Georgia (15-14, 5-11 SEC) vs. Florida (18-11, 10-6 SEC)
Wednesday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
Watch: ESPNU (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Andy Kennedy, analyst)
Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta. XM: 387; Internet: 977. (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)
The Starting Five
• Anthony Edwards’ 573 points is the second-most ever by a UGA freshman and is 73 points away from the freshman record held by Jacky Dorsey.
• Sahvir Wheeler’s 123 assists represent the second-most ever by a UGA freshman. He is 10 passes-to-baskets shy of Litterial Green’s UGA freshman record..
• Toumani Camara scored in double figures once in UGA’s first 16 games but has reached double digits seven times in the last 13 outings.
• UGA broke its all-time total attendance record with the crowd at the Arkansas game. The toal of 154,064 fans this season topped the mark of 148,700 set last season.
• Georgia’s celebrated freshman class – ranked among the top-10 groups nationally by every recruiting service – features five of the nation’s top-100 prospects.
The first 1,250 UGA students at Wednesday’s game will receive a t-shirt honoring the Bulldogs’ three senior players, Tyree Crump, Donnell Gresham Jr. and Jordan Harris.
The Opening Tip
Georgia looks to put a bow on an extremely solid home campaign on Wednesday night when the Bulldogs host Florida for “Senior Night” at Stegeman Coliseum at 7:00 p.m.
Georgia improved to 15-14 overall 12-4 at home with last Saturday’s 99-89 win over Arkansas. Six Bulldogs scored in double figures in the victory, as Georgia upped its Stegeman scoring average to 81.1 ppg and scoring margin to + 9.8.
At approximately 6:40, the Bulldogs will recognize this season’s seniors – players Tyree Crump, Donnell Gresham Jr. and Jordan Harris and student managers Harrison Gascho, Jordan McGruder, Ben Starks and Michael Van Hooser.
Wednesday’s game will be Georgia’s seventh sellout of the season. Last Saturday’s crowd of 10,017 led to two UGA attendance records.
That represented Georgia’s 10th crowd of 10,000-plus, inching past the previous high of nine such crowds during the 2002-03 campaign.
It also pushed the Bulldogs past their all-time total attendance record for a second-straight season. A year ago, 148,700 fans came through the Stegeman Coliseum turnstiles. Georgia surged past that to 154,064 fans for this season…with tonight’s sellout still to come. The new record should top last year’s count by around 15,000.
Anthony Edwards, who on Monday was named SEC Freshman of the Week for a school-record fourth time, leads Georgia at 19.8 points per game. Edwards, one of only two freshmen on the 20-player late-season Wooden Award Watch List, is the nation’s top-scoring freshman. The Atlanta native has reached double figures in the scoring column in 25 of 29 games, with 13 20-point outings and three 30-point efforts.
Keeping An Eye On . . . Entering Today’s Game
Among UGA’s career Leaders, Tyree Crump is…
• 8 3FGs from No. 9 Bernard Davis
• 14 3FGAs from No. 7 Dustin Ware
Among UGA’s Freshman Leaders, Anthony Edwards is…
• 73 points from No. 1 Jacky Dorsey
Among UGA’s Freshman Leaders, Sahvir Wheeler is…
• 10 assists from No. 1 Litterial Green
The Bulldogs and the Gators are facing off for the 221st time this evening. Although Georgia leads the series in Athens, 63-40, Florida owns a 115-105 advantage in overall matchups.
Florida is Georgia’s most frequent foe on the hardwood. Trailing the Gators on the list of most matchups for Georgia are two more of the Bulldogs’ biggest rivals – Georgia Tech with 196 contests and Auburn with 191.
Last month in Gainesville, the Gators rallied from a 22-point, second-half deficit to secure an 81-75 win over the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs led 41-26 at the half and pushed that margin to 22 points just over three minutes into the second stanza.
The Gators went up 59-57 with 8:38 left and expanded that margin to 69-59. Georgia made it a one-possession game twice, lastly at 76-73 with 31 seconds remaining, but could not complete the comeback.
In the last meeting in Athens on Jan. 19 last season, Florida withstood second-half rally from Georgia en route to a 62-52 victory.
The Gators built a 33-23 halftime lead, largely due to connecting on 7-of-13 shots from 3-point range during the period.
Georgia opened the second half with an 8-0 surge and then eventually tied the game at 40-40 at the 15:40 mark.
The Bulldogs’ momentum continued as Georgia built a 48-43 advantage with just under 10 minutes remaining. The Gators regained control by scoring the next dozen points and not allowing the Bulldogs closer than five points the rest of the way.
Scouting The Gators
Florida enters the final week of the regular season at 18-11 overall and 10-6 in SEC play after compiling a 6-3 record in February. The Gators were listed as a No. 9 seed in the latest edition of Joe Lunardi‘s Bracketology on ESPN.com released on Monday morning.
