When the college basketball season begins in the state of Georgia, it doesn’t ring a loud bell across the state like in Kentucky, Kansas or North Carolina. So here’s a public service announcement: The college basketball season began a month ago.
But once everybody starts paying closer attention (after bowl season), Georgia could be worth watching. There are relatively high expectations for the Bulldogs this season and coach Mark Fox is embracing the situation. He spoke at length on a variety of the topics on the “We Never Played The Game” podcast.
“I don’t think anybody rises to low expectations,” Fox said. “Now we’ve built things in the program to where people have expectations.”
Among the comments from Fox on the podcast:
• After Fox was hired in 2009, former Georgia president Michael Adams told him it would take “over a decade” to build the basketball program.” Fox: “And I looked at him (thinking), ‘Are you serious?’ He said, ‘This is going to take you 10 to 12 years.’ He said, ‘You’re just not going to be able to fix it that fast.’”
• Fox carries around his old high school gym laundry pin in his pocket, using it as a keychain. “I’ve used this as my key chain since I left because it really keeps me grounded to my roots and I don’t want to forget where I came from,” he said.
• New England coach Bill Belichick was in Athens two years ago to watch 29-0 Kentucky play Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs came close to pulling off an upset but faded at the end. “The next day he was still here,” Fox said. “I said, ‘What would you tell our team? He gave real attention to it. He talked about the value of possessions — how the value of each possession is critical, on offense and defense.”
• His unfortunate timing when he tried to recruit Klay Thompson.
His comments on his refusal to jump into the dirty basketball recruiting game of AAU basketball also were interesting. For more, go to the podcast.
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