After falling to Southern Miss in OT, Bulldogs head to New York to face No. 1 Indiana

ATHENS – For Georgia, the first half of the Progressive Legends Classic was hard. The second half figures to be a lot harder.

The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 in the tournament with a 62-60 loss to Southern Miss in overtime Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum. Now the Bulldogs (1-2) head up to New York City for the “championship rounds” of this 12-team, four-game event. There, in the sparkling confines of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Georgia will face No. 1-ranked Indiana Monday night. They will play either No. 13-ranked UCLA or Georgetown on Tuesday, depending on which teams win.

To say the early outlook for Georgia this season is bleak wouldn’t be strong enough.

“We haven’t played well out of the gate, but we have a lot of opportunities in front of us,” Georgia coach Mark Fox. “It’s a game at a time and, with this group, it’s a day at a time. There’s so much to learn from this game. I thought that all of our freshmen, who I thought really hurt us the last time out, were all better players today. But we all have to continue to improve.”

Georgia, which had trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, stayed on the Golden Eagles heels for most of the second half. It got within two points twice midway through it only to see Southern answer with an alley-oop dunk once and a 3-point shot the second time.

Finally, on a pair of Nemanja Djurisic free throws, Georgia pulled within one point, 47-46, with 6:48 to play. Once again, Southern Miss responded with a shot-clock-beating 3-pointer by Jerrold Brooks. But Djurisic answered with a trey on the other end, and a frantic finish set forth.

Georgia’s Donte Williams missed four free throws and the Golden Eagles would get out front by six inside the final four minutes. But after a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope free throw, Djurisic got the Bulldogs back in business.

The junior forward from Montenegro made a 3-pointer at the 1:58 mark then, after a Southern Miss turnover, he made a running 7-foot jump shot to tie the game at 55-all with 1:22 to go. Neither team was able to convert on their last two possessions, and the game went to overtime.

Georgia grabbed its first lead since it led 3-0 on a Marcus Thornton put-back 22 seconds into the extra period. The Bulldogs went back ahead 60-58 on a Vincent Williams 3-pointer at the 3:36 mark.

Southern Miss tied it with a pair of free throws from Dwayne Davis with 2:01 left and Georgia had several opportunities to regain the advantage. But with 31.9 seconds to go, Vincent Williams had the ball stolen by Southern Miss forward Michael Craig and Davis scored on a fast-break lay-up to put the Eagles up 62-60.

That left the Bulldogs the opportunity to get the final shot and they actually got three. All were 3-pointers by Caldwell-Pope — two misses sandwiched by one block — and that’s the way the game ended.

“We’re definitely taking it hard,” Djurisic said of the Bulldogs losing now to Youngstown State and Southern Miss. “It was a hard-fought game. We had so many little mistakes tonight and we eventually just gave it to them, like that last steal that they got. To play that hard and lose the ball at half-court and give up (a layup) to lose the game, it’s hard hit for us. Hopefully we’re going to get up from this and learn something from it.”

But Fox said it wasn’t the series of plays at the end of overtime that beat Georgia.

“It was a hard-fought game and I want to congratulate Southern Miss because they made the plays to win and they deserve credit for that,” Fox said. “But we have to recognize that you can’t leave 10 points at the foul line and get out-rebounded like we did in the second half and win basketball games. I thought that was the two keys: second-half rebounding and our poor performance at the foul line.”

Georgia was 11-for-21 on free throws and missed five out of six during a two-minute stretch toward the end of regulation. “If we shoot 65 percent, which is not any good, we win,” Fox lamented.

The Bulldogs were out-rebounded 22-13 in the second half and 36 to 27 for the game and shot 38.5 percent from the field. Caldwell-Pope led the scoring with 17 points and Djurisic added 12.

Southern Miss was led by Jerrold Brooks with 17 and Davis had 14. The Golden Eagles improve to 2-0. Their other win was also in overtime, 67-64 Monday over Western Kentucky.

