Georgia (11-6, 4-3 SEC) vs. LSU (12-7, 5-2 SEC)
Tuesday, January 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET
Maravich Assembly Center (13,215) in Baton Rouge, La.
TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, PBP; Sean Farnham, Color; Shannon Spake, Sideline)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) Flagship: AM 750
The Starting Five
• LSU leads the all-time series with UGA, 63-44, including a 35-13 advantage in Baton Rouge.
• UGA is No. 1 in the SEC and No. 11 in nationally in FG pct. defense (.379) and has held 15 of 17 opponents under their season percentage.
• UGA is the only Division I team – there are 351 of them, by the way – that has played only one team with an RPI higher than 200.
• In stats for SEC games only, J.J. Frazier is ranked among leaders in nine categories – 1st in steals, 2nd in 3FG pct., 7th in ast.-to-TOs, 8th in both assists and 3FGs per game, 9th in both FG pct. and FT pct., 12th scoring and 20th in rebounding.
• Yante Maten became the first SEC player this season to have a 20-point, 10-rebound, 5-block game in league play with his 21 points, 12 boards and (career-high) six blocks at Missouri.
The Georgia Bulldogs open a two-game road swing with a trip to LSU at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Georgia also will travel to Waco, Texas, on Saturday to face Baylor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The matchup in Baton Rouge features the Southeastern Conference’s two best offensive and defensive teams…at least from a field goal percentage perspective.
The Bulldogs rank among the nation’s best in preventing their opponents from putting the ball into the basket. Georgia has had held 15 of 17 opponents under their season field goal percentage. Statistically, the Bulldogs rank No. 1 in the SEC and No. 11 nationally in field goal defense (.379).
Conversely, LSU is one of the nation’s most efficient teams at knocking down shots. The Tigers pace the conference and are No. 44 in the nation in field goal percentage (.471).
Georgia improved to 11-6 overall and 4-3 in the SEC last week by notching three-point victories at Missouri last Wednesday and in overtime against Arkansas on Saturday.
Overall, Yante Maten continues to lead the Bulldogs and rank among the SEC’s leaders in scoring (No. 11 at 16.2 ppg), No. 7 in rebounding (7.8 rpg), blocks (No. 4 at 1.8 bpg) and FG percentage (No. 4 at .528).
With a game-high 26 points against Arkansas, J.J. Frazier slipped past Maten to become UGA’s top scorer in league play at 16.1 ppg. Maten is a single point behind at 16.0 ppg.
All told, four Bulldogs are averaging double digits in league action as seniors Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann are chipping in 13.0 ppg and 10.1 ppg, respectively.
LSU current sports records of 12-7 overall and 5-2 in the SEC.
Ben Simmons is the top Tiger in several statistical categories and the only SEC player averaging a double-double (19.6 ppg and 12.6 rpg). LSU’s potent offensive attack also features Keith Hornsby contributing 13.5 ppg, Craig Victor II adding 13.0 ppg and Tim Quarterman putting up 11.0 ppg.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game:
[su_spacer size=”40″] Among UGA’s career Leaders
Charles Mann is…
• 19 points from No. 24 Ray Harrison
• 14 FTs from No. 2 Litterial Green
• 15 FTs from No. 1 Alec Kessler
• 22 assists from No. 9 Ray Harrison
Kenny Gaines is…
• 11 points from co-No. 28s Jerry Epling and Nemanja Djurisic
• 19 points from No. 27 G.G. Smith
• 1 3FGA from No. 7 Bernard Davis
• 1 3FGs from No. 8 Jody Patton
J.J. Frazier is…
• 4 3FGs from No. 16 Michael Chadwick
• 45 3FGAs from No. 16 Michael Chadwick
[su_spacer size=”40″] Series History With The Tigers
LSU owns a 63-44 advantage in the all-time series with Georgia, including a 35-13 edge in games contested in Baton Rouge.
In the most recent meeting last Jan. 11 in Baton Rouge, the Tigers rallied from a nine-point deficit in overtime to defeat the Bulldogs, 87-84, in double-overtime.
Georgia forcing the game to overtime was improbable in itself. The Bulldogs trailed 64-56 with 7:11 remaining before reeling off seven straight points. Marcus Thornton scored on a stickback with just one second left in regulation to tie the game at 67-67.
Georgia took control in the first extra session and built a 77-68 lead with 2:21 remaining. Consecutive 3-pointers from Tim Quarterman closed the gap to a single possession at 80-77 with 39 seconds left. After a pair of missed free throws, Josh Gray tied the game on an old-fashioned three-point play to force a second overtime.
