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College Basketball

    From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. — Six home games – three each in November and December – and four road challenges anchor the Georgia Bulldogs’ 2017-18 non-conference schedule, which was announced by head coach Mark Fox on Thursday. “The goal every year is to create a non-conference schedule that 1) prepares you for SEC play and 2) gives you the strength of schedule at the end of the year to have a chance to go to postseason play,” Fox said. “I think again we’ve put one together that again should allow us to do both of those things The Bulldogs will open their campaign in the dramatically renovated Stegeman Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 10, by hosting Bryant. This summer, Stegeman is undergoing the final phase of more than $20-million in upgrades over the past several years. The arena’s inner bowl is the focus of the final portion of the project and will feature acenter-hung scoreboard, new seats, significantly upgraded sound and lighting systems and additional LED signage. “The final stage of the Stegeman renovations is finally here, which will be the most drastic stage of the project,” Fox said “Obviously, the installation of the glass and work on the concourse was significant, and the building looks different from the outside. I think the interior will look just as significantly different as the outside. I also think you’re going to see the game experience change greatly because of the center-hung scoreboard and video boards and all the other things that can be done with that will be a big upgrade for our game atmosphere and our fans.” The matchup with Bryant is the first of three home games to open the season. Georgia also will host USC-Upstate on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday, Nov. 19. The Bulldogs will then play three games as part of the Wooden Legacy in California over the Thanksgiving break. Georgia is among the eight-team field which also includes Cal State Fullerton, DePaul, Harvard, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State and Washington State. Games will be played on Thursday, Nov. 23; Friday, Nov. 24; and Sunday, Nov. 26. Georgia will then face Marquette in Milwaukee on Saturday, Dec. 2 before returning to Stegeman to host Winthrop on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The Bulldogs will venture to UMass on Saturday, Dec. 16, before wrapping up their pre-SEC slate with dates against Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Dec., 19 and Temple on Friday, Dec. 22. Georgia’s remaining non-conference outing will be at Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 27 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Last week, the SEC announced the league’s home and away matchups for this upcoming season. Georgia will face Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee on a home-and-home basis. The Bulldogs also will host Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, while traveling to Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs will return 10 letterwinners, including five with double-digit starts, from a year ago. Consensus All-SEC forward Yante Maten headlines that list. Maten is the SEC’s leading returning scorer after averaging 18.2 ppg a year ago. Junior Derek Ogbeide is the second-leading returning rebounder in the league. He averaged 7.6 rpg last season. In addition, Georgia will welcome four freshmen to the Bulldogs’ roster. “We have a significant number of returning players – nine of our top-10 are back and we’re adding probably one of the better recruiting classes that we’ve had,” Fox said. “But obviously, experience, there’s no substitute for. Everyone is going to be a little bit different role this year because we lost a great leader (J.J. Frazier). We have a lot of guys who we understand what their abilities are and what they’re capable of and I think our chemistry remains very strong. The new guys have the advantage of learning from that experience. We’re working like a team that is very hungry and driven. Right now, we’re excited about their approach.” Stegeman Coliseum Renovation Information Stegeman Coliseum is undergoing major renovations this summer. Work began recently on Phase II of the approximately $8-million project to the Coliseum’s interior. Prior to last season, Phase I included the addition of an HD scoreboard and a dramatic mural covering the distinctive end wall of the arena’s east end. This summer, renovations include a center-hung scoreboard, new seats, significantly upgraded sound and lighting systems and additional LED signage. The current projects follow a $13-million renovation in 2010 that transformed Stegeman’s concourses, upgrading the graphics, enhancing spectator access to concessions and restrooms and adding 5,000-square feet of concourse space on each side of the arena. Those efforts won awards from both the American Institute of Architects and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Basketball Enhancement Fund Information Donations to the UGA Athletic Association's Basketball Enhancement Fund (BEF) will be accepted beginning this Thursday (June 1) through August 1. Current BEF contributors should expect renewal notices to arrive via email on June 5. BEF contributions are utilized for determining renewable season tickets and various other benefits available to Georgia Basketball supporters. The BEF has established records for both amount contributed and number of contributors in each of the past two years. The Georgia Bulldog Club is hoping for another record-setting effort and is challenging donors to contribute 110 percent of their previous donation. The minimum donation to purchase renewable season tickets is $150 per seat. A gift of $150 also will be recognized with a car decal and an invitation to a designated preseason practice of the Bulldogs. Varying levels of BEF donations are used to determine ability to purchase premium courtside seating, as well as tickets to the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. Additional potential benefits associated with contribution levels include reserved parking at Stegeman Coliseum, invitations to the team's preseason and postseason banquets and pre- and in-game hospitality.
