Georgia Bulldogs basketball
The Georgia Bulldogs basketball program is the men's college basketball team representing the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Established in 1891, the team has competed in the Southeastern Conference since its inception in 1932. As of 2020 the Bulldogs have amassed a record of 1,434–1,319. Though it has been historically overshadowed by the school's football program, the Bulldogs' basketball squad has had its share of successes, including a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1983 under head coach Hugh Durham. The school has also produced a number of basketball greats, notably Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins.
|University||University of Georgia|
|Head coach||Tom Crean (3rd season)|
|Arena||Stegeman Coliseum |
|Colors||Red and Black|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|NCAA Tournament Round of 32|
|1983, 1985, 1996, 2002|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1983, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2015|
|NIT Final Four|
|NIT Second Round|
|1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1998, 2007, 2014, 2016|
|NIT Tournament Appearances|
|1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2017|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
|1917, 1932, 1983, 2008|
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
Georgia was a founding member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA), the first collegiate athletic conference formed in the United States. Georgia participated in the SIAA from its establishment in 1895 until 1921. In 1921, the Bulldogs, along with 12 other teams, left the SIAA and formed the Southern Conference. In 1932, the Georgia Bulldogs left the Southern Conference to form and join the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Coach Rex Enright led Georgia to great success in the old Southern Conference during the 1931 and 1932 seasons. His 1931 team finished with a 23–2 (15–1) record. The Bulldogs were upset in the Southern Conference tournament semi-finals by Maryland, 26–25.
The 1932 team didn't have the dominating record that the 1931 team did, finishing 19–7 (7–4). But this team did something that the previous year's team could not do in winning the Southern Conference tournament defeating Mississippi State, Virginia, Duke, and North Carolina.
Coach Hugh Durham brought Georgia to its first ever post season appearance in 1981. That team finished with a 19–12 (9–9) record. They earned an NIT bid and the enthusiasm surrounding the program earned them home games in first defeating Old Dominion and then in a loss to South Alabama.
The 1982 Bulldogs were 19–12 (10–8) were once again NIT bound. This time UGA made it all the way to the NIT Final Four defeating Temple, Maryland, and Virginia Tech before losing a heart breaker to Purdue at Madison Square Garden.
These two teams marked the beginning of a post season streak of eight straight seasons, longest in Georgia basketball history. This string included three NCAA appearances (including one Final Four in 1983) and five NIT bids. This was a remarkable streak of consistency for a program that had never before experienced the post season beyond the SEC tournament.
Former NBA star Dominique Wilkins is considered the greatest player in school history. However, Wilkins never played in the NCAA tournament; the Bulldogs made their first NCAA appearance in 1983—which would have been Wilkins' senior year had he not opted for the NBA. The 1983 team made it to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship before being eliminated by eventual champion North Carolina State. On the way to the Final Four, UGA defeated Virginia Commonwealth, #3 St. John's led by legendary coach Lou Carneseca and Chris Mullen, and defending national champion North Carolina led by Dean Smith and featuring Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, and Brad Daugherty. The latter two victories coming at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. UGA previously had won the Southeastern Conference tournament in Birmingham, AL defeating Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Alabama to earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
The 1987 Georgia basketball team suffered injury after injury after injury leaving the team with only seven players available. Coach Hugh Durham had no choice but to alter the playing style of his team after conference play had started, slowing the game down and "taking the air out of the ball." What looked to be a disastrous season, where the team might not win another game, turned into an inspiring one as the team rallied to an 18–12 (10–8) record and earning an NCAA tournament bid. When Durham ordered the NCAA tournament banner to be displayed at Stegeman Coliseum, he had it made in silver, rather than the traditional red, with the initials "TMW" at the bottom. The initials standing for what this team will forever be known as in UGA basketball history, "The Miracle Workers."
Tubby Smith led the Bulldogs to a 21–10 (9–7) record securing its first NCAA bid since the 1991 season. Georgia made the most of it by defeating Clemson and the West Regional's top seed, Purdue, in Albuquerque, NM before losing a heart stopping overtime game to Syracuse in the Sweet 16.
