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Georgia basketball looks to get over the hump at Mississippi State

Georgia basketball looks to get over the hump at Mississippi State

Georgia basketball looks to get over the hump at Mississippi State

Georgia basketball looks to get over the hump at Mississippi State

ATHENS Georgia coach Tom Crean always talks to his team about "taking what the game gives you," but on Saturday night at Mississippi State, UGA might need a different approach.

Indeed, Crean's young and undersized team will have to take even when the game isn't giving them any breaks or advantages.

Coach Ben Howland's maroon-clad Bulldogs lead the SEC in rebounding margin, the very area Crean's vertically challenged canines are most often challenged to measure up.

"I mean, every game we come in here talking about how important the rebounding is and now we're playing the league leader," said Georgia coach Tom Crean, who has just two players 6-foot-9 or taller. "That part of it is tough."

Mississippi State features two starters who are even taller, center Abdul Ado (6-11, 255) and power forward Reggie Perry (6-10, 250).

The teams tip off at 8:30 p.m. (TV: SEC Network) at the so-called "Hump." Officially known as Humphrey Coliseum, Mississippi State's arena which some say resembles a cake from the outside has a smaller, intimate setting similar to Stegeman Coliseum with a capacity of 10,575.

Georgia brings an 11-5 overall mark and 1-2 SEC record into the action. Mississippi State is 10-6 and 1-3 in league play.

UGA is looking for what would be its first consecutive league wins under Crean, who is now in his second season.

Georgia is also looking to play its way into NCAA tournament contention, and it will likely take a .500 record in league play or better for that to happen.

It's Crean's first trip to Starkville, and he may be forced to make it without the playing services of Sahvir Wheeler, who fellow freshman Anthony Edwards refers to as "the heart of the team."

Wheeler suffered an ankle injury in the second half of Georgia's resounding 80-63 blowout win over Tennessee.

Crean made it clear on Friday that Wheeler is questionable, having just managed to walk through the Thursday workout.

"You just have to deal with it, and if he can't it is what it is," Crean said. "You just go. Right? That's why you try to develop and try to get multi-dimensional versatile guys. Obviously he's a huge factor."

If Wheeler is out, Georgia will rely more heavily on senior graduate transfer Donnell Gresham along with Edwards at the point.

Edwards, named a second-team, mid-season All-American by the Sporting News earlier this week, is averaging 19.1 points per game this season, second in the SEC.

Georgia, with its size deficiency, will also need another signature performance from 6-9, 245-pound junior Rayshaun Hammonds.

Hammonds is averaging 14.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and he's coming off a 21-point, 5-rebound in the win over the Vols.

Mississippi State represents UGA's fifth-straight game against teams that played in the NCAA tournament last season.

The Bulldogs are 2-2 in the past four, winning on the road against then-No. 9 Memphis 65-62 on Jan. 4 and hammering Tennessee in Athens on Wednesday night.

The losses were to No. 13 Kentucky (78-69) and then-No. 5 Auburn (82-60).

Last year's home loss to Mississippi State featured one of the most bizarre endings in Stegeman Coliseum history.

WATCH: Stuffed bulldog triggers decisive technical foul in UGA home loss

A small stuffed bulldog toy was thrown on the court in the final moments, resulting in a technical foul that helps swing the game State's way, 68-67.

Georgia had rallied from 17 down to tie the game at 67-67.

