MBB: UGA vs. LSU Preview

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MBB: UGA vs. LSU Preview

Georgia basketball player Sahvir Wheeler (2) during a game against Mississippi State at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Georgia basketball player Sahvir Wheeler (2) during a game against Mississippi State at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Georgia (7-1, 0-1 SEC) vs. LSU (6-2, 1-1 SEC)

Wednesday, January 6, at 7:00 p.m. ET

Pete Maravich Assembly Center (13,215) in Baton Rouge, La.





Series History: LSU leads, 67-46

Last Meeting: LSU, 94-64 on March 7, 2020

Watch: SEC Network (Mike Morgan, play-by-play; Debbie Antonelli, analyst)





Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta; XM: 380; Internet: 970 (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)

The Starting Five

• Georgia is the one D-I MBB team – of 342 that have played this season – that entered this week with six players averaging double figures in the scoring column.

• From a milestone perspective, Sahvir Wheeler is one assist shy of 200 at UGA, and Justin Kier is four points away from 1,200 for his career.

• UGA has won the opening tip in each game this season and is 16-3 when doing so since the beginning of last season. UGA was 7-14 when losing the tip in 2019-20.

• Sahvir Wheeler’s three double-digit assist outings in the first three games of the season were as many as any SEC player posted in all of 2019-20.

• UGA’s roster features eight newcomers with representative in every class – two freshmen, a sophomore, two juniors and a trio of graduate transfers.

The Opening Tip

Georgia travels to Baton Rouge on Wednesday for its first road game of the 2020-21 season. The Bulldogs opened their campaign with a successful 7-1 run at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, including a 7-0 start that was the program’s best beginning in 38 years…since Georgia’s 1982-83 Final Four season.

The Bulldogs entered this week as the nation’s most balanced offensive basketball team. As of Monday, Georgia was the only NCAA Division I men’s basketball program with six players averaging double figures in the scoring column. FYI, through Sunday there were 342 teams that had played games this season.

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

Sahvir Wheeler is…

• 1 assist from 200 for his career 

Justin Kier is…

• 4 points from 1,200 for his career

Andrew Garcia is…

• 134 points from 1,000 for his career

• 51 rebounds for 500 for his career

Series History With LSU

LSU owns a 67-46 lead all-time in matchups between the Bulldogs and the Tigers, including a 37-15 advantage in Baton Rouge.

In the most recent matchup last March 7 at the Maravich Assembly Center, Anthony Edwards scored a team-high 17 points – his 27th double-figure scoring output and 21st time leading Georgia offensively during the 2019-20 season – in a 94-64 loss to LSU.

Scouting The Tigers

LSU enters Wednesday’s contest with a 6-2 overall record and a 1-1 mark in SEC play.

The Tigers feature a quartet of players averaging double figures, leading to the second-highest scoring average in the SEC at 85.9 ppg.

Freshman Cameron Thomas is averaging an SEC-best 24.6 ppg, while Trendon Watford is adding 17.4 ppg, Javonte Smart is contributing 14.4 ppg and Darius Days is chipping in 13.4 ppg.

Thomas and Days, who also leads LSU in rebounding at 7.9 rpg, are the only two Tigers to start all eight games to date.

Last Time out

Mississippi State handed Georgia its first loss of the season last Wednesday night, an 83-73 decision at Stegeman Coliseum.

P.J. Horne led four double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs, pouring in a career-high 21 points by hitting 7-of-13 shots from the field – including 5-of-10 3-pointers – and 3-of-4 free throws.

Mississippi State broke the game open midway through the first half, using a 13-2 run to build a 28-12 lead with 9:23 left in the period.

Latest Road Opener In 77 Seasons

Georgia’s trip to Baton Rouge to face LSU on Jan. 6 represents the Bulldogs’ latest initial road game calendar wise since 1945.

The Bulldogs opened the “1944-45” campaign by hosting Clemson on Jan. 8 and then traveled to take on Jacksonville NAS (that’s Naval Air Station) on Jan. 12.

The last time Georgia played December games and its first road game this late was the 1940. The Bulldogs played five home dates between Dec. 20, 1939-Jan. 5, 1040 before trekking to Clemson on Jan. 6, 1940.

Wednesday’s game will be the latest date for the Bulldogs’ first true road game since the 2008-09 season when Georgia played three neutral site games before facing Georgia Tech on Jan. 6 in Atlanta.

America’s Most Balanced Offense

Georgia entered this week as the only Division I team in the nation with six players averaging double figures.

Through Sunday, 342 D-I teams had begun their 2020-21 seasons. Bulldogs Toumani Camara (14.3 ppg), Sahvir Wheeler (12.8), Tye Fagan (10.9 ppg), Justin Kier (10.9 ppg), P.J. Horne (10.5 ppg) and Andrew Garcia (10.3 ppg) represented the only sextet of teammates contributing 10 or more points to their team’s offensive production.

All told, seven different Bulldogs – add Christian Brown to the ledger above – have combined to notch 33 double-digit scoring outputs during Georgia’s first eight games.

There were 13 teams with five double-digit scorers on Monday – Creighton, Dayton, Jacksonville, Mercer, North Alabama, Richmond, Siena, Syracuse, UCLA, UMass, UNC Wilmington, Wisconsin and Wright State.

Kier, Wheeler Leading SEC

Georgia’s Justin Kier and Sahvir Wheeler entered this week leading the SEC in steals and assists, respectively.

Kier’s average of 2.3 spg paced league leaders and ranked No. 46 nationally on Monday.

Wheeler’s production of 7.5 passes-to-points not only placed him atop SEC stats but also put him at No. 6 nationally. The sophomore from Houston’s average was 2.8 assists per game better than any other league player.





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