Georgia (13-5, 3-2 SEC) vs. Vanderbilt (9-9, 2-3 SEC)
Saaturday, January 21, 2023 at1:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
Series History: VU leads, 94-56
Last meeting: VU, 85-51, on 2/9/33
Video: SEC Network (Dave Neal, pbp; Jon Sundvold, analyst)
Audio: Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network (750 AM, 95.5 FM WSB-Atlanta, 960 the Ref AM, Athens, 103.7 FM WXKT-Gainesville) (Scott Howard, pbp; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)
The Starting Five
• UGA’s 10-0 home record represents the Dogs’ 6th-longest overall and 5th-longest season home win streaks ever.
• Mike White is 17-1 all-time at Stegeman, 1-0 at Louisiana Tech, 6-1 at Florida and 11-0 with the Bulldogs.
• Terry Roberts is among SEC statistical leaders in 6 categories, including No. 3 in assists and No. 5 in scoring.
• UGA is No. 8 nationally in 3-point FG defense, with opponents shooting just 27.7 percent.
• UGA’s assist-to-TO ratio is up by +.22 since Thanksgiving, the best improvement by an SEC team during that span.
The Opening Tip
Georgia returns to what have been the extremely friendly confines of Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday when the Bulldogs host Vanderbilt in a matinee matchup.
Georgia enters the contest with the Commodores at 13-5 overall and 3-2 in the SEC; however, the real story has been the Bulldogs’ success at home this season.
The Bulldogs are a perfect 10-0 at Stegeman Coliseum during the current campaign, producing the sixth-longest overall and fifth-longest single-season home winning streaks in program history.
That success should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with first-year head coach Mike White’s record in the arena prior to arriving in Athens last spring.
Combining his tenures at Louisiana Tech (1-0), Florida (6-1) and Georgia (10-0), White has compiled an almost unfathomable 17-1 in Stegeman Coliseum.
Keeping An Eye On: Entering Today’s Game . . .
Terry Roberts is…
• 2 assists from 200 for his career
Jailyn Ingram is...
• 26 points from 1,500 for his career
Series History Vanderbilt
Georgia is 37-29 in games with Vanderbilt played in Athens; however, the Commodores lead the overall series with the Bulldogs, 94-56.
Last season, Vanderbilt swept a trio of matchups, including home-and-home outings during the regular season and an 81-56 decision in the SEC Tournament in Tampa.
Braelen Bridges led Georgia with game-high tallies of 15 points and 11 rebounds, resulting in his first double-double as a Bulldog. Kario Oquendo added 11 points.
The Commodores opened up a 35-14 halftime lead en route to the convincing win.
In last season’s matchup at Stegeman Coliseum on Jan. 15, Vanderbilt bested the Bulldogs, 73-66, despite a career-high 16-point performance from Jaxon Etter.
The then walk-on from Woodstock, Ga., connected on 5-of-8 shots from the floor, including 4-of-5 3-pointers, and 2-of-2 trips to the line en route to the first double-figure outing of his career.
Georgia led by as many as 14 points in the first half, building a 34-20 lead at the 1:43 mark. Vanderbilt closed the period and opened the next on a combined 18-0 run and led the rest of the evening.
Scouting The Commodores
Vanderbilt slipped to 9-9 overall and 2-3 in SEC play with a 78-66 setback to No. 4 Alabama on Tuesday night.
Both the Bulldogs and Commodores sport wins over ranked SEC foes, with Georgia besting No. 22/20 Auburn on Jan. 4 and Vanderbilt topping No. 15/16 Arkansas last Saturday.
Interestingly, the Bulldogs and Commodores have not played a common league opponent five games into conference play.
Liam Robbins, who did not play in the Commodores’ mid-week matchup with Alabama, leads Vanderbilt in both scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg). He also is among the nation’s top shot blockers, ranking fourth entering the weekend at 2.9 bpg.
Two more Commodores are scoring at a double-figure pace, with Jordan Wright averaging 11.0 ppg and Tyrin Lawrence chipping in 10.9 ppg.
Last Time Out
Terry Roberts scored 21 points – his third 20-point outing in five SEC games – however, Kentucky used a second-half surge to secure an 85-71 victory at Rupp Arena on Tuesday night.
Roberts also led Georgia with five rebounds (along with Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe) and three assists. Kario Oquendo scored 17 points.
Oscar Tshiebwe paced Kentucky with 37 points and 24 rebounds, the second-most boards in a game ever by a Georgia opponent (behind the 27 by Vanderbilt’s Clyde Lee on Jan. 11, 1965).
The Bulldogs played an exceptional first half, shooting 55.6 percent from the floor and 88.9 percent at the line en route to a 42-34 advantage at the intermission. Georgia’s first-half lead topped out at 11 points on four occasions, lastly at 42-31 with 56 seconds left in the period.
Tshiebwe scored all of the Wildcats’ points in an 11-3 surge to pull Kentucky within 45-43 just 2:41 into the second stanza. He then gathered his own miss off a free throw and then assisted a CJ Frederick 3-pointer, which gave the Wildcats their first lead since 14-13.
After the game was tied 57-57, Kentucky went on to outscore the Bulldogs 28-14 over the final 11:26.
Dogs’ Home Winning Streaks
Georgia is 10-0 at Stegeman Coliseum this season, making this just the sixth bunch of Bulldogs ever to post a double-figure home winning streak.
In fact, the current home streak has tied the Georgia’s sixth-longest overall and fifth-best in a single season as outlined below.
The Bulldogs’ longest stretch of home success in one season came when the 1930-31 Bulldogs produced the only perfect home record in program history and went 16-0 at old Woodruff Hall.
Georgia’s longest overall home winning streak is 25 games. That span includes the final three home games of the 1929-30 season, the 16-0 mark the following year and the first six dates in Athens during Georgia’s 1931-32 Southern Conference Championship season.
The ongoing streak is the Bulldogs’ fourth-longest within Stegeman Coliseum.
UGA Hoops Overall Home Win Streaks
Rk. W’s Span
1. 25 1930-32
2. 20 1939-40
3. 15 1989-90
4. 13 2002-03
5. 11 1998-99
6. 10 2022-23
UGA Hoops Single Season Home Win Streaks
Rk. W’s Span
1. 16 1930-31
2. 13 1939-40
3. 12 1989-90
4. 11 2002-03
5. 10 2022-23
White Is Stellar At Stegeman
Although Stegeman Coliseum opened in February 1964, about 13 before Mike White was born, some might say the arena was built for him.
White was 7-1 in Stegeman before he became the Bulldogs’ head coach. He led Louisiana Tech to an NIT victory over Georgia at Stegeman in 2014 and then was 6-1 against the Bulldogs in seven seasons at Florida from 2015-22.
Quick math adding in a 10-0 mark this season reveals a 17-1 mark for White in the venue. A calculator was used to determine his almost unfathomable 94.4 percent winning percentage.
Defending Outside The Arc
Georgia enters this weekend ranked No. 8 nationally in 3-point defense, with the Bulldogs’ opponents connecting on just 27.7 percent (105-of-379) attempts from outside the arc.
Georgia’s defense from 3-point range has been even better in league play, a more paltry 24.3 percent (27-of-111).
The Bulldogs are on their way to having one of the best 3-point defense marks in program history. Only once in the 37 seasons since the arc was added nationally in 1986-87 has Georgia held its opponents to less than 30 percent from outside the arc, when foes shot just 29.3 percent in 1993-94.
He Ain’t Roy Kent, But...
if you peruse SEC statistical leaders, Terry Roberts may have you thinking “He’s here. He’s there. He’s “...and we better stop right there.
The senior from North Amityville, N.Y., enters this weekend ranked among league leaders in six categories – No. 3 in assists (4.1 apg), No. 5 in scoring (15.9 ppg), No. 5 in free throw percentage (.818), No. 9 in steals (1.7 spg), No. 11 in field goal percentage (.391) and No. 14 in assist-to-TO ratio (1.37).
Roberts also is prominent among stat leaders for SEC games only. Most noticeably, he ranks No. 2 in scoring at 20.4 ppg, with three 20-point outings.
