Hoops notes: Scheduling, TV and recruiting matters

semerson@macon.comMarch 14, 2014 

South Carolina Georgia Basketball

Georgia head coach Mark Fox gestures to his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Carolina on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

JOHN BAZEMORE — AP

ATLANTA – Even as Georgia approached the end of its surprising season, it had an eye on next year, when it has hopes of making a strong NCAA tournament run.

Georgia signed an agreement on March 6 to play a series against Seton Hall, starting next season. The Pirates, who reached the Big East Tournament semifinals this week, are set to visit Athens on Dec. 21, according to the contract.

The Bulldogs will return the trip during the following season at a date to be determined.

Georgia is also set to host Colorado, at a date yet to be released, as part of a series that began this past season. Colorado is due to return every starter from this year’s team, which is expected to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Georgia’s most notable road trip at this point is to Georgia Tech, as part of the annual rivalry.

Georgia will also have to visit Chattanooga, as part of a three-game series that began this season. Chattanooga came to Athens this season, and will again in 2015-16.

As for the SEC schedule, that isn’t expected to be finalized until much later. This season’s schedule wasn’t released until just before the school year began.

Support from McGarity

After entering the season on the hot seat, at least as perceived by media and fans, Mark Fox seems certain to return next season as long he wants to. Athletics director Greg McGarity had been coy about the matter, but during a radio interview this week he praised what he’s seen out of the team.

“The way the coaches have led and the players have played and responded and things of that nature, I think that’s been one of the great stories of the year,” McGarity said during an interview on Atlanta’s 680 AM The Fan.

McGarity’s mantra has been that he didn’t want to say much publicly because “he didn’t want to mess anything up.”

"Probably the less I talk about things the better, but at the same time there’s some obvious things that have transpired that I think have really warmed the hearts of all Bulldogs,” McGarity said.

Television issues

Much of the tournament games, including the Georgia-Ole Miss quarterfinal, have not been on local television in many areas. The SEC is hoping to fix that next year.

The conference announced that starting next year the SEC Network, set to be launched in August, will carry the first three rounds of the SEC tournament. (That means Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.)

The announcement was the latest in the push for cable providers to add the SEC Network. So far U-Verse and DISH have agreed to carry it, but other outlets have said they have no plans yet.

The semifinals and championship will continue to be on national networks, whether it be CBS or ESPN.

Recruit picks Texas Tech over Georgia

Georgia had a scholarship open up this week, but it will not go to Norense Odiase, a big man who visited Georgia recently.

Odiase, a Florida prep school player who played high school ball in Texas, will instead be going to Texas Tech, he announced via social media on Friday.

Georgia brought in Odiase, listed at 6-9 and 245 pounds, for a late visit. But it couldn’t lure Odiase away from Texas Tech, coached by former Georgia coach Tubby Smith.

The Bulldogs have two scholarships open for this year’s class, after the sudden departure this week of junior John Cannon. So far the team has not signed anyone for this year’s class. Fox said this week he would like to sign at least one post player.

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