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College Basketball

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Georgia forward Yante Maten is the Associated Press' Southeastern Conference men's basketball player of the year. Maten and Tennessee forward Grant Williams were unanimous first-team picks on the all-SEC team announced Tuesday. Tennessee's Rick Barnes was named coach of the year and Alabama freshman guard Collin Sexton was selected as newcomer of the year by the 15-person media panel. Auburn's Bryce Brown and Arkansas' Daryl Macon joined Maten, Williams and Sexton as first-team all-SEC selections. The second team includes Auburn teammates Jared Harper and Mustapha Heron, Arkansas' Jaylen Barford, Florida's Chris Chiozza and Missouri's Kassius Robertson. Maten leads the SEC in scoring (19.4) and ranks second in the league in rebounding (8.8). Those statistics enabled him to earn player of the year honors even though Georgia (16-14, 7-11) tied for 11th place in the league standings. This marks the first time an AP SEC player of the year has come from a team that ended the regular season below .500 in conference play since 1971, when Mississippi's Johnny Neumann won the award while the Rebels went 6-12 in league competition. There have been four AP SEC players of the year since then whose teams finished the regular season .500 in SEC play: Georgia's Dominique Wilkins (1981), Tennessee's Dale Ellis (1983), Vanderbilt's Dan Langhi (2000 co-player of the year) and Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2013). Georgia is the No. 12 seed in this week's SEC Tournament in St. Louis and will face 13th-seeded Vanderbilt in Wednesday's first-round action. Georgia coach Mark Fox is hopeful Maten will be ready for that game after the 6-foot-8 senior took a shot to the jaw Saturday in a 66-61 loss at No. 13 Tennessee. Maten was the choice of 11 of the 15 voters on the media panel. Three voters selected Harper as player of the year and one opted for Williams. Barnes got 10 votes as coach of the year after leading Tennessee to a share of the SEC title. The preseason SEC media poll had Tennessee finishing 13th out of 14 teams in the conference. Four voters selected Auburn's Bruce Pearl, who led the Tigers to a share of the SEC title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Missouri's Cuonzo Martin got one vote. This marked the first year since 2007 that Kentucky didn't have a first-team or second-team selection. Kentucky had at least one first-team all-SEC pick every year from 2009-17. ___ FIRST TEAM (listed alphabetically) Bryce Brown, Auburn, G, 6-3, Jr., Stone Mountain, Georgia Daryl Macon, Arkansas, G, 6-3, Sr., Little Rock, Arkansas u-Yante Maten, Georgia, F, 6-8, Sr., Pontiac, Michigan Collin Sexton, Alabama, G, 6-3, Fr., Mableton, Georgia u-Grant Williams, Tennessee, F, 6-7, Soph., Charlotte, North Carolina ___ SECOND TEAM Jaylen Barford, Arkansas, G, 6-3, Sr., Jackson, Tennessee Chris Chiozza, Florida, G, 6-0, Sr., Memphis, Tennessee Jared Harper, Auburn, G, 5-10, Soph., Mableton, Georgia Mustapha Heron, Auburn, G, 6-5, Soph., Waterbury, Connecticut Kassius Robertson, Missouri, G, 6-3, Sr., Toronto, Ontario ___ Player of the year - Yante Maten, Georgia Coach of the year - Rick Barnes, Tennessee Newcomer of the year - Collin Sexton, Alabama u-unanimous ___ AP All-SEC Voting Panel Rick Bozich, WDRB (Louisville, Kentucky); Kevin Brockway, Gainesville (Florida) Sun; Jason Butt, Macon (Georgia) Telegraph; John Clay, Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader; David Cobb, Chattanooga (Tennessee) Times-Free Press; David Cloninger, The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), Richard Croome, The Eagle (Bryan-College Station, Texas); Justin Ferguson, SEC Country (Alabama); Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, Arkansas); Cecil Hurt, Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News; Andrew Lopez, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana); Dave Matter, St. Louis Post Dispatch; Sheldon Mickles, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana); Joe Rexrode, The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee); Will Sammon, Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger ___ More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee
  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A putback by junior forward Caliya Robinson with three seconds remaining in the game sent the contest into overtime, where the Georgia Lady Bulldogs basketball team took control in a 49-43 victory against Alabama Thursday evening at Coleman Coliseum.  With Georgia trailing 40-38, Robinson brought down an offensive rebound and then put it back in with three seconds on the clock to send the game into an extra five minute period. The Lady Bulldogs, now 23-5 overall and 11-4 in the SEC, seized control from that point, outscoring Alabama 9-3 in the final five minutes.  Senior forward Mackenzie Engram led all scorers with 16 points, while Caliya Robinson added a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.  “I thought we were relentless defensively when things did not go our way on the offensive end,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Give Alabama credit. I think that is an NCAA Tournament team and Kristy has them playing really well right now. For us, we finally stopped turning it over int the overtime period and that was the difference in the game.”  Georgia jumped out to a 6-0 lead after forcing four Alabama turnovers through the first three minutes of the game. Ashley Williams then scored six-straight of her own before Hannah Cook hit a 3-point basket at the 1:03 mark to give her team a 13-12 lead at the end of the first period.  The Lady Bulldogs committed eight first-quarter turnovers — a trend that continued in the second frame. Georgia also went through a scoring drought before back-to-back baskets from Engram kept the score at 17-16 in Alabama’s favor with 4:37 left before the half.  Georgia finished with 18 first-half turnovers as the teams went to the break tied at 20-20.  Alabama jumped ahead of the Lady Bulldogs in the third quarter thanks to a Jordan Lewis 3-pointer that put her team up 28-24. Georgia hit just 3-for-13 from the field and scored just seven points as Alabama led 30-27 going into the fourth.  Georgia made three-straight free throws to even the score at 30-30 early in the final period, before Taja Cole put the Lady Bulldogs up 32-30. That lead was short lived as Meoshonti Knight hit a 3-pointer to put Alabama back on top. The Crimson Tide then extended the advantage to 39-36 with another Knight basket at the 1:34 mark of the fourth.  Robinson scored on a breakaway layup to cut the lead to 39-38 with 49 seconds on the clock. Another free-throw put Alabama up by two — 40-38 — with time running out. That is when Robinson nailed a putback with three seconds to go to send the game to overtime.  Georgia took control in the overtime period thanks to an 3-pointer by Gabby Connally on the Lady Bulldogs’ first possession. Cole added four points in the final 10 minutes en route to the 49-43 win.  The Lady Bulldogs now return home for Senior Day on Sunday as Florida comes to town for a Noon ET tip. 
  • OXFORD, Miss. — Georgia Lady Bulldog junior forward Caliya Robinson scored a season-high 28 points to lead her team to a 66-52 victory Monday evening at The Pavilion on the Ole Miss campus.  The Lady Bulldogs, now 22-5 overall and 10-4 in the SEC, saw their 17-point halftime lead trimmed down to a one-point margin in the third quarter, before outscoring the Rebels 18-8 in the fourth.  Robinson’s 28 points were just two shy of her career-high 30 that she scored last season against Minnesota. In addition to Robinson’s performance, freshman Que Morrison finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.  “We never gave up the lead, but I thought we just came out sluggish in that third quarter,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Ole Miss was aggressive after the half and we started fouling and giving up offensive boards. In the fourth, we went back to what we do best. It’s always tough to win on the road and we have another tough one Thursday at Alabama.' Robinson scored Georgia’s first 10 points as she outscored the whole Ole Miss team, 10-5 out of the gate. Haley Clark and Mackenzie Engram were the only other Lady Bulldogs to score in the first period as Georgia finished just 7-of-18 from the field. Still, the Lady Bulldogs led 15-12.  Simone Costa nailed a 3-point basket to begin the second quarter, before the Lady Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run later in the frame to take a commanding 26-13 lead.  Georgia allowed the Rebels to score just six points in the second quarter, outscoring Ole Miss 20-6. Georgia finished the first 20 minutes with a 48-percent mark from the field en route to a 35-18 halftime lead.  Robinson started the second half much like the first, scoring her team’s first four points. Following two free-throws by Morrison, Georgia missed eight of its next nine shots to allow the Rebels to cut the 17-point margin to just one — 45-44. The Lady Bulldogs finished the third with nine team fouls, compared to just two from Ole Miss.  Engram saved Georgia late in the period with a big 3-pointer to extend it to 48-44 going into the fourth. The Lady Bulldogs built on Engram’s late basket and held the Rebels to just 22 percent shooting over the final 10 minutes to pick up the win,  Georgia now hits the road to face Alabama on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. 
