Georgia (14-12, 7-8 SEC) vs. Ole Miss (18-10, 8-7 SEC)
Saturday, February 27 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
TV: SEC Network (Paul Sunderland, PBP; Kyle Macy, Color)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) Flagship: WSB AM 750
The Starting Five
• UGA leads the all-time series with OM, 70-42, including a 40-12 advantage in Athens.
• UGA ranks No. 7 nationally in field goal percentage defense at .381. UGA has held 23 of its 26 opponents under their season shooting percentage from the floor.
• UGA entered SEC play No. 8 in the league in rebounding margin at +1.6 but in stats for SEC games only is No. 3 at +4.3.
• Over the last 29 games (dating back to the ‘15 SEC Tourney), Yante Maten has 23 double-figure scoring and nine double-figure rebounding games…with eight double-doubles.
• J.J. Frazier inched past Maten to become UGA’s leading scorer with his 29-point outburst at Auburn. Frazier now has four 20-point second-halves this season (vs. GT, UT, LSU & at AU).
Bulldogs Return To Stegeman Following Road-Heavy Stretch
The Georgia Bulldogs host the Ole Miss Rebels in a high-noon Saturday matinée at Stegeman Coliseum. The contest comes after a road-dominated leg of UGA’s 2015-16 slate.
Georgia has played four of its last five and six of the last nine games on the road.
That stretch ended with Wednesday’s 84-81 loss at Auburn. Following the Ole Miss outing, the Bulldogs will travel to South Carolina on Thursday before hosting Alabama in the regular-season finale next Saturday.
Georgia is currently 14-12 overall and 7-8 in the SEC.
Four Bulldogs are averaging double digits, both overall and in SEC play.
J.J. Frazier supplanted Yante Maten as Georgia’s leading scorer with his 29-point outburst at Auburn. Frazier scored 24 points after intermission on The Plains, his fourth 20-point second half of the season. Frazier is now averaging 16.0 ppg both overall and in league play.
Maten is contributing 15.7 ppg overall and 15.2 ppg in league action. The sophomore from Pontiac, Mich., is the top boarding Bulldog, averaging 8.0 rpg overall and 8.5 rpg versus SEC competition.
Seniors Kenny Gaines (13.1 overall/12.2 SEC) and Charles Mann (10.7 overall/11.1 SEC) round out the Bulldogs scoring at a double-digit pace.
All told, the aforementioned quartet has accounted for 74 of the Bulldogs’ 77 double-figure scoring outputs this season.
Ole Miss improved to 18-10 overall and 8-7 in the SEC with an 85-76 victory over Missouri on Tuesday night.
Stefan Moody leads not only the Rebels but also the SEC in scoring. The 5-10, senior is pouring in 23.0 ppg overall and ups that average to 23.4 ppg in conference.
Sebastian Saiz in the only other Ole Miss player averaging double figures overall at 11.7 ppg (and a team-high 9.0 rpg). However, Tomasz Gielo and Rasheed Brooks are supply points at a double-digit clip in SEC play at 10.3 ppg and 10.1 ppg, respectively.
Entering Today’s Game…Among UGA’s career Leaders
Charles Mann is…
• 29 points from No.17 Willie Anderson
• 2 assists from No. 8 Rod Cole
• 19 assists from No. 7 Pertha Robinson
Kenny Gaines is…
• 12 points from No. 25 Ray Harrison
• 19 3FGs from No. 4 Ezra Williams
• 21 3FGs from No. 3 Litterial Green
• 22 3FGAs from No. 5 Dustin Ware
J.J. Frazier is…
• 9 3FGs from co-No. 11 Ty Wilson and Ray Harrison
• 10 3FGAs from No. 15 Rashad Wright
Series History With The Rebels
Georgia leads the all-time series with Ole Miss 70-42, with a 40-12 advantage in Athens.
The Bulldogs had won four straight over Ole Miss before a heart-breaking setback earlier this season on Jan. 9 in Oxford.
