Blowing a 14 point lead and losing to Alabama in the SEC tourney put Mark Fox and the Georgia Bulldogs squarely on the bubble, but a high RPI and strength of schedule awarded them with, what most thought, a high 10 seed. At times, UGA looks like a team that can compete with any in the nation but they haven’t figure out how to play an entire game. With it being so late in the season I’m not sure if they ever will, but if they are going to upset Washington on Friday Coach Fox will need to have his players prepared on defense because the Huskies like to run up and down the floor. If Georgia is to win, they will need to play good team defense and control the tempo throughout the game, otherwise it will be a long night for the Bulldogs.
Mark Fox joined WQXI in Atlanta to talk about if he was surprised Georgia was a #10 seed, what it is about Washington that jumps right out at him, and how he is going to get his team to adjust to playing later than normal.
If he was surprised Georgia was a #10 seed:
“I don’t know. I felt like if you look at the teams that we probably had a resume that was stronger, so I felt very confident going in. The seeding process, because of the rule, teams not being able to play teams in their own league sometimes it can be a little bit skewed. So I am not sure if I felt like we should be a 10, 11, 12 really did not care, just wanted to get in.”
Whether their opportunity had passed them after losing to Alabama in the SEC tournament:
“I felt like we were going to be in the tournament, you never know for sure, but I was disappointed. We had some chances and just did not play well, so I was angry… I know our team was disappointed and they left like they let something go, and you never know. As a coach or a player, you never know…”
On the team not being able to compete for an entire game despite at times looking like one of the better teams in the nation:
“We are probably not mature enough, experienced enough, deep enough to be a complete basketball team yet. There is a lot of teams that can’t do that. I think in today’s game there is very few teams that are complete, and experienced and deep, so you have moments during the 40 minutes where you may not play your best basketball and the key is to try and limit those times and when they happen out a stop to them and then respond to the adverse situation.”
Whether getting into the NCAA tournament was what he expected out of his team:
“I appreciate your congratulations because it is a proud moment for us, but as a coach, and hopefully as players, the goal is not to just get in. You want to go participate, you want to play well, you want to give yourself a chance to win and ultimately you want to win games and I think with this team if we get off cloud 9 and prepare the right way we got a chance, but we got to regroup and prepare that way.”
What it is about Washington that jumps right out at him:
“Well they are a great offensive team. They are scoring a boatload of points, almost 85 points a game. They got great speed and athleticism, so I think from the standpoint of just pure talent they rank pretty well with everybody. They have a very good backcourt, a terrific lead guard in Isaiah Thomas, they have big, athletic frontline players. They have had a team that has been explosive all year so we will have to gear up for that.”
How he is going to get his team to adjust to playing later than normal:
“That is a little bit unique. Fortunately with today’s generation I don’t think they go to bed as early as I do so I am going to have to adjust my schedule more than the players do, but we will adjust it a little bit this week. Probably practice a little bit later as we start getting near the end of the week and then just at that time you have got to be willing to play any time, any place. I don’t care if the game is at midnight, when you are in the tournament you have got to get ready to play.”