  • Athens, GA - There’s a popular term around Athens, Georgia these days that also stretches as far as the Georgia Bulldog footprint reaches: “Fire Mark Fox.” But could the job of the head coach of the oftentimes struggling UGA men’s basketball team be safer than we all think? Like, much safer? Let me explain.  I took the time to read an article from Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports in which he cites his sources regarding what could happen once details emerge in the ongoing FBI investigations into seemingly countless NCAA basketball programs both major and not. The article is terrifying for many living around states like Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Pennsylvania, etc., and not because programs in those states are specifically named, but rather language that speculates so many of the top schools in contention today are eventually going to be outed as some of the most corrupt in a sport that is widely considered one of the most corrupt in all of sports.  A fun line from one of Thamel’s sources in the article states - and I paraphrase - ‘If the findings are released before the NCAA Tournament, then Tennessee-Chattanooga could be a No. 2 seed come March.’ That’s a clever way of saying that nobody is safe, and apparently many at the top are indeed about to be in really, really hot water.  This is where the UGA basketball program and coach Mark Fox come into play, at least in my mind. If anybody cares to make a wager with me, I would be more than willing to agree to do something extremely embarrassing or degrading if it ever comes to light that the UGA basketball program is in trouble with the FBI or the NCAA. I have been around the program long enough and know the hierarchy of UGA Athletics well enough to feel extremely confident that UGA fans can sleep easy the night before these FBI findings are released - which could be any day, it could be as long as a year from now. We just don’t know.  UGA has struggled lately, yes. I’ve watched spurts of basketball taking place in Stegeman Coliseum and on other courts around the SEC that I am not convinced could score more points than Clarke Central High School. But I’ve also seen spurts that look like the NCAA Tournament contender we all expected going into this season put together good wins (yes, plural) against Florida, Marquette, Alabama, St. Mary’s, and Georgia Tech. But the on-court performances have little to nothing to do with my new theory on the status of Mark Fox in Athens.  I believe every program in the NCAA should be playing “wait and see.” I know Ole Miss just fired its head coach Andy Kennedy after bringing the Rebels (no, Black Bears, wait - I think it’s still Rebels) close to the NCAA Tournament many times over a decade, invited in twice and another six times into the NIT, but never able to take the program over the hurdle to being a national contender. Does that sound familiar? Dawg fans? I thought so. But what if - hear me out - Ole Miss already knows something we don’t know about the FBI investigations. You don’t have to look too far into former football coaches phone records and other major allegations to remember that Ole Miss isn't writing any books on morality and how to do things the right way these days.  What if Georgia pulled the trigger and fired Mark Fox after a disappointing finish to this season, then went and hired some up-and-coming young coach or even a veteran many will hope brings a culture of winning with them to Athens? Is it honestly worth the risk locking a coach into a new contract that may soon have their name plastered in the headlines with “FBI Investigation Reveals...” next to it? Again, you’d like to think the vetting of a new coach would be thorough, but the ominous tone of sources who know how dark the cloud over NCAA Basketball is about to be leads one to wonder if any move is worth the risk. Flat out and simply put - nobody. knows. how. bad. this. could. get.   Thamel’s article also cites sources who thoroughly believe the landscape of college basketball, its recruiting, and as stated “lottery pick players’” eligibility could be rocked and realigned. It leaves one to wonder just how impactful it could be for a program like Georgia, that consistently sits on the proverbial “bubble” of being good, but is flat out being beaten by better teams. Oh, and recruiting is already good right now in Athens. Very good. With commitments from a pair of the state of Georgia’s best in the 2018 class, and what many are saying will be one of Mark Fox’s best recruits ever in a 2019 commitment from 5-star point guard Ashton Hagans out of Covington, Ga, there’s legitimate hope in the talent department.  And many will quickly point out that talent hasn’t always been a problem for Fox, but do you need a refresher on players from the state of Georgia that have been lured to major programs out of state with what may actually have been lures too good to pass up - you know what I’m sayin’? Sure, that’s all speculation at this point but the tea leaves are currently reading that something just ain’t right. If my inner-Nostradmous proves to be true and Georgia is safe when the FBI findings are eventually released, then Georgia could instantaneously become a safe school in the eyes of a lot of talent looking to play college hoops. Especially in the talent-rich back yard between Cloudland Canyon and Jekyll Island and Bainbridge and Hartwell. So while the UGA basketball team  will likely look bad a few more times this season, and in all likelihood have a short trip to St. Louis next month for the SEC Basketball Tournament, think about the big picture of college basketball as your little fingers tweet the popular phrase these days calling for Fox’s job. Because I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a situation being monitored on many levels, not just in terms of wins and loses. But more like the FBI. Let it all soak in, why don’t ya.  **Shameless plug time!: Check out my new podcast “The Second String Podcast” which I do with our sister station 106.1 Your Georgia Country’s Morning Show host Walker. We are just two guys who wish we were famous sports radio personalities talking sports. You can listen by clicking the link to the Podcast on this website’s On Demand tab. Thanks!