Donte Williams returned to lineup for the first time this season. The junior from Ellenwood did not play in the first two games for disciplinary reasons unspecified by coach Mark Fox. Williams, who started every game last season, was arrested over the summer marijuana possession. However, those charges were later dropped and Williams claimed later to have passed drug tests.

“It wasn’t about that,” Williams said after the game. “It was just about being more responsible.”

Williams did not start – senior John Florveus did — but entered the game at the 16:40 mark of the first half. He was called for two fouls in the opening period and played only five minutes. Williams finally scored his first points of the season on a 15-foot baseline jumper at the 16:49 of the second half. He finished with four points and four rebounds in 25 minutes.

“It was my first game back, so it’s going to take time,” Williams said. “I wasn’t going to just come out there and start scoring and dunking and rebounding. I had to get the feeling back and get in a groove.”

The Golden Eagles are rebuilding this year under first-year coach Donnie Tyndall. They loss the top five scorers from last year’s team, which finished 25-9 and reached the NCAA tournament under coach Larry Eustachy. Thursday’s game was the third all-time between Georgia and Southern Miss. The Bulldogs won the other two in 1974 and 1975.

“We thought one of the keys for us was to at least be even on the backboards and we actually out-rebounded that big, strong, physical front line by nine,” Tyndall said. “The other thing was to try and limit Caldwell-Pope, their All-SEC guard, to a tough night.”

Caldwell-Pope was 5-of-21 shooting, including 3-of-14 from 3-point range. Three of his misses came in the last five seconds of overtime.

“The first one I had a good look,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I guess I was a little too far back and didn’t follow through on it. But I’ve made many shots like that. I’ve just got to come back and make my shots in the next game.”

Georgia was coming off one of its worse losses in recent years. The Bulldogs dropped a 68-56 decision to Youngstown State in the first round of the Legends Classic on Monday, scoring  just 14 points in the first half and shooting 32 percent for the game.

Georgia started Thursday’s game much lthe same way. That is, ice cold.

The Bulldogs scored on the second possession of the game – they turned it over on their first possession – on a Vinnie Williams’ 3-pointer, then didn’t record another point until the 11:54 mark. They got four in one stop on that trip thanks to Caldwell-Pope. But until then Georgia had fallen behind 15-3.

Georgia trailed the Golden Eagles by double-digits for the majority of the opening half. The Bulldog finally mounted a semblance of a run toward the end, out-scoring Southern Miss 5-0 in the final minute. The key play was the last of the half. After in-bounding from the sideline with 1 second remaining, guard Sherrard Brantley swished a 40-foot shot from just over the half-court line to pull the Bulldogs within 31-27 at halftime.

“Our confidence is down a little bit,” Djurisic said. “But the season is long. We can’t this game affect the next. We need to get up and bounce back from this loss and we’ll compete as hard as we can against Indiana. If we can compete for 40 minutes and not make as m,any mistakes as we did in this game, hopefully we can do some good things.”

74 comments Add your comment

Blake Barnes

November 16th, 2012
12:17 am

Boise Dawg

November 16th, 2012
12:28 am

It is going to be a looooong season. I just can’t beleive how bad this program has gotten. I realize it is a lot to ask for Georgia to be a top tier SEC program and ranked nationally in basketball…. but we should never be losing to the likes of Youngstown State or Southern Miss. I took a wait and see approach with Mark Fox. I know many were excited with some early success with Felton’s players, but I don’t like the direction he is taking us. Either he can’t coach and/or he can’t recruit or evaluate talent because we are a really bad basketball program right now.

Tony Cole

November 16th, 2012
12:40 am

Fox is a good coach and he is taking the program in the right direction. It takes time when you’re building it up from so low.

ARdawg

November 16th, 2012
12:43 am

Then the right direction appears to be down ’cause that is where Fox is taking it. First Youngstown, now So. Miss. The prospects aren’t looking to bright

What? Again?

