#54 Georgia Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Georgia Bulldogs

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #54
Conference Rank: #6 SEC

Georgia Team Page#54 Georgia Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Georgia Basketball Tickets

Georgia was one of those many SEC teams on the bubble last year. And the Bulldogs ended up on the right side of the bubble, earning a ten seed in the NCAA Tournament. They lost their opener to Michigan State, but for Coach Mark Fox and company, reaching the NCAA Tournament was a huge boost to the program. They will hope to build off of that success with a strong backcourt, but the key to this season will be filling some big holes in the frontcourt.  

2014-15 Record: 21-12, 11-7
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Fox
Coach Record: 105-88 at Georgia, 228-131 overall

Who’s Out:
Marcus Thornton and Nemanja Djurisic started just about every game in the Bulldogs frontcourt last season. Thornton led the team with 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds during his senior season and he was a dynamic scorer who will be greatly missed. Djurisic was the big man who could really stretch out the defense with his shooting ability. On the year, he averaged 11.0 points and 5.2 rebounds. The frontcourt also lost Cameron Forte, who is transferring to Portland State. In 12.9 minutes per game last year he averaged 4.0 points and 2.8 rebounds. The only other loss is walk-on guard Taylor Echols.

Who’s In:
There is not much in this class that will likely be ready to compete in the SEC right away. However, the hope is that Derek Ogbeide will at least be ready to contribute some minutes off of the bench. At 6-8 and 250 pounds, he has the size and strength necessary and he should at least be good for 15 minutes or so off of the bench where he can grab some rebounds and block some shots. The frontcourt also adds Mike Edwards and small forwards E’Torrion Wilridge and Connor O’Neill. The lone guard in the class is William Jackson II. The 6-4 guard will have some time to develop his game behind some very experienced guards.

Who to Watch:
Strong backcourt play will not be a problem for Georgia. Kenny Gaines is entering his third year as a starter and the 6-3 senior has always been a consistent shooter. He is also a dangerous slasher and is not afraid to take his 6-3, 205 pound frame into the paint. He should be ready to turn into the team’s top scorer. Charles Mann could be the top scorer for the Bulldogs too. The point guard was right behind Gaines in the scoring department last season, averaging 11.2 points per game. Mann also added 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists. However, he does commit quite a few turnovers and that is a concern. But at year three as the starting point guard, Mann should be able to cut down on the turnovers. J.J. Frazier was a starter for about half of last season. He averaged 9.5 points per game, but he is capable of exploding offensively, like he did against Mississippi State when he totaled 37 points. He is small (5-10), but Frazier can score. Juwan Parker struggled with an ACL injury last season, but still managed to average over 20 minutes per game. When healthy, he can do a lot of the dirty work on the perimeter. Kenny Paul Geno is another tough wing. He isn’t going to score much, but he does add some size to the perimeter.

Final Projection:
The backcourt will be among the best in the SEC, but the development of the frontcourt will be the difference between an NIT team and an NCAA team. Much of the pressure falls on sophomore Yante Maten. He showed plenty of potential off of the bench last season, averaging 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 rebounds. This will be his frontcourt now, but it remains to be seen if he is physical enough to battle with the best bigs the SEC has to offer. Junior Houston Kessler and sophomore Osahen Iduwe barely played last season. Kessler is the slightly more experienced option and he has enough toughness to do the dirty work in the paint while Maten grabs all the glory. If the frontcourt has a surprise or two among the newcomers or Kessler and Iduwe step up more than expected, Georgia will get back to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Charles Mann, Senior, Guard, 11.2 points per game
J.J. Frazier, Junior, Guard, 9.5 points per game
Kenny Gaines, Senior, Guard, 11.7 points per game
Houston Kessler, Junior, Forward, 0.9 points per game
Yante Maten, Sophomore, Forward, 5.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.2 (149th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.4 (118, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.2 (191, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.9 (19, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (248, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (180, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.2 (169, 8)
Rebound Margin: 4.3 (48, 3)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (177, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (196, 8)

Madness 2015 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#123 Derek Ogbeide
#152 William Jackson


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