Georgia Bulldogs: Marcus Thornton

Fox talks new signee, recruiting 

April, 18, 2013
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MACON, Ga. -- Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox officially announced his team’s newest 2013 signee Thursday afternoon. He met with reporters at the UGA Day tour stop in Macon on Thursday evening to discuss the newest Bulldog, Kenny Paul Geno, recruiting and the Bulldogs’ 2013-14 schedule.

Geno, a 6-foot-6 small forward, averaged 23.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game as a senior at Boonesville (Miss.) High School. The high riser likely will bring fans to their feet with his leaping ability, but Fox likes his long-range shooting ability even more.

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia coach Mark Fox wished SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope well Monday after the sophomore guard announced that he will skip his final two seasons of college to enter the NBA draft.

“I think he went back and forth some and he took his time,” Fox said. “He took his time, but it wasn’t easy. Even today, in thanking me today and he’s very appreciative of his experience that he’s had at Georgia. He really has enjoyed playing here and he’s got an opportunity to pursue his lifelong dream and he’s chosen to do that.”

ESPN’s Chad Ford ranks Caldwell-Pope as the No. 21 overall prospect and No. 6 shooting guard in the June draft and projects him as a mid-first-round selection. Fox said he believed Caldwell-Pope weighed the proper information before making his decision.

“He went as far as to investigate what life would be like if he’s a guy that’s drafted and is placed in the D-League,” Fox said. “He’s researched this thing very, very well, very deeply and I thought he handled it very well to be honest with you.”

But Caldwell-Pope’s departure likely lowers the ceiling for Fox’s club in 2013-14, much like when juniors Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie entered the 2011 draft and the Bulldogs slipped from 21-12 and a spot in the NCAA tournament to 15-17 the following season.

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KCP's role changes as sophomore 

October, 18, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Away from the court, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope does not seem like the type of guy who would get overly excited about anything. But the soft-spoken sophomore and Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox admit that there were times in his Freshman All-SEC season where he simply was not under control.

“I think Kentavious is really naturally a very quiet, soft-spoken young man, but when the scoreboard turns on or when we start playing, his personality changes and he cares about winning, he cares about playing hard and sometimes we have to slow him down,” Fox said.

“I think looking back at last year, he had a lot of plays defensively where maybe he picked up a foul or two because he didn’t know how to control his motor, he was so aggressive.”

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Notebook: Fox likes Georgia's depth 

October, 10, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Mark Fox doesn’t know for sure how his reconstructed team will fare against an expanded SEC schedule, but Georgia’s basketball coach thinks this will be the deepest and most athletic Bulldogs team he has fielded.

The Bulldogs lost starting guards Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware from last season’s 15-17 club, but the roster of key contributors otherwise remains intact plus three freshmen -- point guard Charles Mann, shooting guard Kenny Gaines and small forward Brandon Morris -- who will play key roles this season.

“We have more pieces this year,” Fox said at Tuesday’s season-opening press conference. “We’re a deeper basketball team, we’re more athletic than we were, we’re a more physical group, certainly a more experienced group than we were last year. We are going to miss the experience of Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware in the backcourt, but that’s really the only key pieces we lost off last year’s team.

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Fox dishes on Samuel L. Jackson's visit 

August, 27, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Samuel L. Jackson didn’t reveal the contents of the mysterious briefcase he carried in “Pulp Fiction,” but the actor shared plenty of thoughts on life with Mark Fox and his Georgia basketball team when he visited Athens last week.

Jackson
Jackson
Fox said he and assistant coach Stacey Palmore hounded Jackson with questions during a round of golf, and he met with Georgia’s basketball and football teams that afternoon, as well.

“He was very gracious talking about different characters he played and how much preparation goes into it and how he got into acting. You name it,” Fox said. “He was very open and talked about how stars deal with fame and how some people mismanage their money and what pitfalls guys can fall into. He talked to our team about some of that, which I thought was terrific. He was as down to Earth as you can imagine and I really appreciated his approach to it. I don’t know if he enjoyed it, but we sure did.”

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Georgia basketball notebook 

July, 30, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox and most of his players met with reporters Monday to discuss their upcoming trip to Italy and their summer practice sessions leading up to the trip.

We’ll have more on the Italy trip tomorrow. For now, here are some updates on the status of the team after adding freshmen Kenny Gaines, Houston Kessler, Charles Mann and Brandon Morris to the roster.

• Fox did not address whether junior forward Donte Williams will face any game punishment related to his May arrest for marijuana possession. Williams said Monday that the case was dismissed and that he passed three drug tests, showing that he is not a drug user (more on this tomorrow, as well)

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Size mismatch lessened by Gator's injury 

February, 24, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The physical disadvantages Georgia (12-15, 3-10 SEC) has faced in the frontcourt this season have been obvious.

“I’d say you can count on one hand the number of times we’ve been physically even up front,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said.

Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET home game against No. 11 Florida (22-6, 10-3) might be one time where the Bulldogs’ post players don’t face a decided physical mismatch -- particularly after Gators forward Will Yeguete suffered a season-ending broken foot in Tuesday’s win against Auburn.

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Postseason still possible for Bulldogs 

February, 18, 2012
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[Watch Sunday's game on ESPN3.]

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia needs a minor miracle to reach the NCAA tournament, but the Bulldogs are still in play for a postseason berth of some sort.

Georgia (12-13, 3-8 SEC) would have to win the SEC tournament next month to sneak into the NCAA tournament field, but if it finishes at or around .500, earning a spot in the NIT or CBI is possible.

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How the game was won: Georgia (12-12, 3-7 SEC) tied Mississippi State (19-6, 6-4) at 59 on Gerald Robinson's layup with 29 seconds left in regulation and then the senior guard scored eight points in overtime as Georgia earned its first road win in SEC play by stunning the 20th-ranked Maroon Bulldogs.

Turning point: Georgia trailed again in overtime before freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left in the extra session to give the Bulldogs a 68-66 lead that they would later push to 70-66 before staving off Mississippi State's last-second charge.

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Win a confidence boost for Bulldogs 

February, 10, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia coach Mark Fox was worried about his team’s slipping confidence prior to Wednesday’s somewhat surprising 81-59 win against Arkansas.

Fox’s Bulldogs (11-12, 2-7 SEC) had hung with their opponents until the closing minutes of most of their conference games, only to fall out of contention at the end. A wire-to-wire dominant win against an Arkansas team that entered with a 16-7 record was good medicine for the young Georgia team, Fox said.

“We were just at that point where they needed to have some success,” said Fox, whose team visits No. 20 Mississippi State (19-5, 6-3) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET. “They’ve been improving, but they still needed to get the result that they wanted, so it was good to have a night like they had the other night.

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Game rewind: Georgia 81, Arkansas 59 

February, 8, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Whatever could have gone right for Georgia against Arkansas on Wednesday went right to near perfection in a surprising 81-59 win that could damage the Razorbacks’ hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

“I feel like everybody was playing hard and we were defending,” said Georgia senior Gerald Robinson, who led the Bulldogs with a career-high 27 points. “I think we held them to a pretty good shooting percentage [26 percent] in the first half, so that’s the main thing. Everybody was defending -- all five people on the floor, helping each other out. I feel like that was a big team-building moment for us tonight.”

A Bulldogs team (11-12, 2-7 SEC) that has struggled offensively throughout the season scored 81 points, a season high for a regulation game, and won by their largest margin of the regular season. That included a scorching 53-percent shooting effort from the floor and 9-for-20 from 3-point range.

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Rapid reaction: Georgia 81, Arkansas 59

February, 8, 2012
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How the game was won: Georgia (11-12, 2-7 SEC) played unquestionably its best half of the season in the opening 20 minutes, taking a 43-24 halftime lead over Arkansas (16-8, 4-5) by shooting a blazing-hot 56 percent from the floor, including a 5-for-12 effort from 3-point range. Gerald Robinson (17 points) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (13) led the charge for the Bulldogs, who led by as many as 24 points in the first half.

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How the game was won: Tennessee (11-12, 3-5 SEC) closed the game on a 39-21 run, gaining retribution for its eariler loss at Georgia (10-12, 1-7) by capitalizing on another late-game scoring lapse by the Bulldogs. Georgia led 41-34 when Nemanja Djurisic made a jumper with 14:42 left in the second half before Tennessee launched its scoring run.

Stat of the game: 34-16. Tennessee’s bench outscored Georgia’s 34-16. Djurisic and John Florveus contributed 15 of those points on a combined 6-for-19 shooting.

Player of the game: Jeronne Maymon. The Tennessee forward not only scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds, he also helped get Georgia’s two best post players, Donte Williams and Marcus Thornton, in foul trouble. Both players eventually fouled out, helping Tennessee close out the win with points in the paint.

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Game rewind: UGA 57, Tennessee 53 (OT) 

January, 18, 2012
1/18/12
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Don’t tell Marcus Thornton that Georgia’s 57-53 overtime win Wednesday against Tennessee was far from a thing of beauty.

The sophomore forward played 23 minutes in his return to the court after a knee injury forced him to sit out for the last month. Plus, his team won for the first time in SEC play.

“Anytime it’s a win, it’s beautiful to me,” said Thornton, who had one rebound, one assist and one steal, though he did not attempt a shot. “It’s nerve-wracking to watch, but I’m just so glad we were able to get out there and fight and get a win against a rival like Tennessee.”

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia opened SEC play against three of the conference’s five best teams -- a merciless opening slate for such a young Bulldogs team.

After consecutive losses to Alabama, Florida and Vanderbilt -- teams that are a combined 40-12 overall and 7-2 in league play -- the Bulldogs (9-8, 0-3 SEC) have yet to win a conference game. South Carolina (8-9, 0-3) is the only other SEC team without an SEC win.

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SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
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Friday, 12/26
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Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
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Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12