November 16th, 2012
1:19 am

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Maybe they should drop basketball at UGA. They sure don’t know how to play the game

Hairy Dawg

November 16th, 2012
1:52 am

At least the players showed a pulse tonight. Let’s face it, though. The guys inside have to play better defense. That was what I’ve noticed the most in the first three games. Djurisic, Williams, Thornton, Florveus, Cannon, Dixon, and Morris have to bring it. Every guy I just listed is at least 6′7″, so Coach Fox has good size on this team. Somehow, someway, our coaches have got to get through to these guys that they have to use their length to good advantage, especially on D.

Mountain Dawg

November 16th, 2012
3:28 am

Basketball? Already? It’s much too soon. Same thing with Christmas ads before Turkey Day.

LagDawg

November 16th, 2012
4:09 am

I agree. Fox has to recruit better players. We as fans can’t keep tolerating excuses. This program should not be this bad. The basketball team has hit a all new low. He did well with Feltons players, but his talent evaluation is not good at all. Again other schools are bringing in new coaches and they are recruiting well and are starting to win. Some changes have got to be made.

DAWG4

November 16th, 2012
4:50 am

I have been watching UGA Basketball for 40 years and this is the worst it has ever been. No offense, No defense, No effort. Coach Fox is a nice guy, but it has been 4 years and we are not getting better. He recruits as good as Billy Knight was a GM. Need a Change.

Fair n Balanced

November 16th, 2012
5:00 am

Tony Cole – Please, my friend, it does not take 4 + seasons. It is evident that this season is a wash. So are we to expect next season to be the breakout season? The 5 th year of this guy? Come on!

I’ve been talking this way for over a year….finally there is some idea that this program is headed in the wrong direction. MCGarity has a lot of confidence in Fox….if he has any more confidence in him then we need to look for another AD. come on man!

Fair n Balanced

November 16th, 2012
5:04 am

BTW, Tony, you must have voted for Obama. That’s what his campaign sounded like! Let me ask, you want 4 more years of this kind of basketball?

Greg

November 16th, 2012
6:31 am

20+ losses this year easy. 3 supposed cupcakes at home to begin the year and Fox barely beats one of them. In 7 possessions in the OT(with a 10-4 advantage in 2nd half fouls), UGA’s pathetic offense never got inside the 3 point line. It’s like there was no coaching and there obviously isn’t nearly enough talent. Fox and his staff have done an atrocious job of constructing this roster. They’ve struck out on every key big man they’ve tried to recruit and are now trying to coach up plan C and D guys who just can’t cut it on this level. They will be lucky to score 40 points against Indiana.

Year 5 doesn’t promise to be any better. KCP will move on to the NBA next season to get away from this dumpster fire. Then what? I really thought Fox would do something with the program, but it’s just not going to happen.

c u later

November 16th, 2012
6:53 am

UGA’s offense is so bad a good high school team should be able to compete. They set their guards and wingmen to pass the ball back and forth around the perimeter while their post men stand on the perimeter of the lanes doing nothing. The opposition sets up their zone defense in the lane and rests the whole time UGA is on offense and then aggressively attacks UGA’s nonaggressive defense. Could we see just a few pick and rolls or screens to open up some offense (maybe even throw in a fast break or two) and every now and then throw in a littel man defense with pressure. Its going to be a long season if the scheme doesn’t change. As for coaching, I say “what coaching?”.

Jimmy Crack

November 16th, 2012
7:22 am

Yea, baby!

We got in some perimeter shooting practice in these warm up games against inferior teams who somehow got lucky with favorable referee calls and the fact that everybody on our team developed mononucleosis at the same time, but now it’s time to BALL OUT FOR REAL PLAYAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

#1 YOU’RE GOING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOS Dawgs

November 16th, 2012
8:04 am

I can’t believe I wasted 2+ hours watching these losers. They could not get the ball inside the 3 point line. How can you beat anybody when the only offense you have is 3 point shots? Gonna be a long season. Same Old S**t.

