MEN’S BASKETBALL: Georgia vs Mississippi State SEC Tournament Game Notes

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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Georgia vs Mississippi State SEC Tournament Game Notes

From left, Georgia guard Charles Mann (No.4) and Georgia guard Kenny Gaines (No.12) (Photo by David Barnes)
From left, Georgia guard Charles Mann (No.4) and Georgia guard Kenny Gaines (No.12)
(Photo by David Barnes)

The Georgia men’s basketball team head up to Nashville, TN to start SEC Tournament play on Thursday as they are set to face No.11 seed Mississippi State in game number 5 following game 4 at approximately 9:30 PM ET.

Georgia Basketball Game Notes


Georgia (17-12, 10-8 SEC) vs. Mississippi State (14-16, 7-11 SEC)

Thursday, March 10 at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET

Bridgestone Arena (17,804) in Nashville, Tenn.

TV: Sec Network (John Saunders, PBP; Jon Sundvold, Color; Kaylie Hartung, Sideline)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG

(Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer)

Flagship: WSB AM 750; Sirius: 145; XM: 190

The Starting Five
UGA leads the series with MSU, 56-53, including a 9-3 mark in SEC Tourney play.

ª UGA leads the SEC and ranks No. 4 nationally in field goal percentage defense at .380.

• On Jan. 1, UGA was No. 8 in the SEC and No. 158 nationally in rebound margin (+1.6). Now, UGA is No. 3 and No. 62 (+3.8).

• J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten were voted second-team All-SEC by league coaches.

• Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann have led UGA to three straight double-digit SEC win tallies for the first time ever and its home wins in a four-season stretch (53).
Surging Bulldogs Travel To Nashville For SEC Tournament 
Georgia will look to continue a late-season surge when it opens play at the SEC Tournament on Thursday. The Bulldogs arrive in Nashville riding the league’s second-longest winning streak after securing “Ws” against a trio of RPI top-100 opponents to finish 17-12 overall and 10-8 in SEC play.

In the process, the Bulldogs also:

• Posted their fourth straight .500 or better league record – the first time in 84 seasons of SEC play that Georgia has put together four consecutive .500 or better campaigns;

• Notched their third straight double-figure SEC win total – another program first;

• Improved their best-ever SEC win tallies over three-season (33) and four-season (42) spans.

Georgia is the No. 6 seed in Nashville and will face Mississippi State, the No. 11 seed, in the second game of the Thursday evening session. That contest will tip approximately 25 minutes after the conclusion of the session’s first matchup between No. 7 Ole Miss and No. 10 Alabama at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Georgia’s balanced offensive attack features four Bulldogs who averaging double figures in the scoring column, both overall and in SEC play. All told, that quartet has compiled 83 double-digit scoring outputs and 26 20-point performances this season.

J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten, who both were tabbed second-team All-SEC in balloting of league coaches released on Tuesday, headline that list.

Frazier averages team highs pf 16.4 ppg overall and 16.8 ppg in conference play. The 5-10, junior from Glennville ranks among the SEC’s top-10 statistical leaders in a league-high eight categories – No. 5 in assist-to-TO ratio, No. 6 in 3-point percentage, No. 6 in steals, No. 7 in scoring, No. 8 in free throw percentage, No. 8 in 3-pointers per game, No. 10 in assists and No. 10 in minutes.

Maten is contributing 15.9 ppg overall and 15.5 ppg in league action. The sophomore from Pontiac, Mich., is the top boarding Bulldog, averaging 8.0 rpg overall and 8.3 rpg versus SEC competition. Maten is the only play in the SEC who enters the postseason ranked among league leaders in scoring (No. 11), rebounding (No. 6), field goal percentage (No. 5) and free throw percentage (No. 10).

Seniors Kenny Gaines (13.5 overall/12.9 SEC) and Charles Mann (10.4 overall/10.7 SEC) also are averaging double figures for the Bulldogs. Both Mann and Gaines have ascended into Georgia’s top-20 career scoring leaders at No. 18 and No. 20, respectively.

Mississippi State wrapped up the regular season with a 79-66 win over Auburn that upped the Bulldogs’ records to 14-16 overall and 7-11 in the SEC.

Gavin Ware leads State both in scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg); however, Quinndary Weatherspoon paced the Bulldogs on the offensive end against SEC competition at 14.9 ppg. He averages 12.2 ppg overall. Craig Sword (12.8 ppg) and Malik Newman (11.5 ppg) also score in double digits.


Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game:


Among UGA’s career Leaders


Charles Mann is…

• 3 points from No.17 Willie Anderson

• 4 points from No. 16 Ezra Williams

• 11 assists from No. 7 Pertha Robinson

• 12 assists from co-No. 5 Vern Fleming and Dustin Ware


Kenny Gaines is…

• 6 points from No. 19 Charles Claxton

• 8 3FGs from No. 4 Ezra Williams

• 5 3FGAs from No. 4 Litterial Green


J.J. Frazier is…

• 1 3FG from co-No. 11 Ty Wilson and Ray Harrison

• 7 3FGs from No. 10 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

• 19 3FGAs from No. 14 Ty Wilson


Series History With State
Georgia leads the all-time series with Mississippi State 56-53, including a 9-3 edge in SEC Tournament matchups.

