Daily Dawg Thread: January 06, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: January 06, 2024

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MBB: UGA travels to Mizzou – tipoff 1 ET

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

Game 14Georgia (10-3, 0-0 SEC) vs. Missouri (8-5, 0-0 SEC)

Date: Saturday, January 6





Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Venue: Mizzou Arena (15,061)

Location: Columbia, Mo.





Series History: MIZ leads, 11-8

Last Meeting: MIZ, 85-63, on 2/25/23

Video: SEC Network (Richard Cross, play-by-play; Jon Sundvold, color analyst)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network – SiriusXM 387 (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, color analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)

The Starting Five

• Georgia opens SEC play at Missouri on Saturday. The Bulldogs enter league action sporting an eight-game winning streak, which is tied for the nation’s seventh longest entering this weekend.

• Georgia’s eight-game winning streak equals the sixth-longest streak in program history and is the Bulldogs’ longest in a single season in more than a decade (since the 2010-11 campaign).

• 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 9-0 at Stegeman Coliseum this season, improving to 22-4 in Mike White’s two seasons at UGA. He is a combined 29-5 at Stegeman, including a 7-1 mark while at Louisiana Tech and Florida.

• Georgia was 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 moves from appetizers to the main course of its 2023-24 schedule on Saturday afternoon when the Bulldogs open SEC play at Missouri. 

Georgia is 10-3 on the year and carries an eight-game winning streak – which is tied for the seventh longest in the nation entering this weekend – to Columbia.

The winning streak, which dates back to a Nov. 24 victory over Winthrop, equals the sixth-longest in program history and represents Georgia’s longest during a single season since a nine-game stretch during the 2010-11 campaign.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer at 13.2 ppg. The senior from South Orange, N.J., sports team-leading shooting percentages of .426 from 3-point range and .882 at the free throw line. Noah Thomasson also is scoring at a double-digit pace for the Bulldogs at 12.2 ppg, while RJ Melendez is a single bucket shy of a double-figure average at 9.8 ppg. Justin Hill has distributed a team-best 3.2 assists per game while taking care of the basketball. Hill enters the weekend ranked fourth in the SEC and No. 30 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.00. 

Among UGA’s career leaders…

Jabri Abdur-Rahim is

• 9 3FGs from No. 19 Michael Chadwick

• 14 3FGs from No. 18 Sundiata Gaines

• 15 3FGs from No. 17 Rashad Wright

• 7 3FGAs from No. 20 Nemi Djurisic

Justin Hill is

• 1 assist from 350

RJ Sunahara is

• 5 rebounds from 600

• 2 FGAs from 1000

Russel Tchewa is

• 22 rebounds from 600

Noah Thomasson is

• 7 assists from 250

• 7 FGs from 500

• 34 FGAs from 1000

Scouting The Tigers

Missouri compiled an 8-5 record in non-conference play. Three of the Tigers’ five losses came to teams ranked in this week’s AP poll – No. 2 Kansas, No. 9 Illinois and No. 15 Memphis.

Like the Bulldogs, Saturday’s game will be Missouri’s first game in a week. The Tigers wrapped up their non-conference slate with a 92-59 win over Central Arkansas on Dec. 30.

Sean East II paces Missouri and is ranked fifth in the SEC in scoring, averaging 17.1 ppg. Interestingly, East is shooting matching .568 field goal percentages both overall and from 3-point range. Noah Carter and Nick Honor also are scoring in double figures for the Tigers, chipping in 11.4 and 11.3 ppg, respectively, while Carter leads Missouri in rebounding at 6.5 rpg.

Series History With Mizzou

Missouri owns a 11-8 edge in the all-time series between the Bulldogs and the Tigers, including a 5-2 margin in Columbia.  

In the most recent meeting last Feb. 25 in Athens, Missouri rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Georgia, 85-63, on the Bulldogs’ Senior Day.

Georgia led 41-40 at the break before the Tigers scored 45 second-half points.

Kario Oquendo led the Bulldogs with 13 points, while Braelen Bridges notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Mardrez McBride also scored 12 points, all coming on 3-pointers.

In Georgia’s last trip to Mizzou Arena in the 2021-22 regular-season finale, Braelen Bridges’ 19-point outing led a trio of Bulldogs in double figures in a 79-69 loss to the Tigers.

Kario Oquendo added 17 points, and St. Louis native Aaron Cook chipped in 16.

Georgia raced to a 9-0 start and quickly pushed that margin to 16-2 with 16:02 left in the first half. The Bulldogs still maintained a 14-point advantage at 35-21 at the 5:32 mark of the opening period.

Missouri gradually cut into that gap and eventually tied the game at 51-51 with 12:12 remaining. The Tigers then outscored Georgia 13-3 over the next 5:48.

Last Time Out

Blue Cain equaled his season-high scoring output with 18 points to lead Georgia to a 93-73 win over Alabama A&M last Saturday.

Cain converted on 7-of-9 shots from the floor to produce the best single-game field goal percentage (.778) by any Bulldog this season. 

RJ Melendez added 11 points and a career-high four steals, while Silas Demary and Justin Hill chipped in 10 points apiece.

After leading 15-13 at the 11:05 mark of the first half, Georgia outscored A&M 31-11 over the rest of the period to finish with a season-best 46 first-half points. 

