Williams makes a point for Georgia

semerson@macon.comJanuary 18, 2013 

ATHENS -- It probably would have taken a lot of guesses before arriving at Vincent Williams as the player to produce Georgia’s second-most points in a game this season.

But did Williams’ 23-point outburst at Missouri change the dynamics of the team’s point guard situation? Perhaps not.

Some time ago, Williams, a senior, had been supplanted by Charles Mann as the starter and most likely to get minutes. Mann is both younger (a freshman) and taller (6-foot-4), and the Bulldogs were giving a crash course to the player with more upside.

Williams helped himself with his big performance in Wednesday’s loss to the 17th-ranked Tigers. Now with what is close to a must-win Saturday night against LSU, it at least gives head coach Mark Fox something to think about.

“They’re different,” Fox said, stating the fairly obvious. “Vincent is smaller, has speed and quickness that you need, and Charles has great size and is big for his position. So they’re very different in that way. I think our point guard play has been very inconsistent.”

And then Fox explained: Williams has been turning the ball over too much (29 in 16 games). So has Mann (42 turnovers), but it’s more expected because he’s a freshman.

In fact, Mann said his biggest adjustment to college has been to not be too casual with the ball. The defenders at this level are much quicker and capable of getting the stealing the ball.

“You’ve just got to watch out for the short, quick little guards, and you can’t be casual with the ball,” Mann said. “Just because of the length, the time for you dribbling is so high, you’ve got to be careful with the ball and use your size to an advantage.”

Mann is also having to adjust offensively because at his size in high school, as Fox pointed out, he could score much more easily on drives.

“They just don’t stop you,” Fox said. “But now when they stop you, you’ve got to learn to make the decision.”

Williams said he has had no discussions with Fox about trying to play shooting guard. He waited three years for this chance, playing behind Gerald Robinson the past two seasons, but always knew that Mann’s impending arrival meant he wouldn’t just be handed the job.

His turnovers and lack of scoring punch allowed Mann to take the job. But the Bulldogs badly need scoring help for star guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, so if Williams can shoot like he did at Missouri, he will play more.

“I’m just trying to stay consistent with it,” Williams said. “Take open shots when they’re there, don’t try to go out and force anything.”

But Mann appears to still have the edge to be the starter, Fox indicated on Friday.

“I’ve got to be fair to our freshmen, because I’m expecting so much from them,” Fox said. “We’ve thrown them into the fire. And most freshmen learn from the upperclassmen (who) can carry most of the minutes, and they grow in a less pressurized situation. Our freshmen are having to grow up in the fire.”

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