February 22, 2013

Not a happy camper

As Georgia gets ready to host South Carolina Saturday afternoon, head coach Mark Fox admits he's not a happy camper.

Exactly, what's causing his displeasure, well feel free to take an educated guess as to why.

For the second game in a row, an apparent last second no-call by an official helped decide the outcome of the contest for the Bulldogs, first at the end of regulation in Saturday's 84-74 overtime to Ole Miss and again in Thursday night's 62-60 loss at Arkansas.

In that game, both teams traded baskets until Arkansas' B.J. Young appeared to push off before sinking what turned out to be the winning shot with five seconds left to play.

Fox was asked Friday if he was disappointed with the non-calls.

"You watched the game, right?" Fox said. "I'll just say we didn't play well enough to win."

While that's true, the way both games ended obviously still sticks in Fox's craw, something that seemed clear after he was asked if there were any positives his team could take from the two close road defeats.

"I walked out of there as mad as I have in a long time - both of them," Fox said. "Is there a positive? I don't know. Hopefully we can learn from them and become a better team but I'm not happy with two last-second losses."

One lesson already jumps immediately to mind.

"Last night we didn't play well in the first half. The lesson last night is you have to play two halves," Fox said. "If you do, you're not in that situation. We've got to take control of these things and not let somebody else control it."

Three losses in a row doesn't thrill Fox, either.

The Bulldogs (12-14, 6-7) haven't won since beating Texas A&M 52-46 back on Feb. 9, and are anxious to see if they can repeat the success they had against South Carolina (13-13, 3-10) after beating the Gamecocks 67-56 three weeks ago in Columbia.

"You never want to take your last game into your next game but every team needs to have its share of successes," Fox said. "I thought we played well enough to win for instance at Ole Miss but weren't rewarded with one. But certainly, we need to play well and hopefully we can find a win."

Getting the freshman trio of Kenny Gaines, Brandon Morris and Charles Mann back on track after a combined rough outing against the Hogs would go a long way to doing that.

The trio went a combined 1-for-9 from the field and were basically non factors on either end of the court.

"Our freshman class didn't play very well last night. I don't think any of the three had nights that they were proud of, but freshmen are going to be up and down to a certain extent," Fox said. "The key for these three guys is for them to start playing like sophomores and less like a freshman."

NOTES: Saturday's game will mark Georgia's first on CBS this year. Spero Dedes and Doug Gottlieb will call the action. Fox hopes his team makes the right impression. "It is a CBS game and it will be a ton of exposure and how we play is going to determine what that exposure is," he said. "But also our fans have a lot to do with what kind of exposure that is because we need to showcase that so we need their help." … Caldwell-Pope continues to lead Georgia in scoring with 17.6 points per game, which ranks second in the SEC. He also ranks among the SEC leaders in nine of the 13 categories for which individual stats are compiled. During Georgia's recent 5-game win streak, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot 63 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 91 percent from the FT line, averaging 19 points and 6.8 boards per game. All these numbers included a season-low 10-point game in last Saturday's win over Texas A&M, a game in which he did not score a field goal for the first time of his young career.