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UGA men's hoops exhibition recap

11/4/2011

Georgia's lone preseason exhibition game is in the books and the Bulldogs cruised to a ho-hum 74-50 win against Morehouse on Friday at Stegeman Coliseum.

It was the UGA debut for five new Bulldogs -- most significantly McDonald's All-American Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had six points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 20 minutes off the bench.

Another newcomer, 6-foot-8 freshman forward Nemanja Djurisic, started and was one of two Bulldogs in double figures with 12 points and four rebounds.

Senior guard Gerald Robinson led the team with 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals in 20 minutes.

"That's a good way to start. That first shot went in and I felt much comfortable when it went in," said Djurisic, a native of Podgorica, Montenegro. "Dustin [Ware] came to me and said, 'The first one went in. Now you just need to act like you've done it before.' That makes it easier. It was really nice hearing my name and seeing those fans. It was really a great experience."

A few observations:

* A quick glance at the roster would give it away, but Georgia will have to rely on its perimeter game much more heavily this year. Gone are guys like Trey Thompkins, Jeremy Price, Chris Barnes and Travis Leslie who can get it done in the post. The Bulldogs have a few big guys, but most of them are young and none of them are big bangers like the ones who were often the centerpiece of Georgia's game plan last season.

Georgia outrebounded Morehouse 45-30, but it's going to be more difficult to beat the Vanderbilts and Floridas on the boards. The Bulldogs will clearly play a quicker brand of basketball this year.

"It's a different team," Robinson said. "I guess the question was how we are going to play with this different team and I guess you're seeing a little bit more up-tempo. We have a whole different framework, a different style of bodies on our team, so we're going to have to play the way that's best going to help us be successful."

* Caldwell-Pope was probably pressing on Friday night. He was 2-for-9 from the floor, including 2-for-6 from 3-point range, and committed four fouls. He admitted after the game he suffered from a case of nerves.

"When I first got out there, I was a little nervous, a little shaky," Caldwell-Pope said. "My first jump shot was a little shaky when I shot it, so yeah I was a little nervous."

It was still an acceptable debut. He played pretty well on the defensive end and made a couple nice passes.

"I thought I did good on certain parts," Caldwell-Pope said. "My defense was a little better. Offense could have been better, could have knocked down shots. I was just out there helping my team win."

* It got a bit sloppy in the second half for the Bulldogs, who substituted liberally throughout and played 14 players. Georgia turned the ball over only five times in the first half, but finished with 16. They outscored Morehouse 33-31 in the second half after building a 22-point halftime lead.

"I don't like the fact that we turned the ball over 12 times in the second half. I like the fact that we only turned it over five times in the first half," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "I felt like defensively we had some very good possessions. We didn't play very well defensively when we got ahead.

"When you play as many guys as we were running in and out of there, different combinations, I didn't expect we would get a great offensive rhythm, so that doesn't concern me as much because we played so many pieces."

* Freshman John Cannon quietly had six points and five rebounds in eight minutes.

* Matt Bucklin created the biggest roar from the sparse crowd when he drained a 3-pointer with 1:10 to play.