#55 Georgia Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Georgia Bulldogs

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #55
Conference Rank: #6 SEC

Georgia Team Page#55 Georgia Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Georgia Basketball Tickets

Georgia played some great basketball in February and March. The Bulldogs got off to a very slow start, but ended up going 12-6 in SEC play. That was not enough to make the NCAA Tournament, yet it was enough to get into the NIT. Georgia beat Vermont in the first round of the NIT before falling to Louisiana Tech. The postseason experience should be extremely beneficial to this team. Now the goal for Coach Mark Fox and his Bulldogs is to keep that success going and that is something this program has had a hard time doing recently. Charles Mann will do his part. The junior wing led the team with 13.9 points per game and is extremely aggressive attacking the basket. He made 277 trips to the free-throw line last season and did knock down 70.4 percent of those attempts. If the outside shooting comes around and the turnovers can get under control, Mann will be in for an All-SEC season.

2013-14 Record: 20-14, 12-6
2013-14 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Mark Fox
Coach Record: 84-76 at Georgia, 207-119 overall

Who’s Out:
Georgia did not have much depth last season and that could be an issue again this season with the loss of starters Brandon Morris and Donte’ Williams. Morris, a 6-7 forward, ranked third on the team with 8.6 points per game, although he was scoring more when Georgia was playing well later in the season. Williams was the presence in the paint. While he did not score much, he was the team’s best rebounder and a very good shot blocker. For a team that ranked third in the conference in field-goal defense and fifth in rebounding margin, losing Williams is significant. Little used John Cannon and Tim Dixon have also wrapped up their careers with Georgia.

Who’s In:
Incoming freshmen Yante Maten and Osahen Iduwe will help replace Williams. Maten was a huge get for the Bulldogs and the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Michigan should be ready to contribute right away. He has the tools to be a significant scorer in the paint from day one. And the 6-8, 240 pounder is no stranger to hitting the glass and blocking shots either. Iduwe, at 6-10, is a little bit taller and has the toughness to battle in the paint in the SEC. Iduwe is not as offensively polished, but his toughness will be a welcome addition on both ends of the floor. The only other newcomer is redshirt freshman Dusan Languar. The walk-on is coming off an ACL injury suffered during his time with the Swiss military, but he can shoot the ball and earn quality minutes as long as that shot is falling.

Who to Watch:
Kenny Gaines, Nemanja Djursic and Marcus Thornton figure to join Mann in the starting lineup. Gaines is the shooter in the backcourt and knocked down 37.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. He will score by attacking the basket too and averaged 13.0 points per game last season, but this team could use some more prolific shooting options. The team as a whole made less than five three-pointers per game. Djursic is a threat to shoot, but the 6-8 forward will need to help out in the paint as much as possible this year, especially when Thornton needs a break. Thornton has struggled with injuries throughout his career, but did make it through all 34 games last season. If he stays healthy and can build off of his 8.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, the 6-8 senior will finally live up to his pre-injury expectations.

Final Projection:
Maten and Iduwe should be able to provide most of the frontcourt depth. Cameron Forte, a 6-7 junior who averaged 8.8 minutes per game is the other option. The bigger issue is on the wing where Coach Fox has to find a new starter. Kenny Paul Geno is an amazing athlete and the only true small forward on the roster who could directly step into Morris’ old spot. He barely played as a freshman, but Geno is an interesting option. Coach Fox could go small and start sophomores Juwan Parker or J.J. Frazier. Parker was usually the first guard off of the bench as a freshman, but eventually his shot will need to start falling. Frazier is a better shooting option. The options are there and at least this team has a solid nucleus to build around. Mann and Gaines in the backcourt alone can get this group competing for an NCAA Tournament spot. But if they are going to make that jump, the underclassmen will have to play a big role.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Charles Mann, Junior, Guard, 13.9 points per game
Kenny Gaines, Junior, Guard, 13.0 points per game
Kenny Paul Geno, Sophomore, Forward, 1.1 points per game
Nemanja Djursic, Senior, Forward, 8.4 points per game
Marcus Thornton, Senior, Forward, 8.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.9 (228th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.8 (84, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.1 (182, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.3 (34, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.9 (300, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.9 (NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.2 (229, 8)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (38, 5)
Assists Per Game: 10.0 (325, 14)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (246, 10)


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