Georgia (10-6, 3-3 SEC) vs. Arkansas (9-9, 3-3 SEC)
Saturday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
TV: SEC Network (Roy Philpott, PBP; Andrew DeClercq, Color)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) Flagship: AM 750: Sirius: 80; XM: 190
The Starting Five
• UA leads the all-time series with UGA, 20-14; however, UGA has an 8-5 edge in games contested in Athens.
• UGA is No. 2 in the SEC and No. 11 in nationally in FG pct. defense (.379) and has held 14 of 16 opponents under their season percentage.
• UGA is one of only two 351 Division I teams – along with Eastern Mighigan – that has played only one team with an RPI higher than 200 this season. UGA’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 12 in ESPN’s BPI and No. 15 in the NCAA RPI.
• Among UGA’s career scoring leaders, Kenny Gaines enters the Arkansas game three points from No. 31 Travis Leslie.
• UGA is in the midst of its winningest two-year (23 Ws) and three-season (32 Ws) stretches ever in SEC play and is one of two teams to earn a top-4 seed for the ‘14 & ‘15 SEC Tourneys.
Georgia-Arkansas Features Dogs’ Solid “D” Vs. Hogs’ Hot “O”
Georgia entertains Arkansas Saturday evening at Stegeman Coliseum in a clash of two teams that do different things extremely well.
The Bulldogs rank among the nation’s best in preventing their opponents from putting the ball into the basket. Georgia has had held 14 of 16 opponents under their season field goal percentage.
Statistically, Georgia ranks No. 2 in the SEC in both field goal defense (.378) and 3-point percentage defense (.302). Nationally, the Bulldogs ranked No. 11 in FG defense and No. 20 in 3-point defense.
Conversely, Arkansas is one of the nation’s most efficient teams at knocking down shots.
The Razorbacks are No. 3 in the SEC and No. 55 in the nation in field goal percentage (.468). Even more impressive, Arkansas leads the league and is No. 5 nationally in field goal percentage from behind the 3-point arc (.435).
One common denominator between the Dogs and Hogs is close contests.
Six of Georgia’s 16 have been decided by four points or less. Arkansas’ 18 games include six outcomes within five points or less, with three going to overtime
Georgia improved to 10-6 overall and 3-3 in the SEC with Wednesday evening’s victory over Missouri in Columbia.
Overall, Yante Maten continues to lead the Bulldogs and rank among the SEC’s top-10 leaders in scoring (No. 10 at 16.3 ppg), No. 8 in rebounding (7.7 rpg), blocks (No. 4 at 1.8 bpg) and FG percentage (No. 4 at .527). Maten also paces Georgia in SEC play in scoring (12.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg).
Two more Bulldogs are averaging double digits in the scoring column, both overall and against SEC competition – J.J. Frazier (15.1 overall and 14.5 in SEC) and Kenny Gaines (13.7 overall and 12.5 in SEC). In addition, Charles Mann is chipping in 10.2 ppg against league foes.
Arkansas travels to Athens with .500 records of 9-9 overall and 3-3 in the SEC.
Anthlon Bell headlines a potent trio of scorers for the Razorbacks at 17.1 ppg. Moses Kingsley and Dusty Hannahs contribute 16.7 ppg and 16.2 ppg, respectively. Kingsley is Arkansas’ top rebounder at 9.2 rpg.
Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game:
Among UGA’s career Leaders
Charles Mann is...
• 29 points from No. 24 Ray Harrison
• 16 FTs from No. 2 Litterial Green
• 17 FTs from No. 1 Alec Kessler
• 5 assists from No. 10 Donald Hartry
Kenny Gaines is...
• 3 points from No. 31 Travis Leslie
• 4 points from No. 30 Michael Chadwick
• 27 points from co-No. 27s Jerry Epling and Nemanja Djurisic
• 9 3FGAs from No. 7 Bernard Davis
5 3FGs from No. 8 Jody Patton
J.J. Frazier is...
• 6 3FGs from No. 16 Michael Chadwick
• 6 3FGAs from No. No. 17 Nemi Djurisic
Series History With The Hogs
Arkansas owns a 20-14 advantage in all-time meetings between the Dogs and the Hogs; however, Georgia possesses an 8-5 edge in games at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia and Arkansas met twice last season, in the SEC opener and the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
On last Jan. 6, the Razorbacks rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat Georgia 79-75 at Stegeman Coliseum.
Nemanja Djurisic scored 16 points to lead a quintet of Dogs in double figures, while Bobby Portis paced the Hogs with a game-high 21.
The Bulldogs led for the majority of the contest, including a margin as large at 13 points late in the first half.
