Georgia head coach Mark Fox said if a similar position presented itself, he would defend his team, scream at the officiating crew and receive two technical foul calls.
With 1:59 to go in the first half in Georgia's 80-60 loss to Alabama, Fox was assessed two technicals for yelling at an official who called a carrying violation on freshman guard Jordan Harris. Fox was subsequently ejected from the game. When Fox argued the call, he appeared to be asking for the referee to call it both ways on the floor.
Asked if he'd do it differently, Fox said he wouldn't.
"I have no regrets for what happened," he said.
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Georgia assistant Philip Pearson filled in for Fox and finished the remainder of the game for him.
Asked what it was about the call that made him so upset, Fox, without directly referencing the officiating crew, hinted that he didn't think his team was being treating fairly on the court in a lengthy response.
"Well, here's why I was upset. I fully understand at Georgia we've got to earn our keep," Fox said. "We're not asking to be given anything. I think every team at every school should be treated fairly and we're not asking for any favors. We demand that these kids on our team perform a certain way in the classroom. We demand they are a certain kind of citizen.
"We demand a certain kind of effort from our team. And these kids work their tails off. And in exchange for that, those expectations, they know we're going to fight for them. We're going to fight for Georgia. And I'll fight for Georgia and these kids every night. So that's what I decided to do. If I have to do it again, we're going to fight for our team and our school every night."
This is the third game in less than two weeks that Fox and the Bulldogs have seemed to have been at odds with an officiating crew. In an overtime loss to Florida, a total of 49 fouls were called on both teams, with at least two debatable decisions -- J.J. Frazier's called foul on Kasey Hill and a non-called push-off from Florida's John Egbunu on Derek Ogbeide -- going against Georgia down the stretch.
Against Texas A&M last Saturday, Georgia blew a nine-point lead and trailed by one while having the ball for a final possession. But the clock inadvertently stopped with 5.6 seconds to go without an official realizing it until after a Texas A&M foul was called on Yante Maten. But on review, too much time had elapsed from the clock stoppage to the foul, and therefore, the game was called an Aggies victory.
Fox was asked if his frustration boiled over Wednesday night due to a culmination of the previous two instances.
"Obviously, I can't comment about those two games. So, yeah. Perhaps," he said.
Fox was then asked directly if he felt Alabama (12-7, 5-2 SEC) was getting more favorable calls. To that, Fox declined to comment.
The last follow-up was whether Fox felt it was unfair that Harris was called for a carry when it appeared Alabama guard Corban Collins was getting away with palming the ball throughout the first half. Fox smiled a tad but stayed silent for a brief moment. Again, he decided not to say anything.
"Again, I cannot comment on that situation," Fox said. "All respect to you."
When Fox was assessed the technical fouls, Georgia trailed 32-24 with the Crimson Tide gaining control of the game. Alabama freshman forward Braxton Key then made three of four free throws, with Collins hitting a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. From there, the Crimson Tide would not relinquish control.
Fox made it sound like his blow-up at the referees was due to how he felt in the moment and not in an effort to jumpstart his team.
"We were not playing nearly in a way that we were going to have success," Fox said. "Did I think it was going to ignite our team? No. We needed to play better certainly. But give Alabama credit. They were more physical than we were. They were wearing us out on the glass from the start."
Even after Georgia's loss to Florida, it felt like the Bulldogs (12-8, 4-4) were in a good spot with its postseason hopes. A win over Vanderbilt last week gave Georgia some confidence heading into its road trip to Texas A&M. But after the deflating loss to the Aggies, Fox said the Bulldogs did come out with the needed intensity against a good defensive opponent.
As the game continued on, many players' expressions seemed to show disbelief. Given how the game went in Georgia's eyes, Frazier said the team was clearly frustrated when Fox was ejected.
"Coach was frustrated about a bad call," Frazier said. "That's all I got for that."
Fans in attendance also seemed frustrated at the referees, booing the crew of Antinio Petty, John Higgins and Jeffrey Anderson as they walked off the court at halftime. But with five minutes left to go in the game, Alabama had attempted 14 free throws to Georgia's 15. In a comeback attempt, Georgia became more aggressive defensively and put the Crimson Tide on the free-throw line an additional 10 times
The Bulldogs now have an uphill climb, much like last year, at this stage if they're to reach the NCAA Tournament. Following Saturday's game against Texas, Georgia then travels to Kentucky on Jan. 31, visits South Carolina on Feb. 4 and hosts Florida on Feb. 7.
Those games will provide Georgia with some golden opportunities to climb back into the conversation. As Fox noted after Wednesday's loss, Georgia's remaining path to doing so won't be easy.
"Our team, we drew a couple of short sticks," Fox said. "We have to be able to respond to that. We didn't respond very well today. I told, in my pre-game radio show, that I was a little worried about our spirit. I didn't get them through it. I'll take responsibility for that. But everything this team wants to accomplish is still out there for them. Everything they want to accomplish is still out there for them. It's going to be hard. But it's all still in front of us and we have to try and win the next game."