Stefan Moody scored a game-winning basket with 3.8 seconds remaining to lift the Rebels to a 72-71 victory in just the second contest at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
“The hard thing was that we had some key guys in foul trouble,” Mark Fox said. “Yante (Maten) and Charles (Mann) each got four fouls very early in the second half, so we were not as good offensively once we got to that point. We kept battling, and I was really proud of how hard we competed. We just couldn’t finish it.”
The Rebels jumped out to an early 15-5 lead just 4:37 into the contest, but the Bulldogs responded with a 20-5 run and maintained that lead well into the second half.
The Rebels chipped away and eventually tied things up at 62-62 with 5:47 remaining. Two free throws by Mann put the Bulldogs back up 64-62 before Maten was forced to sit for the final 3:36 after being charged with his fifth personal foul.
Shortly thereafter, Georgia surrendered its lead at the 2:56 mark after an Ole Miss free throw from Anthony Perez. The Bulldogs rallied to go up 71-67 with 58 seconds on the clock, but Rebels answered 14 seconds later with a 3-pointer by Rasheed Brooks.
Following a missed 3-point attempt by Kenny Gaines with 17 seconds on the clock, Moody hit a contested layup that ultimately proved to be the game winner.
In the most recent meeting at Stegeman Coliseum on Jan. 20 last season, Georgia outscored Ole Miss 44-33 in the second period to overcome a six-point halftime deficit and defeat the Rebels, 69-64.
After trailing 31-25 at the intermission, the Bulldogs opened the second half on a 15-8 run to take a 40-39 lead. Georgia knocked down 7-of-11 field goal attempts in the first five minutes after hitting just eight field goals in the entire first half.
Following a 51-51 tie, a pair of J.J. Frazier 3-pointers sparked a 10-4 run that put the Bulldogs back up by six with 3:36 remaining.
Moody scored five more unanswered to bring the Rebels back to within one, but Georgia hit eight free throws, including its final seven attempts, to close out the game.
Last Time Out
J.J. Frazier erupted for 29 points, including 24 in the second half, to pace a furious Georgia comeback attempt that fell just short as the Bulldogs lost to Auburn, 84-81, on Wednesday night.
A strong second-half effort that saw the Bulldogs use 58 points to pull within one after trailing by 16 at the intermission.
“We really started the game poorly,” Mark Fox said. “Obviously we didn’t have the correct mentality to begin the game. We got out-rebounded in the first half…looked very out of sorts offensively. We just couldn’t defend the ball or the 3-point line. In the second half, I don’t think we defended nearly well enough to give ourselves a chance to win.”
The Bulldogs trailed for most of the opening half, but they pulled within four points at 19-15 until Auburn used a 16-2 run to establish a strong 16-point lead.
Georgia cut into the Auburn lead in the early running of the second half, eventually trimming the Tigers’ lead to eight at 55-47 with just over 11 minutes left.
Another late push from the Bulldogs brought them back within three with 23 seconds remaining and within one point with six seconds left. Bryce Brown sunk two free throws for the Tigers, who held on to win.
Dogs Drawing regular Sellouts
Georgia’s has played before capacity crowds of 10,523 in its last three Saturday home dates at Stegeman Coliseum.
Attendance has been solid throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Georgia is averaging 7,403 for it 16 home games this season. Since UGA students returned from the holiday break, the Bulldogs have averaged 9,008 for their last six home contests.
The Bulldogs’ last Saturday home outing, which was Feb. 6 vs. Auburn, also represented their fourth full-house crowd in the last nine home outings.
Letterwinners Back In Town
Saturday’s contest will serve as the Bulldogs’ letterwinners reunion day, with more than 60 former coaches, players and support staff expected to be on hand.
Headlining that list is Hugh Durham, Georgia’s winningest coach ever who led the Bulldogs to numerous firsts, including NCAA Final Four in 1983, SEC Tournament title also in 1983 and SEC Championship in 1990.