LSU took the lead for good with 4:04 remaining in the second overtime as Georgia struggled offensively after starters Kenny Gaines and Nemanja Djurisic both fouled out.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Last Time Out
J.J. Frazier topped the 20-point barrier for the fifth time this season, pouring in 26 points in Georgia’s 76-73 overtime victory against Arkansas before a sell-out crowd on Saturday.
Yante Maten, who recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Kenny Gaines added 16 points for the Bulldogs.
“That was certainly a very hard-fought SEC game,” Mark Fox said. “We feel fortunate to beat a very good Arkansas team.”
The Razorbacks jumped out to a quick eight-point lead, but Georgia responded with an 11-2 run themselves. The Bulldogs grabbed most of the game’s momentum heading into the break riding an 11-3 run.
Georgia had a strong opening to the second half, extending its lead to as large as eight points with 12 minutes left. The Razorbacks gradually cut into that advantage and took their first lead of the half at the 5:29 mark, the first of five lead changes – to along with five ties – in the waning moments of regulation.
Georgia led 74-68 with 31 seconds left but did not seal the victory until Anthlon Bell’s 3-point attempt just past halfcourt failed to draw iron.
[su_spacer size=”40″] J.J. Almost Everywhere In SEC Stats
In statistics for SEC games only, junior J.J. Frazier is ranked among the league’s leaders in nine of 11 major categories.
The 5-10, junior from Glennville, Ga., is currently No. 1 in steals (2.3 spg), No. 2 in 3-point percentage (.500), No. 7 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6), No. 8 in both assists (4.4 apg) and 3-pointers per game (2.6), No. 9 in both FG percentage (.481) and FT percentage (.800), No. 12 scoring (16.1 ppg) and No. 20 in rebounding (5.4 rpg).
The only two categories where Frazier is not listed are blocks and minutes.
Stephan Moody of Ole Miss and Tyler Ulis of Kentucky are the next most prominent names and are listed in six categories each.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Gaines, Mann Rewriting Records
Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann are consistently making moves on UGA’s career scoring leaders ledger.
Mann entered the season at No. 36 among the Bulldogs’ all-time points leaders and has ascended to No. 25. He now has 1,211 points, 19 away from No. 24, Ray Harrison.
Gaines became Georgia’s 46th 1,000-point career scorer against Clemson on Dec. 22. He is now up to the No. 30 with 1,112 points, which is 11 shy of co-No. 28s Nemanja Djurisic and Jerry Epling.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Mann Joins UGA Top-10 Assist List
Charles Mann moved into Georgia’s all-time top-10 assists leaders during the Bulldogs’ overtime victory against Arkansas.
Mann distributed five buckets-to-be against the Razorbacks to up his career total to 355. That tied Donald Hartry, who was a member of Georgia’s 1983 NCAA Final Four and 1984 and 1986 NIT teams, for the No. 10 slot on UGA’s top-10 list.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Bulldogs In The BPI & RPI
Georgia is currently No. 52 in the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) and No. 61 in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
The Bulldogs’ strength of schedule, which was ranked as the nation’s toughest in both computer ledgers for a good bit of December, is currently listed at No. 9 in the BPI and No. 25 in the RPI.
Georgia is the only two team in the nation that has played only one opponent with an RPI higher than 200 this season.
[su_spacer size=”40″] A Positive Breakout
Not that the media needs any self-affirmation but the folks who predicted Yante Maten would be one of the nation’s “breakout” players this season – including those at CBS, NBC and SI – are probably feeling pretty good.
Most expected Maten to up his contributions following the departure of seniors frontcourt mates Nemanja Djurisic and Marcus Thornton. He’s done more than just that.
A year ago, Maten averaged 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 18.2 minutes per game.
This season, Maten has more than tripled his scoring (16.2 ppg) and also has upped both his rebounding (7.9 rpg) and playing time (30.4 mpg) by massive chunks.
Maten posted four career-high scoring outputs in the Bulldogs’ first seven games this season, improving from 13 points entering the year to 17 points versus Chattanooga in the opener to 21 points to back-to-back outings against Seton Hall and Oakland and 24 points versus Winthrop.
Maten’s increased production can actually be traced back to last year’s postseason. He notched his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against South Carolina in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tourney.
That opened a 20-game stretch in which Maten has recorded 15 of his 19 double-digit scoring outputs, as well as all six of his career double-figure rebounding efforts and all five of his double-doubles.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Bulldogs Finding Their Stride
After a relatively injury-free preseason, the Bulldogs were bitten hard in the week of the season opener.
Following a Nov. 6 exhibition outing, freshman Derek Ogbeide (pronounced “Ohwg-Bay-Day”) suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for four weeks.
Simultaneously, junior Juwan Parker was held out of action due to soreness in the Achilles that caused him to miss virtually the entire second half of last season.
