Andy Landers enters his 36th season at UGA seven wins shy of 850 victories with the Lady Bulldogs.
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia Lady Bulldogs will play 19 games against teams that advanced to the postseason last spring during the 2014-15 season. In addition, 10 of 16 Southeastern Conference dates will air on television, with seven on the SEC Network and three on Fox Sports Net. Georgia's schedule was released on Friday along with the other 13 SEC teams.
"This will be an extremely challenging schedule," head coach Andy Landers said. "There are at least six teams on the non-conference schedule that will compete for their conference championship. And the SEC...while it has always been competitive, this year will be even more so. Our league, top to bottom, in the best."
The Lady Bulldogs open the season with a Friday-Sunday homestand the weekend of the Georgia-Auburn football game. Georgia will host Morgan State on Friday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. and then take on TCU two days later at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
The next week will feature road matchups with two power conference schools. Georgia will face Ohio State on Wednesday, Nov. 19 before traveling to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 23.
The Thanksgiving week features three games. The Lady Bulldogs will host back-to-back contests with Georgia Southern and Colgate on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, and then travel to Tennessee Tech, Landers' alma mater, on Saturday, Nov. 29.
Georgia's remaining five non-conference games include a Thursday, Dec. 4 trip to Mercer; home games against Michigan State (Sunday, Dec. 7), Furman (Saturday, Dec. 20) and Belmont (Monday, Dec. 22); and a trip to Seton Hall on Sunday, Dec. 28.
The opening day of SEC play will shift from its traditional Thursday date to Friday, Jan. 2 for every school's league opener. Georgia will travel to Mississippi State for its initial conference outing. The Lady Bulldogs' home-and-home SEC foes this winter will be Florida, Auburn and Tennessee.
League games that will televised on the SEC Network are Sunday, Jan. 11 at Auburn; Sunday, Jan. 25 at Tennessee; Sunday, Feb. 1 at Kentucky; Thursday, Feb. 5 vs. South Carolina; Monday, Feb. 9 at Arkansas; Thursday, Feb. 26 vs. Tennessee; and Sunday, March 1 at Florida. FOX Sports Net will air games against Alabama on Sunday, Jan. 4; Vanderbilt on Sunday, Jan. 18; and Auburn on Sunday, Feb. 22. Additional non-conference TV dates could be added in the future.
Georgia's 11 games against 2014 NCAA Tournament participants will come against Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Tennessee (twice), Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida (twice) and LSU. The eight contests versus WNIT teams from last season are TCU, Furman, Belmont, Seton Hall, Mississippi State, Missouri and Auburn (twice).
The Lady Bulldogs will return four starters - guards Shacobia Barbee and Erika Ford and forwards Krista Donald and Merritt Hempe - and six additional letterwinners from last season. In addition, six newcomers will join the Georgia roster this fall - four freshmen and two transfers.
Georgia finished 20-12 a year ago, the 29th 20-win season in Landers' 35 years at UGA. The Lady Bulldogs also earned their 31st NCAA Tournament bid, second-most of any program in the nation. Georgia has appeared in each of the past 20 NCAA Tournaments. All told, the Lady Bulldogs have advanced to 20 "Sweet 16s," 11 "Elite Eights," five Final Fours and finished as NCAA runners-up in both 1985 and 1996.
The Georgia staff got a jump on preparations for the upcoming season during the Lady Bulldogs' 10-day, three-game exhibition tour of Italy earlier this month. Georgia won all three of its contests in Italy by an average of 34.0 points per game.
"Our trip to Italy has allowed our coaches and players to assess where we stand," Landers said. "We know more going into the fall than we would have otherwise. We have the pieces. Now, we must create a competitive team."
Landers enters the upcoming season within reach of two significant milestones. He has 843 victories at the University of Georgia (seven shy of 850) and 925 wins as a collegiate head coach (25 away from 950).
Season tickets for Lady Bulldog Basketball are just $40 and include reserved seats for all 16 homes games. Season tickets are now on sale by calling the UGA Ticket Office at 1-877-542-1231 or online here.