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@GTMBB Non-Conference Preview – Georgia

Oct. 27, 2015

THE FLATS – Each week up until the beginning of basketball season, Ramblinwreck.com takes a look at an opponent on Georgia Tech’s non-conference schedule. This week, we look at Georgia, whom Tech will play for the 192nd time this December. The Jackets have won the past four meetings.

Date: December 19, 2015
Location: Athens, Ga.
Conference: Southeastern
Home arena: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)
2014-15 Record: 21-12 overall, 11-7 in the SEC (4th place), 45th in NCAA RPI
Post-Season: SEC Tournament Second Round, lost to Arkansas 60-49
NCAA Championship Appearances: 12 (last in 2015)
All-time series record: Georgia Tech leads 105-87 (First meeting 3/10/1906)
Head coach: Mark Fox (entering 7th season, 106-89)
Starters returning/lost: 3/2
Top scorer returning: Kenny Gaines (11.7)
Top rebounder returning: Charles Mann (4.9)

Quick preview for 2015-16

In Mark Fox’s six years at Georgia, the Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Tournament twice (2011, 2015). The Bulldogs have appeared in the NCAA Tournament five times since 2001. Last season, Fox coached Georgia to 21 wins, which tied his highest win total from the 2010-11 season. To continue this level of excellence in 2015-16, Georgia will look to rising senior guard Kenny Gaines. The Atlanta native averaged almost 12 points per game last season and was second only to graduated senior Marcus Thornton. The Bulldogs lost Marcus Thornton and Nemanja Djurisic’s rebounding, which amounted to 12.5 rebounds per game. In 2015-16, Fox will need guard Charles Mann, forward Yante Maten and others to step up and crash the boards to get back to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs have made back-to-back trips to the Tournament three different times, but not under Mark Fox.

Quick recap of 2014-15

Last year Georgia started off the year with an 80-73 loss to Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion. The Bulldogs went on to win nine of their next 12 games. Georgia finished the regular season with a win at Auburn to improve to 20-10. The Bulldogs then defeated South Carolina in the first round of the SEC Tournament before being eliminated by Arkansas. Mark Fox’s Bulldogs made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. As a 10-seed, Georgia drew a tough matchup in the first round, losing to Michigan State by seven points in Charlotte. The Spartans went on to make it all the way to the Final Four. The 2014-15 Bulldogs ranked in the top half of the SEC in scoring offense, rebounding, field goal shooting, and blocks. Georgia ranked toward the bottom of the conference in assists and steals. Fox will look for his team to distribute the basketball more consistently in 2015-16.

Greatest program accomplishment

1983 Final Four, 2008 SEC Championship, and 12 NCAA Tournament Appearances – Georgia basketball began in 1891, joined the SEC when it first started in 1932, and has appeared in 12 NCAA Tournaments. The Bulldogs have made it to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons three times, and will attempt to do the same in 2015-16. In 1983, Georgia made its first and only appearance in the Final Four under head coach Hugh Durham. The Bulldogs lost to Jim Valvano’s NC State Wolfpack, who became the eventual champion. Georgia appeared in the 1996 Sweet Sixteen for the first time since the 1983 season. The Bulldogs have not made it to the Sweet Sixteen since 1996. Georgia won the SEC Tournament in 1983, and didn’t win it again until 2008 under Dennis Felton. The Bulldogs won their only SEC regular season title back in 1990.

Greatest player in program history

Dominique Wilkins (1980-1982) – Born in Paris, France, Dominique Wilkins is widely considered the most decorated basketball player to play at the University of Georgia. Over the course of his UGA career, Wilkins averaged 21.6 points per game. He ranks fourth on the all-time UGA scoring list with 1,688 points in just 78 games. Wilkins owns the single-season scoring record, totaling 732 points (23.6 ppg) as a sophomore. He also ranks fourth in career blocks (142). Wilkins was named the SEC’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Year in 1981. He left UGA after his junior season for the NBA, and was drafted third overall by the Utah Jazz. Wilkins played for five different NBA teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs. Remembered mostly as a Hawk, Wilkins played 12 seasons in Atlanta. He scored over 26,000 points and averaged nearly 25 points per game during his 16 years as a pro. Wilkins grabbed over 7,000 rebounds and averaged nearly seven boards a game. Known as “The Human Highlight Film,” the nine-time NBA All-Star is considered one of the best dunkers in NBA history.

Place to visit on campus or in the city

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens – Located by the University of Georgia, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a 313-acre botanical garden with a conservatory operated by the University of Georgia. The Garden contains 11 botanical and horticultural collections, including a Dahlia Garden, a Heritage Garden with apples, peaches, peanuts, and tobacco, an International Garden with plants from all over the world, an Azalea Collection, and a Rhododendron Collection. In addition to looking at the beautiful gardens, visitors can also spend hours exploring and walking the trails. The Garden has free admission for all tourists and locals to enjoy nature’s beauty.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fifth year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB).

For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com. Tickets for men’s basketball can be purchased here.

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