That forced Georgia to reorganize its rotation for much of the first several games.
Following the Kansas State loss on Dec. 4, Georgia was 3-3.
Since then, the Bulldogs have compiled an 8-3 record. That stretch includes decisive victories over a pair of ACC foes – Georgia Tech (75-61) and Clemson (71-48) – as well as another double-digit win over Robert Morris, a 2015 NCAA Tournament participant with four returning starters.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Ogbeide Back, Making Big Strides
Following the aforementioned injury-induced detour, freshman Derek Ogbeide is showing signs of becoming an inside presence for the Bulldogs.
Ogbeide enjoyed a very impressive unofficial debut for Georgia. In a Nov. 6 exhibition win over Armstrong State, he grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, scored four points and recorded one assist, block and steal in 19 minutes of action.
Ogbeide suffered a right shoulder injury in practice thereafter and missed Georgia’s first five games of the season.
He finally made his official premiere against Kansas State, checking at the 17:27 mark of the first half versus the Wildcats and playing two minutes in the contest.
“He was just cleared today a little before 2 o’clock,” Mark Fox said. “I just wanted to get him 45 seconds here and there just to get him to relax and so he’d been out there before.”
The day before the Kansas State contest Fox was asked about what Georgia was missing without Ogbeide.
“He would allow us to impose our size and physicality on people” Fox said.
The Pebblebrook High School product now is helping Georgia doing just that.
Ogbeide played a combined five minutes against Kansas State and Winthrop before UGA’s 11-day break for Final Exams. In the 10 games since, Ogbeide is averaging 4.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 13.9 minutes.
His impact has been even more dramatic in SEC play. Ogbeide, who earned his first career start against Tennessee, is averaging 4.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 14.9 mpg.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Frazier Equal Inside & Outside
J.J. Frazier has made a name for himself with his prowess of knocking down shots from behind the 3-point arc. Actually, the junior from Glennville has provided pretty equal access and success to attempts from both 2-point and 3-point range this season.
To date, Frazier is 83-of-192 from the field during the 2015-16 season. He is 41-of-97 from 3-point range and 42-of-95 on shots from inside the arc.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Dogs’ “D” Has Been Consistent
Georgia currently ranks No. 11 nationally in field goal defense, with opponents shooting just 37.9 percent. The Bulldogs have held 15 of 16 opponents – and all 10 non-conference foes – under their season FG percentage.
During the 2015 calendar portion of the schedule, Georgia’s opponents connected on a paltry 36.6 percent (218-of-596) of their shots from the field against the Bulldogs. Subtract out those totals and UGA’s opposition made 45.8 percent (3203-of-6990) of their field goals attempted.
Georgia also has held five of its seven SEC foes under their season FG percentage.
Florida became the first team to shoot a better percentage against the Bulldogs than otherwise. The Gators entered the SEC opener shooting 42.2 percent but hit 42.3 – yes, .1 of one percent better – versus Georgia.
Texas A&M became the first team to make half its FG attempts against the Bulldogs, shooting 52.7 percent on Jan. 16.
[su_spacer size=”40″] UGA’s All-SEC Tandem…
Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann were both named preseason first-team All-SEC in voting of league coaches, becoming just the second duo of Bulldogs to earn first-team preseason honors since the recognition began prior to the 2004-05 season. Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins were first-team preseason All-SEC selections prior to the 2010-11 season.
Mann became Georgia’s first-ever two-time first-team preseason All-SEC selection.
[su_spacer size=”40″] …Has Very Strong Ties
The duo of Peach State natives Kenny Gaines, who is from Atlanta, and Charles Mann, who hails from Alpharetta, has played a significant role since they arrived on campus in 2012.
Between them, Gaines and Mann have a combined 224 games played, 166 starts and 5,766 minutes played.
Much of that has been compiled together.
Gaines and Mann have started together for 73 of Georgia’s 83 contests since the beginning of the their sophomore year of 2013-14. All told, they have played 1,795 minutes and 58 seconds together at Georgia.
[su_spacer size=”40″] UGA In Midst Of Most SEC Success
Georgia entered Southeastern Conference competition looking to extend its most successful two- and three-year stretches in league play ever.
The Bulldogs finished 11-7 and tied for third in the SEC last season. That followed a 12-6 record in 2013-14 when Georgia tied for second in the league and a 9-9 effort during the 2012-13 season.
The Bulldogs’ 32 wins over the past three seasons and 23 during the past two campaign represent UGA’s most ever.
Georgia is one of only two teams to secure a top-4 seed to each of the past two SEC Tournaments, along with Kentucky. The Bulldogs and Wildcats also are the only two teams to reach the semifinals of both the 2014 and 2015 SEC Tourneys.