Jasmine Hassell was Georgia's leading scorer last season.
Nov. 10, 2012
Date: Sunday, November 11
Tipoff: 2:00 p.m. ET
Location: Athens, Ga.
Arena: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)
Video: Will air live on the premium portion of georgiadogs.com
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network (AM 960 The Ref in Athens and 103.7 FM from Gainesville); Jeff Dantzler - play-by-play
The Starting Five...
* Georgia is 8-3 all-time against Rutgers, including a 3-0 mark in Athens
* Georgia is 30-9 in season openers, including 28-5 under Andy Landers
* The Lady Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 11 openers, losing only to defending national champion Baylor in 2005-06
* Georgia's Andy Landers and Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer have 1762 combined wins as head coaches
* Shacobia Barbee is slated to be the 70th freshman to start in Andy Landers' 34 seasons at UGA, and the 22nd to do so in her collegiate debut
Georgia hosts Rutgers in opener
The Georgia Lady Bulldogs, a team with significant goals and expectations, christen their 2012-13 schedule on Sunday at 2 p.m. by hosting Rutgers in a matchup of traditional national powers. The first 2,000 fans will receive t-shirts commemorating the 50th year of Georgia's historic Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia, which was No. 10 and No. 11 in the preseason AP and USA Today/ESPN polls, respectively, returns a quartet of starters who averaged double digits last season when UGA finished 22-9 and ranked No. 20. Three of those - Anne Marie Armstrong, Jasmine Hassell and Jasmine James - were named preseason All-SEC by league coaches.
Rutgers has three returning starters on its roster. Monique Oliver and Erica Wheeler helped the Scarlet Knights compile a 22-10 record a year ago. In addition, Chelsey Lee, Rutgers' leading rebounder in 2009-10 and 2010-11 who missed last season due to injury, also is back in action.
Opening with some Madness
Sunday's matchup between Georgia and Rutgers pits a pair of NCAA Tournament regulars.
The Lady Bulldogs have appeared in 29 of 31 editions of "March Madness" since women's basketball came under the guidance of the NCAA with the 1981-82 season. Georgia ranks No. 2 nationally in NCAA bids and has earned NCAA invitations in each of the past 18 seasons.
Rutgers has 23 NCAA Tournament bids on its postseason résumé, including 14 during C. Vivian Stringer's 17 seasons with the Scarlet Knights.
Quoting Coach Landers
On facing Rutgers in the season opener...
"Rutgers obviously poses some challenges that often times you don't face in an opener, but with a veteran basketball team - and for the most part we have a veteran basketball team - they understand the challenges that go along with playing someone like Rutgers. In short, everything we've done during the last 28 practices has led in the direction of us playing the best we could play when it came time to open up. I feel like the piece where Rutgers is unique is not their tradition or their history but rather their style of play. It wouldn't matter what time of year we play them, they're gong to present a special challenge in that they are an extremely, extremely good basketball team defensively that makes it really, really hard to score. That's going to be the challenge on Sunday afternoon...to crack their defense."
Keeping an eye on...
Entering the Rutgers game:
Andy Landers is...
5 wins shy of his 800th victory at UGA
23 wins shy of his 900th career victory
Jasmine James is...
14 points from No. 30 Megan Darrah among UGA's career leaders
Khaalidah Miller is...
11 3FGs from co-No. 10s Coco Miller and Pam Irwin-Osbolt among UGA's career leaders
Jasmine Hassell is...
60 points shy of becoming UGA's 33rd 1,000-point career scorer
Anne Marie Armstrong is...
18 blocks from No. 10 Wanda Holloway among UGA's career leaders
Series history vs. Rutgers
Georgia sports an 8-3 lead in its all-time series with Rutgers, including a 3-0 mark at Stegeman Coliseum.
Most recently, Georgia staged a late 17-2 run to overcome a 12-point deficit with 7:15 to play en route to a 49-48 victory on Nov. 22, 2009, during the freshman year of current seniors.
Those Lady Bulldogs went on to establish the best start in program history by reeling off 16 straight wins into mid-January.
Lady Bulldogs solid in openers
The Lady Bulldogs are looking to continue their stellar run in season openers...and even more impressive mark in initial outings at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia has christened 10 of the past 11 seasons with a victory, losing only to defending national champion Baylor in the 2005-06 opener.
The Lady Bulldogs are 28-5 in openers during Andy Landers' tenure, with four of those setbacks coming to ranked foes. All told, UGA has compiled a 30-9 record in season openers in its 39 seasons of intercollegiate women's basketball competition.
Moving from "openers" to "home openers" - UGA's first game at home whether that be the first contest or the first Stegeman date following a road contest - Georgia has won 20 straight such outings.
The Lady Bulldogs' last loss in their first home game was to No. 7 Stanford on Nov. 22, 1991. Georgia has lost its home opener only twice during Landers' 33 seasons in Athens, the other coming to No. 3 Texas on Nov. 26, 1984.
The Lady Bulldogs also are 2-0 in season openers against Rutgers.
In the first-ever meeting, Georgia topped the defending AIAW national champ Scarlet Knights in Chicago to christen the 1982-83 season - a campaign that eventually produced UGA's first of five Final Fours.
