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So Is Georgia Any Good?

trey

If you were to ask me what the most embarassing loss of the Billy Clyde era was, I might surprise you by not answering Gardner Webb, VMI or San Diego. For me, losing last year to Georgia, at home, on Senior Day, with UGA having a lame duck coach and being horrendous, when an NCAA Tournament bid was still potentially on the line…well it doesnt get much worse. Now is the chance to make some amends for that game when Georgia comes into Rupp Arena to open SEC play. As with last year, Georgis has a somewhat depleted roster and very little offensive firepower. Nevertheless, they have beaten UK 2 of the last 5 games and their defeat at the tornado-induced 2008 SEC Tournament still haunts my days. So the question remains…can Georgia do it again?

A look at Georgia’s 8-5 schedule so far shows mixed results:

New Orleans W 67-59
Wofford L 57-60
@UAB L 56-72
UNC Asheville W 79-58
Jacksonville State W 67-64
Saint Louis W 64-56
@Virginia Tech L 62-74
@St John’s L 56-66
Illinois W 70-67
Florida Atlantic W 77-60
Pepperdine W 64-47
@Missouri L 61-89
Georgia Tech W 73-66

In that mix you have the usual loss to a bad team (Wofford) and double-digit losses to four non-Top 25 BCS (or close) teams (Virginia Tech, St Johns, Missouri and UAB). But there are also two wins against probably the two best teams on their schedule so far, Illinois and Georgia Tech. So what is the real Georgia team? Is it the team that went to Missouri and lost by 30 or the team that hosted Georgia Tech and won by 7?

What is clear is that Georgia is terrible on the road. They have lost all four true road games and none have been close, showcasing that the friendly confines of the empty arena in Athens is their favorite locale. We know little about their roster except Trey Thompkins (pictured above) feels like he has been there for 15 years and is only outmatched by Albert Jackson, who I believe was a part of Dominique Wilkins’s Freshman class. They play tough defense, score very little and hope that they can out-muscle most teams…something that is very unlikely against the Cats.

Georgia is coached by Mark Fox, the former Nevada coach who once set by me for 30 minutes at an AAU Tournament a few years ago and called me “Bart” the entire time. I never corrected him. One of the assistants is Mark Pope (not the one from Hooters a few weeks ago), the former UK player who gave up medical school to become an NBA 12th man and assistant coach. Mark Pope may be the award winner for “most intelligent student/worst hair” combo in UK history, a set of traits that I greatly admire. We wish Mark Pope a lot of success in Athens, but not on Saturday.

Honestly, the game against Georgia at home should potentially be the easiest SEC game on the schedule. It is the worst team in the East on your home court after a week’s worth of rest. It shouldnt be close. And if it is, it will be because of what UK does to itself, not what Georgia does to the Cats. I predict a decent win, a fun night at the CJ Leslie game with the KSR crew afterwards and at least ten references by me to Litterial Green in the Live Blog during the game. Stay warm!

Article written by Matt Jones