Georgia Basketball Game Notes
Georgia (13-9, 6-5 SEC) vs. Mississippi State (10-13, 3-8 SEC)
Saturday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Humphrey Coliseum (10,575) in Starkville, Miss.
TV: SEC Network (Richard Cross, PBP; Andrew DeClerq, Color;)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) Flagship: WSB AM 750
The Starting Five
• UGA owns a 55-53 advantage in the all-time series with MSU; however, MSU possesses a 31-17 edge in Starkville.
• The SEC’s top-4 active career scoring leaders – No. 1 Craig Sword, No. 2 Charles Mann, No. 3 Gavin Ware and No. 4 Kenny Gaines – will be on the floor on Saturday.
• UGA ranks 2nd in the SEC and 11th nationally in FG defense. UGA has held 19 of 22 foes under their season FG pct.
• J.J. Frazier is ranked among the SEC leaders in a league-leading seven of 11 major stats – No. 4 in steals, No. 6 in both 3-FG pct. and assist-to-TOs, No. 7 in FT pct., No. 8 in 3FGs per game, No. 10 in assists and No. 13 in scoring.
• In UGA’s last 25 contests dating to the ‘15 SEC Tourney, Yante Maten has 19 double-figure scoring outputs and seven 20-point games.
Bulldogs Continue Road-Heavy Portion of SEC Schedule At MSU
The Georgia Bulldogs continue a travel-intensive leg of their 2015-16 campaign on Saturday when they venture to Starkville to face Mississippi State. The matchup is the second of four road dates in a five-game span.
The Bulldogs slipped to 13-9 overall and 6-5 in SEC play on Tuesday with their loss at No. 22 Kentucky in Lexington. Following the game with the SEC West’s Bulldogs, Georgia will host Florida on Tuesday in its third ESPN “Super Tuesday” appearance in a four-week span before traveling to Vanderbilt next Saturday and Auburn the following Wednesday.
Junior J.J. Frazier leads Georgia offensively at 15.8 ppg. The 5-10, junior from Glennville, Ga., currently ranks among the SEC’s statistical leaders in a league-most seven major statistical categories.
Three more Bulldogs are contributing points at a double-digit rate, both overall and in league action.
Yante Maten is posting 15.6 ppg and a team-high 8.0 rpg overall. In SEC games, Maten is averaging 14.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg.
Seniors Kenny Gaines (13.7 overall/13.0 SEC) and Charles Mann (10.6 overall/11.1 SEC) round out Georgia’s double-digiters.
All told, the aforementioned quartet has posted 63 double-figure scoring outputs for the Bulldogs this season.
Mississippi State is coming off an impressive 78-46 thumping of Arkansas on Tuesday. The Bulldogs received double-double performances from both Gavin Ware and Quinndary Weatherspoon in the victory.
Ware’s 16.4 ppg scoring average paces a balanced offensive attack featuring no less than five double-figure scorers. He also grabs a team-best 7.3 rpg.
In addition, Malik Newman (12.8 ppg), Craig Sword (12.4 ppg), Weatherspoon (11.0 ppg) and I.J. Ready (10.0 ppg) all chip in points at a double-digit rate.
Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game:
Among UGA’s career Leaders
Charles Mann is…
• 73 points from No.17 Willie Anderson
• 10 assists from No. 9 Ray Harrison
• 12 assists from No. 8 Rod Cole
Kenny Gaines is…
• 52 points from No. 25 Ray Harrison
• 1 3FG from No. 7 Bernard Davis
• 15 3FGAs from No. 6 G.G. Smith
J.J. Frazier is…
• 7 3FGs from No. 13 Terrance Woodbury
• 13 3FGAs from No. 16 Michael Chadwick
Series History With State
Georgia leads the all-time series with Mississippi State 55-53; however, MSU owns a 31-17 edge in Starkville.
Last Jan. 24 in Starkville, J.J. Frazier scored a career-high 37 points to lead the Bulldogs in a key 72-66 road win over State.
Frazier was a perfect 7-for-7 shooting from 3-point range en route to the highest single-game scoring output by any SEC player during the 2014-15 season.
Georgia built a double-digit lead early in the second half but saw State climb back within a single point in the final minutes.
Clutch free throws by Charles Mann, Nemi Djurisic and Frazier in the final 1:45, combined with three defensive stops, sealed the Bulldogs’ fourth road victory of the season.
“This was a hard-fought game and a great win by our team,” Mark Fox said. “The great thing about J.J.’s day was that almost everything he got came within our offense. We didn’t run anything for him all day. He got a couple of baskets in transition, but everything else came just by running our offense.”
Frazier made a bit of history with his memorable day. His 37 points were the most by a Bulldog in an SEC game since Dominique Wilkins scored 37 against Florida in January of 1981. His 7-for-7 shooting from the 3-point line equaled Ezra Williams’ UGA single-game record, set against LSU in 2003.
Last Time Out
Yante Maten recorded his sixth double-double of the season, and second in a row, with 16 points and 11 rebounds as Georgia fell on the road to No. 22 Kentucky, 82-48, on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.
The Bulldogs shot a season-low 22.0 percent from the field but did connect on a season-high 85.2 percent at the line.
“It was a very tough night,” Mark Fox said. “We didn’t play well. Kentucky’s a very good team. We didn’t do the things we needed to do anywhere close to the way we needed to do them to give ourselves a chance to win.”
