There were worries and rumors about the UGA Backcourt over the past few weeks.
Kenny Gaines as suspected will be ready to go and the coaching staff is continuing to play it safe with him even though he should be 100% going into the start of Fall Practice. It will not be a surprise to see both Gaines and Juwan Parker have their minutes “managed” a little bit in the first two games, playing in a game and practice are two completely different environments. If this does happen, do not be alarmed. All is still well. Kenny Gaines playing more than 30 minutes against Chattanooga would also not be a positive sign for the team’s depth.
The first substantive public comments about J.J. Frazier’s arrest this summer were made by both Mark Fox and J.J. Frazier. Frazier has been working through internal punishments that are completely unknown. At this point, a suspension has yet to be determined. Coach Fox has stated that a suspension depends upon how Frazier handles the internal punishment.
“Everything will be squared away and everything will be intact”
– J.J. Frazier on his speeding tickets and driver’s license situation
The good news for UGA is that these backcourt injury and disciplinary issues will not be lingering issues. However, these issues were never expected to have a negative impact on the season as a whole. Georgia’s depth in the backcourt is expected to be strong and Coach Fox hinted at the flexibility to use four guard looks, but stressed that the team was going to sport more traditional lineups to start the season. The most interesting comment was that the frontcourt is more physical and bigger than last season despite the lack of experience.
The media conducting the interview seemed to believe that J.J. Frazier, Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann would all be on the floor at the same time a lot this upcoming season. Fox’s dismissal of that notion due to the depth of the team was rather interesting because certainly the three will play together at points during the season, but letting one of them come off the bench while the other two were on the floor did not seem to be an issue.
Quick Conclusions to Jump To:
- Mark Fox likes his depth and will use it.
- Officiating rules will dictate a lot for this team as far as performance and style of play.
- Expect to see quite a bit of Mike Edwards and Derek Ogbeide.
- Getting through Fall Practice healthy is a primary concern.
- A three guard lineup will not necessarily be the default lineup.
- If J.J. Frazier is suspended, it will be rather short and is no reason to panic.
- Yante Maten is THE MAN in the frontcourt, but Fox is playing coy about this frontcourt’s potential.