Hill, Oquendo Clutch In Wins
Justin Hill and Kario Oquendo provided vital scoring surges for the Bulldogs in their consecutive wins over Mississippi State and Ole Miss, respectively.
Hill recorded eight straight Georgia points between the 9:22-6:44 marks of the second half against State, with the last bucket giving the Bulldogs the lead for good.
Hill’s 3-pointer just after the midway point in the second half put Georgia up 35-34 and provided the 10th lead change of the contest. After State answered with its own 3-pointer, Hill canned another shot from beyond the arc to put Georgia back on top.
The “other” Bulldogs converted on a pair of free throws on their next possession before Hill’s floater in the lane was responsible for the 14th – and last – lead change of the night.
Oquendo put up Georgia’s final 12 points in a 62-48 road win over Ole Miss. In fact, he scored all of his game-high 15 points in the second half in Oxford.
With Georgia trailing 54-50, Oquendo began his surge with a thunderous driving dunk. After the Rebels answered, he finished at the rim to make it 56-54. Back-to-back 3-pointer at the 2:20 and 1:04 marks put the Bulldogs up 60-56.
Ole Miss scored with 42 seconds left before Oquendo sank both ends of a one-and-one with three seconds remaining.
Holt Gives Bulldogs Juice
Jusaun “Juice” Holt’s stats in Georgia’s consecutive wins over Mississippi State and Ole Miss were relatively pedestrian – combined totals of six points, seven rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes of action.
Thanks to the relatively recent addition of “+/-” on box scores, a lot of the “little things” that don’t traditionally show up are measured in a quantifiable way. By those standards, Holt was the Bulldogs’ most productive player in those outings.
The Tacoma, Wash., native was a team-best “+17″ against State and led Georgia with a “+13″ mark in Oxford. With Holt on the floor, the Bulldogs were a combined “+30″ against State and Ole Miss, games decided by a combined 12 points.
Healthy M-A Makes A Difference
Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe was hindered for much of November after suffering an ankle sprain in the season opener against Western Carolina.
The junior from Ontario missed two games before returning to play in the next four contests. He then recorded two additional DNPs before coming back for the Georgia Tech contest.
In the Bulldogs’ last nine outings, Moncrieffe has been both Georgia’s most efficient shooter and productive rebounder.
During that span, Moncrieffe has converted on 27-of-44 shots from the field – 61.4 percent. He also has posted his first three double-digit outings as a Bulldog – 11 points at Tech, 15 versus Notre Dame and 10 against Mississippi State.
Moncrieffe is averaging at team-best 6.2 rpg in his last nine contests and grabbed team-high board tallies against Chattanooga, Rider, Auburn (a season-high nine) and Kentucky.
Dogs Sport Impressive Depth
We think it’s safe to say that Georgia is the nation’s only team in the nation where every player who has seen action is averaging double-digit minutes.
Individually, Bulldogs who have checked in this season are averaging between 10.6-30.4 minutes per game.
Anselem Protecting The Rim
The defensive presence of Frank Anselem has increased significantly of late.
The junior from Lagos, Nigeria, enters this weekend ranked No. 9 in blocks per game in SEC action, swatting 1.2 shots per game against league flows.
That comes after Anselem did not record a single block in Georgia’s first eight outings
In the eight games since the Bulldogs returned to action following Final Exams, Anselem has averaged 1.5 blocks, including a career-high three swats against Chattanooga.
A Milestone Night For Bridges
Braelen Bridges recorded a trio of significant career statistical achievements during Georgia’s Jan. 11 win over Mississippi State.
The senior from Atlanta accomplished the first at tipoff, which was the 100th outing of his college career in four seasons at UIC and Georgia.
At the 3:42 mark of the first half, Bridges grabbed his fifth rebound of the night, more notable in that it also was his 500th board.
Most significant were the two free throws with 25 seconds on the clock. Those pushed Georgia’s lead to two possessions and Bridges’ career scoring tally to 1000.
Thankful We’re Less Giving
Georgia’s ball security numbers have taken a distinct turn since Turkey Day.
The Bulldogs recorded more turnovers than assists in each of the first six games prior to Thanksgiving, to the combined tune of 62 assists to 99 TOs. That equated to a paltry 0.63 assist-to-TO ratio.
