throughout the whole season about rebounding and defense,” Djurisic said. “He’s trying to get me to be better at it. I think it just came from him pushing me and I’ve been pushing myself. I’ve been working hard because it’s a very important thing. As long as we can play like this and compete I think we’ll keep winning.”

The Bulldogs held State’s two leading scorers, Moultrie and Bost, to 7 and 10 points, respectively, and a combined 6-of-23 shooting.

They’ll need a similar effort Friday night against Vanderbilt’s lethal inside-out combination. Guard John Jenkins and forward Jeffery Taylor — rank one and two in scoring in the SEC with 20.1 and 17.1 points a game, respectively. Jenkins scored 28 points on 6-of-8 3-point shooting and Taylor added 13 when the Commodores beat Georgia 61-52 late last month in Athens. They also beat the Bulldogs 77-66 on Jan. 14 in Nashville.

“We can’t play them the same way we’ve been playing because it hasn’t worked,” Fox said. “We’ve got to do something different.”

Said Djurisic: “We just have to play the way we played [Thursday]. We need to play determined and we know we know we can win when we make shots and compete hard. I think that’s the key. When we play as a team and communicate well on the floor I think we can beat anyone.”

26 comments Add your comment

B

March 9th, 2012
2:30 pm

Go get em’

McDawg

March 9th, 2012
2:31 pm

any shot @ NIT

SouthSide Dawg

March 9th, 2012
2:33 pm

Good Luck tonight. Go Dawgs!

Larry

March 9th, 2012
3:04 pm

Hunker down you hairy dawgs!

UGA Insider

March 9th, 2012
3:15 pm

I’m proud of the team. You showed class last night. No pressure this evening..Just play loose and have fun.

Triple R 21

March 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

Great to see Dustin Ware have a good night. I’m pulling for him to have a great tournament.

hammerhead

March 9th, 2012
3:35 pm

Would love to see Dustin hit a three on the first possession to get the 1,000 pt thing behind him (us) and then see Georgia play loose the rest of the night (nothing to lose) and upset Vandy. Maybe play our way into the NIT. The additional games can only help KCP and our front court which has come on strong lately. We’re really gonna miss Ware and Robinson next year – need to get V. Williams et al some meaningful minutes when possible… Gonna need the backcourt to grow up in a hurry next year. NEED MORE SEC TALENT IN ATHENS. Fox can get it done, but he’s got to RECRUIT!

441North

March 9th, 2012
3:56 pm

No question about our heart. We just need about 5 more KCP’s.

Buzz2011

March 9th, 2012
4:46 pm

Dawgs a shoe in for the TIN..

Thomas Brown

March 9th, 2012
4:54 pm

Mark Fox needs some big men who can make baskets.

phil

March 9th, 2012
5:42 pm

Go get em….lol!

We beat a collapsing team last night.

Vandy will beat us by 10-20. It won’t be a game from the tip.

Fire CMF!!

phil

March 9th, 2012
5:43 pm

How are we supposed to win football games with everyone in jail?

Fire CMR!!

LakeDawg

March 9th, 2012
5:49 pm

Fox is an outstanding coach. He just needs mid-level players to get to the NCAA tourney. The three coming in next year will be an upgrade in talent, but will be young, obviously. Next step….get some of that bluechip talent in Georgia.

Phil Phil

March 9th, 2012
7:23 pm

Phil you are an idiot! Obviously know nothing about nothing. Go play in the street plz.

Coach T

March 9th, 2012
7:59 pm

Proud of the hoop dawgs. Sic em!
Dustin Ware made us from GISA backgrounds proud and the whole team is
finishing strong. Good job all and Coach Fox especially!

Coffee Bluff DAWG

March 9th, 2012
8:06 pm

Fox has done an outstanding job this yr. When the SEC season began it looked like they could only win 1 – 2 games.
There is no doubt he can coach. If he can get 1 or 2 quality GA players/yr to stay home and come to Athens then UGA will be a serious contender. DAWGS!

RJ

March 9th, 2012
8:39 pm

Fire Phil for comments unbecoming of anyone who has even a little understanding or common knowledge of college football. What are you really trying to accomplish and just say which team you actually support? Do you have to suppress a smile followed by a giggle as you try to pass this stuff off as a thought provoking point coming from a real fan? I could see this coming from GTbob who is about as hypocritical are anyone i have had the poor taste to even mention so what side of the fence do you really stand?

Jake Dawg

March 9th, 2012
9:24 pm

where can I watch the dawgs online if I can’t get espn3?

Sam

March 9th, 2012
9:29 pm

I was looking forward to the game but I just turned on the t.v. and heared a chick doing the color. why do the broadcasters insist on ruining the games by letting females do the color or ply by play? can us men not even a few hours of guy time?

Hoops Dawg

March 9th, 2012
11:14 pm

Hey Sam, listen to her you ignoramus. She’s pretty darn good.

buick59

March 9th, 2012
11:58 pm

God bless Mark Fox……he needs it with this 3 Stooges Basketball program.

Done

March 10th, 2012
12:09 am

Dawgs are one and done 57-37 with 3:00 left…fading like a pair of Levi blue jeans.

dbc

March 10th, 2012
12:19 am

A note to McGarity…When was the last time ANY UGA team exceeded their potential???

Buzz 2011

March 10th, 2012
12:26 am

Dawgs all the way to the big dance. They will be pushed in ahead of Alabama if at all possible as per last year.. They deserve it..

leftcoastdawg

March 10th, 2012
1:02 am

Too much Vandy last night!

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