UGA Men’s Basketball: Dawgs Travel to Plains to Take on Auburn

  • Georgia Basketball Game Notes
  • Georgia (12-5, 3-3) vs. No. 17/20 Auburn (16-2, 4-1)
  • Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. ET
  • Auburn Arena (9,121) in Auburn, Ala.
  • Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network. (Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta; Satellite: Sirius 137; XM 190. Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Tony Schiavone, Producer)
  • TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Jon Sundvold, analyst)
  • Video: SECN+
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Georgia Bulldogs
Coach: Mark Fox
157-123 in 9th season at UGA
280-166 in 14th season overall
Pos No. Name PPG RPG
G 10 Teshaun Hightower 3.0 1.5
6-4; 180; Fr.; Lithonia, Ga.
G 0 William Jackson II 9.8 2.6
6-4; 185; Jr.; Athens, Ga.
G 3 Juwan Parker 7.5 3.5
6-4; 205; R-Sr.; Tulsa, Okla.
F 1 Yante Maten 19.7 9.1
6-8; 243; Sr.; Pontiac, Mich.
F 34 Derek Ogbeide 7.4 5.8
6-8; 245; Jr.; Atlanta, Ga.
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Auburn Tigers
Coach: Bruce Pearl
60-56 (4th season at AU)
520-201 (23rd season overall
Pos No. Name PPG RPG
G 1 Jared Harper 12.4 2.3
5-10; 170; Soph.; Mableton, Ga.
G 2 Bryce Brown 15.8 2.2
6-3; 198; Jr.; Stone Mountain, Ga.
G 5 Mustapha Heron 15.1 5.4
6-5; 218; Soph.; Waterbury, Conn.
F 13 Desean Murray 11.3 7.6
6-3; 225; Jr.; Stanley, N.C.
F 24 Anfernee McLemore 7.8 5.7
6-7; 220; Soph.; Warwick, Ga.

 

TEAM COMPARISON

GEORGIA AUBURN
70.2 Points per game 85.7
+5.1 Scoring margin +12.9
43.4 FG pct. 44.9
38.0 FG defense 40.3
31.8 3FG pct. 37.3
30.2 3FG defense 34.3
5.9 3FGs per game 9.5
70.3 FT pct. 77.2
16.2 FTs per game 19.4
+6.4 Rebound Margin +6.6
13.1 Assists per game 15.1
1.00 Assists-to-TOs 1.17
5.0 Blocks per game 6.2
4.5 Steals per game 7.2

 

The Starting 5…

 

  • In stats for SEC games, UGA leads the league in scoring defense (60.7) and FG defense (.348).
  • UGA was at No. 48 in Friday’s NCAA RPI, one of 10 SEC teams in the top-50.
  • UGA has four top-51 RPI wins, which is more than 17 teams in this week’s AP poll.
  • Yante Maten currently leads the SEC in scoring (19.7 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg).
  • Juwan Parker, the only DI MBB player with a master’s, is 3rd on UGA’s career FT pct. leaders list.

 

Bulldogs Travel To The Plains To Take On No. 17/20 Auburn

Georgia continues a road-heavy portion of the Bulldogs’ schedule on Saturday when they venture to Auburn to face the No. 17/20-ranked Tigers. Georgia opened a stretch of five of seven outings away from Athens with a 61-60 victory at LSU on Tuesday.

Georgia arrives in Auburn at 12-5 overall and 3-3 in the SEC.

Yante Maten, who last Thursday was named to the 25-player Midseason Watch List for the Wooden Award, leads the SEC in both scoring and rebounding with averages of 19.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Maten has been a picture of consistency for the Bulldogs.

In 17 games this season, he has 16 double-figure outings, with eight double-doubles and nine 20-point performances.

Over 80 games played since the beginning of his sophomore year, Maten has produced 72 double-digit scoring performances, with 31 20-point and five 30-point outings, as well as 23 double-doubles.

Auburn had its nation-leading 14-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday with a 76-71 setback at Alabama. The Tigers are now 16-2 overall and a half-game behind Florida in the SEC standings at 4-1.

Bryce Brown paces a quartet of double-digit scorers from Auburn at 15.8 ppg. In addition, Mustapha Heron is adding 15.1 ppg, Jared Harper is chipping in 12.4 ppg and Desean Murray is contributing 11.3 ppg and a team-high 7.6 rpg.

