Eds: With BKC–Georgia Preview
By The Associated Press=
Last season: 19-15, lost in first round of the NIT.
Coach: Mark Fox.
Who’s gone: G J.J. Frazier, F Houston Kessler, F Kenny Paul Geno, G Brandon Young.
Who’s back: F Yante Maten is SEC’s active career leader in points (1,250), rebounds (606) and blocked shots (149). He averaged 18.2 points and 6.8 rebounds as a junior. F Derek Ogbeidi is team’s leading returning rebounder (7.6). G Juwan Parker returns from his second Achilles tendon injury, one on each leg. Parker is second-leading returning scorer (9.3). The fifth-year senior is working on his second master’s degree. Jordan Harris and William ”Turtle” Jackson shared a starting job in backcourt.
Who’s new: Five-man freshman class includes G Rayshaun Hammonds and F Nicolas Claxton, the 6-foot-11 son of former Georgia and NBA center Charles Claxton. Junior Christian Harrison is a walk-on transfer who was a backup for two years at Troy.
The Skinny: Frazier will be missed as a leader and 3-point scorer. Maten, Ogbeidi and Parker form a strong base. Once again, Fox is under pressure to take Bulldogs to NCAA tournament. Fox has an impressive string of five straight seasons with .500 or better SEC records and had a streak of three straight 20-win seasons snapped last year, but too often his teams have settled for NIT berths. Georgia has only two NCAA bids in Fox’s eight seasons.
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