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@GTMBK Non-Conference Preview - Georgia

Aug. 29, 2014

THE FLATS – Each week up until the beginning of basketball season, Ramblinwreck.com takes a brief look at an opponent on Georgia Tech’s non-conference schedule. This week, the season opener against Georgia.

Game Date: November 14, 2014
Location: Athens, Ga.
Conference: Southeastern
Home arena: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)
2013-14 Record: 20-14 overall, 9-9 SEC (12-6 SEC, T-2nd place), 76th in NCAA RPI
Post-Season: lost in second round of NIT to Louisiana Tech, 79-71
All-time series record: Tech leads, 104-86 (first meeting 3/10/1906)
NCAA Championship appearances: seven, last in 2011
Head coach: Mark Fox (entering 5th season, 65-63)
Starters returning/lost: 3/2
Top scorer returning: Charles Mann (13.9)
Top rebounder returning: Marcus Thornton (6.1)

Quick preview for 2014-15

Looking to build off last year’s success, Georgia returns three of five starters and four of their top five scorers. The Bulldogs will be led by a veteran backcourt comprised of juniors Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines. Mann, an All-SEC 2nd teamer, led the team in both scoring (13.9 points per game) and assists (3.0 assists per game). Gaines, an All-SEC honorable mention, reached double figures in 22 games last year after averaging just 3.7 ppg as a freshman. Complementing the backcourt tandem, Nemanja Djurisic will anchor the front court. The Montenegro native will likely transition from his role as a sixth man into a full-time starter for the first time in his career. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound Djurisic is not just a physical asset but also a lethal shooter from beyond the arc – leading the team a year ago at a 43.2-percent clip. The Bulldogs will open the 2014-15 season on the road against Tech looking to snap a three-game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets.

Quick recap of 2013-14

A year ago Georgia basketball pieced together one of their strongest seasons in recent memory. The Bulldogs finished with 20 wins for just the 12th time in their 109-year history while their share of second place in the SEC was the program’s best finish since 1990. The season’s signature win came on the road against #21 Missouri which had won a nation’s best 26 straight home games before falling 70-64 in overtime to the Bulldogs. After falling short against Kentucky in the SEC semifinals, Georgia punctuated the 2013-14 season with an NIT bid – their first postseason trip in three years. The Bulldogs advanced to the tournament’s second round before being ousted by Louisiana Tech, 79-71, at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.

Greatest program accomplishment

1983 National Semi-Finalist – In their first NCAA tournament appearance in school history, Georgia rattled three straight wins over Virginia Commonwealth, St. John’s and North Carolina to reach the 1983 Final Four before falling to eventual national champion North Carolina State.

Greatest player in program history

Dominique Wilkins – Wilkins, a two-time All-American, led the Bulldogs to their first postseason appearances in school history with back to back trips to the NIT in 1981 and 1982. Following his three year career at Georgia, Wilkins starred for the Atlanta Hawks and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Place to visit on campus or in the city

The Georgia Theatre – Erected in 1889, the Georgia Theatre has been home to over one hundred years of live music and movie showings in downtown Athens. Over 1,200 musical acts have performed at the Georgia Theatre ranging from the Police, Widespread Panic, R.E.M., Childish Gambino and many more. In June 2009, the Georgia Theatre caught fire and nearly burned to the ground. The Athens community rallied around the tragedy and mounted a movement to rebuild the landmark. The Georgia Theatre was finally re-opened two years later.

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