  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. —- Locations for the Georgia’s Bulldogs’ 18 Southeastern Conference games during the 2017-18 season were announced on Thursday in conjunction with the league’s Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. “The SEC was obviously much improved last season and earned back a great deal of national respect,” head coach Mark Fox said. “Everyone expects the league to be even better this year. It will be an extremely competitive winter in what has reemerged as the deepest league in college basketball.” In addition to their three permanent home-and-home foes (Auburn, Florida and South Carolina), the Bulldogs also will face LSU and Tennessee twice this winter. Georgia will host Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M at Stegeman Coliseum, while traveling to Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt. Dates, times and television information will be released at a later date. Though yet to be finalized, the Bulldogs' 2017-18 schedule is expected to feature 15 home games at Stegeman Coliseum – six non-conference outings including Georgia Tech and nine Southeastern Conference outings.  Georgia has earned a bid to postseason competition in each of the last four seasons under head coach Mark Fox. The Bulldogs have made five postseason appearances and notched four 20-win seasons during Fox’s eight campaigns in Athens. Georgia also is in the midst of its winningest stretch in SEC play in program history, capturing 42 league victories over the past four seasons. The Bulldogs will return nine of their top-10 scorers from 2016-17. All-SEC forward Yante Maten, who finished fourth in the SEC in scoring last season at 18.2 ppg, headlines that list. Additional returning letterwinners with double-digit starts last season include senior Juwan Parker, juniors William “Turtle” Jackson and Derek Ogbeide and sophomore Jordan Harris. The Bulldogs will also welcome a highly touted quartet of freshmen to their 2017-18 roster. Basketball Enhancement Fund Information Donations to the UGA Athletic Association's Basketball Enhancement Fund (BEF) will be accepted beginning this Thursday (June 1) through August 1. Current BEF contributors should expect renewal notices to arrive via email on June 5.  BEF contributions are utilized for determining renewable season tickets and various other benefits available to Georgia Basketball supporters. The BEF has established records for both amount contributed and number of contributors in each of the past two years. The Georgia Bulldog Club is hoping for another record-setting effort and is challenging donors to contribute 110 percent of their previous donation. The minimum donation to purchase renewable season tickets is $150 per seat. A gift of $150 also will be recognized with a car decal and an invitation to a designated preseason practice of the Bulldogs. Varying levels of BEF donations are used to determine ability to purchase premium courtside seating, as well as tickets to the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. Additional potential benefits associated with contribution levels include reserved parking at Stegeman Coliseum, invitations to the team's preseason and postseason banquets and pre- and in-game hospitality. Stegeman Coliseum Renovation Information Stegeman Coliseum is undergoing major renovations this summer. Work began recently on Phase II of the approximately $8-million project to the Coliseum’s interior. Prior to last season, Phase I included the addition of an HD scoreboard and a dramatic mural covering the distinctive end wall of the arena’s east end. This summer, renovations include a center-hung scoreboard, new seats, significantly upgraded sound and lighting systems and additional LED signage. The current projects follow a $13-million renovation in 2010 that transformed Stegeman’s concourses, upgrading the graphics, enhancing spectator access to concessions and restrooms and adding 5,000-square feet of concourse space on each side of the arena. Those efforts won awards from both the American Institute of Architects and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
