Georgia Manages to Out-FOX the SEC

Alabama got Anthony Grant. Kentucky hired John Calipari. Tennessee was able to fend of an overture from Memphis to hold on to Bruce Pearl. Missouri keeps Mike Anderson. And the Georgia Bulldogs end up with a basketball coach whose entire life has been spent West of the Mississippi River.

When the scoreboard shows the winners and losers in this off-season, Georgia will be at the top of the list --- of losers.

Mark Fox has spent five years at Nevada and at first glance his 123-43 record and three NCAA bids is pretty impressive. But a deeper look into his career raises questions that will gnaw at the Bulldawgs' faithful.

Fox led Nevada to the NCAA tournament in his first three seasons after taking over for Trent Johnson (now at LSU). In those three seasons with largely inherited talent, Fox went 81-18 led by All-American Nick Fazekas. In fact Nevada was one of the eight teams in New Orleans where the Gators began their repeat NCAA Title run.

However in the last two years with his stamp clearly on the program, Fox has led the Wolfpack to a solid but unspectacular 42-25 record. In those seasons Nevada earned two trips to the College Basketball Invitational which is a contrived event for teams not invited to the NIT.

Fox grew up in Kansas where he played his high school and junior college basketball. He graduated from Eastern New Mexico and has coached at Washington, Kansas State and Nevada. That background makes him a curious choice at best for a team in the deep south.

I remember the solid Nevada team Fox had in New Orleans but it was really all about Fazekas, the leading scorer in school history. He's a solid basketball coach who comes off as more bookish than passionate. He's not a bad coach, but he is a bad choice.

Fightin Gators Top Stories