The ledger of Bulldogs includes seven NBA Draft picks, including 2003 first-round selection Jumaine Jones, and 10 All-SEC performers, including four-time honoree Willie Anderson.
A Positive Breakout
Not that the media needs any self affirmation but the folks who predicted Yante Maten would be one of the nation’s “breakout” players this season – including those at CBS, NBC and SI – are probably feeling pretty good.
Most expected Maten to up his contributions following the departure of senior frontcourt playing mates Nemanja Djurisic and Marcus Thornton.
He’s done more than just that.
As a freshman a year ago, Maten averaged 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 18.2 minutes per game for the Bulldogs.
This season, Maten has more than tripled his scoring (15.7 ppg) and also has upped both his rebounding (8.0 rpg) and playing time (29.7 mpg) by massive chunks.
Maten has posted five career-high scoring outputs, including four in the first seven games. He improved from 13 points entering the year, to 17 points versus Chattanooga in the opener, to 21 points in back-to-back outings against Seton Hall and Oakland, and to 24 points versus Winthrop. Maten topped that mark with 25 points at Mississippi State.
Maten’s increased production can actually be traced back to last year’s postseason. He notched his first double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against South Carolina in the SEC Tourney.
That opened an active 29-game stretch in which Maten has recorded:
• 23 of his 27 double-digit scoring outputs;
• All nine of his 20-point performances;
• All nine of his career double-figure rebounding efforts; and
• All eight of his double-doubles.
Dogs’ “D” Has Been Consistent
Georgia is No. 2 in the SEC and No. 7 nationally in field goal defense at 38.1 percent. The Bulldogs have held 23 of 26 opponents under their season FG percentage.
During the 2015 calendar portion of the schedule, Georgia’s opponents connected on a paltry 36.6 percent (218-of-596) of their shots from the field. Subtract out those totals and UGA’s opposition made 45.8 percent (3203-of-6990) of their field goals attempted.
Georgia also has held 12 of its 15 SEC foes under their season FG percentage.
In the league opener on Jan. 2, Florida became the first team to shoot a better percentage against the Bulldogs than otherwise. The Gators entered the game shooting 42.2 percent but hit 42.3 – yes, .1 of one percent better – versus Georgia.
Texas A&M was the first team to make half its attempts against UGA at 52.7 percent. Kentucky also did so, shooting 51.8 percent.
Better Boarding Bulldogs
Georgia’s rebounding efforts have improved consistently this season.
The Bulldogs entered SEC play ranked No. 8 in the league in rebounding margin at +1.6.
Through 15 conference dates, Georgia has climbed to No. 5 at +2.8. More impressively, the Bulldogs are No. 3 in rebound margin against SEC opponents at +4.3.
Much of that improvement can be contributed to Yante Maten. The sophomore from Pontiac, Mich., has upped his rebounding numbers from 7.5 rpg in games during the 2015 calendar to 8.5 rpg versus SEC foes.
In addition, freshman forwards Derek Ogbeide and Mike Edwards also have increased their boarding averages. Ogbeide was at 3.2 rpg in Georgia’s first 10 games but is grabbing 6.3 rpg in SEC play, while Edwards has jumped from 2.8 rpg to 3.7 rpg.
Gaines, Mann Rewriting Records
Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann are consistently making moves on UGA’s career scoring leaders ledger.
Mann entered the season at No. 36 among the Bulldogs’ all-time points leaders and has ascended to No. 18. Gaines became Georgia’s 46th 1,000-point scorer against Clemson on Dec. 22 and is now No. 26.
Entering the Ole Miss game, Gaines has 1,218 points, 12 shy of No. 25 Ray Harrison, and Mann has 1,319 points, 29 off the current No. 17 Willie Anderson.
Frazier 100 Assists, 50 3s Again
J.J. Frazier has 109 assists and 61 made 3-pointers on the year, topping the century and half-century marks in those stats for the second consecutive year.
Last season, Frazier posted 104 assists and knocked down 50 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
Frazier joins G.G. Smith as the only two Bulldogs to reach those milestones twice.
