Date: January 3, 2014
Tip-off Time: 7:00 PM ET
TV Channel: CSS
Live Stream: Georgia All-Access (Online, $)
Mark Fox and the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t have much fun in their last basketball game, as they dropped a 14-point decision to the highly-ranked Colorado Buffaloes last week, but they’ll have a chance to make up for that on Friday night against George Washington. This is a true road game for the Dawgs against what may seem to be a lesser opponent, but GW is currently 11-2 on the season, and there is real talent there.
The Colonials are currently ranked in the top-75 nationally by KenPom.com, and despite a lackluster schedule, the metrics bare out a quality team. They are in the top third of the country on both sides of the ball, and their defense has been strong, allowing only 97.7 points per 100 possessions this season. In contrast, the Dawgs have really struggled defensively, ranking outside the top 200 (yes, 200) at 105.5 points allowed per 100, and that’s a bad sign.
GW is led by their backcourt, as their two leading scorers come from the perimeter in Maurice Creek and Kethan Savage. Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines (among others) will have their hands full here, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure that UGA has an athleticism advantage, even against a “mid-major” opponent.
The “experts” in Las Vegas have installed GW as a 9-point favorite, and KenPom is right there with them, projecting exactly a 9-point win for the Colonials at home. It certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility that UGA could eek out a win (one that is desperately needed on the cusp of the SEC schedule), but it won’t be an easy one in the nation’s capital.
Stay tuned for more information as it comes, and a game recap to follow.