(17-12, 8-8 SEC) Georgia vs. (17-12, 6-10 SEC) Auburn
Game time: Wednesday, March 1st, 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, GA
TV: SEC Network (Play-by-play: Tom Hart; Analyst: Daymeon Fishback)
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 team will play their final home game of the season at 6:30 p.m. ET this evening versus Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum, and for J.J. Frazier, Houston Kessler, Kenny Paul Geno, and Brandon Young it will be their last home game as a Bulldog. The four seniors will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.
That quartet represents one-third of the dozen players who have played on three 20-win teams in the first 111 seasons of Georgia Basketball. A win against Auburn would push them within two victories of becoming the first Bulldogs ever to reach the 20-victory plateau four times.
Georgia enters tonight’s action at 17-12 overall and 8-8 in the SEC. That league mark is somewhat deceiving considering the Bulldogs are the only team to play Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina — the trio atop the league standings for most of January and February — twice. Georgia is 8-2 against the rest of the SEC.
Frazier, who on Monday was named both SEC Player of the Week and nbcsports.com’s National Player of the Week, headlines Georgia’s senior class. The 5-10, 155-pound senior has scored 27.8 ppg over the Bulldogs’ last five outings.
Frazier’s scoring averages have seen dramatic increases for this deep in the season. His overall average has moved from 16.0 ppg to 18.1 ppg, while his effort in SEC games has gone from 17.3 ppg to 20.6 ppg. Among league scoring leaders, Frazier now ranks No. 4 overall and No. 3 in league action.
Frazier’s production helped offset the loss of Yante MatenClick here to hear it, 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 in to the Feb. 18 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 Feb. 21. “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 at Tennessee on Feb. 11, freshman Tyree CrumpClick here to hear it scored 13 points — including five in stretch of 17 seconds that pushed a one-point lead to 70-64 — in a 76-75 victory. Crump also knocked down two 3-pointers each of last week’s wins at Alabama and versus LSU.
E’Torrion WilridgeClick here to hear it logged career-high minutes in three consecutive outings — 29 against Mississippi State, 32 versus Kentucky and 36 at Alabama. Wilridge dished out a career-high four assists against Mississippi State. Wilridge had 16 assists in UGA’s first 25 games but has dished out 11 in the last four contests.
Against Kentucky, Mike Edwards posted his first career double-digit point tally against SEC competition with 10 points, doing so in a career-most 34 minutes.
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 9.7 ppg.
Auburn arrives in Athens with the same overall record at UGA at 17-12 and with a 6-10 mark in league play.
Mustapha Heron paces a trio of double-digit freshman scorers for the Tigers at 15.1 ppg, while Jared Harper adds 11.9 ppg and Danjel Purifoy chips in 11.3 ppg.
The Starting Five
UGA leads the all-time series with AU, 93-91, including a more decisive 60-25 advantage in Athens.
J.J. Frazier is two 3-pointers away from becoming the first Bulldog ever to have 100 assists and 50 3-pointers three times.
Juwan ParkerClick here to hear it had one double-digit scoring performance in his first 58 games at UGA. In his last 21 games, he has hit double figures 14 times, including 12 of 16 SEC outings.
UGA’s seniors — J.J. Frazier, Kenny Paul Geno, Houston Kessler and Brandon Young — will be honored before tipoff. They are four of only 12 Bulldogs ever to play on three 20-win teams.
Mark Fox is the first coach ever to lead UGA to three-straight 20-win finishes. UGA has notched three-conseuctive 20-win efforts two times in 111 seasons.
For the complete game notes for the Georgia men’s basketball game versus Auburn, CLICK HERE