Georgia Basketball Game Notes
Georgia (14-10, 7-6 SEC) vs. Vanderbilt (15-11, 7-6 SEC)
Saturday, February 20 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Memorial Gymnasium (14,316) in Nashville, Tenn.
TV: ESPN2 (Mark Jones, PBP; Kara Lawson, Color)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) Flagship: WSB AM 750
The Starting Five
• VU leads the all-time series with UGA, 90-50, including a 54-14 mark on the VU campus.
• UGA ranks No. 1 in the SEC and No. 5 nationally in FG defense. UGA has held 21 of 24 foes under their season pct. VU is No. 2 in the SEC and No. 7 nationally in FG defense.
• UGA entered SEC play No. 8 in the league in rebounding margin at +1.6 but is No. 3 in stats for SEC games at +4.2.
• Over the last 27 games (dating back to the ‘15 SEC Tourney), Yante Maten has 21 double-figure scoring and eight double-figure rebounding games…and seven double-doubles.
• Derek Ogbeide ranks No. 16 among SEC rebounding leaders in SEC play at 6.4 rpg. Ogbeide is the league’s most proficient rebounder vs. SEC teams per 40 minutes at 16.4 rpg.
Dogs-Dores Clash In Early Meeting Of Nation’s Premier Defensive units
The Georgia Bulldogs will return to action on Saturday morning when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., the face Vanderbilt in a noon ET matchup televised by ESPN2.
The game features two of the premier’s top teams from a shooting percentage defense perspective. Georgia currently leads the league and ranks No. 5 nationally in field goal percentage defense at .378. Vanderbilt is No. 2 in the SEC and No. 7 nationally at .380.
The contest is part of 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 is now 14-10 overall and 7-6 in the SEC following Tuesday’s 57-53 loss to Florida.
Four Bulldogs are averaging double digits for Georgia, both overall and in SEC play.
Yante Maten paces UGA at 15.8 ppg overall and 15.3 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.
J.J. Frazier, who was Georgia’s leading scorer for much of the season, is chipping in 15.2 ppg overall and 14.6 ppg against conference competition. Seniors Kenny Gaines (13.0 overall/11.9 SEC) and Charles Mann (10.0 overall/11.5 SEC) round out the Bulldogs scoring at a double-digit pace.
All told, the aforementioned quartet has posted 68 double-figure scoring outputs for the Bulldogs this season.
Vanderbilt slipped to 15-11 overall and 7-6 in league action with Tuesday’s buzzer-beating setback at Mississippi State.
The Commodores feature a balanced offensive attack. Vanderbilt’s most recent starting five featured five players averaging between 9.0-14.3 ppg.
Wade Baldwin IV is the Commodores’ top playmaker, averaging team highs of 14.3 ppg and 4.9 apg. Baldwin accounts for nearly one-third of Vanderbilt’s assists on the season (32.8 percent to be exact).
Damian Jones contributes 13.8 ppg, and Luke Kornet grabs a team-high 7.4 rpg.
Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game:
Among UGA’s career Leaders
Charles Mann is…
• 45 points from No.17 Willie Anderson
• 4 assists from No. 9 Ray Harrison
• 6 assists from No. 8 Rod Cole
Kenny Gaines is…
• 40 points from No. 25 Ray Harrison
• 6 3FG from No. 6 G.G. Smith
• 3 3FGAs from No. 6 G.G. Smith
J.J. Frazier is…
• 5 3FGs from No. 13 Terrance Woodbury
• 3 3FGAs from No. 16 Michael Chadwick
Series History With Vanderbilt
The Commodores a 90-50 lead in the all-time series between UGA and VU, including a 54-14 mark in games contested on the Vanderbilt campus.
Last season, Georgia swept both ends of a home-and-home series within a two-week span in January. The Bulldogs won in Nashville on Jan. 14 and then secured another victory in Athens on Jan. 27.
Georgia outlasted Vanderbilt 70-67 in Nashville, the Bulldogs’ first win at Memorial Gymnasium since the 2005-06 season.
Kenny Gaines led the Bulldogs with 17 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Marcus Thornton finished with 16 points and J.J. Frazier added 11, including five clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds that proved to be vital in preserving the victory.
Georgia started the game on a 7-0 run through the first four minutes of play and rode that momentum through the duration of the half to lead 31-22 at the intermission.
The Bulldogs started where they left off early in the second half, extending the lead to 51-37 at the 13:46 mark on a Charles Mann layup. Georgia was held without a field goal for the final six minutes of the game, allowing Vanderbilt cut an 11-point deficit to 63-61 with 30 seconds remaining.
Mann and Frazier connected on 7-of-8 free throws thereafter to preserve the victory.
Two weeks later in Athens, a balanced offensive effort with four double-figure scorers led Georgia in a 70-62 decision.
Georgia used hot shooting from 3-point range (7-of-12) to grab a 31-27 halftime lead. Vanderbilt started the second half strong, connecting on its first four field goal attempts to go up 36-35.
The Bulldogs responded in a big way, busting open a 20-5 run over the next 10 minutes to stake a 55-41 lead with 7:27 remaining.
