MBB Preview: Dawgs Travel To Memphis

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MBB Preview: Dawgs Travel To Memphis

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Georgia (9-3) vs. No. 9/11 Memphis (12-1)

Saturday, January 4 at 1:00 p.m. ET

FedEx Forum (18,400) in Memphis Tenn..

Watch: CBS (Spero Dedes, play-by-play; Clark Kellogg, analyst)

Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta. XM: 389; Internet: 979. (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Tony Schiavone, producer)

The Starting Five

• Nationally, Anthony Edwards is No. 48 in scoring at 18.8 ppg (No. 2 among freshmen) and Sahvir Wheeler is No. 54 in assists at 5.2 apg (No. 5 among freshmen).

• Toumani Camara is one of just four Power 5 players this season to post a perfect shooting performance from the field while attempting at least eight shots.

• UGA had eight 90-point outputs in Tom Crean’s first 40 games in Georgia. The Bulldogs had eight 90-point outings in the 249 games prior to Crean’s arrival.

• Six of nine SEC games at Stegeman Coliseum are now sellouts – Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Florida.

• 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 Opening Tip

Georgia will visit No. 9 Memphis on Saturday in a CBS nationally televised matchup of two of the nation’s premier freshman classes. The Tigers inked the consensus No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, while the Bulldogs’ freshmen were tabbed No. 5 by ESPN.com, No. 6 by rivals.com and No. 10 by 247Sports.com.

Georgia is 9-3 to date, including a perfect 8-0 mark at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs easily bested Austin Peay in their last outing, 78-48. Georgia blew open a five-point game at the intermission with a 22-2 run to begin the second half.

The Bulldogs are averaging 82.2 points per game, which ranked No. 12 nationally through games of Wednesday (Jan. 1).

Anthony Edwards, a preseason All-American and leading candidate for National Freshman of the Year accolades, paces Georgia in scoring at 18.8 ppg. That was the second-highest average among all Division-I freshmen and No. 48 overall as of Thursday. 

Keeping An Eye On . . . Entering Today’s Game Among UGA’s career Leaders

Savhir Wheeler
Savhir Wheeler

Tyree Crump is…

• 18 3FGs from No. 10 Jody Patton

• 30 3FGs from No. 9 Bernard Davis

• 39 3FGAs from No. 8 G.G. Smith

Series History

Georgia and Memphis split their previous two meetings, a pair of holiday tournament matchups in Honolulu and Atlanta.

In the most recent meeting on Dec. 29, 1996, in the semifinals of the Rainbow Classic, Michael Chadwick’s 18-point performance led Georgia to a 70-68 win over the Tigers. Harry Allen paced a quartet of double-figure scorers for Memphis with 15 points.

The Bulldogs rallied from a 37-26 halftime deficit to outscore the Tigers 44-31 in the second stanza. Georgia went on to defeat No. 21 Maryland, 73-65, in overtime in the tourney’s title tilt.

The other meeting was in the championship game of the 1986 Cotton States Classic when Memphis topped the Bulldogs, 82-71.

Scouting The Tigers

Memphis is 12-1 overall and 1-0 in AAC action this season. 

The Tigers’ lone setback was to No. 14 Oregon on Nov. 12. Memphis is riding a 10-game winning streak, the Tigers’ longest since an 18-game stretch of victories during the 2012-13 season.

Precious Achiuwa leads a trio of freshmen averaging double figures at 14.2 ppg. He also is grabbing a team-best 9.9 rpg. D.J. Jeffries is adding 12.0 ppg, while Lester Quinones is chipping in 11.4 ppg. 

Last Time Out…

Rayshaun Hammonds scored 17 points and Donnell Gresham Jr. added 11 to lead Georgia to a 78-48 victory before 9,800 fans at Stegeman Coliseum on Dec. 30.

The Bulldogs never trailed in the contest and led by double figures for a large chunk of the first half before the Governors ended the period on a 7-0 surge to close the gap to 31-26 at the intermission.

Georgia regained control with a 22-2 run over the first 8:20 of the second stanza that made it 53-28. Gresham knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in that span, as many as he had made in the first 11 outings of the season combined. The Bulldogs led by 20 points or more for the rest of the outing. 

“(Director of Player Development) Brian Fish told me we scored 75 points in 33 minutes. We’ll take that,” Tom Crean said. “We hit a real lull there in the first half, and it was us not attacking. It was us not pushing and defending as well as at the beginning of the game. And then certainly in the second half we did a much better job and the ball moved much better.”

Edwards, Wheeler Included Among NCAA’s Freshman Leaders

Through games of Jan. 1, Georgia’s Anthony Edwards and Sahvir Wheeler were ranked among the nation’s top freshmen in scoring and assists, respectively, as outlined below.

Edwards’ average of 18.8 ppg was second among freshmen and made him one of just five first-year players featured in the top 100.

Wheeler’s average of 5.2 assists per game was fifth-best among the nation’s freshmen.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.