(15-12, 6-8 SEC) Georgia vs. (16-10, 9-5 SEC) Alabama
Game time: Thursday, February 23, 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL
TV: ESPN2 (Play-by-play: Tom Hart; Analyst: Sean Farnham)
Video Stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Play-by-play: Scott Howard; Color Commentary: Chuck Dowdle; Producer: Tony Schiavone)
Flagship Station: WSB AM 750
The Georgia men’s basketball will tangle with the Crimson Tide on the road in Tuscaloosa at 7:00 p.m. this evening without one of their key stars and starters, Yante Maten.
The Bulldogs will be without Yante Maten, who has been the SEC’s second-leading scorer for much of the 2016-17 campaign. Maten, one of 10 players on the final watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award as the nation’s premier center, suffered a sprained right knee 95 seconds into last Saturday’s game against No. 13 Kentucky.
“Obviously, our team was mostly built around Yante so we will have to redesign some things, but we aren’t going to be able to reinvent ourselves completely this late in the year,” Mark Fox said on Tuesday. “Our other guys are going to have to step up and play a little bit bigger role, and we will have to be a little smarter and stay out of foul trouble and be very efficient with how we play.”
Before and after Maten’s injury there were signs certain Bulldogs were ready to increase their contributions down the regular season’s home stretch.
In his first career start two Saturdays ago in Knoxville, freshman Tyree Crump scored 13 points – including five in a stretch of 17 seconds that pushed a one-point lead to 70-64 – in a 76-75 victory over Tennessee.
In Georgia’s next outing versus Mississippi State, sophomore E’Torrion Wilridge made a significant impact in his first-ever start with the Bulldogs. Wilridge dished out a career-high four assists in a career-most 29 minutes. He also grabbed a season-best six rebounds. Wilridge then topped that MP tally with 32 minutes of action against Kentucky.
Against Kentucky, sophomore Mike Edwards posted his first career double-digit point tally against SEC competition with 10 points, doing so in a career-most 34 minutes.
Senior J.J. Frazier is now the Bulldogs’ active scoring leader at 17.3 ppg overall and 19.4 ppg in SEC play. Among SEC scoring leaders, Frazier ranks fifth overall and second in stats for SEC games only.
Frazier has been spectacular of late, with a pair of 20-point second halves in Georgia’s last three outings. He led the Bulldogs back from a 14-point, second-half deficit in Knoxville. Against Kentucky, Frazier poured in 22 points after intermission en route to a season-most 36 points.
Juwan Parker has been Georgia’s third-leading scorer for the majority of the season but has stepped up his production in league play. Parker averaged 8.0 ppg in non-conference play but is contributing 10.9 ppg in SEC action. That has upped his season average to 9.6 ppg.
Alabama is 16-10 overall and 9-5 in league games, including an 80-60 win over Georgia on Jan. 25 in Athens.
Braxton Key averages a team-high 12.0 ppg for the Tide, while Dazon Ingram chips in 10.4 ppg. A balanced offensive attack features six more players averaging between 5.6-9.3 ppg.
The Starting Five
UA leads the all-time series with UGA, 94-50, including a 52-13 mark in Tuscaloosa.
J.J. Frazier is four 3-pointers away from becoming the first Bulldog ever to have 100 assists and 50 3-pointers in three seasons.
Juwan ParkerClick here to hear it had one double-digit scoring performance in his first 58 games at UGA. In his last 19 games, he has hit double figures 13 times, including 11 of 14 SEC outings.
Derek OgbeideClick here to hear it has six double-digit rebounding efforts in UGA’s last eight games. He is averaging a team-high 7.4 rpg, including a more impressive 8.2 rpg in SEC play.
Mark Fox is the first coach ever to lead UGA to three straight 20-win finishes. UGA has notched three consecutive 20-win efforts two times in 111 seasons.
For the complete game notes, CLICK HERE