Entering Today’s Game Among UGA’s Career Leaders

Yante Maten is…

  • 43 points from No. 7 J.J. Frazier
  • 3 rebounds from No. 7 Chris Daniels
  • 78 rebounds from No. 6 Lavon Mercer
  • 25 FTs from No. 4 J.J. Frazier
  • 5 FTAs from No. 4 Sundiata Gaines
  • 156 FTAs from No. 3 Alec Kessler
  • 73 blocks from No. 2 Charles Claxton

 

Series History With Tigers

The Bulldogs own a 94-91 edge in their all-time series with Auburn; however, the Tigers possess a 59-25 advantage in games played here on The Plains.

Georgia swept both ends of the home-and-home series last season.

Most recently last March 1 in Athens, a stellar performance from senior J.J. Frazier helped Georgia defeat Auburn, 79-78, after trailing by as many as 16 points.

Frazier, who scored 31 points in the win, helped the Bulldogs fight back and go ahead 79-73 with 1:13 remaining.

The Tigers responded with a 5-0 run to cut Georgia’s advantage to just one, and stole the ball with 14 seconds left. However, Jared Harper missed a 3-pointer, and Juwan Parker grabbed the rebound as time expired.

Frazier and classmates Kenny Paul GenoHouston Kessler and Brandon Young were honored prior to tipoff. They are among just 12 Bulldogs to play on three 20-win teams in 112 seasons of basketball at UGA.

Last season’s Dec. 29 matchup in Auburn served as the SEC opener for both teams. After trailing by double digits in each half, the Bulldogs stormed back to win 96-84.

Georgia obtained its first lead of the game at the 6:21 mark of the second half on a Yante Maten hook shot to make it 78-76. That basket was the second in a 12-0 run that would give UGA a commanding 10-point lead.

Maten poured in a season-high 31 points, his third 30-point game of the season, and was named SEC co-Player of the Week four days later. J.J. Frazier added 27 points.

The Tigers led by as many as 13 points in the first half and by 12 early in the second stanza before the Bulldogs rallied.

Last Time Out

Yante Maten‘s bucket with 5.7 seconds remaining lifted Georgia to a 61-60 victory at LSU on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to win. Georgia opened the second half on a 14-3 run to grab a 38-37 lead with 14:24 remaining.

A back-and-forth second half featured five ties and 13 lead changes, including three in the final minute.

Georgia took a 59-58 lead on a Juwan Parker 3-pointer with 57 seconds left, but LSU responded with a Duop Reath baseline jumper at the 41-second mark.

Teshaun Hightower missed a 3-pointer from the right corner with 23 seconds remaining, but Parker grabbed the offensive rebound to set up Maten’s game-winner.

Tremont Waters missed a long 3-pointer with two seconds on the clock.

Maten led Georgia with game-high efforts of 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, while Derek Ogbeide added 11 points on a perfect 5-of-5 night from the field.

Ratin’ Maten A Popular Task

Preseason recognition was consistent and plentiful for Yante Maten.

Maten was ranked as one of the nation’s top-25 players by three different online ledgers during the preseason. CBSsports.com put him No. 22, ESPN.com listed him No. 23 and NBCsports.com tabbed him No. 24.

Maten was tabbed preseason SEC Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and a panel of SEC and national media. The media named Maten, Texas A&M’s Robert Williams and Missouri’s Michael Porter, Jr. as co-player of the year.

Maten was included on watch lists for the Wooden Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy, Naismith Trophy and Senior CLASS Award.

He also received preseason All-America recognition. Jay Bilas, in an obvious plot to prove he’s the nation’s wisest college hoops analyst, included Maten on his first-team. Among others, he also earned All-America props from the Blue Ribbon Yearbook (third team), www.collegesportsmadness.com (fourth team) and NBCsports.com (honorable mention).

Dogs’ ‘D’ The Nation’s Best?

Georgia has traditionally been one of the SEC’s – if not the nation’s – most consistent defensive teams under Mark Fox.

The Bulldogs finished in the SEC’s top-3 in field goal percentage defense – both overall and in SEC action – during five of Fox’s first eight seasons in Athens. Georgia led the league in FG defense in stats for SEC games only during both 2013-14 and 2015-16.

This season, Bulldogs lead the SEC in FG defense (.380) and are No. 2 in scoring defense (65.1).

There is serious statistical data that supports Georgia’s defensive performance during SEC play this has been the best in the nation among Power 5 conference teams.

In stats for league games only, UGA not only tops the SEC in both scoring defense (60.7 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.348) but ranks among the top-5 nationally among Power 5 conference teams.