Dentaldawg

November 16th, 2012
8:07 am

Have fun with that….

Sickly Hoop Dawgs

November 16th, 2012
8:07 am

Indiana 89 UGA 51

Buzz 2011

November 16th, 2012
8:14 am

There wasn’t even 500 people at Stedgman for the game.
UGA looks like a high school team. They will again finish
last in the SEC. Where is Jim Harrick/

bill arp

November 16th, 2012
8:20 am

After watching this game last night, this may be the worst UGA basketball I’ve ever seen. I typically say give a coach as much time as possible, but this is bad, REAL BAD.

I’m scared we may lose to someone by a score of 95-25, or something ridiculous like that.

As far as the excuse of being young, UK and the likes are young EVERY year.

Chuck D

November 16th, 2012
8:33 am

Tony Cole – what in the world are you thinking? “Building up from so low” – we have only gotten worse since Fox arrived. He only reached the tourney his first year because of Trey and Travis – players he had no hand in recruiting. This team is terrible. I thought that Fox was supposed to be some kind of offensive guru? I have embarrassingly watched them them go five or more minutes without scoring and just pass the ball back and forth around the top of the key – terrible. And so many turnovers. Too many offensive possesions without even getting a shot up. I believe I could take five guys from the football team and beat the basketball team. Not sure of the situation with Fox’s contract but I have seen enough.

Water Dawg

November 16th, 2012
8:35 am

Mark Fox is WAY outta his league. The freakin’ SUN BELT is way outta his league.

Joey

November 16th, 2012
9:00 am

Dang, didn’t McGarity just tell us a couple of weeks ago that Fox was “building the BB program the right way?”

Poor shooting, horrible free throw shooting – I think this team will be worse than last year’s. And last year’s team was terrible.

Yuck . . .

Joey

November 16th, 2012
9:01 am

Indiana will be us by 40.

Butch

November 16th, 2012
9:06 am

The Hoosiers are coming and we’re going to wipe this sorry team all across the floor. Might as well not even show up for this one UGA. It’s going to end early and it’s going to be ugly.

FIRE MARK RICHT

November 16th, 2012
9:08 am

With all the players in the Atlanta area and UGA can’t get any of them to sign. You can’t take all 2 star players and think you can win. Please NO MORE foreign players on the team for a free ride. There are plenty of Americans that could use that slot.

RHall55

November 16th, 2012
9:09 am

Being outrecruited for the big men in the state….go back to the drawing board…no inside game…plus not impressed w/ his persoanlity…on a flight w/ him to the Final Four one year…not very nice, more arrogant than needed to be!!!

alpharetta alice

November 16th, 2012
9:10 am

keep accepting mcgarrity’s mediocrity…perno, richt and fox all would have been fired by now at lsu, bama, or florida…

The Plain Truth

November 16th, 2012
9:13 am

Neither of the Marks – Richt or Fox – has any business coaching at this level. They might do well in Division II or III, but at higher levels, neither one will ever win the big games.

In his defense, Mark Fox is a nice guy with strong ethics, and he doesn’t make that much money. You can’t say that about the money-grubbing Richt.

Armydawg

November 16th, 2012
9:22 am

If UGA doesnj’t win before Christmas, there won’t be many wins at all. But outside of UK, Missouri, Vandy and Florida, most SEC fans don’t really care about basketball. Just a fact of life down South.

VA DAWG

November 16th, 2012
9:23 am

Absolutely no offense other than KCP and Nemanja. The final shots of both the 2nd half and overtime were terrible because everyone is afraid to take or create a shot other than KCP. I honetly don’t understand leaving Vincent and Marcus in the entire overtime period. The team responded well in the second half because the players off the bench were playing better especially Gaines and Mann. Too many times the opponents are blowing by Marcus and Vincent is not penetrating with his speed…he’s just spends his time passing ball back and forth at the top of the key instead of trying to create opportunites like GR did. Well I hope they continue to improve and its good to see Donte back on the floor with JF coming off the bench at the 5. GO DAWGS!

