#57 Georgia Men's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Georgia Bulldogs
2016-2017 Overall Rank: #57
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
Georgia had a pretty good 2015-2016 campaign. After a relatively rough February, the Bulldogs won their last three regular season games, two games in the SEC Tournament and managed to earn a spot in the NIT. With three starters returning and plenty of role players too, that was a nice stepping stone for UGA. J.J. Frazier will again be the leader of the team. The senior point guard averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals. Frazier is a great leader on the floor and he can take all of the big shots for Georgia.
2015-16 Record: 20-14, 10-8
2015-16 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Mark Fox
Coach Record: 126-103 at Georgia, 249-146 overall
Who’s Out:
Frazier does lose his fellow starters on the perimeter in Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann. Gaines was third on the team with 13.2 points per game and was also the team’s most prolific outside shooter. Mann used his 6-5 frame to do most of his scoring around the basket. However, he was a consistent outside shooter as well and did quite a bit of work on the glass. The only other departure is little used Osahen Iduwe, but losing Gaines and Mann does leave a big hole on the wings.
Who’s In:
The backcourt does add incoming freshmen Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris. Crump is a great scorer and has the potential to make an impact right away. He can shoot from everywhere on the floor and is quite efficient too. That is exactly what this team needs to help replace Gaines and Mann. Harris is another Georgia product who garnered plenty of accolades during his prep career. He too is an efficient outside shooter and a very effective scorer. Despite being 6-4, Harris is a very good ball handler too and he could end up backing up Frazier at the point at times. Yet, with that size, he can certainly play off of the ball as well. The only other newcomer is junior college transfer Pape Diatta. The 6-7 forward spent two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho and will at least provide plenty of help on the glass and in the shot blocking department.
Who to Watch:
While the backcourt reloads, the offensive focus will shift to the frontcourt. With Yante Maten back, the Bulldogs have a proven player who is ready for another big season. Maten, a 6-8 junior, averaged 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks during the 2015-2016 campaign. Maten went from a role player to one of the best frontcourt players in the SEC between his freshman and sophomore seasons and now the sky is the limit as Maten heads into his junior campaign. Last year there were quite a few different frontcourt players that started beside Maten and all of them are back. Derek Ogbeide, Kenny Paul Geno and Houston Kessler all started at least ten games last season and will add plenty of experienced options for Coach Mark Fox. Ogbeide is the best rebounder of the bunch, while Geno is the one who can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability. Mike Edwards only earned one start, but the 6-9 sophomore played about the same amount of minutes as the other three forwards. E’Torrion Wilridge is just 6-6 and did not play much as a freshman, but he is a good athlete who can help out on the glass and will try to find minutes in what is turning into a very crowded frontcourt.
Final Projection:
Wilridge will most likely spend most of his time at the small forward spot and this is a team that could play very big at times. The experience and the bodies are in the frontcourt and that may be the best way to get them all on the court as much as possible. The backcourt does have a steadying force in Frazier and a couple of talented freshmen, but there is not a whole lot of depth. William Jackson II came to Athens, Georgia with high expectations. He did not live up to them as a freshman, but that was largely due to the talent in front of him. Now it is his turn to step up and help replace the scoring lost with Gaines and Mann. If that happens, Georgia has the talent to again compete for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The defense will be solid again, but Georgia needs to be more efficient and effective on offense. If the turnover numbers are as high as they were last year and nobody can replace Gaines’ ability to shoot the long ball, the offense will be in trouble and the Bulldogs will find themselves falling short of the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
J.J. Frazier, Senior, Guard, 16.9 points per game
Jordan Harris, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
William Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 1.4 points per game
Derek Ogbeide, Sophomore, Forward, 4.0 points per game
Yante Maten, Junior, Forward, 16.5 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.6 (236th in nation, 12th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.7 (117, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.2 (258, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.0 (8, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (222, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.8 (69, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.8 (137, 4)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (71, 4)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (228, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (224, 11)

Madness 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
# 76 Tyree Crump
#111 Jordan Harris