The 1931-32 Bulldogs swept through ail tournament competition and captured the 1932 Southern Conference crown. The iron five shown here are (l-r) Tommy Moran, Leroy Young, Catfish Smith, Bill Strickland, and "Pap" Terrell.
Bulldogs Among First in South to Play Basketball
A pioneer in many aspects nf southern intercollegiate athletics, Georgia was none the less so in the sport of basketball, the first Bulldog cage teams being organized for the 1905-06 season. Walter T. Forbes, Sr. was the team's organizer and first coach.
The debut season was inauspicious at best, with only two games being played and both being lost. However, basketball was on its way at Georgia, and the Red and Black student newspaper indicated the growing interest in the new sport in its March 30, 1906 edition when the following was written, "This is a new department of athletics with us, and it is hoped that it will be continued as a regular branch of the Athletic Association."
During this embryonic stage of basketball at Georgia, the school was fortunate to have a number of skilled players which in turn formed strong teams. This strength spurred the formation of many rival collegiate and athletic club teams, which in turn promoted the sport and helped it grow throughout this area of the South. Georgia's development, thanks to outstanding competitors such as Howell Peacock, C. W. Rawson, and Alfred Scott, enabled the team to be one of the most respected in the entire South, amassing by 1920 an impressive overall won-lost record of 78-32.
Howell Peacock, team captain and an All-Southern squad selectee in 1910 and 1912, coached the 1913-1916 teams and recorded the best winning percentage of any Georgia coach to date (.811 on a 30-7 W-L record) who coached more than one year.
An early high point in basketball history was Georgia's being named Champions of the South for the 1918 season. Player-Coach Alfred Scott was named the South's finest player in 1918 and scored 66 points in a 122-2 victory over Southeastern Christian College, the largest margin of victory ever recorded by a Georgia team.
A great period of prosperity was enjoyed by Georgia in the 1920's, due mainly to the coaching ability of Herman J. Stege-man, who learned his trade from a master teacher, the great Amos Alonzo Stagg at the University of Chicago.
Stegeman coached Georgia from 1920-1931 and ran up the greatest number of victories (179) yet recorded by a Georgia coach. Stegeman's contribution to basketball was keenly felt through his influence on the organization of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament and the old Southern Conference. He increased the number of games on the schedule from an average of eight to upwards of 25 per year.
Woodruff Hall, Georgia's basketball home for 40 years, was built during Stegeman's tenure.
In his last season, Stegeman led-his team to a 23-2 record, the most wins ever recorded by a Bulldog team in a single
Georgia won its first Southern Intercollegiate Tournament Championship in 1932 under first year coach Rex Enright.
Following Enright's tenure, the next Georgia coach to guide the Bulldogs for a long period of time was Elmer Lampe, whose 1939 team finished second in the Southeastern Conference, the highest the Bulldogs have ever finished in SEC competition.
The 1950 quintet, under the direction of Jim Whatley, accomplished one of Georgia's greatest athletic victories when they upset mighty Kentucky in a 71-60 shocker, the first victory over Kentucky in 20 years. The powerful Wildcats were 1948 and 1949 NCAA champs and were expected to have easy sailing with Georgia. However, the Georgia five played a superb game, and the great win prompted a jubilance seldom seen before or since in Athens.
Harbin "Red" Lawson took over Georgia cage fortunes in 1952 and remained on the scene longer than any previous coach 14 years. Although his overall record remained below .500, there were moments of glory and an overall improvement in the basketball program at Georgia.
The Bulldogs claimed their first All-America under Lawson when the great Zippy Morocco, already voted the Most Valuable Player in the SEC for 1953, was selectee! to the Helms All-America squad.
Among Lawson's 102 victories, one of the greatest came over favored Georgia Tech, 81-68, on the inaugural night of Georgia's sparkling new Coliseum in 1964. A long awaited dream of Georgia players and fans, the new structure seemed to spur the Georgia "Underdogs" on before over 13,000 partisans. This victory and inaugural night were perhaps the greatest memory during the Lawson years.
Coach Ken Rosemond took over the Bulldog reins in 1965 and brought respectability and cage excitement quickly back to Georgia basketball. The 17-8 record of the 1967-68 team was the best in nearly 30 years, and the third place SEC finish of the 1970 team was the highest in 30 years.
Current coach John Guthrie is in his third season at the Georgia helm and has put together outstanding back-to-back recruiting campaigns to provide great optimism for Bulldog basketball.
GEORGIA COACHES' RECORDS
Coach No. of Seasons Years Won Lost Pet.
Walter T. Forbes 2 1906-07 2 2 .500
C O. Heidler 4 1908-10. 1912 16 6 .727
W. A. Cunningham 2 1911. 1917 10 6 .625
Howell Peacock 4 1913-16 30 7 .811
Alfred W. Scott 1 1918 6 1 .857
Kennon Mott 1 1919 5 3 .625
Herman J. Stegeman 12 1920-31 171 79 .684
Rex Enright 6 1932-37 67 52 .563
Vernon Smith 2 games 1938 1 1 .500
Frank Johnson 13 games 1938 8 5 .615
Elmer Lampe 7 games 1938 3 4 .429
Elmer Lampe 8 1939-46 79 80 .497
Ralph Jordan 3 1947-49 40 37 .519
Ralph Jordan 6 games 1950 4 2 .667
Jim Whatley' 18 games 1950 ir 7 .611
Jim Whatley 1 1951 13 11 .542
Harbin Lawson 14 1952-65 102 239 .300
Ken Rosemond 8 1966-73 92 111 .453
John Guthrie _2_ 1973- 14 37 .275
70 1906-1975 673 686 .495