MBB Preview: Georgia vs. Missouri

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MBB Preview: Georgia vs. Missouri

Sahvir Wheeler
Sahvir Wheeler

Georgia (12-8, 5-8 SEC) vs. No. 20/19 Missouri (13-5, 6-5 SEC)

Tuesday, February 16, at 7:00 p.m. ET

Stegeman Coliseum (1,638) in Athens, Ga.

Series History: MU leads, 8-7

Last Meeting: MU, 72-69, on 1/25/20

Watch: SEC Network (Daye Neal, play-by-play; Daymeon Bradshaw, analyst)

Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta; XM: 190; Internet: 961 (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)

The Starting Five

• Sahvir Wheeler’s 142 assists is the 13th-best season total ever by a Bulldog. He’s three assists from the top 10 and 27 shy of  Pertha Robinson’s school record.

• Of 347 Division I teams, Toumani Camara and Sahvir Wheeler are of only five sets of teammates with five or more double-doubles during 2020-21.

• In his first 20 career games, Jaxon Etter averaged 0.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg and 3.0 mpg. In his last three outings, Etter is averaging 6.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 18.0 mpg.

• Eight different Bulldogs have scored in double figures during the 2020-21 season, combining to produce 79 double-digit performances in UGA’s 20 games.

• P.J. Horne, who generally guards the opposing team’s post player a significant amount, leads UGA with 34 3-pointers made this season.

The Opening Tip

Georgia returns to Stegeman Coliseum Tuesday to host No. 20/19 Missouri, the Bulldogs’ third consecutive-outing against a ranked foe in just a seven-day span. 

That challenging stretch comes following a relatively massive gap of 73 days between Georgia’s season opener and its first matchup with a top-25 opponent, last Wednesday’s date with No. 16/15 Tennessee in Knoxville. In fact, the matchup with Vols on Feb. 10 in the 19th game of the season represented the latest and longest the Bulldogs ever played before taking on a ranked foe…in seasons when UGA faced a ranked team.

In fact (the second “in fact” two paragraphs so it must be important)in less than a week (from last Wednesday to the this Tuesday) Georgia is taking on the three SEC teams – Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri – that were included as top-4 seeds in the initial preview of the NCAA Tournament released last Saturday.

AND in fact (Woah! an “AND” followed by an “in fact”…this must be really good), the Bulldogs’ next two opponents are Florida and LSU. That gives Georgia a five-game stretch facing five of the six SEC teams currently projected to earn NCAA Tournament bids in ESPN’s bracketology.

Keeping An Eye On . . . Entering Today’s Game:

Tom Crean is…

• 5 wins from 400 victories in his career

Andrew Garcia is…

• 1 rebounds from 500 for his career

• 23 points from 1,000 for his career

Sahvir Wheeler is…

• 1 assist from No. 12 Sundiata Gaines (2008) among UGA’s best season tallies

• 2 assists from No. 11 Gerald Crosby (1985) among UGA’s best season tallies

• 3 assists from No. 10 Pertha Robinson (1996) among UGA’s best season tallies

• 6 assists from No. 8 G.G. Smith (1997 & 1998) among UGA’s best season tallies

• 7 assists from No. 7 Rashad Wright (2003) among UGA’s best season tallies

• 8 assists from No. 6 Willie Anderson (1987) among UGA’s best season tallies

• 27 assists from UGA’s single season record held by Pertha Robinson (1995)

• 12 assists from No. 17 Bernard Davis among UGA’s career leaders

• 18 assists from No. 16 Walter Daniels among UGA’s career leaders

Series History With Mizzou

Missouri enters Tuesday night’s matchup owning an 8-7 advantage in the overall series between UGA and MU; however, Georgia is 4-2 versus the Tigers at home.

After the Missouri won first four matchups, including three before the Tigers joined the SEC, Georgia reeled off six consecutive victories. Mizzou has won four of the last five in the series.

Last season on Jan. 25, Missouri rallied from a 20-point deficit to earn a 72-69 win over Georgia on at Mizzou Arena. The Bulldogs were led by Anthony Edwards, who notched his first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs led for more than 30 minutes of the contest before the Tigers surged ahead late in the game. Missouri went on top with 27 seconds left, the Tigers’ first lead since the 11:13 mark of the first half.

In the Tigers’ last trek to Athens on March 6, 2019, Missouri defeated Georgia, 64-39, to spoil the Bulldogs’ Senior Night.

After a tight first 10 minutes, the Tigers used a 15-4 run to build an 11-point lead at the intermission. Missouri maintained that margin throughout the second stanza.

Scouting The Tigers

Missouri enters this week with records of 13-5 overall and 6-5 in SEC play and ranked No. 20 by the AP and No. 19 in the USA Today coaches poll. 

That’s a dramatic difference from a week ago when the Tigers were 13-2 and 6-2 after handing Alabama its first league loss of the season the previous Saturday. Last Monday, Missouri was the highest ranked SEC team at No. 10 in both polls.

The Tigers dropped a 80-59 decision at Ole Miss in their mid-week game before suffering an 86-81 overtime setback to Arkansas on Saturday. Missouri faced the Razorbacks without Jeremiah Tilmon, the league’s most dominating post presence this season. Tilmon, who missed Saturday’s game while attending a funeral, scored 25 points and grabbed 11 boards in Mizzou’s previous matchup with Arkansas, which the Tigers won 81-68.

Xavier Pinson leads the Tigers on the offensive end while averaging 14.7 ppg. Dru Smith and Tilmon also are producing points at a double-figure pace, contributing 14.2 ppg and 12.8 ppg, respectively. Tilmon is collecting 7.8 rpg, which ranks fourth among SEC leaders entering this week’s action.

Last Time Out

K.D. Johnson poured in 24 points, his second straight career-high scoring output, however Georgia still dropped a 115-82 decision at No. 11/11 Alabama last Saturday.

Johnson, who scored 22 points at No. 16/15 Tennessee last Wednesday, led a quartet of Bulldogs in double figures. Sahvir Wheeler chipped in 16 points, Toumani Camara posted a double-double of 12 points and 13 boards and Tye Fagan notched 11 points.

A hot-shooting Crimson Tide team connected on 64.3 percent of its shots from the floor and 60.0 percent of its 3-pointers. 

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