In 1997, Georgia finished 23–9 (10–6) winning the prestigious Rainbow Classic holiday tournament in Hawaii, defeating Washington State, Memphis, and Maryland. UGA beat LSU, South Carolina, and Arkansas to advance to the SEC tournament final in Memphis, losing the final to Kentucky.
Smith's successor, Ron Jirsa, led the 1998 Bulldogs to a 21–14 (8–8) record, reaching the 20 win mark for the third consecutive year for the first time in Georgia basketball history. They would go on to reach the NIT Final Four winning at Iowa, at North Carolina State, and beating Vanderbilt at home.
2008 SEC Tournament: The Dream DawgsEdit
In the 2007–2008 season, Georgia's men's basketball team came into the 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament with a 13–16 overall record and a 4–12 conference mark. At one point, the team sustained two five-game losing streaks during a 2-of-12 stretch in conference play. In the first round of the tournament, Georgia was slated to play Ole Miss, who had beaten the Bulldogs in the season-closer, securing the Rebels' only road SEC win of the season. The game went into overtime after Rebel David Huertas hit all three free throws after a three-point shooting foul, and looked to go into a second extra period after Chris Warren did the same. However, with 0.4 seconds left in overtime, Georgia senior Dave Bliss banked in the game-winner to shock the Rebels and send Georgia into a second-round matchup with Kentucky.
On the night of March 14, 2008, tornadoes hit Atlanta, in whose Georgia Dome the SEC Tournament was housed. The Georgia-Kentucky matchup was rescheduled for the early afternoon of March 15, 2008, with the winner advancing to play the SEC West's #1 seed, Mississippi State, later that evening. The remaining games in the tournament would be played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, the basketball complex of Georgia Tech, UGA's in-state rival. Again playing an overtime game in which Georgia star Sundiata Gaines fouled out, Georgia freshman Zac Swansey hit a turnaround three-point jumper with 1.4 seconds left to give the Bulldogs the team's first ever win over Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. That night, Georgia defeated Mississippi State 64–60 to become the first team since Kentucky in 1952 to win two tournament games in one day, and the first-ever #6 seed from a division to advance to the modern (post-1992) SEC tournament finals.
In the finals, Georgia faced Arkansas, which had lost to Georgia 82–69 in the regular season. Georgia prevailed again, at one point leading the Razorbacks by nineteen points en route to winning its first tournament championship in 25 years. Sundiata Gaines and Terrance Woodbury were both named to the All-Tournament Team, with Gaines winning the tournament's MVP. The improbable list of achievements—winning the tournament as a 6-seed, playing two games in one day to reach the finals, playing two games (against Kentucky and Mississippi State) in which Gaines fouled out with a substantial amount of time to play, doing it on a rival's home court, and winning four consecutive elimination games following a season during which their longest winning streak stood at three—earned the 2007–2008 team the nickname of Dream Dawgs.
With the victory, Georgia secured itself an automatic bid in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Georgia's appearance in the tournament was the tenth overall in team history and the first since the 2002 NCAA Basketball Tournament. After their SEC Championship run, the Bulldogs were seeded 14th in the NCAA Tournament, playing against the #3 seeded Xavier Musketeers. After developing a lead early in the 2nd half, the Bulldogs could not hold on, as Xavier went on to win 73–61.
Coach Dennis Felton failed to follow up the surprise successes of 2008 with victories in 2008–09, and he was fired on January 29, 2009.
2009–2018: Mark Fox eraEdit
2018: Tom Crean eraEdit
Team awards and recordsEdit
Georgia has won one regular-season Southeastern Conference championship (1990) and two conference tournament championships (1983 and 2008). The Bulldogs were SEC Eastern Division co-Champs in 1994–1995. Georgia also was the Southern Conference champions for 1931–1932.