“I just think I let the game come to me,” Cain said. “I didn’t really force anything and the shots just happened to fall. Our game plan was more about us. We just wanted to share the ball and make progress towards our goal.”

Streaks and Stuff

Georgia enters SEC play riding an eight-game winning streak, which equals the sixth-longest in program history and represents the seventh-longest active in the nation entering this weekend. The Bulldogs are half way to Georgia’s school record for consecutive wins, a 16-game span combined during the 1912-13 and 1913-14 seasons. The Bulldogs’ best single-season winning streak covered 13 games during the 1930-31 campaign. 

With a victory over Missouri, the Bulldogs would match their longest winning streak since the 2010-11 campaign, when Georgia won nine straight en route to an NCAA Tournament bid. 

The Bulldogs’ 10 wins in November and December represents just the fifth time in program history that Georgia notched a double-digit victory total before the calendar flipped. Three of the previous four teams went on to earn NCAA Tournament bids.

The Bulldogs went 6-0 in December, the first time Georgia has produced a perfect record during the final month of the calendar since also going 6-0 during the aforementioned 2010-11 season.

The Bulldogs are 9-0 at Stegeman Coliseum this season, which ties the seventh-longest home winning streak in 118 seasons of Georgia Basketball. That also equals the fifth-longest winning streak since the Bulldogs moved into Stegeman in 1964.

Bulldogs’ Bench Providing Scoring Punch

Georgia enters SEC played ranked No. 29 nationally in benching scoring, with the Bulldogs’ reserves contributing 30.2 points per game.

Georgia’s reserves have outscored their counterparts in every game since the season opener. After being outscored 28-22 by Oregon, the Bulldogs now sport a +164 scoring margin in bench points – a 170-point swing and a massive differential of +14.2 ppg in Georgia’s last 12 outings.

Bulldogs’ Ball Security Takes Dramatic Turn

During Georgia’s first eight games – through the Mercer game – the Bulldogs delivered 87 assists while committing 94 turnovers. That equates to an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.93.

During Georgia’s last five games, the Bulldogs have dished out 80 assists while committing just 52 turnovers. That equates to a much healthier assist-to-TO effort of 1.54.

A Very “Maddening” Schedule

Georgia’s 31-game regular-season slate includes 14 matchups – 45.2 percent – against teams featured in the most recent edition of ESPN.com’s Bracketology.

MTennis: Georgia returned to action at the Gamecock Kickoff on Friday

“We had a lot of good play today and we also have some areas that we need to improve on,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Our guys have made incredible improvements. I am looking forward to seeing adjustments from our guys over the next two days. Ryan, Niels and Filipe in singles had great days in singles while Thomas and Niels had solid play in doubles.”

In doubles action, Thomas Paulsell and Ratiu earned their second-straight win together. The pair closed out the fall at the Georgia Tech Invitational with a win and picked up where they left off, defeating VCU’s Oscar Pinto Sansano and German Samofalov by a 6-4 score. 

Filipe Costa earned the first singles win in 2024 for the Bulldogs with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Illinois’ Olivier Onokowo, the redshirt sophomore’s fourth of the year. No. 36 Ryan Colby also notched a straight-set win, beating William Mroz of Illinois, 6-2, 6-4, improving his singles record to 8-5. Freshman Ratiu dropped the first set breaker against Illinois’ Jeremy Zhang but managed to take the match by a 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 result, marking the fourth three-set victory in six singles wins this season. 

The Gamecock Kickoff will resume action on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 9 a.m. ET with the day’s first set of matches and the second slate to begin not before 1 p.m. The tournament is played in a round-robin format. Georgia, who is joined by host South Carolina, Illinois and VCU, will play in matches against a rotation of the opposing schools in singles and doubles. Players will compete in one match in both competitions each day. Admission is free for fans to attend.

Doubles Results

Day One

Niels Ratiu/Thomas Paulsell (UGA) def. Oscar Pinto Sansano/German Samofalov (VCU) 6-4

Romain Gales/Matisse Bobichon (VCU) def. Ryan Colby/Filipe Costa (UGA) 6-1

Hamza El Amine/Mathis Bondaz (VCU) def. Miguel Perez Peña/Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) 6-4

Karis Ozolins/William Mroz (Ill.) def. Parker Jacques/Davis Taylor (UGA) 6-0

Singles Results

Day One

Romain Gales (VCU) def. Parker Mariencheck (UGA) 7-6(4), 7-5

Hamza El Amine (VCU) def. Davis Taylor (UGA) 6-3, 6-1

Filipe Costa (UGA) def. Oliver Okonkwo (Ill.) 6-2, 6-3

No. 55 Karlis Ozolins (Ill.) def. No. 41 Thomas Paulsell (UGA) 6-4, 6-4

No. 17 Kenta Miyoshi (Ill.) def. No. 112 Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) 7-5, 6-1

No. 46 Hunter Heck (Ill.) def. No. 43 Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) 6-2, 6-2

Niels Ratiu (UGA) def. Jeremy Zhang (Ill.) 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1

No. 36 Ryan Colby (UGA) def. William Mroz (Ill.) 6-2, 6-4

Tyler Bowers (Ill.) def. Parker Jacques (UGA) 3-6, 6-4, 10-8

Lucas Horve (Ill.) def. Davis Taylor (UGA) 6-1, 6-3

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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.

2 responses on “Daily Dawg Thread: January 06, 2024

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