AltamahaDawg

November 16th, 2012
9:51 am

Does being responsible include practicing free throw?. Georgia probably wins last night if he had made only half of them.

swimdawg68

November 16th, 2012
9:53 am

Face it UGA basketball fans, we are a bad team. In my oponion we have only one SEC caliber player, Caldwell-Pope, the rest of them are not. CMF is now playing with his selected players, and they are just not very good. They are a poor shooting, poor rebounding, poor defensive, poor offensive and a very poorly coached team. Hopefully CMF will be shipped out after this season and McGarity will recruit a really good coach because CMF is a far cry from being one. Remember we had our best teams with Felton recruited players. I have a friend that is a season ticket holder and he invited me to attend last nights game, I told him he would need to pay me to attend a UGA basketball game. After watching them on TV the other night where they had only scored 8 points with 5 minutes left in the 1st half against a non-SEC opponent, I knew then that these guys are nothing short of awful.

SCDAWG

November 16th, 2012
9:54 am

Maybe we should recuit some ONE AND DONE players. I mean it as worked for a few teams. However, I wish they would stay for at least two years.

JDDawg

November 16th, 2012
9:57 am

I agree with VADAWG. Should have played more of Gaines, Mann and Morris. Thornton and Williams just aren’t cutting it.

McDawg

November 16th, 2012
10:10 am

have to learn how to win

really need a big man

tony

November 16th, 2012
10:21 am

Dawgs next hc – Brad Stevens

DirtyDawg

November 16th, 2012
10:31 am

Hopefully Donte Williams’ game will pick up, cause we need somebody to do some rebounding and provide an ‘inside presence’. Regardless, they’ve looked terrible and if they don’t ‘pick it up’, then there’s little chance Mark Fox will be with us much longer. Hope he will be cause it will mean he’s gotten through to the kids and they’ve started to play basketball. What concerns me most – and I’m as guilty as anybody – is that the ‘chicken and egg’ thing is floundering. What I mean is that you have to have good players, being competitive, and winning in order to draw a crowd…and you have to have enthusiastic crowd support in order to get these kids to play at the top of their games. As it is, all those empty seats have to be a turn off to the kids, not to mention any prospective recruit in attendance or watching on TV. It’s really sad to see.

Gordon

November 16th, 2012
10:32 am

You’re right, Tony. Brad Stevens has turned down several interviews as he bides his time waiting for his dream job to open up: head coach at the University of Georgia. But if that doesn’t work out, perhaps Rick Pitino will come to Athens.

Dawg Tired

November 16th, 2012
10:44 am

AD McGarity is “pleased” with the direction CMF has the basketball program headed. Now that is plum scary!

Gordon

November 16th, 2012
10:45 am

In my opinion, what UGA needs to look for if Fox doesn’t work out is an experienced coach with a proven track record in recruiting who is on the back side of his career and wants to retire near a college town, without the pressure of an unrealistic fan base at a “basketball school”. The best UGA teams were with Hugh Durham (who had taken FSU to a final four) and Jim Harrick (who had won it all at UCLA). Harrick would have been great if he hadn’t been such a cheat – he really could coach.

With young up-and-comers, one of two things is going to happen. If they can recruit and know what to do with talent (Tubby), they will leave for a place that takes hoops more seriously. If they can’t recruit (Felton, and maybe Fox), they can’t compete even if they can coach. I believe Felton and Fox wouldn’t have gotten the job if they couldn’t coach – they just can’t get enough good players to come to Athens. At least UGA was in the running with Robert Carter and Tony Parker, so maybe Fox will start landing a few.

dawgs01

November 16th, 2012
11:18 am

We might be the most boring team in basketball. hard to watch this team play. why would anyone want to go watch the game.

Vel Crow

November 16th, 2012
11:36 am

Please put Vincent ” dribbles too damn much” Williams, on the bench and play the freshman point guard. Fox should have played Cannon more in the second half because he was the only big man who hustled on offense and defense. The senior class is weak on this team, and Caldwell-Pope is as good as gone.