Georgia and Rutgers also met in the 2006 State Farm Tip-off Classic in Norman, Okla., with the Lady Bulldogs securing a 78-69 victory over the eventual 2007 NCAA runners-up. That afternoon also was memorable in that the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame announced its class of 2007 inductees, which included Andy Landers.
Hall of Famers on sidelines
Sunday's contest features two of the most successful coaches in the history of women's basketball. Andy Landers and Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer are two of just seven major college women's hoops coaches with more than 800 career wins. Stringer (885) and Landers (877) currently rank first and third, respectively, in career wins among active coaches. FYI, North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell is No. 2 among active coaches with 879 victories.
Landers and Stringer haven't just won, they've won on the biggest of stages. During their combined 78 seasons in - and sometimes out of - the sideline coaching box, you'll also find: 62 20-win seasons, 54 NCAA Tournament bids; 20 "Elite Eight" appearances; nine Final Four trips; and three NCAA runner-up finishes.
Landers owns a 5-4 edge in games against Stringer. Stringer won two of three dates when she was at Iowa, while Landers has won four of six since.
Our take on Landers' "career"
As Andy Landers approaches his 900th career win this season, the question will undoubtedly come up.
"Hey, the NCAA Records Book says that Andy Landers only has 795 career wins. What gives?"
Georgia politely disagrees with the NCAA on what constitutes Landers' career as a "collegiate" head coach.
Prior to arriving in Athens in 1979, Landers compiled an 82-21 record in four seasons at Roane State Community College, a junior college in Harriman, Tenn.
The NCAA does not recognize Landers' wins there because they were not earned at a four-year institution. Therefore, the NCAA says Landers' "career" record includes only his efforts at Georgia.
UGA chooses - and has since in 1979 - to include Landers' Roane State results in his career record.
Double-digit quartet is back!
Georgia is one of just five teams in the nation returning four double-digit scorers from the 2011-12 season.
Last season, Jasmine Hassell averaged a team-best 13.0 ppg, while Khaalidah Miller added 12.4 ppg, Anne Marie Armstrong chipped in 11.5 ppg and Jasmine James contributed 10.6 ppg.
Duke leads the nation with five double-digit scorers returning from last season. In addition, Loyola Chicago, Pacific and Vanderbilt all have four players who averaged 10 points or more back in action.
Freshman starter sorority to grow
Andy Landers' penchant for putting freshman into the Lady Bulldogs' starting five will continue on Sunday.
All told, 69 freshmen have started for Georgia during Landers' 33 seasons in Athens, including 21 who got the nod for their collegiate debut.
Those tallies will grow by one and possibly two on Sunday.
Landers announced at a preseason reception with courtside seat holders on Nov. 7 that Shacobia Barbee would start at the `3' spot for Georgia against Rutgers.
"Shacobia has been very impressive throughout the fall," Landers said. "She's earned the confidence of her coaches and her teammates, and I suspect she'll do very well."
In addition, freshman Merritt Hempe and Anne Marie Armstrong are listed as possible starters at the `4' position.
Hempe has worked as a starter for much of the preseason while Armstrong recovered from a sprained ankle.
"I think it's about putting the five people on the floor who play best together, regardless of what class they are," Landers said.
UGA ranked 10 and 11
The Lady Bulldogs were ranked No. 10 and No. 11 in the preseason editions of the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, respectively.
Georgia has now appeared in 480 editions of the AP rankings, the second-most of any women's basketball program in the nation.
The Lady Bulldogs have been ranked by the AP to open 30 of 31 seasons in the "Modern Era" of women's basketball since the NCAA began managing women's intercollegiate athletics. That span includes 21 top-10 appearances for Georgia.
UGA tabbed 2nd in SEC
Separate balloting of media (a national and regional panel) and coaches predicted Georgia to finish second in the SEC during 2012-13.
Both groups also named preseason All-SEC teams.
The media named seniors Anne Marie Armstrong and Jasmine Hassell first- and second-team All-SEC, respectively.
Coaches voted Armstrong and Hassell both first-team All-SEC performers and also tabbed Jasmine James a second team member.
SEC Preseason Predictions
|Mississippi St.||Mississippi St.|
|Ole Miss||T. Alabama|
Lady Bulldogs on TV 14 times
Fourteen Georgia games - including 11 of 16 SEC dates - will be televised during the 2012-13 season.
Georgia will appear nationally on the ESPN family networks three times. The Lady Bulldogs' home date with Texas A&M on Jan. 20 will air on ESPN2, while ESPNU will televise games at LSU on Feb. 10 and the regular-season finale versus Vanderbilt on March 3.
CSS will air seven games - non-conference home dates with Georgia Tech on Dec. 2 and Lipscomb on Dec. 16 and SEC matchups with Alabama on Jan. 10, South Carolina on Jan. 13, Florida on Jan. 27 and Feb. 17 and Ole Miss on Feb. 24.
Contests at Tennessee on Jan. 6 and against Arkansas in Athens on Feb. 21 will be shown on SportSouth, and the TCU game on Dec. 18 is available on Fox Sports Southwest.
Rounding out the Lady Bulldogs' TV slate is an SEC Network broadcast at Kentucky on Feb. 3.
Georgia is one of the nation's most televised teams, with more than 350 TV dates in the past 30 years.