All told, Bulldog perimeter players have accomplished that feat eight times as outlined below.
100 Assist, 50 “3” Bulldogs
Season Player Asts. 3FGs
1991-92 Litterial Green 115 62
1995-96 Katu Davis 122 62
1996-97 G.G. Smith 148 52
1997-98 G.G. Smith 148 81
2000-01 D.A. Layne 108 65
2010-11 Dustin Ware 114 57
2014-15 J.J. Frazier 104 50
2015-16 J.J. Frazier 109 61
Ogbeide’s Upped Contributions
Freshman Derek Ogbeide (pronounced “Ohwg-Bay-Day”) logged career-most minutes during three straight February games, while also improving his career-high scoring and rebounding outputs as well.
Ogbeide’s most playing time in the first 22 games was 21 minutes against Texas A&M. He improved with 22 minutes at Mississippi State, then played 26 MP versus Florida and saw 29 minutes of action at Vanderbilt.
Ogbeide grabbed 13 rebounds at Mississippi State, equaling Yante Maten’s effort against Chattanooga as the most by a Bulldog in a game this season.
At Vanderbilt, Ogbeide posted his first double-digit scoring output with 11 points…and also swatted a career-best three shots.
UGA In Midst Of Most SEC Success
Georgia is looking to extend its most successful stretch in SEC ever.
The Bulldogs’ 32 wins over the past three seasons and 23 during the past two campaigns represent UGA’s most ever in 83 seasons of SEC competition.
The Bulldogs finished 11-7 and tied for third in the SEC last season. That followed a 12-6 record in 2013-14 when Georgia tied for second in the league and a 9-9 effort during the 2012-13 season.
The Bulldogs have finished .500 or better in SEC play for three straight seasons just five times, also doing so from 1968-70, 1981-83, 1985-87 and 1995-97.
FYI, UGA has never put together four straight .500 or better conference campaigns.
The Bulldogs are one of only two teams to secure a top-4 seed to each of the past two SEC Tournaments, along with Kentucky. UGA and UK also are the only two teams to advance to the semifinals of both the 2014 and 2015 SEC Tourneys.
Injuries At An Inopportune Time
After a relatively injury-free preseason, the Bulldogs were bitten hard in the week of the season opener.
Following a Nov. 6 exhibition outing, freshman Derek Ogbeide (pronounced “Ohwg-Bay-Day”) suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for four weeks.
In addition, Juwan Parker, who started the first 18 games last season, has been held out of action since the exhibition due to soreness in his Achilles. Parker missed virtually the entire second half of last season due to that injury, which required offseason surgery.
The lateness of those changes forced Georgia to mix and match rotation combinations for much of the first several games.
Ogbeide Back, Making Big Strides
Following the aforementioned injury-induced detour, Derek Ogbeide (pronounced “Ohwg-Bay-Day”) has shown signs of becoming an inside presence.
Ogbeide enjoyed an impressive unofficial debut in a Nov. 6 exhibition win over Armstrong State with a game-high 10 rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
Ogbeide suffered a right shoulder injury in practice thereafter and missed Georgia’s first five games. He finally made his official premiere against Kansas State, checking at the 17:27 mark of the first half versus the Wildcats and playing two minutes in the contest.
“He was just cleared today a little before 2 o’clock,” Mark Fox said. “I just wanted to get him 45 seconds here and there just to get him to relax and so he’d been out there before.”
The day before the Kansas State contest Fox was asked about what Georgia was missing without Ogbeide.
“He would allow us to impose our size and physicality on people” Fox said.
Ogbeide now is doing just that.
Ogbeide is No. 15 among league rebounding leaders in stats for conference games only at 6.3 rpg games…despite being the only player in the top-20 averaging less than 20.0 mpg. In fact, equating out 40-minute production makes Ogbeide the SEC’s most proficient rebounder among league leaders in conference play as outlined below.