The Commodores pulled within five points on four separate occasions in the next six minutes but got no closer.
Late free throw shooting again was key for Georgia. The Bulldogs knocked down 9-of-10 attempts at the line in the final 1:30.
Last Time Out
Following a back-and-forth second half featuring two ties and seven lead changes, Florida withstood a late rally attempt by Georgia en route to securing a 57-53 win at Stegemen Coliseum on Tuesday.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Mark Fox said. “It was a tough defeat. Florida’s kids played hard, and our kids played hard. It was certainly a disappointing loss. One of the things we have been able to do is get to the free throw line. We didn’t get to the one-and-one in either half. That made it hard for us.”
Georgia led by six points at the half and inched that margin to seven twice in the second stanza, lastly at 33-26 with 13:39 left.
Florida used an 8-0 run to grab a 34-33 lead less than three minutes later.
The teams swapped the lead several times over the next seven minutes before back-to-back buckets put Florida up 52-47 with 2:07 remaining. The Bulldogs pulled within three points and gained possession with 19 seconds left, but Kenny Gaines’ potential game-tying 3-pointer with seven ticks on the clock was off the mark.
Full Roster Vs. VU Not The Norm
Over the past three seasons, Georgia has usually faced Vanderbilt without one or more key ingredient in its regular rotation.
Senior Kenny Gaines has six injury-related DNPs in the Bulldogs’ 122 games played during his career in Athens. Two of those came against Vanderbilt. As a freshman, Gaines did not play against the Commodores due to a heel injury. He missed the UGA-VU matchup during his sophomore year with a thigh bruise.
Last season in Nashville, the Bulldogs were without three contributors. Yante Maten sustained a concussion when he was struck by a car as he was using a pedestrian crosswalk on the UGA campus three days earlier. Juwan Parker suffered an Achilles injury in the Bulldogs previous outing at LSU, while Kenny Paul Geno broke his left wrist against Arkansas the previous week.
Maten returned for last season’s rematch in Athens but Geno and Parker again posted DNPs. However, during that contest, Marcus Thornton sustained a concussion that subsequently forced him to miss the Bulldogs’ next two games.
Dogs-Dores D’s Among Best
Both Georgia and Vanderbilt rank among the nation’s top-10 in FG percentage defense.
The Bulldogs currently lead the SEC and ranks No. 5 nationally, while the Commodores are second in the league and No. 7 nationally as outlined below (through games of Feb. 17).
NCAA FG Percentage Defense
Rk. Team FG FGA PCT.
1.San Diego State547148736.8
5. Georgia 524 1388 37.8
7. Vanderbilt 611 1610 38.0
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 13 conference dates, Georgia has climbed to No. 4 at +2.8. More impressively, the Bulldogs are No. 3 in rebound margin against SEC opponents at +4.4.
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 8.4 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 6.4 rpg in SEC play, while Edwards has jumped from 2.8 rpg to 3.5 rpg.
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 (15.8 ppg) and also has upped both his rebounding (8.0 rpg) and playing time (29.8 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 27-game stretch in which Maten has recorded:
• 21 of his 25 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. 5 nationally in field goal defense at 37.8 percent. The Bulldogs have held 21 of 24 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 10 of its 13 Southeastern Conference 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 the Bulldogs, shooting 52.7 percent on Jan. 16. Kentucky also did so, shooting 51.8 percent against Georgia.
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.
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. 26.
Entering the Vanderbilt game, Gaines has 1,190 points, 40 shy of No. 25 Ray Harrison, and Mann has 1,303 points, 45 off the current No. 17 Willie Anderson.
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 12-2 when winning or tying the rebound count.
Games at Kentucky and against Florida in Athens are the only times Georgia lost when out-rebounding its opponent.
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 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 17 games since, he is contributing 4.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 14.9 minutes.
Ogbeide’s impact has been even more dramatic in SEC play, where he is averaging 6.4 rpg. He grabbed a career-high 13 boards at Mississippi State, equaling the most by any UGA player this season.
Ogbeide is currently ranked No. 16 among league rebounding leaders in stats for conference only despite averaging five minutes less per game than any other player included among the top-20.
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 13 6.4 15.6 16.4
C. Bowers, AU 13 9.7 28.1 13.8
B. Simmons, LSU 13 11.2 35.2 12.7
M. Carrera, SC 13 8.7 29.0 12.0
L. Kornet, VU 12 8.4 28.8 11.7
Bulldogs In The BPI & RPI
Georgia is currently No. 56 in the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) and No. 73 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. 6 in the BPI and No. 21 in the RPI. UGA’s non-conference RPI is ranked No. 5.
Georgia is the only Division I team in the nation that has played only one opponent with an RPI higher than 200 this season.
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 238 games played, 180 starts and 6,180 minutes played.
Much of those numbers have been compiled together.
Gaines and Mann have started together for 80 of Georgia’s 90 contests since the beginning of the their sophomore year of 2013-14. All told, they have played 1,946 minutes and five 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. 829 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 571
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. 571 Charles Mann, UGA 2013-16 829
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 373 assists, four shy of No. 9 Ray Harrison and six from No. 8 Rod Cole.
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 20.8minutes 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