Georgia Bulldogs

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22:  The Kansas Jayhawks hold the trophy after winning the the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Sprint Center on November 22, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  The jayhawks defeated the Bulldogs with a final score of 65-54. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kansas turns to zone, beats Georgia 65-54 to win CBE Classic

Leave a comment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson took it as a shot to their pride.

Bill Self was just trying to win a game.

The Jayhawks’ coach turned to a zone defense Tuesday night, a rarity for a guy whose hallmark is a relentless man-to-man, and that slowed down Georgia enough to give fifth-ranked Kansas a 65-54 victory over the Bulldogs in the CBE Classic championship game.

“I didn’t think it was a hit (to their pride),” Self explained, “but you know, if you can’t guard their bigs and you can’t rebound out of man, we had to try to do something.”

On the other end, Mason led the way with 19 points, Jackson had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Devonte Graham contributed 14 points for the Jayhawks (4-1), who won their third consecutive in-season tournament title and second CBE Classic. They also won the event in 2012.

Jackson, one of the nation’s top freshmen, was voted MVP.

Kansas hopes it’s the beginning of a sweet ride at the Sprint Center this season. The Jayhawks face Davidson in the same building in a couple of weeks, then play the Big 12 Tournament there in March before the arena hosts an NCAA Tournament regional final, where they hope to earn a spot in the Final Four.

Yante Maten had 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (3-2), but they were done in by 3-for-18 shooting from the perimeter, equally lousy foul shooting and turnovers that led to easy runouts.

J.J. Frazier, who had been averaging 19 points per game, was held to two on 1-for-10 shooting.

“You have to make shots to win,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We didn’t shoot the ball very good. Give Kansas’ defense credit for that. But we shot the ball so poorly the first three-quarters of the game, we didn’t score enough to get in position to win it.”

The zone defenses, which neither coach particularly enjoy, were a big reason for it. They slowed the game and turned it into a shooting contest.

“We haven’t really done it much so it was kind of new to us,” Jackson said, “but obviously it worked. For our pride a little bit, we really wanted to play man, but to win the game, we had to go zone.”

Kansas was a bit more efficient from the perimeter, slowly drawing away after trailing 20-19 with about 8 minutes to go, to forge a 35-25 lead at the break. The Bulldogs only made one of their final 16 field goal attempts, and their only scoring in the final 5 minutes came at the foul line.

The lead was still just 42-34 with 16 minutes to go when Mason drove for a basket, the first of eight straight points for the Jayhawks. Mason added another basket, Jackson solved the Bulldogs’ zone for a dunk and Graham and Dwight Coleby finished it off to give Kansas a comfortable cushion.

Georgia went more than 7 minutes without scoring as the game got away.

“We were prepared to play. We thought we could win the game. We’re disappointed we didn’t win,” Fox said. “We didn’t have enough guys chip in, and for us to win, we have to have more guys contribute.”

POST PROBLEMS

The Jayhawks’ post players were virtually non-existent. Landen Lucas never took a shot before fouling out in 10 minutes, Udoka Abuika played only 5 minutes and never took a shot, and Carlton Bragg Jr. finished 1 for 3 from the floor while gathering just one rebound in 10 minutes.

“They’re just not playing very well and not playing very smart and not contributing,” Self said. “They are good kids and they want to do well, but for whatever reason they have really struggled.”

BIG PICTURE

Georgia earned a split in the CBE Classic, and losing to Kansas doesn’t hurt its NCAA Tournament resume. The Bulldogs showed in their win over George Washington that they can be competitive.

Kansas has already proven it can score this season. On Tuesday night, the Jayhawks proved they can play a little defense, too, even if it meant ditching Self’s preferred man-to-man.

UP NEXT

Georgia begins a five-game homestand against Gardner-Webb on Friday night.

Kansas plays UNC-Asheville on Friday night in its second game at Allen Fieldhouse this season.

Georgia’s Fox on plane with close call in Atlanta

Mark Fox
Leave a comment

The routine turned harrowing Wednesday morning for the crew and passengers, among them Georgia coach Mark Fox, on Delta Flight 873 from Atlanta to Miami.

Just as the flight made its way down the runway and prepared for liftoff, the captain had to engage the plane’s brakes as another Delta flight taxied across the same runway after landing, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The two aircraft were 1.25 miles when Delta Flight 873 aborted takeoff.

Fox was on the plane to visit friend and Miami Heat assistant Keith Smart, according to ESPN. The Heat play Charlotte tonight in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first round playoff matchup.

“We were running full throttle, getting reading to take off,” Fox told ESPN, “and the pilot slammed on the brakes.”

The pilot informed passengers that it was an “administrative mistake” by air traffic control at the airport, wrote Charlotte Observer reporter Scott Fowler, who was also on the flight on his way to the Heat/Hornets matchup.

plane returned to the gate for inspection and refueling before taking off without incident at noon, about 90 minutes after its scheduled departure. The incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Mann, Gaines looking to push Georgia to new heights

Charles Mann
Associated Press
Leave a comment

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Senior guards Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines are proud of Georgia’s accomplishments over the last two seasons.

The Bulldogs won 41 games, earned an NCAA tournament bid and finished tied for second and third in the Southeastern Conference.

