Tonight, the Georgia Bulldogs come to town for a tilt with the Kentucky Wildcats. This game pits the SEC leader against the third-place team (tied with many others) in what should be Kentucky’s toughest test to date, normally. Unfortunately, injuries have taken a toll on both teams.
|Time/Date:||Tuesday, Feb. 3, 7:00 PM|
|Stream:||Live streaming via Watch ESPN|
|Radio:||UK Sports Network|
|Listen live:||Live audio|
|Live stats:||Follow this link|
|SB Nation site:||Dawg Sports|
Season so far for Georgia
Georgia has been solid this season. They started off bad by losing to lowly Georgia Tech, but that was on the road and a rivalry game. Since then, they have defeated Kansas State on the road, Seton Hall, Florida and Ole Miss at home, among other games. They gave Gonzaga a very good game at a neutral site and came very close to beating LSU on the road. Their most recent game was a loss to South Carolina on the road.
Series history for Georgia with Kentucky
Kentucky is 117-26 all time versus Georgia. The Dawgs’ most successful stretch against the ‘Cats came between 1985 and 1987, where Georgia won 4 of 6. Famous players from Georgia include Willie Anderson, who was 10th overall in the 1988 NBA draft and played for nine years in the NBA, and of course, the great Dominique Wilkins, who never beat Kentucky during his four years.
|24||Houston Kessler||6-8||225||F||MR*||RS SO||6.2||0.8||1.1||0.0||0.1||0.1|
|20||Dusan Langura||6-4||205||G||R||RS FR||0.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|25||Kenny Paul Geno||6-6||200||F||R*-||SO||9.5||1.9||1.2||0.4||0.2||0.2|
|+||Eligible transfer/red shirt|
- Georgia has very balanced scoring. Their leading scorer, Marcus Thornton, is down with a concussion and will not play, but five Georgia players average in double-digits. Thornton is also the team’s leading rebounder.
- J.J. Frazier and Kenny Gaines make a dynamic backcourt duo. Frazier is shooting 44% from three and Gaines is shooting 37% from the arc. Both of them are gunslingers from the perimeter. Gaines is the team’s best defender
- Charles Mann is the point guard, but he usually guards the small forward because of his size. Both he and Frazier have similar assist rates and both can initiate the offense. Mann is the leading rebounder on the floor tonight, and is a slasher who can really get to the hoop. He is 6th in the country in free throw rate.
- Nemanja Djurisic is a big body who can score inside and out. He’s not a great rebounder, though.
- Yante Maten is normally a backup power forward who has been pressed into duty as a starter. He is the most talented freshman the Bulldogs have, and is a good rebounder and defender.
- Georgia is a very experienced team.
|Rank and Records||UGA||UK|
|Strength of Schedule||#34||#15|
|RPI Top 50||1-3||7-0|
Courtesy of Statsheet.com
Offensive Four Factors (SEC stats only)
Defensive Four Factors (SEC stats only)
- Georgia doesn’t shoot a lot of threes (31%), but they make a good percentage.
- Georgia is almost as good as Kentucky at getting to the line. They do a great job attacking off the bounce.
- The Dawgs put little pressure on their opponents despite being a man-to-man team. But they mix in some zone, and expect to see a fair amount of both tonight, mainly to protect them from foul trouble.
- Georgia is a good defensive rebounding team. Better than Kentucky.
- The Bulldogs don’t shoot a very good percentage from the free throw line.
- The Dawgs will turn the ball over pretty liberally.
- Alex Poythress is out for the season with a torn ACL
- Trey Lyles is unavailable due to illness.
- Starter Marcus Thornton is out with a concussion.
- Reserve Juwan Parker is out with an Achilles issue.
- Reserve Kenny Paul Geno is out with a wrist injury.
Georgia is a good team, and Kentucky must be very careful against them. The Wildcats have to guard the perimeter carefully and force the Dawgs to put it on the deck, which they will anyway. Kentucky’s size should be very useful in this game, because the Dawgs are somewhat undersized for an SEC team and trying to shoot over the Wildcats’ length will be very hard for them if Kentucky brings their A-game defensively.
The Dawgs are not exactly scoring-challenged, but they aren’t particularly efficient at only 1.05 points/possession. Defensively, they are fair, allowing 1.03 ppp. Kentucky completely outclasses them in every efficiency stat.
This Bulldogs team is good enough to beat anybody in the rest of the SEC, but against Kentucky in Rupp Arena, it’s a very heavy lift. If the Wildcats take them lightly, what could go wrong is the Dawgs could hit the offensive glass like Alabama did, make challenged shots, and get the Wildcats big people in some foul trouble. Kentucky has to be particularly careful of Mann, who is one of the best slashers in the country, and if the officials call it close, that could be a problem. The Dawgs can also make threes, and in-conference only they are shooting almost 42%.
Overall, the Wildcats have the edge at every position, but they can’t ignore what Georgia has done. This is a team I figured to give UK trouble, although not so much at home as away. Tonight, the Dawgs are going to have to bring the best game of their season to have a chance to upset #1, but it’s not out of the question with this group.