Georgia Bulldogs face a Rebuilding Year
When looking at the roster of the Georgia Bulldogs, not much sticks out as being very exciting. The Bulldogs are coming off a good season where they made it to the NCAA Tournament. But the guys that got them there, Travis Leslie, Trey Thompkins and Jeremy Price are gone. Only Gerald Robinson and Dustin War return with more than a 3.5 points per game average from last year. Georgia will need to fins some people to step in and make up for a lot of production that will no longer be there.
The non-conference schedule is a killer for the Dogs. They are in a tournament where they will face Cal and either Missouri or Notre Dame. Then they will face the likes of Colorado, Cincinnati, Xavier, Georgia Tech, USC and Winthrop. Xavier, Colorado and USC are on the road. UGA could be in a deep hole by the time the SEC starts. There they will face the likes of Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Tennessee both home and away. They also get Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State on the road. Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas will come to Athens.
Most likely Georgia will be picked no higher than fourth in the SEC East division this year. Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt will be top ten teams when the polls come out. Then Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina will battle for the fourth spot. Coach Mark Fox will need to get some production from Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the #3 ranked shooting guard of the 2011 class. He has recently been cleared to play, which has to be a load off of Coach Fox. His eligibilty came in question when it was learned his AAU team paid his mom’s cell phone bill of just under $300. He will pay the bill (I don’t know where he will get the $300. Maybe the same place Florida football player Shariff Floyd got money to pay back his friends and neighbors back home?) and not miss any games.
He could help fill the void left by the departed Leslie, who was UGA’s leader last year. If he has a big year, the Dogs could claim that fourth spot and be in good shape to make the NCAA Tournament. The non-conference schedule is good enough to get the attention of the Selection Committee. Coach Fox has certainly got Georgia basketball on the upswing since he took over three years ago. No longer are they an SEC pushover. Last year they whipped Kentucky and gave Florida all they could handle before losing in double OT. They also had wins over Colorado, Tennessee and Mississippi State. A good year this year will establish them as a force in the college basketball ranks. UGA has three of rivals three-star recruits already lined up for 2012. They are Kenny Gaines, a 6’4? 190 lb. shooting guard, Charles Mann, a 6′ 6? 200 lb. shooting guard, and Brandon Morris, a 6′ 8? 200 lb. small forward.
Look for the Bulldogs to be a low seed NCAA team at best, a high seed NIT team at worst.