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Mississippi St vs Georgia Preview/Open Thread

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Fox’s men get back on the floor tonight after a buzzer beating W in Knoxville over the weekend snapped a three game slide. For your Valentine’s Day viewing pleasure, they get to square off against another batch of Bulldogs, and Mississippi St is 5-7 in SEC play just like us (this is not a good thing). But we’re the 9 p.m. game on ESPN U, just the night out on the town every couple in Athens was dreaming of tonight.

Your guess is as good as mine at a starting lineup. Senior JJ Frazier will be at one of the G spots. Juniors Juwan Parker and Yante Maten will start at F, with sophomore Derek Ogbeide in the middle. But alongside Frazier, for the first time all year in Knoxville, was freshman Tyree Crump, as the Dawgs came out playing a 2-3 zone defensively. Sophomore PG Turtle Jackson has started 11 games this season, though averaging less than 4 points and barely over 1 assist per game is why that number isn’t any larger. Freshman SG Jordan Harris has 12 starts, but hasn’t taken over the job either doing arguably better in the games where he plays a 6th man role. So how we come out for this one, only our team knows.

Add junior Pape Diatta, sophomores Mike Edwards and Toe Wilridge, and a sprinkling of seniors Houston Kessler and Kenny Paul Geno, along with whichever two of those 3 young perimeter options don’t start off the bench, and that’s our squad.

As for what former UCLA coach Ben Howland brings to town, it’s young. Very young, and not exactly playing well of late with four losses in their last five and a mere two road wins all season long. Sophomore G Quinndary Weatherspoon is their star, and if the Dawgs can slow him down that will make their primary option it will make the night a lot easier. Freshman Lamar Peters has been stepping up nicely as their starting PG in SEC play and is a frequent shooter from the outside. Sophomore Aric Holman starts at PF, giving the Bizarro Bulldogs a rebounding and shotblocking presence in the middle, while freshmen join him up front in SF Mario Kegler and C Schnider Herard. Senior IJ Ready comes off the bench at PG, while a trio of young wings in sophomore Xavian Stapleton and freshmen Tyson Carter and Eli Wright join him in reserve.

These guys haven’t been very good all season. They take a lot of threes (more than 13 of their shots come from deep), so if they get hot then we’re in trouble. They also turn the ball over a lot, a common problem for teams full of youth, so this should be a game Georgia wins easily if we come to play. But the late start won’t help.

GAME & BROADCAST INFO

  • Opponent: Mississippi State Bulldogs
  • Records: Georgia (14-11, 5-7 SEC), Mississippi State (14-10, 5-7 SEC)
  • Rankings: Georgia NR, Mississippi State NR
  • Tipoff: Tuesday, February 14 at 9:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
  • TV: ESPNU (Mike Couzens, PBP; Brooke Weisbrod, analyst)
  • Video Stream: WatchESPN.com
  • Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) / Sirius: 145; XM: 191.
  • Flagship: WSB AM 750 | Affiliates
  • Audio Stream: Georgiadogs.com | Mobile
  • Live Stats: View