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Blog: Fox chimes in on `Catlanta’ and Georgia’s case for NCAA tourney bid

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Mark Fox coaches a Georgia team that finished tied for second in the Southeastern Conference.

Kentucky, the team the Bulldogs shared that spot in the standings with at 12-6, of course has a huge following that will be heard and seen this week at the SEC tournament in Atlanta.

“I’m sick of hearing about Catlanta,” Fox said. “And it is the Georgia Dome, so I hope that we’ll have representation at that.”

Fox was reminded that Kentucky fans may not root now for Georgia in the Friday night session after the Wildcats play their quarterfinal game before the Bulldogs.

“I could care less,” Fox said. “They’ve got a great fan base. They really do, but I want our fans to root for us. That’s all we need.”

Fox also weighed in on Georgia as an NCAA tournament at-large candidate.

CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm said earlier this week that the Bulldogs, now No. 75 in the RPI, would need to win the SEC tournament to get into the NCAA field.

Fox said he sees a way for Georgia to get in even without winning it all in Atlanta.

“Oh sure,” he said. “If we went to the finals of the tournament for instance and we finished in second place in the regular season and second place in the tournament if we’ve lost the championship game, you’re telling me the second place team in this league doesn’t belong in the NCAA tournament. I think that would be a realistic argument for us, but if we get to the championship game we might as well win it. And we’re not ready to talk about that. We’ve got work to do on Friday.

Georgia will play No. 6 Ole Miss, No. 11 Vanderbilt or No. 14 Mississippi State.

Fox called it “ridiculous” how some of the data is used for selecting the NCAA field.

“You can skew statistics in any way that you want,” Fox said. “I realize in November that Georgia was not an at-large team. OK, but the Georgia team right now is pretty damn good. We’ve got more to work to do before we can realistically argue that, but if you just rely on numbers you can make any case that you want.”

Other items:

–With Georgia now with a second scholarship for this recruiting class after reserve center John Cannon left with an intention to transfer, Fox said “I think that there’s a great chance that we’ll use it this year.”

Fox said Georgia would like to sign one post player.

Post player Norense Odiase, who is spending a postgraduate year at Elev8 Sports Institute in Florida, posted on Instagram that he’s narrowed his choices to Georgia and Texas Tech.

—Asked if there was an incident or an accumulation of things that might have led to Cannon’s decision to transfer, Fox said: “No, John just wants to go someplace and play more. We wish him well. He’s a good kid.”

As for Cannon leaving the week of the SEC tournament, Fox said: “The timing’s never good. Hopefully our team will be playing for a while. It’s his decision to go now.”

–Fox said when the team held a light practice on Monday the team worked with music playing.

“Coach’s choice,” he said. “We had a mixture. We had a little Stevie Wonder in there. Michael Jackson. We had a lot of stuff from yesteryear.”

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