Arkansas used a 21-7 surge in the second stanza to grab its first lead of the day at 63-61 with 6:35 remaining. The Razorbacks pushed that advantage to seven points with 19 seconds left before a 3-pointer from J.J. Frazier and a tip-in by Marcus Thornton pulled Georgia within 77-75 with four ticks on the clock.
Michael Qualls hit a pair of free throws to put the game out of reach.
In the rematch in Nashville on March 14, Arkansas broke open a 12-12 tie with a 17-6 run to end the first half and open the second en route to a 60-49 win.
Thornton’s double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds led Georgia, which played without Kenny Gaines due to a foot injury. Qualls topped Arkansas’ individual offensive outputs with 15 points.
Last Time Out
A 17-0 run midway through the second half helped the Georgia earn its first road win of the season, a 60-57 victory against Missouri Tigers at Mizzou Arena on Wednesday night.
After scoring only 22 points on 31.3-percent shooting in the first half, the Bulldogs exploded for 38 points in the second half shooting 48.3-percent in the final 20 minutes.
Yante Maten led all scorers with 21 points and finished with 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. J.J. Frazier and Kenny Gaines added 16 and 11 points, respectively, while Houston Kessler ripped down a career-high 10 rebounds.
“We had not won away from home this year,” Mark Fox said. “We needed to get one under out belts. This will hopefully help us down the road because we did a lot of things that you need to do to win a road game. I was very happy with our performance tonight.”
Tough defense from both squads resulted in a low-scoring first half and a 22-22 score heading into the break. The scoring picked up in the second period.
After an even first five minutes, the Bulldogs went on their 17-0 run highlighted by several 3-pointers and a big dunk by Maten leading to a 50-34 Georgia advantage.
The Tigers were able to cut the lead to as little as three, but the Bulldogs fought off Missouri’s comeback attempt with Frazier both ends of two one-and-one situations in the final 26 seconds.
Gaines, Mann Rewriting Records
Seniors Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann are making their mark on Georgia Basketball’s career scoring ledger.
Mann entered the season at No. 36 among the Bulldogs’ all-time points leaders and has already ascended to No. 25. He now has scored 1,201 points, 29 away from the current No. 24, Ray Harrison.
Gaines became Georgia’s 46th 1,000-point career scorer against Clemson on Dec. 22. He is now up to the No. 32 position on UGA’s all-time leaders ledger with 1,096 points, just three away from from No. 31 Travis Leslie and four shy of No. 30 Michael Chadwick.
Frazier Equal Inside & Outside
J.J. Frazier has made a name for himself with his prowess of knocking down shots from behind the 3-point arc. Actually, the junior from Glennville has provided amazingly equal access and success to attempts from both 2-point and 3-point range this season.
To date, Frazier is 75-of-176 from the field during the 2015-16 campaign. He is 37-of-88 from 3-point range, which means he is...38-of-88 on shots from inside the arc.
Mann Closing In On Assist List
Charles Mann enters the Arkansas game with 350 assists at Georgia, five shy of joining the Bulldogs’ top-10 career leaders.
Donald Harty, who was a member of Georgia’s 1983 NCAA Final Four and 1984 and 1986 NIT teams, currently occupies the No. 10 slot on that list with 355 assists.
Bulldogs In The BPI & RPI
In their most recent editions, Georgia is No. 58 in the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) and No. 66 in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
The Bulldogs’ strength of schedule, which was ranked as the nation’s toughest in both computer ledgers for a good bit of December, is currently listed at No. 12 in the BPI and No. 16 in the RPI.
Georgia is one of only two teams in the nation – along with Eastern Michigan – that has played only one opponent with an RPI higher than 200 this season.
A Positive Breakout
Not that the media needs any self affirmation but the folks who predicted Yante Maten would be one of the nation’s “breakout” players this season – including those at CBS, NBC and SI – are probably feeling pretty good.
Most expected Maten to up his contributions following the departure of seniors frontcourt mates Nemanja Djurisic and Marcus Thornton. He’s done more than just that.
A year ago, Maten averaged 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 18.2 minutes per game.
This season, Maten has more than tripled his scoring (16.3 ppg) and also has upped both his rebounding (7.6 rpg) and playing time (29.9 mpg) by massive chunks.
Maten posted four career-high scoring outputs in the Bulldogs’ first seven games this season, improving from 13 points entering the year to 17 points versus Chattanooga in the opener to 21 points to back-to-back outings against Seton Hall and Oakland and 24 points versus Winthrop.
Maten’s increased production can actually be traced back to last year’s postseason. He notched his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against South Carolina in the quarterfinals of last year’s SEC Tournament. That opened a 19-game stretch in which Maten has recorded 14 of his 18 double-digit scoring outputs and all five of his career double-figure rebounding efforts.