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The post Georgia basketball looks to get over the hump at Mississippi State appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • There's a lot of uncertainty in the world right now given the disruption caused by COVID-19. Many are wondering when and how things will get back to normal. Others have even begun to ponder whether we'll have a college football season at all. But Kirby Smart has tried to discouraging speculating too much on what the future might like. While speaking on the Paul Finebaum Show on Thursday, he once again stressed the importance of staying in and trying to prevent a further outbreak. Smart did, however, speak with some certainty when it comes to recruiting and the 2021 recruiting cycle in particular. 'The recruiting has ramped up because we're not really spending any time with our players because they're not on campus,' Smart said. 'You talk to a 2021 prospect right now, he's averaging about 10 to 15 calls a day and he's about fed up with it. 'So a lot of those kids are going to make their decisions maybe a little sooner than anticipated.' We've already seen some schools land commitments during this period, as Michigan and Ohio State have both landed multiple blue-chip recruits. Georgia has brought in one as well to the 2021 recruiting cycle, as the Bulldogs landed 4-star defensive end Jonathan Jefferson. At the moment, Georgia has just four commitments in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Traditionally under Smart, the Bulldogs have landed a number of commitments and seen a lot of movement later in the cycle around National Signing Day. In the 2020 class, the Bulldogs landed 10 commitments/signees after Georgia lost to LSU in the SEC championship game to LSU. Related: Georgia football will be just fine putting together elite 2021 recruiting class The Bulldogs are in good standing with a number of 2021 recruits, such as 4-star linebacker Barrett Carter, 5-star safety James Williams, 5-star offensive tackle Amarius Mims and 5-star linebacker Smael Mondon. Quintin Somerville is a 4-star Georgia target from Arizona. He talked about what life is like for a recruit at the moment, especially as they now have to cancel and rearrange visits. 'Coaches are contacting me three times as much right now,' Somerville said. 'It is every day now. They have nothing to do as well.' Smart also discussed with Finebaum the idea of moving back the Early Signing Period, which is traditionally set for the middle of December. But Smart outlined an issue with shifting that date around for the 2021 class and the possible impact it would have on the 2022 signing class. 'The problem with that is if you push that, you're now pushing back on the next class,' Smart said. 'You're going to push the next class back because a lot of that are in the 2022 class, the next signing class, that's when they do their visits, in January.' At the moment, Georgia has the No. 15 recruiting class in the 2021 cycle. On Wednesday the NCAA announced that dead period for recruiting, which prohibits in-person contact between coaches and recruits will be extended until May 31. Georgia football 2021 recruiting: commitments Brock Vandagriff, 5-star quarterback from Bogart, Ga.: No. 12 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 31 player in 247Sports rankings,No. 5 in Rivals, No. 33 in ESPN, No. 2 ranked dual-threat quarterback, No. 2 ranked player from Georgia. DawgNation story on Brock Vandagriff: Why the addition of 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff could be a great sign for in-state recruiting David Daniel, 4-star defensive back from Woodstock, Ga.: No. 78 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 132 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 95 in Rivals, No. 35 in ESPN, No. 4 ranked athlete, No. 8 ranked player from Georgia. DawgNation story on David Daniel: Georgia lands commitment from 2021 prospect David Daniel Jonathan Jefferson 4-star defensive end from Douglasville, Ga.: No. 143 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 166 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 172 in Rivals, No. 150 in ESPN, No. 11 ranked strongside defensive end, No. 12 player from Georgia. DawgNation story on Jonathan Jefferson: Georgia lands commitment from Jonathan Jefferson Marlin Dean, 3-star defensive tackle from Elberton, Ga.: No. 408 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 27 DT in 247Sports rankings, No. 33 SDE in Rivals, Unranked via ESPN, No. 33 ranked player from Georgia. DawgNation story on Marlin Dean: Marlin Dean: It turns out the night UGA fell to Florida in hoops wasn't a total loss More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football podcast: SEC Network analyst calls Scott Cochran Nick Saban's worst coaching loss' The DawgNation Georgia football fantasy draft, plenty of surprises David Daniel: 2021 UGA commit joined Before the Hedges' on Zoom 3 takeaways from Georgia football