Men's Hoops Preview: FAU @ Georgia
FAU (5-5, 1-1) @ UGA (5-4, 0-0)
When: Wednesday, Dec. 23rd 7:00 PM EST
Where: Athens, GA - Stegeman Coliseum
Live Video: UGA Pay Per View
ESPN 760 Internet Broadcast: Here
Live Stats: Here
UGA Team Site: Here
G Ray Taylor 18.2 ppg
G Greg Gantt 13.9 ppg
F Sanchez Hughley 8.4 ppg
F Andre Mattison 1.3 ppg
C DeMonte Simpson 6.5 ppg
G Ricky McPhee 9.1 ppg
G Dustin Ware 8.0 ppg
F Travis Leslie 13.2 ppg
F Trey Thompkins 15.0 ppg
C Albert Jackson 3.2 ppg
The only meeting between the two teams occurred back on November 25, 2003, when Georgia walked away with a 99-84 win.
UGA at a Glance
The Bulldogs will play host to FAU after coming off an emotional 70-67 triumph over Illinois. The win avenges last year's 34-point loss to the Illini in Chicago.
“This was a terrific win for our team and our program. We beat a team that I have a lot of respect for", said Georgia head Coach Mark Fox.
Most of the Bulldog's success comes underneath the basket by way of forwards Trey Thompkins (15.0 ppg, 43% FG), who has taken a team high 113 shots on the season, and Leslie Travis (13.2 ppg, 50% FG) .
Thompkins was recently named the SEC's player of the week following his 21 point and seven rebound performance against Illinois.
The duo also account for a good share of the Bulldogs rebounding efforts. Thompkins leads the way with 7.2 rpg, and Travis isn't far behind with 5.6 rpg - half of which have come on the offensive glass.
The Bulldogs are not a strong three point shooting team, posting just 31.3% from long range. Guard Ricky McPhee leads Georgia's three point efforts on 17-44 (38.6%) shooting.
Georgia downed New Orleans 67-59 at home in the season opener.
FAU at a Glance
The Owls had their hands full last Saturday in a 87-69 loss to the Miami Hurricanes.
"We have a lot of sayings, and a lot of things we believe in. One is that 'the only time you lose, is when you don't learn'. Tonight was probably necessary to prove just how much more work we have to do and how much tougher guys have to be", said Mike Jarvis.
Ray Taylor continues to lead the way for FAU in scoring, and has moved up the ranks nationally in assists with a 6.3 apg average.
Taylor (63 assists) is almost halfway to breaking teammate Alex Tucker’s freshman record of 139, which was set last season.
"The good thing about 5'-5" guys, they're not leaving early for the NBA. Because I don't own an NBA team, otherwise I'd probably take him. He's gonna be my pilot for the next four years", Jarvis said.
Brett Royster is currently tied for 12th in the blocks category.
The young team continues to gel and evolve towards natural roles on the court.
"We are very team oriented. (There is) no selfish on this team. But I think that is a problem sometimes, because on the court guys try not to hurt the others feelings by not going as hard. But Coach explained that's really hurting us more than helping us. If we get after each other then in the game somebody getting after us is not going to be so new", said Taylor.
Owl's Nest Prediction
While UM's bench toasted the Owls perimeter defense on a 6 of 10 performance from behind the arc, Georgia's does not tout the same consistency.
If FAU can contain spot contain the efforts of the Bulldog's scoring trio of Thomkins, Travis, and McPhee, the game could stay within reach relatively easily. But the big question is what team will show up under the basket for the Owls.
Royster has been stellar against smaller opponents, but has fallen short against larger ones. And Simpson and Davis are still finding their way into the college game against skilled bigs.
Something has to have transpired since Saturday within Jarvis' spirited practices. Especially after calling them all out after the loss.
How they will react is the main unknown.
Georgia spent a lot of energy against Illinois saving face over last year's debacle. It would appear that was a main focus for the week as even Mark Fox commented on it.
The Bulldogs could be asleep going into this one.
If the game were at home, would consider the Owls for a close upset. Since it's not, going with UGA.