Alright. Alright. Alright. Believe it or not, it’s March again. Yes, Georgia football had another disappointing season. Yes, Donald Trump actually became president (Not kidding, it actually happened). And Yes, Georgia basketball is still mediocre. Surprisingly, we were not supposed to be in this position though. This year was supposed to be different. We were supposed to actually be pretty good. The Dawgs were picked to finish 4th, in the SEC, in the preseason polls. We had two all-sec upperclassmen returning (JJ Frazier and Yante Maten). And somehow, someway Georgia fans were tricked, once again, into having hope for one of their sports teams. And guess what, Georgia did what they do best. They pulled a frickin Georgia (Unfortunately the disease doesn’t just affect the football team). Which brings me to my point: Mark Fox gotta go.
I’ll begin with this: The SEC basketball awards were just announced the other day, and believe it or not Georgia had not one, but two (Yes two) first team All-SEC selections. Now most people would read that and say, "That’s good. Their program must be on the rise. They must finally be getting their act together over there in Athens." Well in the words of Lee Corso "Not so fast, my friends!" The argument for Mark Fox has always been "Oh He’s a great X’s and O’s guy, but he just doesn’t have any talent to work with." Uh well he had the talent this year, and Uh we still sucked. Georgia has two of the top 8 players in the SEC this year, and we aren’t even gong to make the NCAA tournament. That right there is cause enough to fire Mark Fox. I mean Scott Brooks had two of the top 8 players in the NBA (Westbrook and Durant), and we all saw what happened to him, when he didn’t produce. I really shouldn’t and don’t need to write anything more. But, unfortunately for Mark Fox, there are many more reasons why he needs to go. So, I’ll continue.
Abysmal Performances Against Top Competition
Georgia has played 19 games against top 25 teams over the past 4 seasons. Guess how many of those we have won. One. We are 1-18 against top 25 teams under the leadership of Mark Fox over the past 4 seasons. We have won one frickin game and it came against the 25th ranked team in the country (South Carolina last season), so it barely counts. To make matters worse, our average margin of defeat in those losses is 13 points, so we don’t even belong on the court with most of these teams. Also included in these losses are two 34 point humiliations by Kentucky and Texas A&M.
Lack of Ability to Recruit
Alabama Football. Kentucky Basketball. Duke Basketball. Ohio State football. What do all these college athletics programs have in common? Well, for one, they are all great. And second, they all recruit at a very high level. Believe it or not, those two things go hand in hand. And you usually don’t see one without the other. To win in any sport, you have to have the best athletes. Great players can make a bad coach, and bad players can break a good coach. But, being able to recruit is a key part of what makes a good coach (John Calipari is a great example).
So how has Georgia’s basketball recruiting looked under Mark Fox? Bad. Actually, it’s been down right disgraceful. In the 8 seasons that Fox has been at Georgia, we have zero top 25 recruiting classes. Yes, you read that right, ZERO. In fact, we have only had 3 classes ranked in the top 50. For those of you that don’t know, Georgia is one of the most talent rich states for basketball recruiting in the country. The city of Atlanta, by itself, has been a mecca for top talent over the years (Dwight Howard, Derrick favors, Wendell Carter, Josh Smith, Jaylen Brown, etc.). In the past 8 recruiting cycles under Mark Fox, Georgia has landed a grand total of 5 of the top 10 players in the state of Georgia. That’s 5 for 80 or a 6% success rate, and less than one top 10 in-state player a year. Not good. In fact we’ve only signed 3 top 100 players in the country in his whole coaching tenure. It’s pretty clear that Mark Fox just can’t recruit. We don’t have the talent, and there’s no reason to think that Mark’s going to wake up tomorrow and all the sudden start killing it on the recruiting trail.
Basketball recruiting is much easier than football recruiting too, in my opinion. All you have to do is sign 2-3 good players a year and you’re sitting pretty. As opposed to finding 20-30 for football. All Georgia and Mark Fox have to do is sign 2-3 of the top players in the state of Georgia, hell you could argue all you have to do is sign 2-3 of the top players in Atlanta, to be successful. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense. And he can’t even do that.
Don’t get me wrong, Mark Fox is a really nice guy (then again, so was Mark Richt), and my goal is not to make this personal. But, he’s just not cutting it. The man can’t recruit, and he’s proven time and time again that he can’t coach either. Georgia basketball has now made the NCAA tournament twice in the last 8 seasons under Fox. Both times barely making it in as a "bubble" team and quickly being knocked out in the first round. And he’s shown zero signs of being able to recruit. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve seen all I need to see. In fact, I knew what we had in mark Fox after 4 years, the last 4 have just confirmed that belief. Considering the resources we have available at the University of Georgia (and yes, there are plenty), we should be much better than this. The expectations should be making the NCAA tournament every year at a minimum. It’s now year 8 in the Mark Fox era, and Georgia basketball is pretty much right where it was eight years ago. We still only make the NCAA tournament once every four years, we still can’t recruit, and Kentucky is still the only game that sells out every year (Okay, sometimes Florida, just because we hate them). The program has shown no signs of improvement on the court or in recruiting, and it’s time to make a change.
It’s a pretty simple solution, in my opinion. Fire Fox. Hire one of the top AAU coaches in the City of Atlanta. Land a top 10 recruiting class every year, and put Kentucky and the rest of the SEC on notice that we coming for them. But we won’t do it. That would just make too much sense.
Oh yeah, and can someone please send this article to Greg McGarity. Obviously, he’s in his own little LaLA land. If McGarity does indeed stick to his word, and decides to keep Fox, he is sending a loud and clear message: At Georgia we just don’t care about basketball.
For those of you wondering why Calipari was fighting so hard for Fox to keep his job, this should give you some clarity LOL!