Georgia’s field goal percentage defense in league play was tops in the nation among Power 5 schools through Thursday’s games.

Georgia’s scoring defense tally ranked fourth nationally in Power 5 comparison stats. Virginia led the nation at 54.2.

The top-10 rankings for Power 5 teams in each stat is listed below.

Scoring Defense
Rk. Team PPG
1. Virginia 53.2
2. Ga. Tech 58.6
3. Purdue 60.4
4. Georgia 60.7
5. Notre Dame 62.8
6. Ohio State 63.6
7. Missouri 64.2
8. Indiana 65.2
9. Oregon State 65.2
10. Syracuse 65.7
FG Pct. Defense
Rk. Team Pct.
1. Georgia 348
2. Alabama .369
3. Michigan State .374
4. Syracuse .375
5. Virginia .379
6. Purdue .380
7. Ohio State .383
8. Nebraska .387
9. Ga. Tech .396
10. Louisville .398

 

A Little More On The Dogs’ SEC ‘D’

Georgia’s defensive performances dominate the “opponent low” information in SEC superlatives for conference games.

Alabama’s 46 points are the fewest by any league team in league action to date.

Georgia has induced the three lowest field goal totals in SEC play – 16 by South Carolina and 17 by both Kentucky and Alabama.

Georgia has forced the two lowest FG percentages in conference games – .271 by South Carolina and .298 by Alabama.

Bulldogs’ Bench Producing

Last season, Georgia’s bench outscored its opponents’ reserves nine times in 34 games.

This season, the Bulldogs’ non-starters have produced more points than their counterparts in 11 of 17 outings.

Georgia’s bench finished 2016-17 with a -95 scoring margin.

This year, the Bulldogs are +59, a massive swing of 154 points.

SEC Hoops Moving Forward

This season, the Southeastern Conference has certainly continued its upwardly trending national reputation.

That increased respect was front and center at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

The SEC received five bids to the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the fifth-most of any conference. The league then proceeded to tie the ACC (which had nine teams receive NCAA bids) for the most wins during “March Madness” with 11.

Three league schools reached the “Elite Eight” round of the tournament, including an All-SEC East Regional final between South Carolina and Florida.

Georgia and Auburn are among a slew of SEC teams with 2018 NCAA aspirations. And those hopes are very well warranted.

The league is extremely well represented in the NCAA’s RPI.

In Friday’s edition, the SEC accounted for 20 percent of the top-50 teams – No. 9 Auburn, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 25 Arkansas, No. 28 Alabama, No. 33 Missouri, No. 36 Florida, No. 38 Texas A&M, No. 48 Georgia and No. 49 South Carolina.

All told, 13 of 14 teams were included in the top-100.

Bulldogs Sport Quality “Ws”

Georgia’s NCAA resume is bolstered by some solid victories.

The Bulldogs’ own victories over four teams in the top-51 of the latest edition of the NCAA RPI – No. 28 Alabama, No. 39 Saint Mary’s, No. 44 Marquette and No. 51 Temple.

Georgia’s quartet of top-51 victories is more than those compiled by 17 teams included in this week’s AP top-25 poll.

Hightower Shines In First Start

Freshman Teshaun Hightower certainly made the most of his first career start at LSU, producing career-high efforts for points (8), rebounds (3), steals (2) and minutes played (27) in Baton Rouge.

Eight of the 15 players on the Bulldogs’ current roster secured starting spots as freshmen – seniors Yante Maten and Juwan Parker, juniors Mike Edwards and Derek Ogbeide, sophomores Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris and freshmen Rayshaun Hammonds and Hightower.

Parker Checks Off Another Item

Juwan Parker has enjoyed an extremely productive five years in Athens.

The redshirt senior from Tulsa earned his bachelor’s degree in two and a half years, received his master’s last summer and – perhaps most importantly – became engaged to Aliyah Johnson, an All-American jumper for the UGA track & field team, last fall.

Parker produced the best outing of his Georgia career on Jan. 3 against Ole Miss, when career-high outputs of 18 points and 11 boards supplied him with his first career double-double.

Parker did much of his damage from 3-point range. He made more 3s against the Rebels (four) than he did in the first 12 games combined (three). Parker was 4-of-4 from behind the arc and scored three more points after being fouled on another attempt there.

This Turtle Starting Quickly

William “Turtle” Jackson entered the season with two double-digit scoring performances in 66 games played at Georgia.

He has done so in 10 outings during the 2017-18 campaign.

