The 'Cocks take on UGA tonight at the CLA. UGA is coming off a beating in Gainesville and will be looking to redeem itself. This is a must-win game if we are to keep our postseason hopes alive, as we absolutely cannot afford to drop winnable home games at this point.
Georgia Bulldogs Preview Capsule
SBN Blog: Dawg Sports (also check out Hoop Dawgs for good UGA hoops coverage)
Record: 9-9 (1-4)
Good Wins: Georgia Tech, Tennessee
Bad Losses: Wofford
Strengths: FG%, Rebound Margin, FT%, Personal Fouls Per Game
Weaknesses: Scoring Defense, FG% Defense, Turnovers Margin
Season Thus Far: The Dawgs came into this season with low expectations due to their thin roster. However, new coach Mark Fox has done a good job coaching the Dawgs and has so far exceeded expectations. That doesn't mean the Dawgs have been world beaters, though, as their record reflects the fact that they've often struggled. UGA is particularly bad on the road, where it has yet to win a game. Still, despite the subpar record, this is a significantly more competitive team than it was under Dennis Felton, and UGA fans have to be happy about the direction of their program under Fox.
What to Expect: Fox has instilled a new level of discipline into the Dawgs. This is a team that does a number of the little things well, such as moving the ball around, rebounding, and playing defense as a team. They're also, though, a team that turns the ball over a lot at times and isn't particularly good at man-to-man and transition defense.
A few matchups jump out at me in this game. First of all, Devan Downey will probably be guarded by Dustin Ware. Ware is a pretty good defender at the point, but he's not the man to stop Downey. Georgia will likely try to negate this and other individual matchup problems by rotating into zones when we try to take the ball inside. That means that we should get plenty of open looks on the perimeter. Hopefully our shooters will come to play.
The UGA player that worries is Trey Thompkins. Thompkins is averaging over 17 ppg right now and is the kind of player that can give us fits with his combination of size of shooting ability. We need to keep an eye on this guy and hope Sam Muldrow brings his swat attack again.
Prediction: UGA is improving, but this is still a thin roster. Our trip to Athens later this seasons scares me a good bit, but if we can contain Thompkins and Travis Leslie, we shouldn't have too much to worry about here. 4-8 points Gamecocks victory.