  • LaVar Ball pulled his son, LiAngelo, out of UCLA weeks after the Bruins basketball player and two of his teammates were arrested in China for stealing a pair of sunglasses. >> Read more trending news LaVar Ball confirmed to ESPN on Monday that he had removed his son from the university. TMZ first reported the decision. LiAngelo Ball was indefinitely suspended alongside teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill after they were accused last month of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store next to their hotel in Hangzhou, China. If convicted, the trio would have faced 10-year sentences. 'I'm not sitting back and waiting,' LaVar Ball told ESPN. 'We get back over here and the consequences were even stiffer than China. So basically they're in jail here.' >> Related: UCLA basketball players thank president for help after arrest in China The trio apologized to their teammates, friends, families and the government – including President Donald Trump – at a news conference after they were returned to the U.S. on Nov. 14. According to ESPN, Riley, Hill and LiAngelo Ball were subject to review for possible violations to UCLA’s Student Conduct Code. The code includes a section on theft. UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford announced last month that the trio would be suspended indefinitely. ESPN reported that the players have not been allowed to suit up, travel or practice with the UCLA basketball team. >> Related: LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates arrested in China could get 10 years in prison if convicted 'These are good young men who exercised an inexcusable lack of judgment,' Alford said at a news conference last month. “At some point, they may be permitted to join team workouts, practices and meetings, but that timeline has yet to be determined. They will have to earn their way back.
  • The three UCLA basketball players previously detained by Chinese police on shoplifting allegations were being allowed to return to the United States on Tuesday, according to a report by The Washington Post. >> Read more trending news LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were questioned and arrested by police after being accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store next to their hotel in Hangzhou, China. The three players were released on bond Wednesday and did not play in Friday’s game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai, China. >> Related: LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates arrested in China could get 10 years in prison if convicted The report of the players’ release comes hours after President Donald Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the players’ case. “They’re working on it right now... Hopefully everything is going to work out,” Trump told reporters on his tour of Asia, according to the Washington Post. China Sports Insider reported Tuesday the charges of shoplifting were officially dropped for all three players.
  • University of Miami coach Jim Larranaga said his legal team believes he is “Coach-3,” as noted in the Department of Justice report about the FBI investigation into college basketball’s underbelly. >> Read more trending news “I am grateful we have come to that conclusion,” said Larranaga, “as I know I did nothing wrong, and it is comforting to know none of my assistants are connected in any way.” He added that the U.S. attorney’s office has not confirmed the identity of “Coach-3.” In a news conference at the Watsco Center, Larranaga addressed the media for the first time since the Sept. 26 complaint was unveiled in New York. Uncharacteristically, he read from a prepared statement. He fielded questions afterward from reporters about the emotional impact, but referred all inquiries about the investigation to his statement, which said he appreciated that the media had a job to do, but that he would not offer comment. Larranaga’s full statement:  “I cannot state more emphatically that I absolutely have no knowledge of any wrongdoing by any member of our staff and I certainly have never engaged in the conduct that some have speculated about,” Larranaga said, holding a piece of paper with both hands. “I have tried to live every single one of my 68 years on this earth with integrity, character, and humility. … To have those values that I cherish so dearly even questioned, is disheartening and disappointing.” “Coach-3,” in the FBI report, was said to know about an Adidas executive and others conspiring to funnel some $150,000 to a 2018 recruit, later learned to be Orlando-based five-star wing Nassir Little. Little and his father signed statements, provided to The Post by Larranaga’s legal team, saying they accepted no money, never discussed payment with any of the men charged, and they and Miami did nothing wrong. >> Related: Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC coaches among 10 charged with