Ronnie

November 16th, 2012
11:39 am

Man come on i was really looking foward to this Bball season i guess i’ll have to waite till next year.With the talent we have combined with the 2 loses FIRE THIS GUY NOW so a new coach can maybe salvage som of this season.

Buckeye

November 16th, 2012
11:42 am

dog basketball…………

SEC! SEC!

81Dawg

November 16th, 2012
11:57 am

If this offense is pass around the perimeter for 30 seconds and shoot a 30 footer, it is going to be a long year. Marcus Thornton acts like he has never been on a court before. How much longer does he even get to play? I don’t know if UGA basketball will ever be relevant.

Bart Shelnutt

November 16th, 2012
11:59 am

Both Felton and Fox coached at lower leveled d-1 programs before they came to UGA so it’s not surprise to me that the program has collapsed to the state it’s in. The recruiting reflects their inability to both find and claim high level talent. Fox came from the other side of the country with no connections or ties to the southeast. It’s no surprise that he gets only the leftovers. Bottom line – once again is that Fox is not the guy. Other schools can have great football and basketball programs and there is no excuse in UGA not being able to at least compete in basketball. They are not even competing against D-1 aa level programs. Fox may be a great guy but that’s not the point. He’s out of his league with bringing talent to UGA and you can only coach so much out of lesser players. It’s boring, predictable and unacceptable to watch this year after year.

Are we that bad....

November 16th, 2012
12:03 pm

Im really starting not to buy into this Mark Fox guy. He opened his can of “we are deeper and more experienced team this year” woop a$$ way too soon. Georgia doesnt lose to these types of programs. I cant imagine what Indiana is gonna do to this team. Mark Fox, if youre serious about Georgia hoops, youve got to be eat up with stomach ulcers bout now!

Winderdawg

November 16th, 2012
12:22 pm

I agree with you Jerry. I think Fox needs to approach this team as a football coach. Whoever is performing the best should earn the starting role. (e.g. Gurley as the no.1 RB but was no.2 or 3 at the beginning of the season) I have no idea why he plays Marcus Thornton. The kid looks lost out there. Dixon looked helpless as well in setting high picks for the guards in their offense against the 3-2..

Morris looked great in the first half. He got the team moving with his energy on defense. Fox didn’t even play him in the second half. What the heck? Cannon draws a charge and Thornton and Floverus watch the players shoot the ball. Cannon hardly plays in the second half. Why Fox plays Floverus or Thornton instead of Cannon is beyond my understanding. Kenny Gaines looked great on defense and Brantley plays more than him.

One of the biggest things that bothers me is that the team is constantly looking over at the bench for each offensive set. I really think the players are clueless out there on offense. I am not talking about the freshmen. Dixon, Williams, Thornton, Floverus and the others are CONSTANTLY getting direction off the bench. If you have been playing for FOX for two years, you should know what to do.

Coach Fox needs to start playing the freshmen now with Cannon and KCP. He needs to make the upper classmen earn the right to play and not make them feel like they are entitled to play. As a Duke fan, I remember one year in which the upper classmen players were playing terribly. Coach K pulled them all and put in the scrubs. The starters had to watch them play for like 5 minurtes. At the end of the five minutes all of the starters RAN to the table to check back in. The message was loud and clear. The players woke up and they came back and won. I think Fox needs to get real with his starters. Either show up or get out. He needs to start building on talent and not on entitlements to these lackadasical players. Go Dawgs!

No post play equals disaster in SEC

November 16th, 2012
12:25 pm

Absolutely no post play last night. 1-3-1 defense shut down UGA all night. Southern Miss was more physical and played tougher defense.

GA looks soft other than KCP. Somebody needs to call them out. Where’s Shawn Williams?

mark

November 16th, 2012
12:28 pm

I can not believe we have 49 comments about basketball!