The Georgia Bulldogs and the SMU Mustangs will meet on the hardwood for the first time ever on Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia heads into the game with a 6-3 record coming off a 79-59 loss to Arizona State this past Saturday. Georgia’s three losses this year have come on the road, but they are a perfect 5-0 at Stegeman Coliseum this season. The Bulldogs are averaging 83.1 points per game, which leads the SEC (alongside LSU), and is ranked No. 12 nationally.
Anthony Edwards, a preseason All-American and leading candidate for National Freshman of the Year accolades, is scoring at 19.8 points per game. Edwards’ average ranked second in the SEC overall and No. 37 nationally on Thursday, making him highest-scoring freshman in all of Division-I basketball this season.
The Mustangs sport an 8-1 record coming into the game suffering only defeat to the Georgetown Hoyas back on Dec. 7th. As of Thursday, SMU ranked among the nation‘s top-50 teams in three different statistical categories – No. 11 in free throw percentage (.791), No. 28 in rebound margin (+8.0) and No. 41 in field goal percentage defense (.386).
Kendric Davis paces a quartet of SMU starters who are averaging double digits in the scoring column at 16.0 points per game. Isiaha Mike is adding 15.3 points and team-high 7.0 rebounds per game, while Tyson Jolly and Ethan Chargois average 14.6 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, respectively.
Georgia head coach Tom Crean talked about how well the Mustangs play on offense, but also mentioned that their defense is something that his team seen yet.
“They rotate defenses so much and we haven’t seen a team do that yet,” said Crean at his Thursday press conference. “They’re long and they’re fast. They also have the tendency to turn up the pressure and force turnovers. And that’s something we can’t have.”
The Bulldogs are averaging 15.0 turnovers per game, and against Arizona State, they had 19 total.
Luckily for the Bulldogs’ senior Jordan Harris will be back from a suspension and could provide some help for the young team.
“He’s really one of our better athletes, and brings a lot of burst,” Crean said. “..A veteran influence, a guy that is well respected by his teammates, and he brings another stabilizing force in. But it’s going to take some time to get him integrated into this offense. We’ll see more of him when we see how the game goes.”
The Bulldogs will face the Mustangs at 7 p.m. on Friday in Stegeman Coliseum.
Here is the video from the Tom Crean presser: