January 18, 2013

Dawgs look for first SEC win

There are obviously a number of areas Georgia coach Mark Fox would like to see some improvement in heading into Saturday night's game against LSU (8 p.m., CSS).

Take the play of the Bulldogs' point guards, for example, where freshman Charles Mann and senior Vincent Williams have struggled to find the kind of consistency Fox would like to see.

"I think our point guard play has been very inconsistent.Vincent, for instance, had a really good game the other night, but if you look at his turnover numbers they are very high," Fox said Friday. "Charles should be inconsistent because he is a freshman. He's earned a big role, but he's going to make a lot of mistakes as a freshman point guard, because there's so much to learn and adjust to."

Unfortunately, for the Bulldogs' that hasn't been a good formula for success.
Williams was one of the few bright spots in Wednesday's 79-62 loss to Missouri, scoring a career-high 23 points. But with 72 combined turnovers between the two (29 for Williams, 43 for Mann), the extraordinary amount of mistakes is taking its toll.

"That's the thing with Charles, a young guy, who are making reads for the first time. As a high school player, you can get to the rim every time, nobody's going to stop you," Fox said. "Now,when they stop you, you've got to make the right decision and the right read?There's just a lot of decisions and that's where he's learning but needs to make more progress. I think that it comes down to eliminating mistakes and making more plays. We shot a decent percentage the other night but we took away so many opportunities with turnovers."

It would have been even worse if Williams didn't have his career day from the field.

Talk about coming out of the blue.

Before his career-best 23-point effort against the Tigers, Williams had not scored 23 combined points covering Georgia's previous eight games.

"I'll just do whatever it takes to help the team win, whatever puts us in the best situation," Williams said. "Whatever they ask me to do, I will."

The Bulldogs (6-10, 0-3) obviously need all the scoring help they can get.

Finding a compliment to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been a year-long struggle for the Bulldogs, so Williams' effort was a welcomed sight.

No doubt Fox would like a repeat against the Tigers (9-5,0-3).

"I feel it's real important, a lot of teams are paying more attention to him so it should give other guys an opportunity to get some baskets," Williams said. "It's all about being consistent."

At least on this night, Williams was everything Fox would love him to be.

Along with his 23 points, the Miami native only turned the ball over twice and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

"Shots were just falling for me that night. I wasn't rushing anything. They were just falling," Williams said. "It had been a long time."

Fox gave Williams a lot of credit for what he was able to do.

"He took what the defense gave him the other thing which was really the good thing about Vincent's night. If you look back at shot selection, he took what was there," Fox said. "He played a lot of the first half with two fouls. I think for him he needs to take the shots that the defense gives him, but he also needs to know that when he can give another guy a basket, he needs to make a play for somebody else."

NOTES: Georgia used its 11th different starting lineup of the season Wednesday at Missouri, and the Bulldogs have used a different first unit in each of the past five games.The one constant through all 11 lineups has been Caldwell-Pope. Just three other teammates (both Williamses and Nemanja Djurisic) have double-digit starts. ... Fox said Friday that freshman Houston Kessler (who is redshirting) has grown an inch and is now 6-foot-8. ... Georgia and LSU are two of four SEC teams that enter this weekend still winless in conference play.