The Bulldogs have produced even or positive ratios in nine of 12 contests since then. In those outings, Georgia has delivered 149 assists and committed 149 turnovers, a much more respectable a 1.00 assist-to-TO effort.
But We’re Most Improved...
in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ration since Thanksgiving.
On the season, Georgia ranks 13th in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 0.85; however, the Bulldogs’ improvement taking care of the basketball since Thanksgiving is the best in the league.
Since Turkey Day, six of the SEC’s teams have produced a better assist-to-TO ratio than their games prior to the holiday, while the other eight’s ratios have dropped. The Bulldogs own the most positive up-tick as outlined below.
Although “Thanksgiving” seems like a random line to draw, every SEC team had played either five or six games as of Nov. 24 so it seemed like a solid reference point to observe.
Assist-To-TOs Since Turkey Day
Team 11/24 1/19 Diff.
Georgia 0.63 0.85 +.22
S. Carolina 0.70 0.84 +.14
LSU 0.92 1.04 +.12
Texas A&M 0.96 1.07 +.11
Tennessee 1.18 1.27 +.09
Auburn 1.01 1.05 +.04
A Very Productive Bench
Georgia’s reserves have scored 425 points this season, 33.5 percent of the 1,269 points put up by the Bulldogs.
Georgia’s bench has outscored its opponents’ reserves 425-258, a massive +167 margin...or 9.3 points per game.
The Bulldogs have won the “bench battle” in 15 of 18 games and tied Auburn in another. Georgia has a relatively massive “+20″ margin in five of those contests, headlined by a season-high “+25″ (27-2) tally versus ETSU. The Bulldogs’ most productive bench output was 36 points against UAB.
Dogs Notch Historical “W”
The 2022-23 season already supplied one of Georgia’s most fruitful pre-New Year efforts ever.
The Bulldogs wrapped up their pre-SEC slate at 10-3 following a Dec. 28 victory over Rider – just the fourth time in program history the Bulldogs compiled a double-digit win total prior January.
Each of the previous squads to obtain that standard – from the 1996-97, 2001-02 and 2010-11 seasons – notched 11 victories before January arrived. Those teams all went on to compete in “March Madness”...although the 2002 appearance was later vacated.
Eleven editions of the Bulldogs recorded nine victories before the calendar flipped, most recently in 2019-20. Of those, four were 9-1, two were 9-2, three were 9-3, one was 9-4 and one was 9-5.
Bulldogs Fight Through
Georgia’s 10-3 start was more impressive considering the DNPs and missed practices endured during non-conference play.
Only four Bulldogs – Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Braelen Bridges, Justin Hill and Mardrez McBride – played in every contest, and six Bulldogs have missed a combined 16 outings due to injury or illness. In fact, the Notre Dame game – the 11th contest of the campaign – was the first outing when every player on Georgia’s roster was available for action.
Georgia mixed and matched eight Bulldogs to comprise eight different starting lineups. No player started every game, although three – Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, Kario Oquendo and Terry Roberts – got the nod for every game they’ve played. UGA’s game-by-game starters can be found above.
Dogs Match 2021-22 Win Total
While a 6-win season will certainly never be celebrated, it is worth noting that Georgia notched is sixth victory of the 2022-23 season with a Nov. 30 “W” over Hampton. With that, the Bulldogs matched their win total for last season 24 days into Mike White’s first season.
Bridges Earns SEC POTW
Braelen Bridges was named SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 19, a day after his 18-point performance in a Holiday Hoopsgiving win over Notre Dame.
Bridges was a perfect 9-of-9 from the field against the Fighting Irish and scored 18 points in just 18 minutes of playing time.
Bridges became the Bulldogs’ first SEC Player of the Week since Toumani Camara on Dec. 21, 2020. He is the 29th Georgia player to earn SEC Player of the Week accolades since the award’s inception in 1985. Those Bulldogs have combined to secure 40 SEC POTW certificates.
White Earns Win No. 250
Mike White captured the 250th victory of his head coaching career with Georgia’s Dec. 2 win over Florida A&M.
