Georgia Basketball: Final 2014-15 Grades Are In

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Mar 19, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Fox during practice before the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching: A-

The first job of a coach is to assemble talent. While Georgia needs better players up and down the roster, Mark Fox has done a good of assembling resilient players that play together. The players complement each other and there is an effective distribution of, if not abundance of, post players, ball handlers, defenders and shooters.

Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Bulldogs /

Georgia Bulldogs

With the talent assembled, coach Fox taught this team to play superb team defense. Despite a short bench and injuries, the team used defense to win 20 regular season games, taking an SEC Tourney four seed over several teams that are more talented.

Coaching on court character is what Coach Fox does best. This team, like all of coach Fox’s teams at Georgia, was remarkably resilient and fought until the final horn.

With limited offensive talent, Fox used the physical strength of his team, especially Marcus Thornton and Charles Mann, to attack the basket inside. In doing so, Fox got his team to the free throw line and made space for his limited jump shooters to be effective.

As in an game coach, there has been little to complain about since Fox arrived in Athens. His game planning and scouting is always good. The Dawgs are effective using set plays out of timeouts. When the Dawgs are lethargic, Fox quickly searches for a spark plug off the bench.

Georgia won 20 games with limited talent and roster numbers. The Dawgs final RPI is 42, ranking the Dawgs in the top 12 percent of all D1 schools and third in the SEC. This was Mark Fox’s finest coaching season at Georgia.

The biggest issue for Mark Fox is recruiting talent, and it appears that deficiency is being addressed.

Next: Final grade