clear
Saturday February 6th, 2016 6:48AM

Dogs hoping to use NIT for postseason experience

By The Associated Press
ATHENS -- A Georgia team with only one senior is looking to use the NIT to gain much-needed postseason experience.

That's really the only way for the Bulldogs, who wanted a spot in the NCAA field, to place a positive spin on their spot in the NIT.

Coach Mark Fox said Georgia's home game against Vermont on Wednesday night can be valuable for a team which starts three sophomores, one junior and the lone senior, forward Donte Williams.

"I think it's very important for our guys to get this experience," Fox said after the selections were announced Sunday. "We only have the one senior, so I think it could be a very valuable experience for our team. We start our season next year in the preseason NIT, so I think for a lot of reasons this could be a very good experience for us."

Georgia missed the postseason the last two years. Williams and fourth-year junior forward Marcus Thornton are the only current players who appeared in the Bulldogs' 2011 NCAA tournament loss to Washington. They combined to play only five minutes.

Fox said he believes the Bulldogs (19-13) were one win away from making the NCAA tournament field. Georgia beat Mississippi before losing to Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals last week.

"The first challenge will be, like it is for all teams who fall just short of their original goal, is being able to regroup and to play with the energy and intelligence and effort you need to play against a good team," Fox said. "I think that's challenge No. 1, but I think it could be a great experience for our guys to continue to develop as a team and for our program."

Sophomores Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines are the team's top scorers. They were named as honorable mention members of The Associated Press All-SEC team announced on Monday.

Georgia's only previous game against Vermont was an 88-55 win on Dec. 31, 1973.

The winner of Georgia's game against Vermont (22-10) will play the Iona-Louisiana Tech winner. The Bulldogs were 14-2 at home during the regular season.

"The fact we can play at home is great," Fox said. "We've had success at home this year. We've had terrific support from our student body and we've had great energy in our building, so to be at home was certainly our preference and hopefully we can use it to our advantage."

Georgia, a No. 2 seed in the Florida State regional, is one of four SEC teams in the NIT 32-team field. Missouri, Arkansas and LSU also are in the field.

Georgia State plays at Clemson on Tuesday night.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Jackets, Mississippi St. clash in Orange Bowl
No. 10 Georgia Tech has the nation's second-ranked rushing offense. No. 8 Mississippi State has held seven of its 12 opponents under 125 yards on the ground.
5:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Ole Miss defense braces for TCU offense in Peach Bowl
Mississippi and TCU were part of the playoffs story in 2014. Each team was part of the chase. Each team fell short of the coveted semifinals.
5:01PM ( 1 year ago )
Kiffin shining again after season of redemption
Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
11:02PM ( 1 year ago )
College Sports
(VIDEO)Basketball: North Hall pushes past Stephens County -- Lady Trojans do so in double overtime
North Hall could have let this one get away, caught up in a tough region showdown on the road -- but the Lady Trojans weren't interested in ending the regular season with a whimper.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:50AM ( 5 hours from now )
Girls basketball: Hill-Gilmore resting comfortably after falling ill during GHS girls game
Gainesville girls basketball coach Brenda Hill-Gilmore appeared to be resting comfortably after being taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center on Friday at halftime of the Lady Red Elephants contest at Winder-Barrow.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:28AM ( 4 hours from now )
Swimming: Porter, area hopefuls impress during championship preliminary races
Camille Porter -- and a host of other northeast Georgia-based swimmers -- served notice on Friday: They have medals in their sites.
8:54AM ( 2 hours from now )
(VIDEO)Basketball: Buford sweeps White County in season finale
Buford boys basketball coach Eddie Martin knew the early brutal schedule he put his Wolves through would eventually pay dividends...
8:45AM ( 1 hour from now )
Girls basketball: East Hall closes with win, will flip coin to determine No. 1 seed
Thanks to a victory over Franklin County, and a little help from elsewhere, the East Hall girls basketball team wrapped the regular season tied for the No. 1 seed in Region 7-AAA on Friday.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:59PM ( 6 hours ago )