Daily Dawg Thread: December 22, 2023

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Daily Dawg Thread: December 22, 2023

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MBB: Georgia hosts North Florida today at the Stege

Game 12Georgia (8-3) vs. North Florida (7-6)

Date: Friday, December 22





Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

Venue: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)

Location: Athens, Ga.





Series History: First meeting

Last Meeting: N/A

Video: SEC Network+ (Jeff Dantzler, play-by-play; Marcus Thornton, color analyst)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network – SiriusXM 374 (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, color analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)

The Starting Five

• Georgia will wrap up its pre-holiday slate with a matinee matchup against North Florida on Friday. The Bulldogs are looking to extend winning streaks of seven games at Stegeman Coliseum and six games overall.

• Georgia is 7-0 at Stegeman Coliseum this season, improving to 20-4 in Mike White’s two seasons in Athens. White is a combined 27-5 as a head coach at Stegeman, including a 7-1 mark while at Louisiana Tech and Florida.

• After going 10-of-10 at the line against Mount St. Mary’s, Jabri Abdur-Rahim currently owns UGA’s season free throw percentage record by connecting on .917 (55-of-60) of his attempts to the line.

• Georgia is slated to play 14 of 31 (45.2 percent) of its regular-season games against teams featured in the most recent edition of ESPN.com’s bracketology. 

• Georgia is the nation’s only Power conference team to: 1) open its season with back-to-back games versus Power conference programs (Oregon and Wake Forest); and 2) face four Power conference foes in its first five outings (UO, WFU, Miami and Providence).

The Opening Tip

Georgia wraps up a busy stretch of three home games in seven days on Friday afternoon when the Bulldogs host North Florida at Stegeman Coliseum at 3:00 p.m. Georgia topped High Point last Saturday and defeated Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday.

Those victories improved Georgia to 8-3 and extended a pair of winning streaks. 

The Bulldogs have now won six straight games, their longest stretch of success under second-year head coach Mike White and the second-longest active streak in the SEC. The streak dates back to a Nov. 24 victory over Winthrop and includes successive wins over Florida State, Mercer, Georgia Tech, High Point and Mount St. Mary’s.

Georgia is 7-0 at Stegeman this season, topping its opposition by an average of 9.6 ppg.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim’s record-setting performance against Mount St. Mary’s moved him back atop Georgia’s scoring leaders. Abdur-Rahim’s career-high 23-point performance against the Mountaineers increased his scoring average by a full point per game to 13.3 ppg. Noah Thomasson and RJ Melendez also are scoring at a double-digit pace for the Bulldogs, contributing 13.0 ppg and 10.0 ppg, respectively. 

Scouting The Ospreys

North Florida sports a 7-6 record entering its matchup with the Bulldogs. The Ospreys’ three-game winning streak was snapped with a 91-75 setback at Florida State on Tuesday. UNF also has faced an SEC foe, dropping a 75-63 decision at LSU on Nov. 24.

North Florida leads the nation in both 3-point makes and takes per game. The Ospreys are jacking up 35.1 shots from behind the arc in each outing – 55.2 percent of their total shots from the floor. UNF is connecting on 12.5 3-pointers per game – 46.2 percent of its shots that find the bottom of the net.

Chaz Lanier and Dorian James, the older brother of UGA freshman Dylan James, lead North Florida in scoring and rebounding, respectively. Lanier is averaging 16.2 ppg, and James is grabbing 6.2 rpg. Amertri Moss also is contributing double figures in the scoring column at 11.5 ppg and leads the Ospreys in assists at 3.4 apg.

Series History With North Florida

Friday’s game will be the first ever between Georgia and North Florida.

The Bulldogs are 25-3 all-time against teams currently competing with the Ospreys in the Atlantic Sun Conference. That includes records of: 11-0 vs. Jacksonville; 7-3 vs. Stetson; 3-0 vs. Kennesaw State; 2-0 vs. Eastern Kentucky; and 1-0 vs. both Austin Peay and Lipscomb.

In addition, Georgia defeated EKU, the preseason favorite to win the A-Sun this season, in a preseason charity exhibition prior to this season. RJ Melendez’s 21 points led six Bulldogs in double figures in the 99-82 win on Oct. 30 at Stegeman Coliseum. In addition, Russell Tchewa notched a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, Noah Thomasson put up 15 points and Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Blue Cain and Silas Demary Jr. all chipped in 12 points each.

Last Time Out

Four Bulldogs scored in double-figures, led by Jabri Abdur-Rahim’s career-high of 23, as Georgia scored the most points of the Mike White era and defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 94-82, on Wednesday evening. RJ Melendez tied his career-high in points with 18, Noah Thomasson contributed 17 and Blue Cain chipped in 10. 

Abdur-Rahim tied his career-high in scoring in the first half alone with 21 points, giving Georgia a 43-32 lead over Mount St. Mary’s headed into the locker room. The Bulldogs led by as many as 15 in the final frame, scoring the program’s most points in a game since defeating Jacksonville, 98-65, on Dec. 4, 2020.

“I think a lot of guys are stepping up,” Abdur-Rahim said. “I think our depth is showing. Earlier you could see signs of different guys being able to play some roles, but now everyone’s getting comfortable and everybody’s sharing it. We had a season-high in assists tonight. That’s something we really value and it really shows that we’re sharing the ball and working together. I think if we continue to do that the sky is the limit.”

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

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