Georgia Basketball Game Notes
Georgia (13-9, 6-9 SEC) vs. LSU (14-6, 9-4 SEC)
Tuesday, February 23, at 7:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (1,638) in Athens, Ga.
Series History: LSU leads, 68-48
Last Meeting: LSU, 94-92 in overtime, on Jan. 6, 2021
Watch: SEC Network (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Jon Sunvold, analyst)
Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network: 960 the Ref-AM, Athens; 103.7-FM Gainesville (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)
The Starting Five
• Sahvir Wheeler’s 152 assists is the 4th-best season total ever by a Bulldog. He’s just two assists from No. 2 and 17 shy of Pertha Robinson’s school record.
• Of 347 Division I teams, Toumani Camara and Sahvir Wheeler are of only seven sets of teammates with five or more double-doubles during 2020-21.
• In his first 20 career games, Jaxon Etter averaged 0.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg and 3.0 mpg. In his last five outings, Etter is averaging 6.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg and 17.2 mpg.
• Eight different Bulldogs have scored in double figures during the 2020-21 season, combining to produce 86 double-digit performances in UGA’s 21 games.
• P.J. Horne, who generally guards the opposing team’s post player a significant amount, leads UGA with 35 3-pointers made this season.
The Opening Tip
Georgia concludes a “February Frenzy” that will rival what any team will likely face in “March Madness” when the Bulldogs host LSU on Tuesday. The Tigers represent Georgia’s fifth consecutive opponent projected to receive an NCAA Tournament bid in a 14-day span.
Previously, the Bulldogs suffered setbacks at No. 16/15 Tennessee and No. 11/11 Alabama before rebounding to top No. 20/19 Missouri. The Vols, Tide and Tigers were the three SEC teams included in the NCAA’s initial Feb. 13 reveal of the projected top-16 seeds for the “Big Dance.”
Georgia lost at Florida last Saturday before entertaining LSU. The Gators and Tigers were No. 7 and No. 8 seeds, respectively, ESPN’s edition of Bracketology released last Friday. FYI, Arkansas is the SEC’s other team included in Joe Lunardi’s prognostications as a No. 6 seed.
The average NET ranking of those five teams as of Monday was 24.0. During the last two weeks, Georgia’s NCAA strength of schedule has ascended from No. 99 to No. 50.
Keeping An Eye On . . . Entering Today’s Game:
Tom Crean is...
• 4 wins from 400 victories in his career
Andrew Garcia is...
• 10 points from 1,000 for his career
Sahvir Wheeler is...
• 1 assist from No. 3 Rashad Wright (2008) among UGA’s best season tallies
• 2 assists from No. 2 Sundiata Gaines (2007) among UGA’s best season tallies
• 17 assists from No. 1 Pertha Robinson (1995) among UGA’s best season tallies
• 2 assists from No. 17 Bernard Davis (1991-94) among UGA’s best career tallies
• 8 assists from No. 16 Walter Daniels (1976-79)among UGA’s best career tallies
• 33 assists from No 15 Shandon Anderson (1993-96)among UGA’s best career tallies
Series History With LSU
Georgia enters Tuesday’s matchup with LSU sporting a 27-23 lead in contests in Athens; however, the Tigers own a 68-46 lead all-time series between UGA and LSU.
Earlier this season on Jan. 6 in Baton Rouge, LSU outscored Georgia 14-12 in overtime en route to a 94-92 win over the Bulldogs at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Justin Kier and Sahvir Wheeler led the Bulldogs with 25 and 21 points, respectively, while Toumani Camara added his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The back-and-forth affair featured no less than 20 lead changes and nine ties – including at halftime (42-42) and obviously at the end of regulation (80-80).
The Bulldogs earned the game’s biggest advantage at 68-58 on a breakaway dunk by Kier with 9:07 remaining. Following an LSU timeout, the Tigers recorded back-to-back old-fashioned three-point plays to trim the gap to four points just 67 seconds later.
Georgia led 80-74 following a Wheeler 3-pointer with 1:57 left, but Javonte Smart’s back-to-back 3s tied the game and forced the extra session.
In the most recent meeting in Athens on Feb. 16, 2019, Nicolas Claxton led four Bulldogs in double figures, but No. 19/21 LSU still downed Georgia 83-79 at a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum.
After trailing 31-22 with 5:17 remaining in the first half, the Bulldogs cut the margin to 41-37 at the break and eventually went up 58-53 at the 13:54 mark.
LSU took the lead for good with 6:41 left; however, Georgia pulled within 82-79 with less than a minute to play. The Bulldogs gained possession following a stop but failed to capitalize.
Scouting The Tigers
LSU has compiled records of 14-6 overall and 9-4 in SEC play to date.
The Tigers are coming off a season-high 104 -point outburst against Auburn last Saturday. LSU leads the SEC in scoring average at 83.1 points per game, largely due to sitting atop league statistics in both field goal percentage (.475) and free throw percentage (.760) as well.
Freshman Cameron Thomas, who was teammate’s with Georgia’s Christian Brown at Oak Hill Academy two seasons ago, is the SEC’s leading scorer at 22.8 ppg. LSU also is receiving double-figure scoring contributions from Trendon Watford (16.1 ppg), Javontae Smart (15.2 ppg) and Darius Days (11.9 ppg).
Last Time Out
Sahvir Wheeler poured in a career-high 27 points and also ascended from No. 8 to No. 4 on Georgia’s all-time single-season assists ledger but the Bulldogs still suffered a 70-63 at Florida last Saturday.
The Gators used a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to garner a 37-23 halftime lead.
Georgia used a late surge to pull within two possessions but could get not closer. After trailing 64-49 with 3:57 left, the Bulldogs embarked on a 11-2 run to close within 66-60 just 146 seconds later.
Georgia gained possession down six with 39 seconds left but couldn’t complete the improbable rally.