Georgia Bulldogs Basketball Preview 2014-2015

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Georgia Bulldogs forward Marcus Thornton (2) grabs a rebound in front of South Carolina Gamecocks forward Laimonas Chatkevicius (14) during the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia defeated South Carolina 97-76. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


Unfortunately, the biggest storyline in the off-season was the loss of Brandon Morris. Mark Fox elected to dismiss Morris from the team in July, and as a result, the Bulldogs will be without their leading scorer in the frontcourt (8.6 points per game) from the 2013-2014 season. Still, there is some reason for optimism for Georgia in this area.

First, there are two veterans to lead the group in Marcus Thornton and Nemanja Djurisic. The pair of 6-foot-8 seniors have each played more than 1,500 minutes in a Georgia uniform across three seasons, and they also happen to be the two leading returning rebounders from last season. Thornton is the team’s defensive stopper in the frontcourt, using solid athleticism and strength to disrupt the opposition, with Djurisic is more of an offensive-minded player, including the ability to step out to the perimeter and knock down jump shots.

In reserve, the headliner is freshman Yante Maten. The scouting services were all over the place on the 6-foot-8 big man from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, but he was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state as a high school senior. In addition, Maten was recruited by the likes of Indiana and Michigan State (among others), and he is a big “get” for Mark Fox and this program. It is hard to envision a scenario in which Maten is not the highest-upside big man on the roster immediately, and he should play real minutes from day one.

UGA also boasts the likes of Cameron Forte (a 6-foot-7 junior) and Kenny Paul Geno (a 6-foot-6 sophomore swingman), but for my money, we should see a lot of the trio of Thornton, Djurisic and Maten this season.

Next: Predictions