  • ATHENS — All along, even after Yante Maten declared for the NBA draft last month, the expectation has been that the UGA basketball star would ultimately be back for his senior season. Now it’s official: Maten will do just that. Maten announced that he is withdrawing his name from the draft, two days before the NCAA deadline to do so. While Maten tested the waters, and participated in workouts with at least two NBA teams, he retained his college eligibility by not signing with an agent. This is obviously still great news for Georgia, which will thus return one of the SEC’s top players last season. Maten, a 6-foot-8 forward from Pontiac, Mich., was first team All-SEC by the coaches last season and second-team All-SEC by the AP. He averaged 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while missing four games and almost all of a loss to Kentucky with a sprained knee. Georgia, which was a disappointing 19-14 last season, now projects to return nine of its top 10 scorers. The exception is a rather major one: J.J. Frazier, the consensus first-team All-SEC point guard. But with Maten back, and highly-rated recruit Rayshaun Hammonds, a wing player, the Bulldogs have a potentially strong nucleus. Sophomore Tyree Crump and junior Turtle Jackson are expected to divide up Frazier’s minutes at point guard. Hammonds should compete for a starting spot at small forward, with Maten’s return meaning he and junior Derek Ogbeide man the two post spots. (Although Maten could see more time on the wing himself.) The backcourt and small forward positions will be interesting to watch, with Hammonds joining senior Juwan Parker, who started most of last year, as well as sophomore Jordan Harris, Crump, Jackson, junior E’Torrion Wilridge. Two other incoming freshmen, guard Teshaun Hightower and forward Nicolas Claxton, should also compete for minutes on the perimeter. And incoming freshman Isaac Kante joins junior Mike Edwards as depth in the post. It was set to be a deep and balanced team, with or without Mante. But now Mante’s return gives it some returning star power.
  •  From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s J.J. Frazier earned a spot on the all-tournament team at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament over the weekend. Frazier averaged 17.3 points over his three games in the event, which featured 64 of college basketball’s top seniors competing in an eight-team, 12-game tournament. Frazier scored 21 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds in his Norfolk Sports Club’s 112-106 win over the Portsmouth Sports Club last Wednesday. He put up 10 points, collected three boards and had an assist, block in steal in a semifinal loss to Portsmouth Partnership. Frazier wrapped up the weekend with a 21-point, four-assist outing in an 87-86 setback in the third-place matchup. For the tournament, Frazier ranked sixth among scoring leaders and among top-10 statistical leaders also was No. 1 in free throw percentage (100.0 percent), No. 4 in 3-point percentage (.692), No. 5 in 3-pointers per game (3.0) and No. 8 in assists (4.3 apg). Joining Frazier on the all-tournament team were Tyler Cavanaugh (George Washington), Sebastian Saiz (Ole Miss), JaCorey Williams (MTSU), Justin Robinson (Monmouth), Matt Jones (Duke), Zach LeDay (Virginia Tech), Jacob Wiley (Eastern Washington), Emmanuel Omogbo (Colorado State), Naz Mitrou-Long (Iowa State) and Dallas Moore (North Florida).
