Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s exit to the NBA will set the Georgia Bulldogs back mightily this season. Replacing KC-P is just one of the many concerns for Mark Fox entering the 2013-14 campaign.
Last Season: T-8th, 9-9 in SEC, 15-17 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 13th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Donte Williams (Sr)/Tim Dixon (Jr)/John Cannon (Jr)
F: Nemanja Djurisic (Jr)/Marcus Thornton (Jr)/Houston Kessler (Fr)
SF: Brandon Morris (So)/Cameron Forte (So)/Kenny Paul Geno (Fr)
SG: Kenny Gaines (So)/Juwan Parker (Fr)
PG: Charles Mann (So)/J.J. Frazier (Fr)
Gone: SG-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, PG-Vincent Williams, G-Sherrard Brantley, C-John Florveus
For a team that finished 307th in Division One in scoring offense, the loss of Caldwell-Pope is monumental since he accounted for nearly one-third of the team’s points. That leaves Nemanja Djurisic as the Georgia Bulldogs leading returning scorer despite the fact that he averaged less than eight points per game last year.
It will take a team effort to replace KC-P since there isn’t one guy ready to make that sort of leap especially with all the youth in the backcourt. Of the returning players, Charles Mann showed promise during his freshman campaign and will be handed the keys to the offense. After that, it is a total crapshoot.
Brandon Morris started twenty games at small forward last season but by no means was an integral part of the offense. He and fellow sophomore Kenny Gaines are the favorites to start on the wing alongside Mann. JUCO transfer Cameron Forte should have the opportunity to play quality minutes right away. Forte has bounced around from Texas Tech to Northern Arizona to Howard Junior College, and now ending up with Georgia. Mark Fox didn’t land a terrific 2013 recruiting class so it would be asking an awful lot for the Dawgs to get a ton of production from their freshmen trio of J.J. Frazier, Juwan Parker, and Kenny Paul Geno.
Djurisic and Donte Williams return as frontcourt starters. Djurisic is a face-up who can stretch defenses with his outside shooting while Williams relies more on his abilities as a rebounder/shot blocker. An x-factor for the Bulldogs will be Marcus Thornton. The former Mr. Basketball in Georgia has battled injuries since his arrival and simply hasn’t been able to stay on the floor. Tim Dixon and John Cannon will add some size and depth in the middle while Houston Kessler will try to crack the rotation after redshirting last season.
With only one senior on the roster and a backcourt made up entirely of underclassmen, Georgia will suffer their share of lumps this season. It is likely the Dawgs will struggle to score the basketball even more than they did a year ago.
Player to Watch: Kenny Gaines
Gaines was Georgia’s top recruit in the 2012 class but didn’t get a chance to shine last season being stuck behind Caldwell-Pope and some senior guards. With minutes for the taking, Gaines will get his chance to play a more prominent role. If the Bulldogs have any chance of exceeding low expectations, Gaines has to have a breakout sophomore season.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/21 vs. Davidson (Charleston Classic)
11/22 vs. Temple/Clemson (Charleston Classic)
11/23 vs. New Mexico/UAB/UMass/Nebraska (Charleston Classic)
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks