Georgia vs. Tennessee
- Georgia starts a 3-game homestand Tuesday night when it entertains Tennessee. The Bulldogs begin this week with a 13-3 record, 2-1 in SEC games, after splitting a pair of road contests last week. Most recently, they turned in the offensive highlight of the season to date when they defeated Ole Miss 98-76 in Oxford on Saturday.
To find an equal offensive performance by a Georgia team against an SEC foe, one much reach back quite a ways. Not since 1995 has a Bulldog team scored that many points in a league contest (101 vs. Florida). Not since 2001 has Georgia tallied 53 points in a half against an SEC team. Not since 1998 as Georgia shot free throws that well in an SEC contest (26x27). And finally, not since early in the 2003-04 season had Georgia placed all five starters in double figures before last Saturday.
Georgia's 13-3 record at this mid-season juncture is the program's best since the 2002-03 season. Not coicidentally, it was the last time a Bulldog team was ranked in the nation's weekly polls.
- These two programs split their regular-season series last year, Georgia taking a 78-63 victory in Athens before Tennessee won the return matchup in Knoxville 25 days later. Georgia's victory last Jan. 23 stopped a 10-game Tennessee victory streak in this series.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record at Georgia / Years: 26-19 / 2nd season
Overall Record/Years: 149-62 / 7th season
Assistant Coaches: Kwanza Johnson, Philip Pearson, Stacey Palmore
|F||12||Tobias Harris||6-8||226||Fr.||Dix Hills, N.Y.||15.6||7.6|
|C||33||Brian Williams||6-10||273||Sr.||Bronx, N.Y.||6.1||8.1|
|G||2||Melvin Goins||5-11||180||Sr.||San Diego, Calif.||8.2||2.8|
|G||23||Cameron Tatum||6-6||192||Jr.||Lithonia, Ga.||10.5||3.4|
|G||32||Scott Hopson||6-7||230||Jr.||Hopkinsville, Ky.||16.5||3.4|
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Bruce Pearl
Record at UT / Years: 137-52 / 6th season
Overall Record / Years: 454-136 / 19th season
Assistant Coaches: Tony Jones (Assoc. HC), Steve Forbes, Jason Shay
Georgia vs. Tennessee
- Tuesday's game is the 143rd all-time meeting between Georgia and Tennessee in basketball. Tennessee leads the series, which began in 1913 and has been renewed annually since the 1951 season by a 90-52 count.
Georgia's win in Athens on Jan. 23 of last season stopped a Tennessee win streak in this series at 10 games. The Bulldogs' previous win came in February of 2004 in Athens. Their last win in Knoxville came on Feb. 21, 2001 (88-76). The program's most recent consecutive wins there came in the 1993-95 seasons. Georgia's last regular-season sweep against Tennessee came 10 seasons ago (2000-01).
UT is the fourth most frequent opponent in the history of UGA hoops. Florida ranks first (192 meetings), Georgia Tech is second (186) and Auburn is third on that list (171).
- Geographically speaking, the series can be broken down as such:
In Athens: UGA leads 34-32
In Knoxville: UT leads 54-13
Neutral-Court Games: UGA leads 5-4
- In a season rife with non-conference upsets among SEC teams, Georgia somehow survived the bulk of its non-league slate unscathed. Before its loss at Vandy a week ago, Georgia had the league's longest running win streak at nine games. It was the longest for a UGA team in almost 30 years, reaching back to the 1982-83 season, which ended with a trip to the NCAA Final Four.
- This year's Bulldogs also became just the third Georgia squad in 30 years to go undefeated in the month of December. The other two? Perhaps the two best teams in UGA history: 1982-83 and 2002-03.
- Georgia had spent all of December playing a 5-game diet of teams whose average RPI rating is 259. During that time, its own RPI rating dropped from near 40 to near 60, despite winning all five games. The Bulldogs have begun to experience a large upgrade in schedule difficulty. Tuesday's game is the fourth in a 4-game series during which their opponents have an average RPI of 26.
- Lest we not forget, the beginning of the SEC schedule for Georgia does not mean the end of its non-conference slate. The Bulldogs, for the first time in four years, will fill the "bye" date in its league schedule by playing a non-league opponent. This year, they'll play host to A10 foe Xavier on Tuesday, Feb. 8. The Musketeers have played home-and-home series recently against Auburn, Florida, LSU, Tennessee and now Georgia.
- Last season, 13 of Georgia's 31 games were considered "close" by the following definition: 2-possession game inside the final minute of play. The Bulldogs were 5-8 in those games. This season, 10 of Georgia's 16 games thus far fit that definition, including the first eight, and the Bulldogs are 8-2 in those contests. Only the Arkansas State, High Point, Charleston Southern, Kentucky and Vanderbilt games did NOT follow that theme. Five of those close games, in fact, were decided on the final possession.
- One by-product of so many close games is a starting five that has been heavily taxed through the pre-conference schedule. Until recently, Georgia had been the SEC's only team that had four starters averaging over 30 minutes per game. Mississippi State has become the 2nd team with such a status.
- Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie have become two of the most prolific rebounders of recent UGA vintage. Not before last week, however, had they pulled down double-figure boards in the same contest. Each had 13 rebounds against Vanderbilt. In just 2 1/2 seasons, Thompkins now ranks 16th on the school's career rebounding list with 559 boards.
- This year's team has already won more true road games (4) than Georgia had won in the previous three seasons combined. That total is also the most by any SEC team thus far this season.
The 2010 Bulldogs' road struggles appear to be an anomaly among teams coached by Mark Fox. In his 6+ years as a head coach, his teams have won an impressive 60 percent of their road games (50-33), and that mark includes last year's 0-11 record.
- Never has home looked so good as it did last Saturday night, when the Bulldogs returned to Athens for the first time since Tuesday. The snow and ice that crippled much of the Southeast also caused Georgia to improvise most of its travel during a 2-game road swing. First, the Bulldogs bused to Nashville on Tuesday because no plane could land in Athens. After their game at Vandy, they were stranded for two extra days because a plane still could not land in Athens. By the time they bused to Oxford on Friday, all systems were go on a return flight home. Distance traveled by bus: approx. 550 miles.
- How close to perfection was Georgia's first half last Saturday at Ole Miss? The Bulldogs shot 67 percent in scoring 53 first-half points, numbers that haven't been approached in an SEC game since the 2001 Bulldogs tallied 53 points in the first half against Mississippi State, shooting an amazing 79 percent.
- That Dustin Ware ranks fifth among 250 NCAA Division I players in assist-to-turnover ratio should come as no surprise. He had a positive ratio in each of his first two seasons at Georgia, both spent as the Bulldogs' primary ballhandler, sometimes as their only ballhandler. The presence of Gerald Robinson this season has no doubt aided Ware in his compiling such a gaudy +3.47/1 ratio.
- Robinson was a 76 percent free-throw shooter in two seasons at Tennessee State. Through 13 pre-SEC games, he was shooting a head-scratching 52 percent. He seems to have righted his own ship, having confidently stroked 17 of 18 foul shots in three league contests.
- Robinson's improvement at the line seems to have mirrored that of his teammates. Georgia's 26x27 performance last Saturday at Ole Miss enabled the Bulldogs to leapfrog 69 other Division I teams in the most current free-throw percentage statistics.
- Georgia didn't spend much time in the AP Top 25. After being ranked last week for the first time in eight years, the Bulldogs are the second team out of both Top 25 polls this week.
Thompkins Reaches 1,000
- Late in the Arkansas State game on Dec. 18, junior Trey Thompkins became the 40th player in UGA history to reach 1,000 for his career. The most recent Bulldog to reach that milestone was Terrance Woodbury in 2009. Already, Thompkins has climbed over 11 people on Georgia's career scoring chart with 1,115 points and he could realistically climb over two more today.
Robinson a Difference Maker
- Last season head coach Mark Fox noted that Gerald Robinson, who sat out the 2010 year after transferring from Tennessee State, would have tilted the balance in Georgia's favor in several of its close games. Through December this season, Robinson has delivered clutch plays that directly resulted in three Bulldog victories:
11/20 at St. Louis: Robinson drove the lane, drew three defenders and, in heavy traffic, fed Jeremy Price for a game-winning layup with :01 left.
12/2 vs. UAB: Robinson scored four points and had a key rebound in the final 14 seconds of perhaps the Bulldogs' best win of the season thus far.
12/7 at Georgia Tech: Robinson scored a key basket and assisted Dustin Ware on the biggest bucket of the game, a 3-pointer that broke a 70-all tie with 18 seconds left.