Florida‘s balanced offense features a quartet of double-digit scorers averaging between 10.3-14.0 ppg.
Sophomore Keyontae Johnson leads the Gators on the offensive end, while graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear chips in 13.4 ppg and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game.
Last Time Out…
Georgia raced to a 14-0 lead to open the game and then withstood numerous Arkansas attempts to rally en route to a 99-89 win over the Razorbacks before a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum last Saturday.
The Bulldogs eventually doubled up Arkansas on the scoreboard with their largest lead of the evening coming at 36-18 with 8:24 left in the first half.
The Razorbacks trimmed the gap to 47-39 at the intermission and pulled within a single point three times in the second period. The Bulldogs answered on each occasion – with a Rayshaun Hammonds three-point play, an acrobatic layup from Tyree Crump and a layup by Hammonds.
Anthony Edwards took over late, scoring 10 of his game-high 26 points in the final 4:30 as Georgia pushed a three-point lead to a 10-point margin of victory.
Edwards, Wheeler Included Among NCAA’s Freshman Leaders
Through games of March 2, Anthony Edwards and Sahvir Wheeler were among the nation’s top freshmen in scoring and assists, respectively, as outlined below.
Edwards was the top scorer among all Division-I freshmen, the only one featured in the top-50 scoring leaders and one of only three included among the top-100.
Wheeler sported the eighth-best average assists average by a freshman.
Top Freshman Scoring Averages
Rk. Player, School GP Avg.
36. Anthony Edwards, Georgia 29 19.8
84. Jordyn Adams, Austin Peay 31 17.8
95. Vernon Carey, Duke 30 17.6
Top Freshman Assist Averages
Rk. Player, School GP Avg.
35. Yuri Collins, Saint Louis 29 5.5
42. Nico Mannion, Arizona 29 5.3
56. Tyger Campbell, UCLA 30 5.0
68. Sean East, UMass 29 4.8
81. Isaiah Stevens, Colorado St. 31 4.6
82. Rylan Jones, Utah 28 4.5
99. Mark Freeman, Tennessee St. 29 4.4
99. Sahvir Wheeler, Georgia 28 4.4
Camara’s Contributions Climbing
Toumani Camara, who moved into the Bulldogs’ starting lineup in the 10th game of the season against SMU, has seen a massive up-tick in his production over the last 23 outings.
During that span, Camara also posted career highs of 16 points vs. Georgia Southern, nine rebounds vs. Austin Peay and 34 minutes of playing time vs. SMU.
After notching one double-digit output in the Bulldogs’ first 16 outings, he has done so seven times in Georgia’s last 13 contests.
The freshman more than doubled his playing time from the first six games and has also increased his scoring and rebounding by huge chunks as outlined below.
Camara’s Increased Efforts
Stat First 6 Last 23 Up
Points per game 4.0 7.4 +85.0
Rebounds per game 2.5 5.0 +100.0
Minutes per game 13.2 27.2 +106.1
Hammonds’ Big-Number Efforts Up
In his 61 games played as a freshman and sophomore, Rayshaun Hammonds had two 20-point performances, four double-figure rebounding outputs and two double-doubles.
In 29 games this season, Hammonds notched six 20-point outputs, six double-digit rebound counts and four double-doubles.
Hammonds’ most impressive outing of the season came against arch-rival Georgia Tech on Nov. 20. He scored 26 points against the Jackets, including 19 first-half points when he connected on 8-of-11 shots from the floor and 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
Feel Free To Call Him “Ty-3”
Tyree Crump continued a familiar theme to his scoring this season, with 49 of his 67 field goals (73.1 percent) being 3-pointers.
More than two-thirds of Crump’s made shots from the floor at Georgia have come from 3-point range.
The Bainbridge native has connected on 176 3s as a Bulldog, which accounts for 69.8 percent of his total 252 made field goals.
Edwards, Wheeler Up To No. 2 On UGA Freshman Leaders Ledgers
Anthony Edwards and Sahvir Wheeler are currently occupying the No. 2 spot among Georgia’s all-time freshman leaders for points and assists, respectively, as outlined below.
Edwards joined the Bulldogs top-10 season scoring efforts by a freshman in just the 18th game of the season at No. 15 Kentucky on Jan. 21. Over the next four outings, Edwards ascended all the way up to the No. 4 position.
Edwards’ current scoring pace of 19.8 ppg would be the second-best by a freshman in UGA history and would put him at 612 points at the end of the regular-season slate.
Wheeler’s eight assists against Alabama on Feb. 8 gave him exactly 100 passes-to-points this season. He became just the sixth Georgia freshman to record 100 assists and the first to do so in just over a decade since Dustin Ware did so during the 2008-09 season.
Wheeler enters the Florida game 10 assists shy of Litterial Green’s UGA freshman mark. His current pace would give Wheeler 136 assists at the end of the regular season.