The Wildcats used a hot shooting start to spark a 20-9 run and take a nine-point lead before the halfway point in the first half.
The Georgia defense then clamped down, holding Kentucky scoreless for more than six minutes, but the Bulldogs were only able to cut the lead to six.
Kentucky took control of the game in the later stages of the first half. The Wildcats closed the period on an 18-6 run to build a 42-24 edge at intermission.
Kentucky started fast in the second half as well, utilizing a 10-0 run to increase the distance.
SEC Active Points Leaders Present
Saturday’s game features the top-4 active career scoring leaders in the Southeastern Conference as outlined below.
In addition, Mississippi State’s Fred Thomas topped 1,000 career points on Tuesday night against Arkansas, giving the Dogs vs. Dogs matchup five of the league’s active 11 1,000-point scorers.
SEC Active Scoring Leaders
Rk. Player Points
1.Craig Sword, MSU1,374
2.Charles Mann, UGA1,275
3.Gavin Ware, MSU1,262
4.Kenny Gaines, UGA1,178
J.J. Almost Everywhere In SEC Stats
J.J. Frazier is ranked among the SEC’s statistical leaders in a league-high seven of 11 major statistical categories.
The 5-10, junior is No. 4 in steals (1.7 spg), No. 6 in both 3-point percentage (.403) and assist-to-TOs (2.7 ratio), No. 7 in free throw percentage (.817), No. 8 in 3-pointers per game (2.4 3FGs pg), No. 10 in assists (4.2 apg) and No. 13 in scoring (15.8 ppg).
The only categories without Frazier listed are field goal percentage, rebounds, blocks and minutes. Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis, Tennessee’s Kevin Punter and LSU’s Ben Simmons are second to Frazier with six rankings each.
Dogs Drawing Regular Sellouts
Last Saturday’s win over Auburn marked Georgia’s third consecutive Saturday sellout crowd of 10,523 at Stegeman Coliseum. It also represented the Bulldogs’ fourth capacity crowd in its last eight home outings.
Dogs’ “D” Has Been Consistent
Georgia currently ranks No. 2 in the SEC and No. 11 nationally in field goal defense, with opponents shooting 38.2 percent. The Bulldogs have held 19 of 22 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 eight of its 11 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 into top-20 during last Saturday’s victory over Auburn. Mann is currently the No. 18 scorer in Georgia history with 1,275 points, 73 shy of No. 17 Willie Anderson.
Gaines became Georgia’s 46th 1,000-point scorer against Clemson on Dec. 22. He is now No. 26, 52 points from No. 25 Ray Harrison.
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.
A year ago, Maten averaged 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 18.2 minutes per game.
This season, Maten has more than tripled his scoring (15.6 ppg) and also has upped both his rebounding (8.0 rpg) and playing time (29.6 mpg) by massive chunks.
Maten posted four career-high scoring outputs 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 finally to 24 points versus Winthrop.
Maten’s increased production can actually be traced back to last year’s postseason. He notched his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against South Carolina in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
That opened an active 25-game stretch in which Maten has recorded 19 of his 23 double-digit scoring outputs, as well as all eight of his career double-figure rebounding efforts and all seven of his double-doubles.
UGA In Midst Of Most SEC Success
Georgia entered Southeastern Conference competition looking to extend its most successful two- and three-year stretches in league play ever.
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’ 32 wins over the past three seasons and 23 during the past two campaign represent UGA’s most ever.
Georgia is one of only two teams to secure a top-4 seed to each of the past two SEC Tournaments, along with Kentucky. The Bulldogs and Wildcats also are the only two teams to reach the semifinals of both the 2014 and 2015 SEC Tourneys.
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 11-1 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.
Tuesday at Kentucky was the first time UGA lost when out-rebounding its opponent.
Mann Breaks UGA FT Record
With his successful trip to the line at the 8:22 mark of the second half against South Carolina, Charles Mann became Georgia Basketball’s most prolific free throw shooter.
Mann broke Alec Kessler’s Georgia career record for free throw makes. In January, Mann broke Litterial Green’s UGA record for career free throw attempts.
Mann, the nation’s active leader in trips to the line, ranks among the top-10 in SEC history 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. 820 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 564
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. 564 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 820
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 enters the Mississippi game with 367 assists, 10 away from No. 9 Ray Harrison.
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 15 games since, he is contributing 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in 13.7 minutes.
Ogbeide’s impact has been even more dramatic in SEC play, where he is averaging 5.7 rpg. 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 11 5.7 14.1 16.2
B. Simmons, LSU 11 11.4 34.5 13.2
L. Kornet, VU 10 8.9 30.1 11.8
M. Carrera, SC 11 8.5 29.0 11.7
Y. Maten, UGA 11 8.5 30.7 11.1
Bulldogs In The BPI & RPI
Georgia is currently No. 59 in the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) and No. 70 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. 10 in the BPI and No. 22 in the RPI.
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 234 games played, 176 starts and 6,062 minutes played.
Much of those numbers have been compiled together.
Gaines and Mann have started together for 78 of Georgia’s 88 contests since the beginning of the their sophomore year of 2013-14. All told, they have played 1,9081 minutes and 1 second together at Georgia.
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 20.9 minutes of action per game. The Booneville, Miss., native has matched or bettered his previous career-most MP in 11 games, including a career-best of 35 versus Chattanooga.
Follow the Georgia Men’s Basketball team on Twitter at: @UGABasketball