Jackson produced a quartet of career-high scoring outputs in the first five games (from 10 points entering the season to 11 to 13 to 16 to 17). In fact, he reached double figures in the scoring column in the first half alone of the first two games.

Jackson had 11 points – all in the first half – against Bryant. Against USC Upstate, Jackson scored first-half 10 points and added three more following the break.

That mark lasted two games until Jackson knocked down 16 points versus Cal State Fullerton in the Wooden Legacy…and then topped that with 17 points less than 24 hours later against San Diego State.

While his scoring has increased from 2.8 ppg entering the season to 9.8 ppg, Jackson continues to do much of his damage from behind the 3-point arc.

This season, 30 of his 55 made field goals (54.5 percent) have been 3-pointers. For his career, 56.9 percent (66-of-116) of Jackson’s makes from the floor have been 3s.

Maten Earns SEC Accolade

Yante Maten was named the SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 26, after leading Georgia to decisive victories over Georgia Tech and Temple. The senior forward from Pontiac, Mich., averaged 27.0 points and 9.0 rebounds while connecting on 56.7 percent of his shots from the floor in those contests.

Those performances had historic implications. Maten joined Georgia’s top-10 career rebounding leaders in the outing against Tech and then ascended into the Bulldogs’ top-10 career scoring leaders versus the Owls. Maten is one of only four Bulldogs included on both of UGA’s career top-10 ledgers for points and rebounds.

The performance against Temple represented Maten’s third 30-point, 10+ rebound outing of his career. Since 1996-97, Bulldogs have posted six such performances – three by Maten and one each by Trey Thompkins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jumaine Jones.

The SEC Player of the Week recognition is Maten’s second of his career. He also was honored on Jan. 2 last season.

Crump’s Career Night Lifts Dogs

Tyree Crump‘s career-high 17 points against No. 21 Saint Mary’s all came during the second half and overtime.

Crump had struggled mightily up until that point, connecting on just 8-of-32 (.250) shots from the floor and 5-of-24 (.208) from 3-point range through the first five and a half games.

Crump knocked down back-to-back 3s in a 37-second span early in the second half and went on to connect on 6-of-10 shots overall and 4-of-6 3-pointers the rest of the way.

Much like Turtle Jackson, Crump has done most of his damage from 3-point range. This season, 17 of his 26 makes (65.4 percent) from the floor have been 3-pointers. In his career at Georgia, 36-of-59 field goals (61.0 percent) are trifectas.

Dogs Go Viral…In A Bad Way

Georgia played through a stomach ailment that plagued 11 of 15 players on the Bulldogs’ roster during the Wooden Legacy.

The illness originally hit around 2:00 a.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 24 following the win over Cal State Fullerton. About half the team, including multiple starters, were among the original group. Even more became ill after the San Diego State game.

Georgia entered its matchup with Saint Mary’s with five unaffected players; however, Turtle Jackson, one of those, became ill in the first half and was forced to the locker room.

Still, the Bulldogs battled to force overtime against the Gaels and eventually win.

“It was a team win,” Mark Fox said. “We’ve had a tough couple of days. We had 10 guys get the stomach flu up until tip time today, and we turn around in the first half and our point guard, who hadn’t had it, gets sick. To battle through that the last couple of days and to compete tonight like a unit like we did and beat a very good Saint Mary’s team, I’m extremely proud of our players.”

Parker Heats Up In Cali

Redshirt senior Juwan Parker put together three solid outings over the Thanksgiving holiday at the Wooden Legacy.

In Georgia’s first three games of the season, Parker averaged just 2.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 12.0 minutes while shooting 20.0 percent from the floor.

In California, Parker averaged 12.0 points, 3.3 boards and 20.3 minutes and connected on 52.6 percent of his field goal attempts.

Hammonds Gets Nod For Opener

Rayshaun Hammonds became the first freshman to start the opener for Georgia since Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2011-12.

Hammonds was expected to do so after he got the nod for both of the Bulldogs’ exhibitions, including a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds versus Valdosta State.

Hammonds also enjoyed an impressive “official” debut versus Bryant, scoring 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor.

That was the highest output by a UGA freshman in an opener in a decade and a day – since Jeremy Price scored 18 points against Jacksonville State on Nov. 9, 2007.

FYI, Caldwell-Pope, who signed an $18- million contract to play for the Lakers this season, had 15 points in his debut vs. Wofford.

While Hammonds became the first freshman to start an opener in six years, freshman starters is nothing new under Mark Fox.