coach Kirby Smart's beat writer teleconference James Cook could benefit most from Todd Monken's new offense The post Kirby Smart says 2021 recruits will make their decisions maybe a little sooner than anticipated' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,166 (April 2, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what one SEC Network analyst said about the impact of Scott Cochran leaving Alabama for Georgia. Georgia football podcast: SEC Network analyst calls Scott Cochran Nick Saban's worst coaching loss' Beginning of the show: The departure of former Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran who left the Crimson Tide recently to become special teams coach at Georgia comes at a bad time for Alabama coach Nick Saban according to recent comments from SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic. I'll discuss that topic on today's show and share audio of what UGA coach Kirby Smart said about Cochran this week. 10-minute mark: I'll examine how the Bulldogs are handling preseason preparations without the benefit of spring practices. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's Connor Riley joins the show. Some of the topics covered include Reaction to Smart's press conference this week Thoughts on the value of Cochran at UGA and the impact of his loss for Alabama A look at whether UGA will have the country's top defense this season And a discussion about the finalists in DawgNation's bracket-style voting for the top moments thus far in the Smart era 35-minute mark: I discuss the over/under totals for the SEC's top teams. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater and encourage DawgNation Daily listeners to stay healthy and remain vigilant with their hand washing and social distancing measures. The post Georgia football podcast: SEC Network analyst calls Scott Cochran Nick Saban's worst coaching loss' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DawgNation got to 'Zoom' with 2021 Georgia commitment David Daniel on Wednesday. The long-standing DB recruit for the 2021 class joined our weekly 'Before the Hedges' program on a zoom chat. The rising senior at Woodstock High School (Woodstock, Ga.) hails from South Florida but moved to the Metro Atlanta area for the bulk of his high school career. Daniel currently ranks as the nation's No. 4 ATH and the No. 78 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He will be a safety at UGA and plans to enroll early in January of 2021. The DawgNation reporting team had its questions for the feed. So did the DawgNation community who joined the stream live via Facebook. Check out the full video replay in the featured video slot up above. What did we discuss? Check out the topic tree below: What is it like for him during COVID-19 quarantine? Who are his top targets for the 2021 class? Why did he chose Georgia? Daniel discussed why he is still 'ten toes down' standing strong with his UGA commitment Are other schools still recruiting him hard? What does he plan to study while at UGA? What is it like having a former Georgia DB in Glenn Ford as his trainer? Which team does he look forward to playing the most as a Bulldog? How is he staying in shape right now? Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com 'Before the Hedges' program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. BEFORE THE HEDGES ON YOUTUBE April 1, 2020: David Daniel is our special guest March 25, 2020: What UGA is getting in Jonathan Jefferson March 18, 2020: How COVID-19 is and isn't affecting Georgia recruiting March 11, 2020: Nation's No. 2 RB Treyveon Henderson calls UGA a top school March 4, 2020: Priority LB target Raineria Dillworth narrows options after UGA visit February 26, 2020: Nation's No. 2 LB recruit Smael Mondon Jr. loves UGA because of 'championships' DAWGNATION RECRUITING Georgia recruiting on DawgNation How elite OLB target Quintin Somerville tackles the COVID-19 quarantine COVID-19: How Kirby Smart sees that affecting Georgia recruiting The elite 2022 recruit who brings to mind Nick Chubb, Nolan Smith and Fred Sanford 5 things to know about recent 2021 commitment Jonathan Jefferson Nation's No. 1 CB Tony Grimes had three UGA visits set prior to COVID-19 outbreak Dylan Fairchild: The UGA offer for the elite OL was like 'drinking from a fire hydrant Elijah Jeudy: Has Georgia found another future Bulldog in Philadelphia? Pulling Bulldogs from the Bronx, Brooklyn and Jersey? HS coach raves about UGA Devin Willock: The 2020 signee and the surgical scooter which rolled him to UGA Georgia adds a key 2021 commit in Peach State product Jonathan Jefferson Amarius Mims: 5-star priority OT sets his commitment date Donovan Edwards: Priority 4-star RB feels UGA probably' gets an official visit The post David Daniel: 2021 UGA commit joined 'Before the Hedges' on Zoom appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Are you ready to talk some UGA football? Mark your calendar to join DawgNation's staff at 3 pm today (Thursday) for