Georgia Basketball: Fire Mark Fox?

In Features by Blake Lovell

The Georgia Bulldogs saw their season come to a close on Sunday night in Moraga, as Saint Mary’s dropped them 77-65 in the NIT second round.

It wasn’t all that surprising. The Gaels may have had the best argument for being left out of the NCAA tournament, and they’ve only lost one home game all season.

The loss put a bow on Georgia’s interesting season, with the Bulldogs finishing at 20-14 for the 2015-2016 campaign.

Prior to the season, I thought Georgia could battle for an NCAA bid. The Bulldogs didn’t seem to be on the same level as the big four (Kentucky, LSU, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt), but grabbing the league’s fifth NCAA spot didn’t seem out of the question.

That didn’t happen. Despite having an efficient defense, Mark Fox just couldn’t get his team shooting well enough on a consistent basis, and like most people in the SEC, Georgia struggled on the road.

Some called the season a failure. Some thought it may be time for Fox and UGA to part ways.

Not so fast, my friends.

Fox has now led Georgia to three straight 20-win seasons, which has only happened one other time in the program’s history.

Can you fire that? Probably not.

If the Bulldogs underachieve next season? Then maybe you can consider it. Although Georgia loses Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann, it’ll return a dynamic one-two punch in J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten.

Frazier quickly became one of the most exciting players to watch in the entire SEC during the stretch run of the season, and Maten has become a breakout star for Fox and company.

Add in two outstanding incoming freshmen in Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris, and could certainly have the opportunity to compete for a top four finish in the league next season.

Fox isn’t going anywhere this off-season. He’ll be the coach of this team when the new campaign tips off in November. So, for now, it’s best that Georgia fans simply accept that fact.

All signs point towards the Bulldogs taking a big step forward. If they don’t, then you can ramp up the “fire Mark Fox” talk.

 

Blake Lovell is the founder of Southeast Hoops. He hosts the Marching to Madness podcast, which features interviews with coaches around the country. He also hosts a weekly college basketball show on WNSR 560AM/95.9 FM in Nashville. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Athlon Sports, Rivals, FanRag Sports, and many more.