Georgia Basketball: Preview for Georgia vs The Citadel
Coming off a 19-point win over the Western Carolina Catamounts last week, the Georgia Bulldogs will get a chance to add on to the win column versus The Citadel Bulldogs.
Georgia comes into the match-up as a 25.5 point favorite, one of the largest lines the program has seen in a while. In addition, ESPN's Basketball Power Index gives Georgia an 87.4% chance to walk out of Stegeman Coliseum with the W.
The short-rested Citadel Bulldogs are coming off a 91-76 loss to UNC-Asheville from Saturday. They'll need to have a number of things click for them to pull off the upset on the road.
The Citadel is led by true freshman guard, Fletcher Abee, who led the team with 17 points on a 75% shooting from the field. Georgia will also need to keep a hand (or two) in his face due to his dead-eye range, as he shot 5-6 from deep against UNC-Asheville. Seeing him play 35 minutes last game is an indicator that he'll be on the court for the majority of the game.
Down low, The Citadel will rely on junior, Hayden Brown, who posted 15 points and 4 rebounds in the season debut. However, The Citadel have yet to establish a consistent big man down low, which explains why the Bulldogs were out-rebounded 36-to-23 on Saturday.
The Citadel will need to increase their physicality on the boards if they want any shot at an upset.
As for the Georgia Bulldogs, they're coming off of a blowout win in which the scoreboard might not tell the whole story. Georgia actually trailed Western Carolina at the half but went on a 20-7 run in the last 5 minutes of the game.
Regardless of the sloppy start, the Bulldogs showed that when they settle in, good things will happen.
Georgia was led offensively by freshmen guards, Anthony Edwards (24 points) and Sahvir Wheeler (19 points). The backcourt tandem took over the game in every aspect in the second half, putting the SEC on notice.
On top of the offensive performance, Edwards came up a rebound shy of a double-double in his career debut. He also posted 3 assists and 4 steals. While the season is still young, Edwards is already showcasing his efficiency in every category, placing his name as a potential lock for a Top-3 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Going into the season, Georgia has had a lot of questions about the undersized frontcourt. Junior and potential NBA Draft prospect, Rayshaun Hammonds, answered some of those questions by grabbing 12 rebounds in the win against Western Carolina. Hammonds' effort led the way for the team out to out-rebound the Catamounts 52-to-41.
Georgia is showing they have the talent and potential to be a good basketball team in 19'-'20. Now, it's just a matter of putting things together, especially with the addition of new players to the roster.
After the win versus Western Carolina, Tom Crean said, "We're trying to blend in ten new people... When you're that young, you've got to get better during the game. Recognize what the game is giving. Recognize the decisions that need to be made."
Through the first slew of games, there will be some hiccups from this Georgia basketball team. They gave up 15 turnovers last Tuesday night. Now, it's a matter if the team can learn from those mistakes, and get better from it.
Georgia needs to focus on controlling the ball and getting more ball movement, which will lead to more scoring opportunities for this talented group of guys. On defense, they need to improve on the perimeter and force the opponent to take low-quality shots.
This match-up against The Citadel gives Georgia another opportunity to straighten out some kinks before heading to Maui during Thanksgiving. Look for Georgia to eliminate more outside shots, and create more scoring opportunities with ball movement. If Georgia can focus on these things early on, they'll have no problem getting the win.
Prediction: Georgia 87, The Citadel 65