Six members of 10 returning letterwinners also started as freshmen – seniors Yante Maten and Juwan Parker; juniors Mike Edwards and Derek Ogbeide; and sophomores Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris.

Foxes Donate Almost $20K

Head coach Mark Fox and his wife Cindy donated $1 to charity for every fan who attended the Bulldogs’ three November home games. The amount was split equally between the Boys and Girls Club of Athens and the Clarke County Mentor Program.

The Foxes contributed $18,976 to those groups ($9,488 to each). Georgia drew 7,387 fans for the opener against Bryant – UGA’s biggest crowd for a season opener in a decade – as well as 5,369 for the Upstate date and 6,220 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Mark Fox announced their effort in an Oct. 12 tweet.

Cindy Fox is on the board for Clarke Mentors, which recruits community volunteers to mentor children who attend the Clarke County School District. Derrick Floyd, director of operations for the Athens Boys and Girls Club, was a letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1980-83 and today serves as the official scorer for Georgia basketball games and the SEC Tourney.

“Those groups are working to try and make the next generation better and to make society better,” Mark Fox said. “If we can give them a little help, that’s great.”

Bulldogs Are HomeGrown

More than half of Georgia’s ros­ter played high school hoops in the Peach State – Tyree Crump(Bainbridge High School), Rayshaun Hammonds (Norcross High School), Jordan Harriss (Seminole County High School), Christian Harri­son (Woodward Academy), Teshaun Hightower (Collins Hill High School), “Turtle” Jack­son (Athens Christian), Connor O’Neill (Blessed Trinity High School) and Derek Ogbeide(Pebblebrook High School).

More In-State Dogs On The Way

Amanze Ngumezi and JoJo Toppin signed letters-of-intent to play for Georgia, Mark Fox announced on Thursday, Nov. 16.

“We are excited to add Amanze and JoJo to our team as they add legitimate SEC size and athleticism for their respective positions,” Fox said. “Amanze provides us a big and explosive front line player who also has great ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. JoJo is a quick slasher who is very athletic at the rim. Together, they address the needs that will be created when this senior class departs.”.

Ngumezi (whose name is pronounced “Uh-mahn-zay In-goo-meh-zay), a 6-9, 235-pound power forward from Savannah, averaged a double-double of 12.8 points and 11.6 rebounds last season. He led Johnson High School to a 19-10 finish and the second round of the Georgia 3A State Tournament. The Atom Smashers, who finished the season ranked No. 9 in the state, lost to eventual state champion Pace Academy, 49-41, in the tourney’s round of 16.

Toppin, a 6-6, 180-pound small forward from Norcross, posted averages of 10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game as a junior at Norcross High School. Toppin – and current Bulldog freshman Rayshaun Hammonds – helped lead the Blue Devils to a runner-up showing in the 7A State Tournament and a final record of 26-6.

Dogs Debut Renewed Stegeman

Stegeman has undergone thorough renovations in the last few years, receiving a 21st Century face lift of at a cost of more than $20-million.

This summer, the arena received a massive center-hung scoreboard, new black seats, an improved LED lighting system, a state-of-the-art sound system and graphics above the horseshoe end celebrating past teams and retired jerseys. All told, the Coliseum went from having roughly 1,000-square feet of HD/LED signage to more than 4,000-square feet as broken out below.

The renovations in 2017 followed work in the summer of 2016 which provided a dramatic mural covering the Coliseum’s distinctive end wall.

“Obviously, we’re extremely excited about Stegeman not only for our fans, but also for our players,” head coach Mark Fox said. “This is going to have a tremendous impact on our program and our university. It’s beautiful inside. It’s very well done. I have to compliment the architects and the construction companies. They did a terrific job. I think it will change the energy in the building because we have more tools to create atmosphere. I was in there with Dominique Wilkins and his statement was pretty good. This is now an arena, and it feels like an arena.”

In 2010, Stegeman’s concourses received a similar makeover, upgrading the graphics, enhancing spectator access to concessions and restrooms and adding 5,000-square feet of concourse space on each side of the arena. That work won awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Center-hung scoreboard

  • 1008 square feet of HD video
  • 1054 square feet of LED sections

Additional LED features

  • 800 square feet on 3 ribbon boards
  • 500 square feet over the 12 entry portals
  • 50 square feet over 2 tunnels
  • 375 square feet on 1 auxiliary board

Additional HD video

  • 275 square feet on pre-existing board