Ogbeide Back, Making Big Strides
Following an injury-induced detour, freshman Derek Ogbeide (pronounced “Ohwg-Bay-Day”) is showing signs of becoming an inside presence for the Bulldogs.
Ogbeide enjoyed a very impressive unofficial debut for Georgia.
In a Nov. 6 exhibition win over Armstrong State, Ogbeide grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, scored four points and recorded one assist, block and steal in 19 minutes of action.
Ogbeide suffered a right shoulder injury in practice thereafter and missed Georgia’s first five games of the season.
He finally made his official premiere against Kansas State, checking at the 17:27 mark of the first half versus the Wildcats and playing two minutes in the contest.
“He was just cleared today a little before 2 o’clock,” Mark Fox said. “I just wanted to get him 45 seconds here and there just to get him to relax and so he’d been out there before.”
The day before the Kansas State contest Fox was asked about what Georgia was missing without Ogbeide.
“He would allow us to impose our size and physicality on people” Fox said.
The Pebblebrook High School product now is helping Georgia doing just that.
Ogbeide played a combined five minutes against Kansas State and Winthrop before UGA’s 11-day break for Final Exams. In the nine games since, Ogbeide is averaging 4.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in 14.6 minutes.
His impact has been even more dramatic in SEC play.
Ogbeide, who earned his first career start against Tennessee, is averaging 5.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 16.0 mpg. In stats for SEC games only, he ranks No. 17 in rebounding and is the only player among top-20 league leaders averaging less than 20 minutes per game.
In fact, equating out 40-minute production makes Ogbeide the league’s most proficient rebounder as outlined below.
Per 40 SEC Rebounding Averages
D. Ogbeide, UGA
B. Simmons, LSU
M. Lee, UK
M. Carrera, SC
D. Jones, VU
The Ogbeide Effect On UGA
In addition to his individual contributions, the significance of Derek Ogbeide’s addition to the Bulldogs’ regular playing rotation is readily apparent.
Following the Kansas State loss on Dec. 4, Georgia was 3-3.
Since then, the Bulldogs have compiled a 7-3 record. That stretch includes decisive victories over a pair of ACC foes – Georgia Tech (75-61) and Clemson (71-48) – as well as another double-digit win over Robert Morris, a 2015 NCAA Tournament participant with four returning starters.
Dogs’ “D” Has Been Consistent
Georgia currently ranks No. 11 nationally in field goal defense, with opponents shooting just 37.8 percent. The Bulldogs have held 14 of 16 opponents – and all 10 non-conference foes – under their season FG percentage.
During the 2015 calendar portion of the schedule, Georgia’s opponents connected on a paltry 36.6 percent (218-of-596) of their shots from the field against the Bulldogs. Subtract out those totals and UGA’s opposition made 45.8 percent (3203-of-6990) of their field goals attempted.
Georgia also has held four of its six Southeastern Conference foes under their season FG percentage.
Florida became the first team to shoot a better percentage against the Bulldogs than otherwise. The Gators entered the SEC opener shooting 42.2 percent but hit 42.3 – yes, .1 of one percent better – versus Georgia.
Texas A&M became the first team to make half its FG attempts against the Bulldogs, shooting 52.7 percent on Jan. 16.
UGA’s All-SEC Tandem...
Seniors Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann were both named preseason first-team All-SEC in voting of league coaches, becoming just the second duo of Bulldogs to earn first-team preseason honors since the recognition began prior to the 2004-05 season.
Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins were first-team preseason All-SEC selections prior to the 2010-11 season.
Mann became Georgia’s first-ever two-time first-team preseason All-SEC selection.
...Has Very Strong Ties
The duo of Peach State natives Kenny Gaines, who is from Atlanta, and Charles Mann, who hails from Alpharetta, has played a significant role since they arrived on campus in 2012.
Between them, Gaines and Mann have a combined 222 games played, 164 starts and 5,688 minutes played.
Much of that has been compiled together.
Gaines and Mann have started together for 72 of Georgia’s 82 contests since the beginning of the their sophomore year of 2013-14. All told, they have played 1,762 minutes and 44 seconds together at Georgia.
UGA In Midst Of Most SEC Success
Georgia entered Southeastern Conference competition looking to extend its most successful two- and three-year stretches in league play ever.
The Bulldogs finished 11-7 and tied for third in the SEC last season. That followed a 12-6 record in 2013-14 when Georgia tied for second in the league and a 9-9 effort during the 2012-13 season.
The Bulldogs’ 32 wins over the past three seasons and 23 during the past two campaign represent UGA’s most ever.
Georgia is one of only two teams to secure a top-4 seed to each of the past two SEC Tournaments, along with Kentucky. The Bulldogs and Wildcats also are the only two teams to reach the semifinals of both the 2014 and 2015 SEC Tourneys.