Bulldogs return home to host Gamecocks after rocky road trip

Coming off excruciating back-to-back road losses, Georgia returns home this afternoon for a quick turnaround as part of a CBS nationally televised basketball doubleheader.

The 100th meeting between South Carolina and Georgia at 2 p.m. is the lead-in to a showdown between No. 11 Georgetown and No. 8 Syracuse.

The Bulldogs have lost three in a row, including in overtime at Ole Miss a week ago and to Arkansas, 62-60, on Thursday night.

South Carolina just snapped a six-game losing streak with a 63-62 home win against the Rebels on Wednesday.

It’s the first time CBS has aired a Bulldogs game
from Stegeman Coliseum since Georgia hosted Kentucky in 2008.

“It will be a ton of exposure,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “How we play is going to determine a large part of what that exposure is. Also, our fans have a lot to do with what kind of exposure that is because we need to be able to showcase an environment, so we need their help.”

Georgia (12-14, 6-7 Southeastern Conference) will try to snap a three-game losing streak that followed a stretch of five consecutive victories.

Fox’s team came close to getting road wins in Oxford, Miss., and Fayetteville, Ark., where visiting teams are a combined 2-29 this season.

“I walk out of there madder than I’ve probably been in a long time,” said Fox, whose team had some calls go against it late in both games. “Both of them. Is that a positive? I don’t know. Hopefully we can take the pluses and learn from them and become a better team. I’m not happy with two last-second losses.”

Asked if he was disappointed with calls or non-calls at the end of the Arkansas game, Fox said: “You watched the game, right?”

B.J. Young scored on a scoop layin with 5.3 seconds left — on what could have been a walking call— and Vincent Williams missed a shot on a drive before the buzzer.

“He got the ball to the rim and got a decent look at the basket,” Fox said.

Georgia has won as many games on the road — three — in the SEC as at home this season. That included a 67-56 win at South Carolina (13-13, 3-10) on Feb. 2.

“Our team has played probably better on the road than at home,” Fox said. “We’ve enjoyed playing in hostile territory.”

Stegeman Coliseum hasn’t offered up much in the way of hostile environments for visiting teams of late.

Georgia is averaging an SEC-low 5,699 fans at home this season, on pace for its lowest attendance numbers since 1977-78.

More people in the stands would certainly present a better picture for Georgia on CBS, which has a contract with the SEC ensuring that every team gets at least one appearance over a set period of time. Georgia last was on CBS for a game at Tennessee in 2011.

Even though the Bulldogs haven’t been getting the results to show for it, Fox thought his team played “really well” at Ole Miss and in the second half at Arkansas.

“I don’t think we’re playing much different,” he said

Georgia overcame an 11-point second-half deficit and went ahead behind guard Kenatvious Caldwell-Pope, who scored all 15 of his points in the second half.

“They’ve been playing well,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “Caldwell-Pope kind of put them on his back in the second half.”

The SEC’s second-leading scorer was held scoreless in the first half when Georgia made 4 of 22 shots.

“We did a great job of finding him and locating him,” Anderson said. “We were just in his face wherever he was. We were trying to make him put it on the floor. We were real alert.”

Georgia arrived back to campus after midnight and was to hold a light practice on Friday to conserve energy for the quick turnaround.

“I wasn’t real excited about how we started the game,” Fox said. “But we certainly competed our tails off (Thursday) night. That part I was pleased with.”

 

TODAY’S GAME

South Carolina at Georgia

When: 2 p.m.

Where: Stegeman Coliseum

TV: CBS

Radio: WGAU 1340-AM.

Records: South Carolina is 13-13, 3-10 SEC; Georgia is 12-14, 6-7 SEC.

Season at a glance: South Carolina snapped a six-game losing streak on Wednesday night by knocking off Ole Miss 63-62 in Columbia, S.C., getting a 3-pointer from Eric Smith with 27 seconds left. The Gamecocks had a season-low 10 turnovers. After starting SEC play 1-4 and then winning five straight league games, Georgia has now lost three in a row, its last two tough road losses at Arkansas and Ole Miss. The Bulldogs fell 62-60 Thursday night to the Razorbacks despite rallying from 11 points down in the second half.

Probable starting lineups: South Carolina: G Eric Smith (5-11, 205, Jr., 6.1 ppg, 3.0 apg); G Bruce Ellington (5-9, 197, Jr., 9.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg); F Laimonos Chatkevicius (6-11, 255, Fr, 4.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg.); F Michael Carrera (6-5, 211, Fr., 10.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg); F Lakeem Jackson (6-5, 235, Sr., 8.2 ppg. 6.4 rpg). Georgia: G Vincent Williams (6-0, 165, Sr., 5.1 ppg, 2.3 apg); G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6-5, 205, So., 17.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg ); F: Brandon Morris (6-7, 205, Fr., 4.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg); F Donte’ Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., 5.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg); C John Florveus (6-11, 240, Sr., 2.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg).

Series record: Georgia leads 51-48, including five of the last six. The Bulldogs lead 30-15 in Athens.

Last meeting: Georgia beat South Carolina 67-56 on Feb. 2 in Columbia. The Bulldogs shot 58.1 percent from the field and held the Gamecocks to 35.8 percent shooting. Caldwell-Pope scored 19 and Georgia got 11 each from Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann.

Noteworthy: Georgia is in a three-way tie for eighth place in the SEC with LSU and Texas A&M. South Carolina is tied with Auburn for 12th. … Senior guard Sherrard Brantley scored a career-high 10 points off the bench against Arkasnas. … The Gamecocks used only three players off their bench against Ole Miss. Georgia used six reserves against Arkansas. … South Carolina is 1-6 on the road. … Georgia ranks second in the SEC in field-goal percentage defense (39.0) while South Carolina is last (44.2). … Carrera is seventh in the SEC in rebounding at 7.3. He had 13 points and 13 rebounds against Ole Miss. … Caldwell-Pope’s 33.7 minutes per game are second in the SEC behind only Texas A&M’s Elston Turner. …Arkansas blocked eight Georgia shots on Thursday.

Blog: Podcast: Marc Weiszer, Fletcher Page & Dean Legge on UGA-Troy

by Marc Weiszer

Welcome to your Friday installment of “Bulldog Bytes.” We put to bed the South Carolina loss and how the Georgia coaches this week addressed the fallout. Now on to... Full Story

Follow marcweiszer

marcweiszer

@MitchAClarke @SethEmerson Told by SEC that it should be finalized and announced sometime before the end of this season.

1 hour ago