Georgia may be winners of three consecutive games. Mark Fox, however, doesn’t believe is team is carrying any additional energy entering the SEC Tournament.
Fox’s take is that the SEC Tournament, hosted this year in Nashville, Tennessee, is the beginning of the second season. Teams can regroup and reevaluate in the half-week there is to prepare for the tournament’s start. That means a team such as Mississippi State, Georgia’s 11th-seeded second-round opponent, that is 14-16 but has recent wins over Vanderbilt, Alabama and South Carolina, can regroup and make things difficult in an opening game.
"We all go to Nashville with the rejuvenation that it’s a new season," Fox said.
Georgia (17-12, 10-8 SEC), the tournament's No. 6 seed, suffered a tough loss at Auburn two weeks ago. It has since beaten Mississippi, South Carolina and Alabama to capture its first three-game winning streak of the conference season.
The Bulldogs have played with much more offensive balance and have begun to see more production out of the second post spot – highlighted by Derek Ogbeide (8) and Mike Edwards (4) combining for 12 points in Saturday’s win over Alabama.
While Georgia finished the regular season strong, Fox believes any momentum his team can gather will occur during the SEC Tournament.
"I don’t know if we feel like we have tons of momentum," Fox said. "I think we have some confidence that if we play a certain way we can give ourselves a chance to win."
With that in mind, Fox isn’t sure anyone can put too much stock with what happened up to this point. Some teams could opt for a different style of basketball since they’re desperate for a spark. Others could switch their rotation up and surprise the opposition. It's not out of the question for some players to simply play better than they have all year given what's at stake.
Fox seems to think that it will start with Thursday’s game against Mississippi State (14-16, 7-11), as to whether Georgia can establish some momentum and possibly work its way to a more prevalent position on the NCAA bubble.
"What you’ve done in the regular season, to a degree – with an emphasis on that – goes out the window," Fox said. "You’ve got to play well and consistently while you’re in the tournament."