Mark Fox's Bulldogs are set to open the SEC portion of their schedule Tuesday night when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia enters conference play in a much different situation than the previous couple of years. The Bulldogs are 9-3 after non-conference play and currently sport an RPI rating of 21. The Bulldogs have typically struggled out of the gates and thus needed to save themselves in conference play for any chance for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
They will have a chance to add to their resume on Tuesday when they face the 11-2 Razorbacks. Arkansas comes in ranked No. 23 in the AP poll. The Razorbacks only two losses on the season came on the road at Iowa State and at Clemson.
As is the case against any Mike Anderson coached team, taking care of the basketball will be a big key for the Bulldogs. Arkansas' patented pressure defense is designed to wear down opponents and Georgia will have to make good decisions against the press.
Defensively, slowing down Bobby Portis will be priority No. 1 for the Bulldogs. Portis is off to a great start averaging 16.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. The Razorbacks can hurt you in a variety of ways however. Michael Qualls is a capable scorer and Arkansas moves the basketball well and leads the nation in assists 19.2 per game. The Razorbacks come into the game with a five-game winning streak but split a pair of regular season meetings with Georgia last year.
The Bulldogs come in riding a six-game winning streak having closed out the non-conference season with a 63-50 win over Norfolk State on Saturday. Guard play will be key for Georgia as Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier will have to limit their turnovers and make good decisions with the basketball.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, January 6, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Georgia
Radio: Bulldog Radio Network