Posted: 12:00 pm Friday, March 14th, 2014

What you need to know about UGA-Ole Miss game tonight in SEC tourney 

By Chip Towers

Here are a few things to consider in advance of Friday night’s SEC tournament quarterfinal between Georgia and Ole Miss (9:30 p.m., SEC Network) at the Georgia Dome.

1. The Bulldogs (18-12) are the No. 3 seed after finishing in a tie for second in the regular season and getting a double-bye into this round. Ole Miss is the 6 seed and improved to 19-13 after beating Mississippi State 78-66 late Thursday night.

Georgia's Charles Mann proved to be the difference when the Bulldogs defeated the Rebels in their lone meeting this season. (Sean Taylor / UGA Sports)

Georgia’s Charles Mann proved to be the difference when the Bulldogs defeated the Rebels in their lone meeting this season. (Sean Taylor / UGA Sports)

2. Georgia won the regular-season meeting 61-60 after Charles Mann made the second of two free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining. Kenny Gaines led the Bulldogs in scoring that night with 21 points, Mann added 17 with 12 coming on free throws and Marcus Thornton hauled in 11 rebounds.

3. Marshall Henderson led the Rebels with 24 points and drew the ire of the UGA home crowd with his late-game antics and posturing. Thornton was assessed a controversial technical foul when he was whistled for accidentally hitting Henderson in the mouth with an elbow with 1:55 remaining. Henderson’s free throws and another from Jarvis Summers on the ensuing possession gave Ole Miss a 57-55 lead with 1:52 to go.

4. Are you planning to go to tonight’s game? The SEC tournament would certainly appreciate it. For the first time since the tournament was renewed in 1979, fewer than 10,000 fans turned out for the each of the first two sessions. Attendance announced as 7,132 for Wednesday’s games and 9,308 on Thursday afternoon. They should be easy to come by.

5. Georgia coach Mark Fox is calling for the Bulldog Nation to come out in force. He said he was “sick of hearing about Catlanta” and the penchant of Kentucky fans to take over the venue. “It IS the Georgia Dome, so I hope that we’ll have representation of that,” he said.

As it turns, Kentucky plays LSU in the game immediately before Georgia-Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are certain to hear from the Big Blue Nation when they come out on the court.

6. Speaking of Georgia playing in Atlanta, that’s a good thing as it will be a homecoming for all five of the Bulldogs’ starters. Charles Mann (Milton High, Alpharetta), Kenny Gaines (Whitefield Academy, Atlanta), Marcus Thornton (Westlake High, Atlanta), Brandon Morris (Miller Grove, Lithonia) and Donte Williams (Miller Grove, Ellenwood) all grew up and prepped in Greater Atlanta. That’s something that Fox and the Bulldogs take pride in.

“There are a lot of good players from the city and we’ve got five of them that have become a good starting lineup for us,” Fox said. “I think that’s great. They’re all going to leave with a degree, so I think that’s great, too.”

7. Regardless of what happens in the SEC tournament and the rest of the postseason, Georgia has had a good season. The outlook was bleak before the season, when the Bulldogs were picked to finish 11th in the SEC; early in the season, when they started out 1-4; and before conference play began, when they limped in with a 6-6 record. But Georgia had to adjust to playing without SEC player of the year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who turned pro after his sophomore season, and obviously took advantage of a weakened SEC.

8. It remains to be seen if all that will buy any security for Fox, who has been at UGA for five seasons and now and has two left on his current contract. Clearly Fox is no longer in jeopardy of losing his job – something that seemed imminent the first of the year – but Athletic Director Greg McGarity is keeping his cards close to his vest with regard to any possible contract extensions.

“I’m not going anywhere on that,” McGarity said. “We’ll talk about basketball, evaluation, all that, once the season is over with. I’m not messing anything us. The less said by me the better. We’ve got too much good karma now to say anything. I’ll comment at the end of the year.”

19 comments
HotDawg
HotDawg

Can people put to rest the false perception the Dawgs do not recruit metro Atlanta. The supposed, hotbed of high school B-Ball.

5 starters from metro Atlanta. They were high school stars, recruited hard by many schools. Mark Fox got them to play for UGA. Kudos.

