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Georgia hosts Auburn on senior night: open thread and preview

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NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Georgia Mike Zarrilli-USA TODAY Sports

Just two games left in the season to keep dancing dreams alive, and it starts tonight when Auburn comes to town for senior night. The final home game of the careers of J.J. Frazier, Kenny Paul Geno, Houston Kessler, and Brandon Young begins at 6:30 on the SEC Network. Word on the streets says they all like driving in their trucks.

Auburn comes to town with a very young squad, starting four freshman and a sophomore, that has been pretty to watch. They score a lot, and allow a lot of points too, as you may recall from our 96-84 win at their house back in December. PG Jared Harper, wing Mustapha Heron, and big man Austin Wiley have started every SEC game for them and F Danjel Purifoy has as well when healthy. That’s all four and five star talent, with a lot of length and athleticism (aside from 5’10 product of Pebblebrook High School in Harper) and a whole lot of 3 point shots (aside from the mid year enrollee Wiley). Junior TJ Lang and senior TJ Dunnans will provide them with some veteran wing play as needed, senior Ronnie Johnson Tucker grad Bryce Brown add depth at the G spots, while freshman Anfernee McLemore and sophomore Horace Spencer provide extra big men inside.

Bruce Pearl team’s run, they press, they shoot a lot of 3s, and like the point totals to be high. As said, these kids fit that mold well, and they’ve won a handful of road games this year so don’t expect shell shocked babies on the floor.

Georgia has been the league’s best defensive team again this year, in terms of FG % allowed at least, so our ability to close out their shooters and snag rebounds will be critical to sending the veterans out winners. Expect all 4 seniors to start, probably with Juwan Parker or Derek Ogbeide. But Parker or Ogbeide, along with Toe Wilridge and either Tyree Crump or Turtle Jackson will likely come off the bench before the first official timeout.

The Dawgs will be without junior star Yante Maten as he recovers from a knee sprain, as well as freshman wing Jordan Harris and his bone chips/spurs issue. That puts a greater emphasis on Frazier to carry the scoring burden, which he’s done well the last two times out in wins over Bama and LSU. Parker, Ogbeide, Wilridge, Jackson, Crump, and big man Mike Edwards will look to provide as much help as they can, along with F Pape Diatta off the bench. It’s hard to say just how much run everyone will get (aside from Frazier playing as much as his shorter than 5’10 body will allow), due to Kessler and Geno likely getting a little extra action on senior night, and the injury situation causing Fox to throw his rotations in to a top hat. Auburn’s style also poses certain match up issues, so that the longer athletes like Jackson, Wilridge, and Diatta may be needed defensively.

This is a game the Dawgs can win, but it won’t be easy. With our NCAA Tournament hopes still just mostly dead instead of all dead, maybe Miracle Mark can give us a chance to dance after all.

GAME & BROADCAST INFO

  • Opponent: Auburn Tigers
  • Records: Georgia (17-12, 8-8 SEC), Auburn (17-12, 6-10 SEC)
  • Rankings: Georgia NR, Auburn NR
  • Tipoff: Wednesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
  • TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, PBP; Daymeon Fishback, analyst)
  • Video Stream: WatchESPN.com
  • Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Scott Howard, PBP; Chuck Dowdle, Color; Tony Schiavone, Producer) Flagship: AM 750 (Atlanta); Sirius: 145; XM: 190.
  • Flagship: WSB AM 750 | Affiliates
  • Audio Stream: Georgiadogs.com | Mobile
  • Live Stats: View