White compiled a 101-40 record in four seasons in Louisiana Tech from 2011-15. That included a trio 27-win efforts in each of his final three seasons, which helped give White the best winning percentage (.716) of any coach in program history.
In seven campaigns at Florida from 2015-22, White posted a 142-88 record. He reached 100 victories with the Gators in 158 games, the second-fastest pace ever by a Florida basketball coach behind only Billy Donovan (154 games). Under White, the Gators were one of only six programs to record a victory in the four NCAA Tournaments contested between 2017-21.
Bulldogs Sign Top-25 class
Georgia opened the NCAA’s early signing period on Nov. 9 with a bang, inking a top-25 recruiting class comprised of two of the nation’s top-100 prospects. Lamariyon “Mari” Jordan and Dylan James were ranked No. 72 and No. 94 nationally by ESPN.com, respectively.
“It’s an exciting day for us to be able to sign two players that we targeted and invested a lot of time and energy in,” Mike White said. “Both of these guys are excited to be Bulldogs.”
James, a 6-9, 190-pound forward, helped lead Winter Haven High to the semifinals of the 2022 Florida Class 6A state tournament. He was selected as the Lakeland Ledger’s Player of the Year after averaging 15.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game last season for the Blue Devils, who finished with a 23-8 overall record.
Jordan, a 6-6, 185-pound forward, was tabbed first-team All-State for Class 6A by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a junior after averaging 19.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game for Dacula High. Over three seasons, Jordan compiled 1,257 points, 434 rebounds, 128 blocks, 109 assists and 104 steals for the Falcons.
A “March Madness” Pedigree
Five of Georgia’s six first-year transfers played for teams that reached the 2021 or 2022 NCAA Tournaments.
Justin Hill (Longwood) and Jusaun Holt (Alabama) both took part in the “Big Dance” last spring. Frank Anselem (Syracuse), Madrez McBride (North Texas) and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe (Oklahoma State) all had tickets punched to the 2021 edition of “March Madness.”
Oquendo Named All-SEC
Kario Oquendo was tabbed second-team preseason All-SEC by league coaches. Last season, he was Georgia’s scoring leader, both overall (15.2 ppg) and in SEC play (18.3 ppg). Oquendo was the SEC’s leading returning scorer in league action last season.
Bridges Finds Bottom Of Net
Braelen Bridges converted on 63.4 percent of his shots from the floor for Georgia last season. That not only led the SEC and ranked No. 7 nationally, it was one of the most efficient campaigns ever for UGA and in league history.
The Union Grove High School product knocked down 161 of his 264 field goals in his first year as a Bulldog in 2021-22.
Among the best single-season field goal percentages for the Bulldogs and within the SEC, Bridges’ effort ranks No. 2 and No. 17 all-time, respectively.
Bridges became the first Bulldog to pace the SEC in shooting efficiency since Lavon Mercer did so in 1980 at 61.1 percent. Interestingly, Mercer set the UGA record (64.3 percent) in 1979 but did not lead the SEC that season.
Ingram Offers Experience
According to research by Middle Tennessee’s SID staff, Jailyn Ingram is one of five seventh-year men’s players in Division-I basketball this season.
The Madison, Ga., native and Morgan County High graduate, spent five seasons at Florida Atlantic before returning to his home state prior to the 2021-22 season.
Ingram played in 122 games for the Owls from 2016-21, including a redshirt campaign in 2018-19. All told, he recorded 1,334 points and 630 rebounds for the Owls, which are the No. 6 and No. 3 totals in program history.
Ingram played in nine games last season for Georgia before suffering a season-ending injury on Dec. 7 against Jacksonville. He received an additional red-shirt from the NCAA to return to the Bulldogs this season.
That makes Ingram among of quintet of players – including a well traveled Nittany Lion – competing for a seventh college basketball season this winter as outlined below.
7th-Year Super Duper Seniors
Jailyn Ingram FAU, Georgia
DeAndre Dishman EKU, MTSU
Juan Munoz Longwood, Hawaii
DeJuan Clayton Coppin State, Cal
Michael Henn UC-Davis, Cal Baptist, Portland, Denver, Penn State
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