Georgia’s ability to recover is in question

semerson@macon.comFebruary 20, 2013 

ATHENS -- Normally, a coach puts a brave, if insincere, face on how his team should react after a tough loss.

And then you have the blunt way that Mark Fox put it Wednesday, four days after his Georgia men’s basketball team was on the wrong end of some controversial officiating and lost in overtime at Mississippi.

“I’m concerned about the mind-frame of our team,” Fox said, just before his team was to depart for Thursday night’s game at Arkansas. “I think they’ve been a pretty resilient bunch. But they obviously were very frustrated the other night.”

Fox confirmed that, per standard procedure, he spoke with the SEC about some controversial calls at the end of the game. He didn’t go into details about what he called his “dialogue” with Gerald Boudreaux, the supervisor of officials.

One of the most critical calls was when Georgia’s Kenny Gaines was charged with a technical for elbowing Marshall Henderson in the face. Replays made it look uncertain whether Gaines’ elbow hit Henderson, but officials ruled it the case; Georgia was leading 64-61 with possession of the ball, and the call gave Ole Miss two free throws and possession.

“Let me just stay away from specifics on all of that,” Fox said. “The rule is a good rule, because it protects players. … But the rule as it’s written invites guys to get into your space.”

Georgia (12-13 overall, 6-6 SEC) goes to Arkansas on a two-game losing streak, but the Bulldogs have also played very well on the road. The loss at Ole Miss snapped a three-game road winning streak, and the team has performed well in some hostile environments.

Because of the team’s accelerated travel schedule -- the need to beat storms to fly to Arkansas -- the players weren’t available to the media on Wednesday. So it was left to Fox to speak for them. While admitting to his concerns, he still ended on a hopeful note.

“We have to get over the other night,” he said. “That’s part of life, we have to get over it. We have to move on. We have to get ready to play again. We played extremely well the last four road games. Are we going to play another one extremely well, I hope so. …

“I don’t have a bad kid on the team. So I have faith that they’ll be able to rally and get after it.”

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