Georgia Basketball Game Notes
Georgia (14-9, 7-5 SEC) vs. Florida (16-9, 7-5 SEC)
Tuesday, February 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, PBP; Sean Farnham, Color)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) Flagship: WSB AM 750; Sirius: 81; XM: 81
The Starting Five
• UF leads the all-time series, 110-100; however, UGA owns a 62-37 edge here in Athens.
• Yante Maten is coming a career-high 25 points at Mississippi State, his fifth career-best performance this season.
• UGA ranks No. 2 in the SEC and No. 6 nationally in FG defense. UGA has held 20 of 23 foes under their season pct. UF is one of three teams to shoot better than its average entering the game vs. UGA.
• Derek Ogbeide ranks No. 15 among SEC rebounding leaders in SEC play at 6.3 rpg. Per 40 minutes, Ogbeide is the league’s most proficient rebounder vs. SEC teams at 17.0.
• UGA entered SEC play No. 8 in the league in rebounding margin at +1.6 but is No. 3 in the league in conference games at +4.2.
Georgia Hosts Gators In Another “Super Tuesday” Date
The Georgia Bulldogs return to the friendly confines of Stegeman Coliseum to host Florida in an ESPN-televised “Super Tuesday” matchup at 9 p.m. ET.
The Bulldogs are 12-3 at Stegeman this season, including a 5-1 mark in SEC play.
The contest will serve as Georgia’s third “Super Tuesday” date in the last four weeks. Previously, the Bulldogs lost at LSU on Jan. 30 and at Kentucky last Tuesday.
The matchup with the Gators breaks up a travel-heavy leg of the Bulldogs’ 2015-16 schedule. Georgia is in the midst of playing four road games in a five-contest span, as well as in a stretch of six road dates in a nine-game period.
Georgia improved to 14-9 overall and 7-5 in SEC play with the Bulldogs’ 66-57 victory at Mississippi State last Saturday, a game in which UGA never trailed.
Yante Maten poured in a career-high 25 points – his fifth career-high output this season – and Charles Mann added a season-high 21 points to pace Georgia. Freshman Derek Ogbeide grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds, a tally that matched Maten’s effort against Chattanooga as the highest by a Bulldog in a game this season.
Maten’s performance also inched him past J.J. Frazier as Georgia’s leading scorer, both overall and in SEC play.
Maten is now averaging 16.0 ppg overall and 15.7 ppg in league action. The sophomore from Pontiac, Mich., also is the top rebounding Bulldog at 8.0 rpg overall and 8.4 rpg versus league foes.
Frazier is chipping in 15.4 ppg overall and 15.0 ppg against conference competition.
Seniors Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann also are scoring at a double-digit pace for the Bulldogs. Overall, Gaines and Mann are averaging 13.1 ppg and 11.0 ppg, respectively, while both players are contributing 11.9 ppg in SEC games.
All told, the aforementioned quartet has posted 65 double-figure scoring outputs for the Bulldogs this season.
Florida slipped to 16-9 overall and 7-5 in the SEC with a 61-55 loss to Alabama in Gainesville on Saturday, the Gators’ first home setback since league play began.
Dorian Finney-Smith leads a trio of double-figure scorers for Florida at 15.4 ppg. He also averages a team-best 8.1 rpg. KeVaughn Allen adds 11.6 ppg, and John Egbunu posts 10.8 ppg.
Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game:
Among UGA’s career Leaders
Charles Mann is…
• 52 points from No.17 Willie Anderson
• 9 assists from No. 9 Ray Harrison
• 11 assists from No. 8 Rod Cole
Kenny Gaines is…
• 52 points from No. 25 Ray Harrison
• 1 3FG from No. 7 Bernard Davis
• 12 3FGAs from No. 6 G.G. Smith
J.J. Frazier is…
• 6 3FGs from No. 13 Terrance Woodbury
• 7 3FGAs from No. 16 Michael Chadwick
Series History With The Gators
Florida owns a 110-100 lead in the all-time series between the Bulldogs and the Gators; however, Georgia possesses a 62-37 advantage in games played in Athens.
In the last matchup at Stegeman Coliseum on Jan. 17 last season, Kenny Gaines and Marcus Thornton scored 16 points apiece to lead four Bulldogs in double figures in a 73-61 victory over Florida.
That win snapped the Gators’ 24-game SEC winning streak.
Georgia connected on its first seven field goal attempts of the game, four of which came from beyond the arc, and raced to a 12-0 lead.
Florida closed the first half and opened the second on a combined 12-4 run that cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 36-34, but Georgia responded with a 14-6 surge that expanded the margin back to double figures.
Earlier this season on Jan. 2, Georgia and Florida met in both team’s Southeastern Conference opener, with the Gators securing a 77-63 victory.
The Gators entered the game as the SEC’s worst 3-point shooting team at 27.4 percent but in the first half made on more shots at a better percentage from outside the arc (six at 46.2 percent) than inside (five at 41.7 percent).
“They shot the 3-point shot a little bit better out of the gate than they had been shooting it,” Mark Fox said. “That was a factor. We had to play uphill all night.”
The Gators built a 16-point lead in the first half and were up 38-31 at the intermission. Georgia trimmed the margin to 43-39 just over three minutes into the second stanza but couldn’t get any closer.
Last Time Out
Yante Maten poured in a career-high 25 points leading Georgia to a 66-57 road victory against Mississippi State last Saturday.
