Michigan State is the more accomplished team. Stegosaurus is holding us back in recruiting in a huge fashion for both our men’s and women’s basketball programs here at UGA and has been for many many many years.

Only 4 conferences have done better than The SEC in men’s basketball this season.  We were the 3rd best team in The SEC.

Michigan State has played 15 games against NCAA Tournament teams this season, and has beat Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana again, Maryland, and Ohio State.  6-9 vs NCAA Tournament teams this season.  That is a lot better than we’ve accomplished.

http://www.realtimerpi.com/rpi_189_Men.html

Mark Fox has played 8 games against NCAA Tournament teams this season, and has beat Ole Miss twice.  2-6 vs NCAA Tournament teams this season.  Our strength of schedule was actually very good at # 40 SoS and RPI rank of # 37.

http://www.realtimerpi.com/rpi_356_Men.html

Michigan State’s strength of schedule was outstanding at # 8 SoS and RPI rank, therefore, of # 23.

As you watch all these NCAA Men’s Basketball Tourney games, remember that the last time we hosted an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was 44 years’ ago because the Stegosaurus is not top-notch.  Despite this, Mark Fox has taught his players he can recruit to such a outdated, not competitive venue, to play basketball.  Our team is not without talent.

Michigan State is supposed to win, but the game is supposed to be close – unlike the game against # 2 SEC Arkansas in the SEC semi-final game, who lost big time to 38-0 Kentucky, ranked the # 1 team in The entire nation.  Again.  Kentucky has a top gym.  Kentucky recruits top talent, therefore.  Players want to play there.

Only 4 conferences got more NCAA Tourney bids than The SEC.

The SEC finds only 4 conferences with a higher Conference RPI.

http://www.realtimerpi.com/rpi_sec_Men.html

The SEC is tough top to bottom, and is not as top heavy as some of the conferences considered a better conference in men’s basketball 2015 than The SEC.

http://www.realtimerpi.com/rpi_Men.html

The Lady Bulldogs will miss The Big Dance for only the 3rd time in the entire history.  It has been more than 2 decades since we last missed The NCAA Women’s Tournament.  We will play in the Women’s NIT.  That bracket has not been released.  The Lady Bulldogs suffer from the same venue here the men do, and it dampens our recruiting efforts just as much as the football program prospers here in recruiting because Sanford stadium is considered one of the top football venues.

http://www.womensnit.com/bracket.html

 

44 years since we hosted an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament game.

 

Stegosaurus gym is a relic.

Both our men’s and our women’s basketball programs recruit from Michigan.

Dayton, Portland, Omaha, Seattle, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Syracuse, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Houston and Indianapolis all host the 2015 Big Dance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_NCAA_Men’s_Division_I_Basketball_Tournament

The Tournament begins tomorrow and this marks the 54th SEC season The SEC has been in The NCAA Tournament – more than any other conference.

 

We play Michigan State Friday 12:40 p.m. in Charlotte 192 miles.

 

Michigan State is making its 29th appearance and Georgia our 12th.

 

Michigan State made the Elite 8 last season, while Georgia lost in the Opening Round 2011 as our latest appearance.

 

Mark Fox is making his 4th NCAA Tournament.

 

Tom Izzo is making his 18th NCAA Tournament.

 

http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-baskbl/ncaacentral/geo-ncaa-15.html

Michigan State shoots the ball better than we do, defends better than we do, rebounds better than we do, has a better turnover margin than we do, is more selfless with the basketball than we are, while we hold a comfortable margin over Michigan State at the charity stripe and we hold slim margins over them in blocks and steals.

 

We have a horrible loss to Georgie tek, who probably is firing their coach today.

 

We have a team who has been here with Mark Fox.

 

http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-baskbl/stats/2014-2015/teamstat.html

 

Players on this team, who seemingly could not play a hoot 6 years’ ago, now look polished on the court for us.  This speaks well to Mark Fox teaching his players to play the game, and we do not suffer off-court bad news in men’s basketball with discipline issues.

 

Go figure.

 

These players represent Mark Fox well on and off the court.

 

Mark Fox has 11 who have started for him this season.  He gives his recruits a chance to get in the games and make their mark.  This has been a hallmark of Mark Fox here that he lets his guys get out there and prove what they can and cannot do.  I believe all the players feel that he gives them a chance.

 

Basketball is much faster-paced game than football, and you need to give your players a blow in basketball.

 

Thornton, Marcus has learned a lot here in his 6 years here now, and looks pretty good out there.  He does have a lot of fouls as does Mann, Charles.   Both are adept underneath and high post.

Gaines, Kenny is our dead-eye-dick.

Djurisic, Nemanja also has both an inside and outside game.

Frazier, J.J. is a shooter who you really have to be proud of.  All 5 of these players are capable of a double-double, and JJ Frazier and Kenny Gaines are capable of triple-doubles.  You see JJ Frazier and Kenny Gaines both at the point.  Kenny Gaines will post-up his player, driving the lane while typically unless on fast breaks, you see JJ Frazier sink the deep 3.  I mean deep.

We can get a team in foul trouble if they are not as deep as we are.

Maten, Yante will be one of the team leaders next year, and has been a source of much pride to all of us already.  He is dynamite inside, and is a fierce rebounding machine.  He also leads the team in blocked shots.  He will be a starter in a lot more games next year than the several he started for us this season.

Parker, Juwan is a key contributor off the bench and like all the others above, hits his free throws at a high clip as well.

This is really a well-coached team.  Folks like Mark Fox too.  He is very animated and into the games with high energy always.  He calls it like it is.  I respect that.

Forte, Cameron and Geno, Kenny Paul are both great basketball players. You watch them play and see they are both well-rounded.

Look for these 9 to do well Friday afternoon 12 :40 p.m. in Charlotte.

 

We will not win, but we are not supposed to.

Marcus Thornton was the 34th Scout.com Power Forward nationally.

Kenny Gaines was the 29th best Rivals Shooting Guard nationally.

Yante Maten is highly touted nationally from Michigan.

Juwan Parker was the 39th Rivals Shooting Guard nationally.

Cameron Forte is highly touted nationally.

J.J. Frazier is highly touted nationally.

Charles Mann is highly touted nationally.

Kenny Paul Geno was highly touted nationally.

 

As you can see, there is not really any huge big star on this team.  We do not have a single player who was ranked even in the top 25 in his position nationally.  This is a very good basketball team who have been taught very well how to play the game here by Mark Fox.

 

If we had just one top player in the state of Georgia who had joined this team, Mark Fox would be a God.

As it is, he is blamed for having taught these men how to play the game properly as team players on a team without a single best in the nation player.  I like these players.  This is a solid basketball team.  We just have to recruit better in-state.  That starts with a proper gym for them to be proud of wanting to play in.  It also would attract more attendance to the games here at home.

 

I have no question in my mind that we hold back both our men’s and women’s basketball programs with the Stegosaurus.

 

I am very thankful for all these very good basketball players to come here to play for us, and I am proud of the manner in which they represent Mark Fox.

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