“When we came in, we did talk about doing this,” Mann said. “We had a whole bunch of goals trying, you know, to change Georgia basketball. We did it, but it wasn’t just me and him. We had Marcus (Thornton), we had Donte’ (Williams), we had Nemi (Djurisic). We’ll see how this year goes.”

For Mann and Gaines to help Georgia go farther this season, the team’s top priority is staying healthy. Last season was taxing as injuries sidelined starters a combined 21 games after the first week of January.

Mann had to play multiple positions while Gaines suffered through several setbacks and needed surgery to repair a broken foot in the offseason.

“It’s been a long, long journey from when it first happened, but I definitely say it’s been successful without surgery,” Gaines said. “I’m glad I did because the recovering would’ve been a little bit longer.”

Coach Mark Fox said Gaines and junior guard Juwan Parker, who’s recovering from Achilles surgery, have been monitored closely in practice this month.

With Mann, Gaines and Parker his three top returning scorers, Fox is considering a three-guard lineup when necessary. The Bulldogs could even go even smaller and quicker on the floor with four guards. Junior J.J. Frazier averaged 9.5 points last season. Mann and Gaines averaged around 11 points.

Fox won’t press the issue because he prefers having two front-line players most of the time, but Georgia has practiced with different combinations this month.

“Depending on how the matchups are, we are going to adjust to them and maybe go small,” Fox said. “I think it will really depend on how much progress we make (before the season).”

Without last year’s senior tandem of Thornton and Djurisic, the Bulldogs must replace their top two rebounders. Yante Maten, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound sophomore, is the top returning forward and has impressed Fox with a strong work ethic.

“There’s more minutes, more rebounds, more shots available if he’ll be aggressive,” Fox said. “I think he’s had an aggressive approach all offseason with the idea he can play a bigger role.”

Fox is likewise counting on contributions in the paint from 6-8, 250 freshman Derek Ogbeide and 6-9, 225 freshman Mike Edwards.

“They’re different from a lot of (young) big guys,” Fox said. “Physically, they’re specimens.”

Mann has been impressed with what he’s seen from the freshmen class and believes they have the talent and humility to help offset the departures of Thornton and Djurisic.

Mann said the team’s leadership and ability to adapt to injuries were the biggest reason Georgia went 21-12 last season. If the Bulldogs can stay healthy, Mann knows that he and Gaines can help the younger players adjust.

“We have a lot of veteran guys who played a lot of minutes the last few years and we know what it takes,” Mann said. “We’ve just got to whatever we need to do to get the young guys to follow.”

Online:

AP College Basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

PHOTO: Georgia’s Mark Fox joins ‘Spike Crew’

Mark Fox
Associated Press
Leave a comment

In one of the biggest games on Saturday’s college football schedule, No. 8 Georgia is hosting No. 13 Alabama “between the hedges.” Among those in attendance is Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox, and it’s safe to say that he arrived at Sanford Stadium dressed for the occasion.

Spiked shoulder pads, body and face paint, and a wig. Well done, Coach Fox.

Whether or not Fox was going to do this was up in the air, as he took to Twitter Friday and noted that the last time he put on body paint he broke out in hives that didn’t go away for a month. Hopefully the paint Fox used today won’t trigger a similar reaction.

Fox last joined the “Spike Crew” at the front of the student section just over two years ago for Georgia’s game against LSU. On that day the Bulldogs held off LSU in a 44-41 thriller, and the hope in Athens that they’ll get a similar result against the Crimson Tide.

Four-star guard to decide on Monday

Leave a comment

One of July’s better shooting guards was four-star Georgia native Brandon Robinson, who came on strong with the Georgia Stars and Team Loaded North Carolina.

The 6-foot-5 Robinson had some big scoring games during the live period and it led to scholarship offers from schools from all over the country. The No. 76 overall prospect in the Class of 2016 cut his list to Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville and North Carolina in August and he’s announcing his decision on Monday at a ceremony at his school, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

During the recruiting process, Robinson took official visits to Georgia Tech, Louisville and North Carolina and he made the decision to commit to one of his five finalists after a recent trip to Chapel Hill. But don’t count out Florida State and Georgia just yet. Robinson has seen both campuses on unofficial visits, so he is familiar with both programs.

Many perceive the Tar Heels to be in strong shape here, thanks in-part to the quick decision after the official visit, but there are a lot of good options for Robinson here.

Georgia guard J.J. Frazier arrested for driving-related offenses for the second time

J.J. Frazier (Getty Images)
Leave a comment
source: Getty Images
J.J. Frazier (Getty Images)

Georgia shooting guard J.J. Frazier was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with two driving-related offenses. The junior guard was previously arrested in March of 2014 for driving without a license and he was booked again at 3:30 a.m. Sunday for improper driving and driving with a suspended license, according to Athens-Clark County jail records.

Both charges are misdemeanors and Frazier posted bail.

Frazier wasn’t suspended for his first arrest but we’ll have to wait and see if Georgia responds now that he’s been arrested for another driving charge.

The 5-foot-10 guard played 29.5 minutes per game for the Bulldogs last season and averaged 9.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.