Georgia-Tennessee preview: Can Dogs repeat last year’s big win in Athens?
Previewing Georgia vs. Tennessee basketball:
- Where: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens
- Tennessee: 11-6 (1-2 SEC)
- 1. Home sweet home. The Bulldogs, who finally made it back to Athens on Saturday night after last week’s snow and ice kept them on the road for five days, open a three-game homestand. Following Tuesday’s game against Tennessee, Georgia plays Mississippi State on Saturday and Florida on Jan. 25.
- 2. An encore vs. the Vols? On Tennessee’s last visit to Stegeman Coliseum, the Bulldogs made a statement with perhaps their biggest victory under coach Mark Fox. They soundly defeated the Vols — ranked No. 8 in the nation at the time — 78-63 on Jan. 23, 2010, before a sellout crowd to end a 10-game Georgia losing streak vs. Tennessee. The Vols won last season’s rematch in Knoxville on Feb. 17.
- 3. No Pearl on the trip. The Vols will be without head coach Bruce Pearl, who didn’t accompany the team on its trip to Athens Monday night. Serving an eight-game SEC suspension for violating NCAA recruiting rules and misleading investigators, Pearl is allowed to travel with the team but is not permitted to be on the bench during games or participate in other game-day activities. He chose not to travel to Athens because the Vols did not have a walk-through practice there Monday due to a Georgia gymnastics meet. Associate head coach Tony Jones is filling in for Pearl.
News and notes
- Unranked again: A week after cracking the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in almost eight years, Georgia fell out of the rankings Monday as a result of last Wednesday’s loss at Vanderbilt. The Dogs are second among “others receiving votes” this week.
- One win from last season’s total: Georgia’s next victory will be its 14th of the season, matching last year’s win total; the Bulldogs finished 14-17 last season.
- Turnaround at the line: Gerald Robinson made only 52 percent of his free throws in Georgia’s pre-SEC games but has made 94 percent (17 of 18) in three SEC games. As a team, Georgia made 26 of 27 free throws Saturday at Ole Miss.
- Tennessee: The Vols overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Vanderbilt 67-64 in Knoxville on Saturday, with Scotty Hopson scoring 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. The win broke a two-game losing streak by Tennessee, which opened SEC play with a thee-point loss at Arkansas and an overtime loss to Florida.
- Georgia: The Bulldogs shot 67 percent in the first half and went on to rout Ole Miss 98-76 on the road Saturday. The game represented Georgia’s highest-scoring output in SEC play since 1995.
The numbers game
- 550: Approximate miles traveled by bus by Georgia’s team last week (from Athens to Nashville to Oxford, Miss.)
- Series record: Tennessee leads 90-52 overall, but Georgia leads 34-32 in Athens.
– Tim Tucker