a live telecast of the popular 'Cover 4' series. You'll have your chance to have your questions answered by our expert DawgNation foursome of Jeff Sentell, Mike Griffith, and Connor Riley, along with host Brandon Adams. Do you like fantasy football? Our DawgNation team will also participate in a live fantasy draft of current UGA players on the roster. We welcome your opinions and hot takes on every draft pick made. Again, please go to DawgNation's YouTube channel (CLICK HERE) , follow the page, and then join us for a live broadcast at 3 p.m. The post Join DawgNation livestream video at 3 p.m. today to discuss UGA football, fantasy draft of Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The best leaders and the most intelligent people are the ones who know what they don't know. Georgia football coach Kirby Smart a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll during his playing career served up a reminder of that when he deferred on speculating about college football's future. WATCH: Breaking down Kirby's spring football briefing 'I can't speculate on what I don't know, and we don't have a large amount of information right now,' Smart said. 'It's no fault of anybody. I'm not trying to point any blame, but we don't know a lot about the future and what that holds. 'I'm not going to sit back and say well this is what I think should be done, or this is what I think is going to happen, because I don't think that does anybody any good .' Smart did, however, feel comfortable enough to talk about his team. The 2020 Bulldogs are set up for an SEC Championship and College Football Playoff run on the strength of what on paper is the best returning defense in the nation. Georgia returns nine of 11 starters from its Sugar Bowl team, and Smart said there are rising sophomores and juniors that appear on the verge of breaking through even more. Here are three takeaways from Smart's teleconference with Georgia football beat writers earlier this week: 1. Priority on players Smart, like the CEOs of many of the nation's top organizations, has placed a priority on his personnel and ensuring their well-being ahed of any of the football business. Smart was quarantined himself after returning with his family from Central America at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic's severe effects on the U.S. society. It's clear he demands his players take the social distancing directives seriously. 'Th e No. 1 thing is the well-being of our players, their families, our student-athletes, our students at the University of Georgia,' Smart said. 'We're trying every way we can to make sure that they have everything they need because so many of them have parents in harm's way. 'They're in harm's way taking care of themselves if they don't respect what they're being told.' 2. Kirby's going to Kirby Thoroughness and efficiency are two of the traits that make Smart one of the best coaches in the nation, and he didn't take long to shift into that mode. Smart was among the first to push for videoconferencing, and that helped lead to the SEC approaching two hours of online 'chalk talk' between players and their coaches per week last Friday. The new measure took effect last Monday. 'In anticipation of doing it we were trying to get ready, we were practicing ourselves,' Smart said. 'A lot of these kids are better at these technological things than the coaches are, so we had to practice . to get ready so that we hit the ground running.' 3. Confident in quarterbacks Smart didn't exactly use the word 'comfortable' when asked about Jamie Newman. But he revealed the Georgia graduate transfer quarterback had found some 'rhythm' while throwing with receivers in limited work. Quarterbacks will be the position players most affected by the football stoppage, Smart said. But then he also revealed that Newman and the other UGA signal callers were able to at least get some familiarity with the offense. 'As far as the QB and the offense for our guys, I mean, we were able to meet leading up to spring practice,' Smart said. ' . we were able to have walkthroughs leading up to spring time, which we maximized that time. Not anticipating that we wouldn't have spring, but just knowing that we had new quarterbacks and due to the offensive systems we had to make sure we spent time with that. So we spent a lot of time on that.' DawgNation Kirby Smart offseason stories Kirby Smart reveals 5 players who impressed in workouts How CO-VID 19 is affecting Georgia football recruiting Why Kirby Smart gave Scott Cochran opportunity Nick Saban wouldn't Updates on rehab progress of Dominick Blaylock, D'Wan Mathis Smart boosts Dan Lanning over $1 million, new staff salary numbers Quarterbacks affected more than any position during stoppage, per Kirby Kirby Smart's sports stoppage message: Control what you can control D'Wan Mathis family thanks Kirby Smart, Georgia The post 3 takeaways from Georgia football coach Kirby Smart beat writer teleconference appeared first on DawgNation.