  • ATHENS — Georgia will have to wait a bit longer, possibly more than a month, whether its best player will return next season. Forward Yante Maten will enter his name in the NBA draft but not sign with an agent, retaining his eligibility until he makes a final decision. The NCAA’s deadline for that decision is May 24, which is 10 days after the NBA combine. “I have always had the dream of playing in the NBA,” Maten said in a statement released by team. “This is a chance for me to safely see where they project me.” Maten, a junior from Pontiac, Mich., led Georgia in scoring and rebounding prior to spraining his knee late in the season. He missed the final four games of the regular season, returned for two games in the SEC tournament, then missed the team’s lone NIT game. He still finished averaging 18.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The SEC coaches selected Maten to the All-SEC first team, while he made All-SEC second team in the AP writers vote. “Like all players, Yante now has the opportunity to get information from the NBA and get an accurate read on their assessment of him at this time,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said in a statement. “Once he receives that information, Yante will be able to decide which avenue is in his best interest.” Maten’s draft stock is uncertain. The web site Draftexpress did not list him in its two-round mock draft, updated Tuesday. ESPN draft insider Chad Ford did mention Maten as a prospect to watch late in the regular season. At 6-foot-8, Maten has played mostly power forward and center at Georgia, while he would have to play at least some small forward if he were to make it in the NBA. He has shown some ability to hit outside shots, especially from the top of the key. But he would also have to show ability to put the ball on the floor and drive. The decision will obviously be pivotal to Georgia’s hopes next season. If Maten returns, the Bulldogs will return nine of their top 10 players, though the exception is All-SEC guard J.J. Frazier. If Maten leaves, then even more will be depended on from incoming recruit Rayshaun Hammonds, a combo forward from Norcross who is rated a top 50 national recruit. In Mark Fox’s eight seasons, he has now had four players declare early for the NBA draft. All three previous ones (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie) ended up staying in the draft. Caldwell-Pope was a sophomore who ended up being a lottery pick and is in his fourth season with the Detroit Pistons, for whom he starts. Thompkins and Leslie, who left in 2011, were both second round picks and lasted one year in the NBA before moving on to international careers.ac
  • North Carolina dedicated the past year to redeeming itself for 4.7 agonizing seconds. Now these Tar Heels will hang another banner from the Smith Center rafters. Or the ceiling. But probably not the roof. No longer haunted by the memory of a buzzer-beating loss in last year's title game, but galvanized by a misstatement from their most decorated former player, the Tar Heels returned home Tuesday with their sixth NCAA Tournament trophy, which they earned a night earlier by beating Gonzaga in the championship game. 'This year,' senior Isaiah Hicks said, 'we did it.' >> Read more trending news Thousands of fans poured into the arena and onto the court before the team's flight had even landed at nearby Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and they cheered fanatically every time live footage of the team's motorcade was shown on the video scoreboards. When the individual players were introduced, they showered Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Justin Jackson with chants of 'one more year.' 'It just didn't seem like we were going to get back to where we wanted to be, and you all did a great job,' said guard Joel Berry II, still wearing the net from the title game around his neck. 'We just basically did our thing, and we came back home with it.' This was the first time the team and its fans were together inside the Smith Center since a victory over Duke in the regular-season finale exactly one month earlier — a night made memorable by Michael Jordan's surprise appearance at halftime to announce a partnership between the athletic department and his Nike line. Read more here
  • FROM UGA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS  Athens, Ga. — For the second straight year, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier has been named the state of Georgia’s Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The club announced its annual award winners on Thursday. Frazier, 5-10, 155-pound senior from Glennville, Ga., led the Bulldogs and ranked among the SEC’s top-10 performers in scoring (third at 18.8 ppg), assists (fifth at 4.1 apg), steals (third at 1.9 spg) and playing time (first at 34.6 mpg). He finished the 2016-17 season with 640 points, the fourth-best mark in school history. Frazier set the Georgia career record for free throw percentage (.841). He had a school-record streak of 45 consecutive made free throws during his senior season, which is also the second-longest streak in SEC history. Frazier has collected a long list of accolades this season. He was named SEC and National Player of the Week on Week on Feb. 27 after averaging 28.5 points in wins over Alabama and LSU in a 49-hour span. Frazier was also voted first-team All-SEC by both league coaches and the Associated Press. He was named to All-District teams by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). UGA players have won Tipoff Club’s statewide honor 10 times since its inception in 1984. Frazier is just the second Bulldog to earn Georgia Player of the Year honors twice. Jarvis Hayes was honored following both the 2002 and 2003 seasons.  Vern Fleming was the award’s initial recipient in 1984, followed by Litterial Green in 1992, Jumaine Jones in 1999, Hayes in 2002 and 2003, Rashad Wright in 2004, Trey Thompkins in 2011, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2013 and Frazier in 2016 and 2017. 