Earlier this season on Feb. 13 in Starkville, Yante Maten poured in a career-high 25 points to lead Georgia in a 66-57 victory over Mississippi State.

Charles Mann dropped a season-high 21 points, and freshman Derek Ogbeide collected a career-best 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Maten scored six of the Bulldogs’ first 12 points. That helped Georgia grab a 16-10 lead midway through the first period, which the Bulldogs extended to 32-21 at halftime.

Maten picked up right where he left off after the break, scoring six quick points. Georgia pushed the lead to 22 less than seven minutes into the second period. Mississippi State cut the margin to 10 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.

In the last SEC Tournament meeting on March 8, 2012, Gerald Robinson’s 23 points led a quintet of Georgia players in double figures as 11th-seeded UGA upset sixth-seeded Mississippi State, 71-61.

Georgia appeared in trouble when Mississippi State took a 14-7 lead early, but Robinson and freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope keyed a rally.

The Bulldogs went up 26-25 on a Robinson layup with 2:19 left in the first period and never trailed following a Robinson bucket with 23 seconds remaining in the opening half.

Dustin Ware scored all 13 of his points after the intermission, including five in an early 10-0 run that put Georgia in control.


Last Time Out
Georgia won its third-straight game Saturday afternoon, defeating Alabama 70-63 on Senior Day at Stegeman Coliseum.

The Bulldogs were led on the offensive end by Yante Maten with 19 points. J.J. Frazier and Senior Charles Mann finished with 17 and 12 points, respectively.

“I feel very good about the win over a terrific basketball team today,” Mark Fox said. “It was a hard-fought game. With the quick turnaround, we anticipated that we probably wouldn’t be the prettiest offensive group today. We were too tired early to fight for a good shot. Eventually we composed ourselves and fought our way back to win.”

Georgia returned to action roughly 31 hours after Thursday’s win at South Carolina.

Alabama jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead at the first media timeout, but the Bulldogs responded scoring seven straight.

After leading 27-25 at halftime, Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier buried back to back 3-pointers to begin the second period.

The highlight of the second half came on a Georgia fast break when Maten threw down a big dunk giving Georgia a 53-50 lead with 6:50 to go. The sophomore scored an and-one basket several possessions later putting Georgia up six. Georgia made its plays down the stretch securing the victory at 70-63.

Georgia’s SEC Tourney History
Georgia sports a 42-53 all-time record in 55 editions of the SEC Tournament.

The Bulldogs have compiled a 33-34 record in SEC Tournament action since the event resumed competition in 1979 following a 26-year hiatus from 1953-78.

The Bulldogs won the 1983 and 2008 SEC Tournaments and finished as runners-up in 1940, 1981, 1988 and 1997.

Georgia has advanced to the semifinals 14 times – fifth-most in league history – including each of the past two years. In fact, the Bulldogs and Kentucky are the only two schools to reach the semifinals of the 2014 and 2015 SEC Tournaments.


Dogs’ “D” Has Been Consistent
Georgia currently leads the Southeastern Conference and is No. 4 nationally in field goal defense at 38.0 percent.

The Bulldogs have held 26 of 29 opponents under their season field goal percentage, with two opponents shooting in the 50s, seven shooting in the 40s, 17 shooting in the 30s and three shooting in the 20s.

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 the Bulldogs’ opposition made 45.8 percent (3203-of-6990) of their field goals attempted.

Georgia also held 15 of its 18 SEC foes under their season shooting performance from the floor.

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 and No. 158 nationally in rebounding margin at +1.6.

Georgia has since ascended to No. 3 in the SEC and No. 63 nationally at +3.8. More impressively, the Bulldogs are No. 2 in rebound margin against SEC competition at +5.6.

Much of that improvement can be contributed to Georgia’s youthful frontcourt performers – sophomore Yante Maten and freshmen Mike Edwards and Derek Ogbeide.

Maten has upped his rebounding numbers from 7.5 rpg in games during the 2015 calendar to 8.3 rpg versus SEC foes. Ogbeide was at 3.2 rpg in Georgia’s first 10 games but is grabbing 5.9 rpg in SEC play, while Edwards has jumped from 2.8 rpg to 3.7 rpg.


UGA In Midst Of Most SEC Success
Georgia has extended its most successful stretches in SEC play ever. The Bulldogs finished at 10-8, their fourth-straight record of .500 or above and their third-straight double-digit win tally in league play. Both of those are firsts for Georgia Basketball.

Georgia was 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 SEC standings and a 9-9 effort during the 2012-13 season.

The Bulldogs’ 23 combined wins in 2013-14 and 2014-15, their 33 combined victories over the past three seasons and their 42 during the past four campaigns represent Georgia’s winningest two-, three- and four-year spans in 84 seasons of league competition.

