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Monday, February 28, 2011

Mark Fox on NCAA chances, his wife, and re-seeding

Mark Fox was asked Monday how he felt about his Georgia team’s chances to make the NCAA tournament. After ticking off its highlights, including its record in its “monster” of a division, he stopped short of saying the Bulldogs were in.

“I do think we still have to win a few games to feel comfortable,” Fox said on the weekly coaches teleconference.

So it was left up to the next coach on the call, Trent Johnson, whose LSU team visits Athens on Wednesday. He wasn’t asked, he just volunteered that Georgia has “probably locked up an NCAA tournament bid as we speak.”

That disparity in opinion is shared by some of the experts.’s Joe Lunardi has Georgia as a No. 11 seed, which is essentially barely in the tournament. (Lunardi doesn’t have UGA among his last four in.) But Jerry Palm ( and had Georgia as a No. 8 seed on Friday, before Georgia beat South Carolina.

“I think the one thing that we have done is we’ve won our share of games,” Fox said. “We’ve won our share of games away from home. We’ve won our share of games away from home and overall. And the other thing we’ve really avoided is we don’t have an ugly loss on our resume’ at this point. So we don’t have that blemish and we don’t need to add that.”

The family reunion

Johnson and Fox have talked often of how tight they are: Not only did they work together at Nevada, but while both were assistants at Washington, Fox was introduced to his future wife by Johnson.

“Most days I thank him for that,” Fox cracked on Monday.

(Fox tweeted last night that his wife was making him watch the Oscars. Perhaps Fox also thought the hosting performance of Anne Hathaway and James Franco was three hours of his life he’ll never get back.)

Fox and Johnson talked extensively about their friendship last year, the first time they coached against each other as SEC foes. Fox replaced Johnson as Nevada’s coach in 2004, and the pair have maintained what Fox called a “deep friendship” through the years.

“I don’t think I’m anywhere professionally without him,” Fox said. “He’s done so much for me professionally and personally. He’s really made an impact on my life.”

Re-seeding tournament?

The SEC’s practice of giving two teams from each division a bye in the SEC tournament continues to get a lot of discussion. Re-seeding the tournament by record and not division didn’t pass last year, but it looks certain to get discussed again.

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy, who reportedly was the only Western coach to favor re-seeding, reiterated that he expected it to come up in Destin again. And Alabama’s Anthony Grant, whose team will have the top seed out of the West this year, said he was “open to discussing changes.”

Fox said Monday that he favors re-seeding, but said so in a way to be careful not to tick off his colleagues in the West.

“Everything is cycles. And the last couple years the East has been maybe a little stronger. And there may be years where the West is stronger,” Fox said. “I think the one way to protect against that if things get out of balance is to re-seed for the tournament.”


PTC DAWG said...

Re-seeding the tournament just makes sense.

That's why they won't do it.

Anonymous said...

They won't do it cuz the crappy teams in the West have sore butts.

GreenDawg said...

Coach Fox always seems to say the right things. Seems like he's got a good hold on how to do a press conference. Seth, how fun is he to interview and is he as poised as he sounds in the quotes?

Seth Emerson said...


Fox is polished, no doubt, as should any coach at this level by now. I've enjoyed dealing with him so far, of course it helps that it's been a pretty good year.

Pete said...

I've got this amazing feeling that coach has plan for the post season... that he's been holding back a little. I think they might go deep into both tourneys... and shock the college BB world a little.

Anonymous said...

pete... lay off the kool aid... you sound like some of our football fans last year when they thought the fooball team would win out their last 4 games and win the Bowl game.