corruption Asked about his relationship with former Adidas executive Jim Gatto, who was one of 10 men indicted by the FBI on conspiracy and fraud charges, Larranaga declined to comment, referring to the statement. “It’s been a strain, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” Larranaga said. “It’s something that’s there. I have to deal with it. I have the support of my wife and a wonderful family. I have the support of the university, my staff and players.” Both Ja’Quan Newton and Bruce Brown, the two players Miami made available to the media, said they were not aware of the details of the investigation. They said practice has been as usual, and they’ve noticed no change in their coach. “Around us, ‘Coach L’ isn’t going to show he’s hurt,” Newton said. “He’s so happy to be around us.” Larranaga said he briefed his players on Sept. 26, along with UM Athletics Director Blake James. “They have nothing to do with this,” Larranaga said. “It hasn’t been talked about since.” Asked how the investigation has affected recruiting, Larranaga said it has been a negative, but his staff is “very strong and resilient, and we’ll figure out a way to recruit successfully.” UM does not have a verbal commitment for 2018. It had an official visit set up the weekend of Sept. 9 with five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, but it was canceled when Hurricane Irma forced UM to evacuate the campus. Asked if he has received messages of support from colleagues, Larranaga answered, “Yes.” Asked if that has helped, Larranaga answered with the same flat, “Yes.”
  • ATHENS, Ga. — Five Saturday home dates and a New Year’s Eve matchup at Kentucky highlight the Georgia Bulldogs’ 2017-18 Southeastern Conference basketball schedule, which was announced by the league office on Thursday.   “I think this schedule is great for our fans because we have a significant number of Saturday home games,” head coach Mark Fox said. “Certainly having Saturday games is more fan-friendly. Hopefully, it will help give our football program some good recruiting weekends, too.”   Georgia will host Alabama (Jan. 6), South Carolina (Jan. 13), Auburn (Feb. 10), Tennessee (Feb. 17) and LSU (Feb. 24) for Saturday matchups at the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum this winter. The Bulldogs’ remaining home dates include Ole Miss on Wednesday, Jan. 3; Arkansas on Tuesday, Jan. 23; Florida on Tuesday, Jan. 30; and Texas A&M on Wednesday, Feb. 28.   The SEC slate begins with a Sunday, Dec. 31 trip to Lexington to face Kentucky.    “You know there are going to be 18 very solid teams on our league schedule,” Fox said. “No matter what order they’re placed in there’s going to be a lot of great, competitive games.”   The rest of Georgia’s road slate includes trips to the Bulldogs’ five home-and-home foes – Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee – as well as contests at Missouri, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.   Times and television assignments for all 14 SEC teams will be announced at a later date.   The Bulldogs will welcome back nine of their top-10 scorers from last season, when Georgia finished 19-15 and earned a postseason bid for the fifth time in head coach Mark Fox’s eight seasons in Athens. Headlining the returnees is two-time, consensus All-SEC forward Yante Maten. A senior from Pontiac, Mich., Maten enters the 2017-18 campaign as the league’s active leader in career points, rebounds and blocked shots.    The Bulldogs are in the midst of one of their winningest stretches ever. Georgia’s seniors from the 2016-17 season won 80 games, the second-most ever by a group of Bulldogs. Over the past five seasons, Georgia has won 51 SEC games, the largest half-decade tally in school history.   Seasons tickets for the Bulldogs’ 15-game home schedule are $225 for the public and $112.50 for UGA faculty/staff.   Contributors to the Georgia Bulldog Club’s Basketball Enhancement Fund (BEF) may order season and SEC Tournament tickets here.   Season tickets my be ordered by non-BEF contributors here.    Also, BEF donors and season ticket holders will receive an exclusive pre-sale for all single game tickets from September 5-30. Single game tickets will only be available for BEF donors and season ticket holders during this time and will be available both online or by calling the UGA ticket office at 877-542-1231.   Basketball Enhancement Fund Information 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.   For more information on making a BEF contribution, contact the Georgia Bulldog Club via phone (706-542-9220) or email (gadawgs@sports.uga.edu).   Stegeman Coliseum Renovation Information Stegeman Coliseum is undergoing major renovations this summer. Work is ongoing in Phase II of an 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 massive 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.
  • 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.