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Feb 25, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Charles Mann (4) drives past Missouri Tigers guard Jordan Clarkson (5) during the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia defeated Missouri 71-56. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

SEC: Can Charles Mann Help Georgia Improve Next Season?

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Some players just understand how to play basketball.

You know, make the fundamental play, make great passes, and swinging the ball on offense.

Others know how to get buckets.

Charles Mann does just that, get buckets.

Last season for the Georgia Bulldogs, Mann led Georgia in scoring, assists, minutes, steals, and was third in rebounding.

When guards play at high levels competitively, it is truly a sight to see.

Feb 18, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Charles Mann (4) brings the ball up court against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 18, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Charles Mann (4) brings the ball up court against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

His play earned him a selection on the All-SEC second team.

Unfortunately, his game did not equate into a lot of wins for the program. Georgia is not a bad basketball program. Like every team faces eventually, Georgia has been in a down year.

The 20-14 record Georgia had last season was not a losing season and it should make the Bulldogs hungrier.

With their roster, they made it to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Ranked as a No. 2 seed, they lost to Louisiana Tech 79-71.

One of the bright spots in this tournament is that moving forward head coach Mark Fox knows that the offense needs building around the ability of Charles Mann. During the tournament, Mann posted his best scoring game of the year.

Against Vermont in the NIT first round, Mann had 29 points and shot 72 percent from the field.

The NIT is a learning tool and is a stepping stone in the right direction to make the NCAA tournament.

A few years ago, the Bulldogs received an invitation to the big dance. Behind Travis Leslie and Trey Tompkins (both of whom now play professionally in Europe after brief stints in the NBA), Georgia made it to the 2011 NCAA tournament, where they lost to Washington in the first round.

Moving forward next season Mann will have to have an impact greater than each of these players in order for Georgia to succeed.

November 23, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Charles Mann (4) dribbles past East Tennessee State Buccaneers guard Mario Stramaglia (3) in the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia won 54-38. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

November 23, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Charles Mann (4) dribbles past East Tennessee State Buccaneers guard Mario Stramaglia (3) in the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia won 54-38. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Mann is no stranger to hard work, and has already made strides in his game.

After his freshman year Mann averaged 6.7 points and 2.9 assists while shooting a woeful 34 percent.

Mann’s 24 double-digit scoring games last season is the reason he led the Bulldogs in scoring and doubled his scoring average. During his sophomore year, he averaged 13.9 points, 2.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds.

He also shot a lot better at 41 percent. In addition, he got to the free throw line an impressive eight times a game.

Georgia also has another scoring guard on their roster who plays the role of sidekick. Thank God for Kenny Gaines, who was second in scoring on the team. It helped Mann not see as many double teams and created another option to score points.

If the Bulldogs want to smell the NCAA tournament they need to start playing better against great competition.

Georgia needs more quality wins.

Last season against the top 50 ranked teams Georgia was an awful 1-7. On the flip side teams who had a ranking of 51-100, Georgia was 8-3.

Next season with Gaines returning as Robin to Charles Mann’s Batman, the Bulldogs will have a leg up on a lot of teams in the SEC by boasting an experienced backcourt.

Their leadership should provide the necessary ability to help the Bulldogs attempt to make a good Southeastern Conference tournament run.

If not, one thing is for sure. We will see Charles Mann again, light up opponents throughout college basketball.

Just keep scoring more buckets.

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Tags: Charles Mann Georgia Bulldogs Kenny Gaines Southeastern Conference

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