ATHENS — So much of Georgia basketball’s improvement has come from the transfers that coach Mike White quickly collected after his arrival in Athens last March.

Transfer players like Terry Roberts, Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, and Frank Anselem have combined to lead UGA (14-7, 4-4 SEC) in all five major statistical categories.

Another such newcomer beginning to flourish is Jusaun Holt, a former four-star talent who transferred from Alabama. The 6-foot-7 guard’s blend of size, quickness and athleticism enable him to defend numerous positions on the floor.

It’s part of the reason Holt earned his first career start in SEC action in Georgia’s 81-78 overtime defeat of South Carolina.

His season-highs in points (8) and steals (5) with 6 rebounds against the Gamecocks made a case for him to start again when the Bulldogs tip off at Auburn at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Neville Arena in Auburn, Alabama (TV: SEC Network).

Georgia will try to sweep the season series against the No. 23-ranked Tigers (16-5, 6-2) after beating them 76-64 at home to open its SEC slate.

Known for their high motors and defensive prowess, Holt and White’s coaching style have proved to match well.

At least, White certainly thinks so.

“He’s just kind of settled into being more efficient, playing off of others a little bit more, and embracing the role of being our best defender,” White said. “He’ll continue, in my opinion, with challenging and embracing, becoming a better rebounding wing, both offensively and defensively, because that’s in his upside.

“He’s such a worker, he goes so hard – he’ll only continue to get better.”

It’s a safe bet that Holt will see more time on the court in the second game against Auburn than he did in the first, whether he starts or not.

The sophomore from St. Francis High School in Alpharetta played just nine minutes in the upset win, a season low.

The Tigers pose scoring threats throughout their lineup. A versatile defender like Holt can only help against a team with two forwards and a guard that average over 10 points per game.

The entire Bulldog defense has had a major facelift during White’s first season. Georgia, which finished last season ranked No. 338 in scoring defense, entered this week sitting at No. 106.

UGA also moved up 238 spots compared to last year’s team in opponent 3-point percentage, now sitting at No. 22 nationally.

Upsetting Auburn the first time shocked the rest of the SEC plenty on its own, but a second victory would garner another level of respect for White’s first Georgia team.

Holt, one of five UGA transfers to play in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, believes it can happen.

“Definitely confident,” Holt said. “We feel like we can beat almost anyone in the SEC. The thing is to not be overconfident and be like, ‘We already beat them. We can do it again.’”

The Tigers, who hold a slight 99-97 series lead over Georgia, are 7.5-point favorites.