Georgia men’s basketball didn’t make the top 25 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll, but it did receive some recognition from the voters.
The Bulldogs have 6 points in the inaugural edition of this year’s poll. One point is awarded for the 25th spot, two points for the 24th and so on up the list. Six points puts Georgia in 21st place among teams not getting enough points to finish in the top 25. Georgia coach Mark Fox is a voter in the poll.
Only one SEC team was awarded a spot in the top 25, and, unsurprisingly, it’s Kentucky. The Wildcats were voted fourth. Georgia and Kentucky square off twice this season, in Lexington, Ky. on Jan. 31, then a return trip to Athens Feb. 18.
Other SEC teams that received votes included Texas A&M (22), Florida (11) and Arkansas (2). The Bulldogs have home and road games against the Gators this season, and face both Texas A&M and Arkansas on the road.
The Bulldogs also have an out-of-conference game scheduled with one preseason top 25 team: a Jan. 28 home matchup with the No. 22 Texas Longhorns as part of the Big 12-SEC Challenge
Although it finished outside the top 25 in the coaches poll, Georgia did received recognition with preseason SEC honors. The Bulldogs were picked by the media to finish fourth in the conference, behind Kentucky, Florida and Texas A&M. J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten — Georgia’s two leading scorers last season — were selected preseason first- and second-team All-SEC, respectively. Frazier and Maten also received votes for SEC player of the year.
In Frazier and Maten, Fox believes he has two players in key positions he can build around this season.
“Every coach would like to have a really good lead guard, just like every football coach wants a good quarterback,” Fox said Wednesday at SEC Media Day. “As coaches, we also want a very good interior player who’s proven, and we have both of those things. They give us a great starting point and now we have to put the pieces around them.”
Last season, Georgia finished 20-14 and advanced to the second round of the NIT. Fox is entering his eighth season in charge of the Bulldogs, and he’s shooting for his fourth consecutive 20-win season