Charles Mann dropped a season-high 21 points, and freshman Derek Ogbeide collected a career-best 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Mark Fox said. “This is a tough time of year for every team because the season is such a grind. We were concerned about our group, and tonight they came together as a unit and played very well at times to get us a lead and allowed us to play comfortably in front.”
Georgia relied on its big man down low to do damage in the paint early, with Maten scoring six of the Bulldogs’ first 12 points. Georgia grabbed a 16-10 lead midway through the first period and extended that margin to 32-21 heading into the break.
Maten led all scorers in the half with 15 points and picked up right where he left off. He scored six quick points to begin the second period which, with 18:31 left in the game, gave him as many points as Mississippi State as a team to that point.
Georgia pushed the lead to 22 points less than seven minutes into the second period. Mississippi State cut the margin to 10 points with 9:40 left, but Maten thwarted the run with a bucket.
The game’s final margin also was its closest gap since the 1:26 mark of the first half.
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 a dozen conference dates, Georgia has climbed to No. 5 at +2.7. More impressively, the Bulldogs are No. 3 in rebound margin against SEC opponents at +4.3.
Much of that improvement can be contributed to the continued development of freshman forwards Derek Ogbeide and Mike Edwards. Ogbeide averaged 3.2 rpg in Georgia’s first 10 games but is grabbing 6.3 rpg in SEC play. Edwards also has upped his numbers, from 2.8 rpg to 3.6 rpg.
Rebound Count Equally Key
In addition to the scoreboard, the “boardboard” has been a relatively strong indicator of Georgia’s fortunes this season.
The Bulldogs are 12-1 when winning or tying the rebound count.
Georgia’s rebounding effort against South Carolina was the best of the season. The Gamecocks entered the game No. 1 in the SEC and No. 10 nationally in rebound margin (+9.9) before Georgia won the battle of the boards, 44-37.
Last Tuesday at Kentucky was the first time UGA lost when out-rebounding its opponent.
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 seniors frontcourt 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 (16.0 ppg) and also has upped both his rebounding (8.0 rpg) and playing time (29.6 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 26-game stretch in which Maten has recorded:
• 20 of his 24 double-digit scoring outputs;
• All nine of his 20-point performances;
• All eight of his career double-figure rebounding efforts; and
• All seven of his double-doubles.
Dogs’ “D” Has Been Consistent
Georgia currently ranks No. 2 in the SEC and No. 6 nationally in field goal defense at 37.8 percent. The Bulldogs have held 20 of 23 opponents – and all 11 non-conference foes – 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 nine of its 12 SEC foes under their season FG percentage.
Florida was the first team to shoot a better percentage against the Bulldogs than otherwise. The Gators entered the SEC opener 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 the Bulldogs, shooting 52.7 percent on Jan. 16. Kentucky also did so, shooting 51.8 percent against Georgia.
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.
Ironically, both Mann and Gaines are currently 52 points shy of their next steps among the Bulldogs’ career scoring leaders.
Mann, with 1,296 points, is chasing No. 17 Willie Anderson. Gaines, with 1,178 points, is closing in on No. 25 Ray Harrison.
UGA In Midst Of Most SEC Success
Georgia is looking to extend its most successful stretch in SEC play ever. The Bulldogs’ 32 wins over the past three seasons and 23 during the past two campaign represent UGA’s most ever in 83 seasons of SEC play.
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.
That marked just the fifth time the Bulldogs have finished .500 or better in SEC play for three straight seasons. Georgia also did 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 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 of the season.
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.
The Pebblebrook High School product now is helping Georgia doing just that.
Ogbeide played a combined five minutes against Kansas State and Winthrop before UGA’s 11-day break for Final Exams.
In the 16 games since, he is contributing 4.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in 14.3 minutes.
Ogbeide’s impact has been even more dramatic in SEC play, where he is averaging 6.3 rpg. He is ranked No. 15 among league rebounding leaders in conference play despite being one of only two players in the top-20 averaging less than 20.0 minutes per game.
Ogbeide grabbed a season-high 13 boards at Mississippi State, equaling the most by any UGA player this season.
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 12 6.3 14.9 17.0
C. Bowers, AU 12 9.7 27.8 14.0
B. Simmons, LSU 12 11.4 34.9 13.0
M. Carrera, SC 12 8.6 29.0 11.9
L. Kornet, VU 11 8.7 29.7 11.7
Bulldogs In The BPI & RPI
Georgia is currently No. 56 in the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) and No. 67 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 now at No. 11 in the BPI and No. 36 in the RPI. UGA’s non-conference RPI is ranked No. 9.
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
The duo of Peach State natives Kenny Gaines, who is from Atlanta, and Charles Mann, who hails from Alpharetta, has played a significant role since they arrived on campus in 2012.
Between them, Gaines and Mann have a combined 236 games played, 178 starts and 6,114 minutes played.
Much of those numbers have been compiled together.
Gaines and Mann have started together for 79 of Georgia’s 89 contests since the beginning of the their sophomore year of 2013-14. All told, they have played 1,920 minutes and 20 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, who is the active Division I leader in career free throw attempts, also ranks among the SEC’s top-10 all-time 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. 826 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 569
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. 569 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 826
7.550Kenny Walker, UK1983-88733
8. 549Alec Kessler, UGA1987-90720
9.548Litterial Green, UGA1989-92744
10.546Ronnie Williams, UF1982-84785
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.
Mann now has 368 career assists, nine shy of No. 9 Ray Harrison.
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 21.1 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.
Follow the Georgia Men’s Basketball team on Twitter at: @UGABasketball