The Georgia men’s basketball team will host Valdosta State in an exhibition contest for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff tonight (Thursday) in the newly renovated Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia Basketball Game Notes
Georgia vs. Valdosta State
Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, GA
Live Audio via georgiadogs.com and the “Georgia Bulldogs” App
Over the summer, the historic venue underwent a major overhaul to the tune of more than $8 million. Most notably, the seats have been replaced and changed from red to black and a massive center-hung scoreboard with more than 2,000 square feet of HD and LED video has been added. In addition, just under 1,000 square feet of LED signage has been added above portals, a new LED lighting system has been installed and the sound system has been upgraded and redirected.
The Bulldogs return four starting spots and nine of their top-10 scorers from last season when Georgia posted a 19-15 record and reached postseason play for the fourth-consecutive year.
Headlining the roster is senior forward Yante Maten, who this preseason has been tabbed SEC Player of the Year and All-America by multiple organizations. Maten, a native of Pontiac, Mich., averaged 18.2 points a season ago, making the leading returning scorer in the SEC. He also is the league’s active career leader in points (1,250), rebounds (606) and blocked shots (149).
Juwan Parker and Derek Ogbeide also started virtually every game for the Bulldogs last season. Parker, a fifth-year senior, is the only active Division I men’s basketball player who has already earned a master’s degree (Sport Management). Ogbeide emerged as one of the SEC’s most dominant rebounders in 2016-17, averaging 7.6 rpg overall and improving that tally to 8.3 rpg in league games.
Valdosta State is coming off a very impressive 26-6 campaign. The Blazers were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament but dropped an 89-85 overtime decision to Rollins in the opening round.
The Blazers’ roster features only two returnees. Beau Justice, a 6-2, junior guard from Peebles, Ohio, started all 32 games a year ago and was second on the team in scoring at 14.3 ppg. Jimmy Kodet, a 6-7, senior forward, also saw action in all 32 games (with one start) and averaged 5.3 ppg and 3.8 rpg.
Series History With The Blazers
Georgia leads the all-time series with Valdosta State in regular-season games 3-0.
The No. 12-ranked Bulldogs defeated the Blazers, 88-69, in the first meeting on Dec. 17, 1983. James Banks, Gerald Crosby, Vern Fleming and Joe Ward all scored 14 points apiece to lead Georgia.
On Dec. 2, 1987, Eric Burdette’s double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds paced the Bulldogs in an 86-47 win.
The most recent matchup between UGA and VSU was on Nov. 18, 2006, when Takais Brown came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points and lead the Bulldogs in a 105-74 victory.
For the complete Georgia-Valdosta State men’s basketball game notes, CLICK HERE
Last Time Out…
No. 2 Michigan State topped Georgia 80-68 last Sunday afternoon in a charity game that raised $339,447 for Hurricane Irma relief efforts by the Red Cross in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,699 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The two teams split the proceeds evenly and donate them to their respected charities of choice – Georgia for the American Red Cross of Georgia and Michigan will contribute to the Red Cross – International Services.
“When you do something for a cause greater than yourself, you need help to really make an impact, and this couldn’t have happened without Michigan State University and the great support that their fan base and the city of Grand Rapids provided,” Mark Fox said. “I thank you from the bottom of our hearts from the Deep South.”
The game represented a homecoming for Georgia’s Yante Maten and Mike Edwards, both Michigan natives. Maten, who is from Pontiac, poured in a game-high 33 points. Edwards, a native of Westland, had two points and grabbed four boards.
The first half with 10 lead changes and seven ties before State surged to a 40-31 lead at the intermission.
Georgia opened the second half on a 6-2 run to make it 42-37, but that eventually ended up the closest the Bulldogs got down the stretch.
At the 11:29 mark, freshman Nicolas Claxton dunked off an assist from freshman Rayshaun Hammonds to pull Georgia within seven points at 50-43. State answered with a 6-0 spurt over the next 2:19. The Bulldogs were able to cut the deficit to nine points three separate times in the final two minutes but Michigan State held on for the victory.
Derek Ogbeide led the Bulldogs on the glass with seven rebounds to add to his six points. E’Torrion Wilridge and William Jackson II each tallied team-high four assists.
Dogs To Debut Renewed Stegeman
Stegeman has undergone thorough renovations in the last few years, receiving a 21st Century facelift at a cost of more than $20-million.
This summer, the arena received a massive center-hung scoreboard, new black seats, an improved LED lighting system, a state-of-the-art sound system and graphics above the horseshoe end celebrating past teams and retired jerseys. All told, the Coliseum went from having roughly 1,000-square feet of HD/LED signage to more than 4,000-square feet as broken out below.
The renovations in 2017 followed work in the summer of 2016 which provided a dramatic mural covering the Coliseum’s distinctive end wall.
“Obviously, we’re extremely excited about Stegeman not only for our fans, but also for our players,” head coach Mark Fox said. “This is going to have a tremendous impact on our program and our university. It’s beautiful inside. It’s very well done. I have to compliment the architects and the construction companies. They did a terrific job. I think it will change the energy in the building because we have more tools to create atmosphere. I was in there with Dominique Wilkins and his statement was pretty good. This is now an arena, and it feels like an arena.”
In 2010, Stegeman’s concourses received a similar makeover, upgrading the graphics, enhancing spectator access to concessions and restrooms and adding 5,000-square feet of concourse space on each side of the arena. That work won awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
• 1008 square feet of HD video
• 1054 square feet of LED sections
Additional LED features
• 800 square feet on 3 ribbon boards
• 500 square feet over the 12 entry portals
• 50 square feet over 2 tunnels
• 375 square feet on 1 auxiliary board
Additional HD video
• 275 square feet on pre-existing board