A Special “Senior Day” In Athens
Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann will forever be remembered fondly in University of Georgia annals. The Peach State natives chose to attend their state university and help build the stature of Georgia Basketball. Over the past four years, they’ve done just exactly that.

In addition to the aforementioned firsts in SEC play, Gaines and Mann have helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back postseason bids and 53 victories at Stegeman Coliseum over the past four years – the winningest four-season home stretch in program history.

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. 22and is now No. 20.

Mann now has 1,345 points, three off the current No. 17 Willie Anderson and four away from No. 16 Ezra Williams.

Gaines currently has 1,268 points, six away from No. 19 Charles Claxton and then 77 off of the current No. 18 – some guy named Charles Mann.
A Massive Amount of “PT”
Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann have played a significant roles since they arrived on campus in 2012.

Between them, Gaines and Mann have a combined 248 games played, 189 starts and 6,496 minutes played.

Much of those numbers have been compiled together.

Gaines and Mann have started together for 85 of Georgia’s 95 contests since the beginning of the their sophomore year of 2013-14. All told, they have played 2,069 minutes and 22 seconds together at Georgia.

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 (15.9 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 this season, 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 on Feb. 13.

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 32-game stretch in which Maten has recorded: 
26 of his 30 double-digit scoring outputs;

• All nine of his 20-point performances;

• All 10 of his career double-figure rebounding efforts; and

• All nine of his double-doubles.

J.J. Almost Everywhere In SEC Stats
J.J. Frazier enters the SEC Tournament ranked among the Southeastern Conference’s top-10 leaders in a league-high eight of 11 major statistical categories.

The 5-10, junior from Glennville, Ga., is currently No. 5 in assist-to-TO ratio (2.7), No. 6 in 3-point percentage (.404), No. 6 in steals (1.5), No. 7 in scoring (16.4), No. 8 in free throw percentage (.808), No. 8 in 3-pointers per game (2.4), No. 10 in assists (4.3) and No. 10 in minutes (31.9).

The only categories without Frazier listed are field goal percentage, rebounds and blocked shots.

Trailing Frazier and ranked in six top-10s are Stefan Moody of Ole Miss, Kevin Punter of Tennessee, Ben Simmons of LSU and Tyler Ulis of Kentucky.

Frazier Tabbed Top Georgia Player
J.J. Frazier has been named the state of Georgia’s men’s college basketball Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Frazier is the Bulldogs’ eighth recipient of the state’s top hoops honor. Vern Fleming was chosen in 1984, the initial year the award was given. Additional honorees include Jumaine Jones in 1999, Jarvis Hayes in both 2002 and 2003, Rashad Wright in 2004, Trey Thompkins in 2011 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2013.

In addition to Frazier, Georgia’s Joni Taylor was named the Whack Hyder Women’s College Coach of the Year, Emory’s Jason Zimmerman was named the Whack Hyder Men’s College Coach of the Year and Georgia Tech’s Aaliyah Whiteside was named the Women’s College Player of the Year.

“These individuals are a huge part of the state of Georgia’s continued tradition of athletic excellence,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Tipoff Club. “Their contributions to the game of basketball and to their communities have been impressive. We’re proud to honor these athletes and coaches who represent our state and sport so well.”

The Atlanta Tipoff Club will recognize the recipients at the annual awards program on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at the College Football Hall of Fame. For more information on the event, please visit

Frazier Cranks It Up After Half
J.J. Frazier has shown quite the penchant for second-half scoring, with four 20-point second-halves this season.

Frazier poured in 22 of his season-high 35 points against Georgia Tech – UGA’s most points ever against the Yellow Jackets – after the break on Dec. 19. He also scored 21 points in the second stanzas of matchups against Tennessee on Jan. 13 and at LSU on Jan. 26 and popped for 24 points following intermission at Auburn on Feb. 24.

Bulldogs In The BPI & RPI
Through games of March 6, Georgia was No. 54 in the ESPN’s BPI and No. 72 in the NCAA’s 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. 11 in the BPI and No. 25 in the RPI. Georgia’s non-conference RPI was ranked No. 3.

Frazier 100 Assists, 50 3s Again
J.J. Frazier has 125 assists and 69 made 3-pointers, topping the century and half-century marks for the second consecutive year.

Last season, Frazier posted 104 assists and knocked down 50 3-pointers.

Frazier joins G.G. Smith as the only two Bulldogs to reach those milestones twice. All told, UGA 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 125 69


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 14 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 progressed steadily during the season.

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. He then suffered a right shoulder injury in practice and missed Georgia’s first five games.

Ogbeide 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. 16 among league leaders in stats for conference games only at 5.9 rpg games…despite being the only player in the top-20 averaging less than 20.0 mpg.

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 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. 865 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 596

5.848Carl Widseth, UT1953-56621

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. 596 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 865

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 19.9 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.

Mann enters the SEC Tournament with 388 assists, 11 shy of the current No. 7, Pertha Robinson and 12 away from co-No. 5s Vern Fleming and Dustin Ware.



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