The All-Time Underappreciated Georgia Basketball Team

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Mar 20, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Charles Mann (4) reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena. Michigan State won 70-63. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Indoor round ball was little more than an after-thought for over half a century and it’s difficult to pick an All-Time Underappreciated Georgia Basketball team from football crazy Athens.

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Can you name the greatest rebounder in the history of Georgia basketball or all members of the Georgia 1983 Final Four starting five? Who was Georgia’s first All-American on the hardcourt and who holds the single game scoring record?  If you recognize the names of three out of four, you are considered basketball crazy in Athens Town.

It’s been downhill since basketball’s introduction to the Athens campus. After playing on the 1912 Georgia basketball team, Howell Peacock stepped up to coach the Bulldogs from 1912-1916 and amassed a sterling 30-7  record. He moved on to North Carolina  where he achieved similar success while in medical school.

Peacock’s 81% winning percentage was surpassed only by the 1918 one year coaching career record of 7-1 of Alfred Scott, himself a former player and perhaps even a player-coach in 1918. (It’s Georgia basketball – reports are sketchy at best. )

While success is lacking, trivia abounds.

The Coliseum’s name transferred from the old home of physical education at Georgia, Stegeman Hall, to the Stegeman Coliseum. Named for Herman Stegeman, the basketball coach from 1919 – 1931, the name was adopted more due to Stegeman’s tenure as football coach and athletic director at Georgia than basketball.

One of the most storied characters to serve as basketball coach was Vernon “Catfish” Smith, the hero of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium dedicatory victory over Yale in 1929. Smith served as head basketball coach during the 1932 season and finished with a 19-7 record.

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The most famous Georgia basketball coach was Shug Jordan. Jordan served for three seasons before returning to Auburn to become head football coach in 1950 and escaping the assistant coach duties of a second sport.

The Georgia basketball coach with the second longest tenure to Hugh Durham was “Red” Lawson. Lawson’s winning precentage was a dismal 31% and like all Georgia basketball coaches since he worked under difficult circumstances. His famed Georgia home court, housed in Woodruff Hall, was emblematic of the times.

Woodruff Hall claimed the distinction of having a wind advantage for the home team heading into the second half and legend has it more than one game was called due to rain. But Lawson did hold Georgia basketball together until Joel Eaves came to Athens and hired the Bulldogs first full -time head basketball coach in 1965, Ken Rosemond.

The All-Time Underappreciated Georgia Basketball team follows. We’ll start at center with the player that may be both the greatest ever as well as the most underappreciated.

Next: Big Bob