NCAA tournament resultsEdit
The Bulldogs have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 12 times. Their combined record is 7–12. However, their appearances in 1985 and 2002 have been vacated by the NCAA making their official record 5–10.
|1983||#4||Round of 32
#1 St. John's
#2 North Carolina
#6 NC State
|1985*||#6||Round of 64
Round of 32
|#11 Wichita State
|1987||#8||Round of 64||#9 Kansas State||L 79–82 OT|
|1990||#7||Round of 64||#10 Texas||L 88–100|
|1991||#11||Round of 64||#6 Pittsburgh||L 68–76 OT|
|1996||#8||Round of 64
Round of 32
L 81–83 OT
|1997||#3||Round of 64||#14 Chattanooga||L 70–73|
|2001||#8||Round of 64||#9 Missouri||L 68–70|
|2002*||#3||Round of 64
Round of 32
|#14 Murray State
#11 Southern Illinois
|2008||#14||Round of 64||#3 Xavier||L 61–73|
|2011||#10||Round of 64||#7 Washington||L 65–68|
|2015||#10||Round of 64||#7 Michigan State||L 63–70|
* Vacated by the NCAA
The Bulldogs have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 14 times. Their combined record is 13–14.
|1984||First Round||Chattanooga||L 69–74|
|1993||First Round||West Virginia||L 84–95|
|1995||First Round||Nebraska||L 61–69|
3rd Place Game
|1999||First Round||Clemson||L 57–77|
|2004||First Round||Iowa State||L 74–82|
|2017||First Round||Belmont||L 69–78|
|Zippy Morocco||Guard||1953||Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press|
|Bob Lienhard (2)||Center||1969, 1970||Helms Athletic Foundation|
|Dominique Wilkins (2)||Forward||1981, 1982||The Sporting News, NABC, UPI, Associated Press|
|Vern Fleming (2)||Guard||1983, 1984||Kodak, NABC|
|Cedric Henderson||Forward||1985||Associated Press|
|Litterial Green||Guard||1989||Basketball Weekly|
|Litterial Green||Guard||1991||Associated Press|
|Jumaine Jones||Forward||1999||Associated Press|
|Jarvis Hayes (2)||Forward||2002, 2003||Associated Press|
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||Guard||2013||Associated Press|
|Yante Maten||Forward||2018||Associated Press|
Basketball Hall of FameEdit
- Dominique Wilkins, inducted on April 3, 2006
Notable former playersEdit
- Shandon Anderson
- Willie Anderson
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Anthony Edwards
- Terry Fair (1960–2020)
- Vern Fleming
- Sundiata Gaines
- Litterial Green
- Jarvis Hayes
- Jumaine Jones
- Alec Kessler
- Bob Lienhard
- LaVon Mercer, Georgia's career-leader in blocks and field-goal percentage
- Mark Slonaker
- Jim Umbricht
- Dominique Wilkins
- Dennis Williams
|2||C.O. Heidler||1908–10, 12||16–6||.727|
|3||W.A. Cunningham||1911, 17||10–6||.625|
|11||Elmer A. Lampe||1938–46||82–84||.499|
|22||Pete Herrmann||2009 (interim)||3–9||.250|
† – Does not include 1 win and 1 loss from the 1985 NCAA Tournament vacated due to sanctions.
‡ – Does not include 30 wins and 1 loss vacated due to sanctions.
- University of Georgia Brand Guide (PDF). June 26, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
- "Southern Conference History" (PDF). Southern Conference 2006 Media Guide. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
- "UGA Men's Basketball". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
- "Georgia Takes Down Kentucky In Overtime". Retrieved March 22, 2008.[dead link]
- "Dream Dawgs". Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
- "Fox leaves Nevada for Georgia". ESPN. April 3, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "NCAA Basketball Tournament History: Georgia". ESPN. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "Georgia fires Mark Fox after disappointing 9th season". Associated Press. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "Tom Crean named Bulldogs' head coach". GeorgiaDogs.com. March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "Georgia All-Americas". Georgia Bulldogs. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- "Georgia Basketball All-Time Head Coaches". University of Georgia athletic department. Retrieved March 22, 2018.