Per 40 SEC Rebounding Averages
Player GP RPG MPG R/40MP
D. Ogbeide, UGA 15 6.3 16.8 15.0
C. Bowers, AU 15 9.9 27.9 14.2
B. Simmons, LSU 15 11.1 35.3 12.6
M. Carrera, SC 15 9.2 30.0 12.3
D. Jones, VU 15 7.8 26.7 11.7
Bulldogs In The BPI & RPI
Georgia is No. 61 in the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) and No. 87 in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
The Bulldogs’ strength of schedule, which was ranked as the nation’s toughest in both ledgers for a good bit of December, is No. 12 in the BPI and No. 36 in the RPI. Georgia’s non-conference RPI is ranked No. 2.
UGA’s All-SEC Tandem…
Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann were both named preseason first-team All-SEC in voting of league coaches, becoming just the second duo of Bulldogs to earn first-team preseason honors since the recognition began prior to the 2004-05 season. Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins were first-team preseason All-SEC selections prior to the 2010-11 season.
Mann, who also was a first-team pick a year ago, is Georgia’s first-ever two-time first-team preseason All-SEC selection.
…Has Very Strong Ties
Peach State natives Kenny Gaines, who is from Atlanta, and Charles Mann, who hails from Alpharetta, have played a significant role since they arrived on campus in 2012.
Between them, Gaines and Mann have a combined 242 games played, 184 starts and 6,694 minutes played.
Much of those numbers have been compiled together.
Gaines and Mann have started together for 82 of Georgia’s 92 contests since the beginning of the their sophomore year of 2013-14. All told, they have played 1,985 minutes and eight seconds together at Georgia.
Mann Breaks UGA FT Record
With his successful trip to the line at the 8:22 mark of the second half against South Carolina on Feb. 6, Charles Mann became Georgia’s most prolific free throw shooter.
Mann broke Alec Kessler’s UGA career record for free throw makes. In January, he broke Litterial Green’s career attempts mark.
Mann, the nation’s active career leader in trips to the line, also ranks among the SEC’s top-10 in FTs and FTAs as outlined below.
SEC Career Free Throw Attempts
Rk. FTA Player Seasons FT
1.1152Pete Maravich, LSU1968-70893
2.892Bailey Howell, MSU1957-59682
3.873BJ McKie, SC1996-99672
4.848Carl Widseth, UT1953-56621
5. 839 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 578
6.785Ronnie Williams, UF1982-84546
7.784Jerry Harper, Bama1954-56473
8.773Udonis Haslem, UF1999-02515
9.767Allan Houston, UT1991-93651
10.744Litterial Green, UGA1989-92548
SEC Career Free Throw Makes
Rk. FT Player Seasons FTA
1.893Pete Maravich, LSU1968-701152
2.682Bailey Howell, MSU1957-59892
3.672BJ McKie, SC1996-99873
4.651Allan Houston, UT1990-93767
5.621Carl Widseth, UT1953-56848
6. 577 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 839
7.550Kenny Walker, UK1983-88733
8. 549Alec Kessler, UGA1987-90720
9.548Litterial Green, UGA1989-92744
10.546Ronnie Williams, UF1982-84785
More PT for KPG
Kenny Paul Geno entered the 2015-16 season with a career high of 21 minutes played against Missouri late last season.
This season, Geno is averaging 20.5 minutes of action per game. The Booneville, Miss., native has matched or bettered his previous career-most MP in 12 games, including a career-best of 35 versus Chattanooga.
Mann Joins UGA Top-10 Assist List
Charles Mann moved into Georgia’s all-time top-10 assists leaders during the Bulldogs’ Jan. 23 victory over Arkansas.
Mann distributed five buckets-to-be against the Razorbacks to up his career total to 355.That tied Donald Hartry, who was a member of Georgia’s 1983 NCAA Final Four and 1984 and 1986 NIT teams, for the No. 10 slot.
At Auburn, Mann passed Ray Harrison to move into the No. 8 spot with 380 assists, nine shy of No. 7 Pertha Robinson.