  • Tom Archdeacon is usually writing news, not making it, but he caught some airtime and the attention of one writer covering the NCAA tournament in Indianapolis on Friday. >> Read more trending news The longtime Dayton Daily News columnist drew attention from USA Today’s The Big Lead for his “glorious mustache.” While sitting behind CBS’ Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery and Grant Hill, Archdeacon was on television and caught the notice of Kyle Koster from TBL. “There was much to discuss at the top of the broadcast before tip-off and the trio did a nice job setting things up. Or so I guess. It was quite difficult to pay attention with Tom Archdeacon’s impressive mustache lurking in the background,” Koster said. It’s a tough look to pull off, but the Dayton Daily News “old-school storyteller” is doing just that. The Big Lede posted a link to Archdeacon’s archive of award-winning columns. Archdeacon has made headlines before — he won the Society of Professional Journalists Sports Columnist of the Year in 2012 and 2013, beating out competition from national outlets like ESPN and Sports Illustrated. 
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an actress and producer, but Thursday night she was a mom and a basketball fan. >> Read more trending news Louis-Dreyfus’ son, Charlie Hall, plays for Northwestern University. Toward the end of the Wildcats’ 81-63 victory against Rutgers in the Big Ten tournament, ESPN2 focused a camera on Louis-Dreyfus as Hall entered the game. Hall didn’t score any points, but he did grab two rebounds, and viewers were treated to a split-cam version of the rebound and Louis-Dreyfus cheering the play. Hall did not get into Friday night’s game, but Northwestern continued to advance in the tournament with a 72-64 quarterfinal victory against Maryland. The Wildcats (23-10), reaching the conference tournament semifinals for the first time, will play Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. ESPN2 caught Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) celebrating a rebound by her son, @NUMensBball sophomore @charlie_hall23. pic.twitter.com/xgbBwrWGQm— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) March 10, 2017
  • From UGA Sports Communications NASHVILLE, Tenn. ---The eighth-seeded Georgia Bulldogs succumbed to the top-seed Kentucky Wildcats, 71-60, Friday in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena.  “It was a hard fought game which is what we anticipated it would be,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “We felt like we made a couple defensive errors in the beginning of the game which put us in the position that we had to play from behind the entire night. It is hard to play uphill in that situation. But then our defense stabilized, we rebounded okay but you have to credit Kentucky’s defense. They have a terrific team and their defense was outstanding on us.”  Leading the Bulldogs (19-14, 9-9 SEC) in offense was senior J.J. Frazier and junior forward Yante Maten with 15 and 12 points, respectively. The double-digit performance was Frazier’s 30th this season while Maten tallied 26 such games. Sophomore forward Derek Ogbeide matched his career-high rebounding mark with 15 boards.  The No. 13-ranked Wildcats (27-5, 16-2 SEC) started the game making three of its first four shots, two of which from long distance, to build an early 10-2 advantage. Kentucky led by as many as 13 points in the first half but Georgia reeled in the deficit on an 8-1 run featuring two jumpers and a highly contested layup by Frazier. Freshman guard Tyree Crump drained a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to bring the game within five points but UK’s Isaiah Briscoe hit a jumper in the closing seconds to send the Wildcats into the half up 32-25.  The Wildcats opened the second half much like they did the first, this time with six scoreless points to extend their lead to 13. Frazier muscled to the line and made two free throws to stop the UK run. Wildcats’ freshman guard De’Aaron Fox followed with a jumper and Maten answered back with a layup. From that point on, Kentucky went on a 10-3 run to gain an 18-point cushion with 10 minutes remaining in the contest. A Mike Edwards made free throw and back-to-back three-pointers by E’Torrion Wilridge and Pape Diatta gave the Bulldogs a jolt of scoring to cut it to 11 points at 50-39. Georgia got as close as 10 points with two minutes remaining but Kentucky continued to match Georgia’s scoring down the stretch to advance to the next round.  The Kentucky guard duo of Briscoe and Fox finished with 20 points apiece, while forward Edrice Adebayo added 13 points.  The rebounding battle between the two teams was even and Kentucky narrowly had the edge in shooting at 38-percent to Georgia’s 33-percent. The difference in the game was 18 Kentucky points off of 13 Georgia turnovers whereas the Bulldogs managed two points on 10 turnovers by the Wildcats.  Georgia now awaits its postseason fate, which will be determined Sunday evening. The NCAA Tournament selection show airs on CBS at 5:30 p.m., while the NIT Selection Special is at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.