He has built a TEAM. Sure, a McDonalds All-American would be a nice addition to possibly put them over the top. But one and doner's aren't always the answer. In fact , they can disrupt a teams chemistry and consistency. He did have KCP for a couple years. Look at them now.

Maybe more top recruits will give UGA serious consideration.

And our Atlanta players can help.

HotDawg
HotDawg

All you need to know is UGA won.

Why the hell did they start a game at 9:45 and make them play an afternoon game the next day?

No game should start past 8 p.m. (especially with an afternoon game next day).

Not much of a benefit for the 3rd seed.

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

@Chuck_UGA - eat a big one. Dawgs win over Ole Miss in a thriller while you were typing out your angry little letter to the AD (who, by the way, was smiling and cheering the win).

Take your "Hartman Fund Money" and go on a long, long vacation.

TampGator1
TampGator1

And I guess....Moist Dawg.....you did not watch Florida walk all over Missouri today.  Beat them by over 20 after being tied at the half.  Now.....that is a really good basketball team that can do that. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

Moist Dawg....


UGA does not own the Gators in men's track and field.

UFA does not own the Gators in women's track and field.

UGA does not own the Gators in baseball.

UGA does not own the Gators in gymnastics.

UGA does not own the Gators in women's soccer.

UGA does not own the Gators in lacrosse.

UGA does not own the Gators in basketball. 

UGA has own the Gators the last three years in football.....after losing to them 18 of the previous 21 years.


Now....again.....how exactly does UGA "own" Florida in "just about everything?"


And....by the way.....Georgia really owned Florida in basketball this year....losing 72-50 (could have been a lot worse.)   Good luck if Georgia meets Florida in the finals.  Dream, dream, dream......... 

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Good Luck to the Foxhounds, I like that CMF. Hope he wins the tourney.

Dawg350
Dawg350

UGA is going win the sec tournament....we fixa turn up baby!

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

If McGarity extends Fox before the end of the season, he is a fool. If Fox loses to Ole Miss (likely), draws an NIT berth and loses (or no NIT berth), he should be dismissed.  Given that is unlikely, there should be NO EXTENSION. I am a Hartman Fund donor and ticket holder for football...I will communicate my feeling to McGarity.

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

old miss should be childs play kensucky is old news and i expect to beat floriduh because we own them in just about everything we do they have a good team but if we can get 1/2 of the crowd we get to a game at sanford then we should win over them to. im sure the haters will still find something to hate about.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Well if Mark Fox is tires of hearing Catlanta then HE needs to do something about it. HE needs to recruit better. Same goes for Mark Richt and our football program. We need to start winning and stop being PRETENDERS od the SEC!

WDE
WDE

So just wondering since we have a double by , that means we have already gone deeper into our tourney than say Bug U did in theirs??

P-Man
P-Man

Here's hoping the Dogs can keep the season going.  Good luck!

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Hey Mr. Big pants, clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap.

Mark Fox is one of the top 3 X's and O's basketball coaches in the conference. He has the 9th or 10th most talented roster in the sec and managed to finish 2nd.

You're a Hartman Donor - which means you have money. I'm a former player - which means I know basketball.

With the history, reputation, facilities and fan base - or lack thereof - CMF has done a brilliant job with this team and done exactly what you hope a coach will do. Make his team progressively better throughout the season.

It's guys like you who make the Georgia job unappealing to potential coaches.

Your "chat" with Mcgarity will amount to jack diddley squat and Fox will continue to be our coach. So enjoy your little power trip that means nothing, while the rest of us enjoy a successful and exciting season come to a close.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Don't start with the "we" stuff. You're another phony. "We" see through your BS on all your posts.

Grant1296
Grant1296

Give it a rest Techeye ...

Your Jackets are done...

HotDawg
HotDawg

Don't be fooled into believing this nut is a donor.

Just another nutcase pretending to be a Georgia fan by using a UGA alias, moniker on a blog.

Only to spew his trash talk or acts like an idiot to try to make UGA base look bad.

They don't think people can see through their phony garbage.

Unless for some reason, you believe everything you read on the internet and nobody lies. LOL

RingtheBell
RingtheBell

The only thing Chuck the idiot didn't mention was build a new arena, GA is like 500 and 700 all time in the SEC, Fox is the right guy, the recruiting is getting better this year and the program was in disarray when he took over, he's getting it done... Go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!