The crowd in Athens, Ga., began the chant as the clocked ticked down.
``OVER-RATED,” the students yelled again and again.
It didn’t take long before second-year Georgia coach Mark Fox turned around.
``They’re not overrated,” Fox yelled to them. ``They’re damn good.”
And moments later the Georgia Bulldogs got their resume win that Fox knew his program needed.
It’s a team that improved to 12-2, but hadn’t beaten a legitimate postseason team yet this season. The two losses came down in Orlando to Notre Dame and Temple with star forward Trey Thompkin (he missed the first three games with a severly sprained ankle) at well less than 100 percent.
``They aren’t overrated,” Fox reiterated to me hours after the 77-70 victory. ``Maybe we’re underrated.”
That might be the case – and much of it can be attributed to the addition of a third wheel to go along with Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie.
Tennessee State transfer Gerald Robinson gives Fox a guy in the backcourt who is able to make a play, take pressure off SEC Player of the Year candidate Thompkins – and also defend quick and athletic guards such as Kentucky’s Brandon Knight.
Robinson scored 17 points and got to the free throw line 10 times. Thompkins finished with 25 and Leslie added 15 and eight boards.
Fox also has perspective, realizing that this is just one game – and his team did win quality home games a year ago against Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech.
But they came up empty on the road in SEC play.
``It’s one game, but it’s a resume win and we needed one of those,” Fox said. ``Now we need to win on the road.”
Georgia is 3-0 this season on the road – with wins against Saint Louis, Georgia Tech and Mercer.
But now it’ll be interesting to see if Georgia can establish itself as a legitimate Top 25 with staying power – and upcoming SEC road games against Vanderbilt and Ole Miss should be a good barometer.
``We’re better, we’re more mature group,” Fox said. ``We’re better – everywhere. On the court and even in the classroom.”
When Fox was hired, there were those in Georgia – and outside of the state – that shook their heads in disbelief.
I was one of them, knowing Fox was a terrific coach from his success at Nevada, however questioning whether he would be able to succeed in an area in which he had little familiarity.
``I’m not sure if I was the first choice or not,” Fox said. ``But I’m not sure I was my wife’s first choice, either.”