ATHENS - Mark Fox isn't taking it easy with next year's nonconference schedule.
The Georgia men's basketball team has added a game at Kansas State for this upcoming season, according to documents provided to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It's part of a home-and-home series, with Kansas State set to visit Stegeman Coliseum during the 2015-16 season.
The two teams had near-identical records last year: Georgia was 20-14, Kansas State 20-13. But while the Bulldogs went to the NIT, the Wildcats advanced to the NCAA tournament as a No. 9 seed, losing in the first round to Kentucky, the eventual national runner-up.
Fox, Georgia's head coach, was an assistant at Kansas State from 1994-2000.
Kansas State returns its top two scorers from last year, including rising sophomore Marcus Foster, and a total of four starters. Transfer Justin Edwards is also expected to make an immediate impact, and with several more key returners and new players, the Wildcats figure to make another NCAA run.
Georgia's nonconference performance has been its downfall the past two years, and in anticipation of a run for an NCAA bid, Fox is building a pretty challenging schedule:
- Colorado, which also made the NCAA tournament this season as an at-large, is visiting Stegeman Coliseum at a date to be determined.
- Seton Hall of the Big East will visit Athens on Dec. 21. The Pirates went 17-17 this past season.
- Georgia Tech will host the Bulldogs at a date to be determined.
- Georgia will be in the NIT Season Tip-Off, a 16-team event that culminates with semifinals and a championship in New York. Should the Bulldogs reach New York, they could face Gonzaga (another NCAA team this past year), Minnesota (which won the postseason NIT) or St. John's.
- The Bulldogs are also playing at Chattanooga as part of a three-game series that began this past season.
The SEC schedule has yet to be released, but Fox has said that Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri are among the teams expected to visit Stegeman.
Georgia is set to return four starters and several top reserves, and just signed Yante Maten, a freshman big man who could play right away.