ATHENS — Georgia point guard Sahvir Wheeler recorded his second double-double in as many games to lead the Bulldogs to an 84-62 romp over North Georgia on Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
“It didn’t matter if we were playing North Georgia or North Carolina, you want to make a jump from Game One to Game Two, you want to make improvements,” said UGA coach Tom Crean, whose team improved to 2-0 at the start of his third season.
“Right now this is the equivalent of two exhibitions, where you are learning about your team … this is an adjustment period for us right now.”
Wheeler, who set UGA’s freshman record for assists last season, had 17 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 6 of 12 field goals while going 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.
“Once we got going, we had better energy tonight, and we did a better job defensively than we did last game,” said Wheeler, who is playing with eight new teammates this season.
“As far as the eigh new guys, we don’t look at that. Most of those guys have college experience already, and they bring a level of maturity and knowledge and eagerness to learn and implement on offense and defense. It’s more like guiding them.”
Sophomore forward Toumani Camara shared game-high scoring honors with the Nighthawks’ guard Eric Jones, each leading their respective team with 19 points.
Georgia 6-foot-6 post P.J. Horne, a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech, had his first outing of the season in double figures with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Crean said there’s plenty of work left to be done.
“I don’t think our offense is even close yet,” said Crean, whose team had 25 turnovers. “I think this team, if we’re gonna have success, it will be with a lot of guys that can score. We don’t have Anthony Edwards anymore.”
Edwards, the SEC Freshman of the Year last season, was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves last month.
Tyron McMillan led the Bulldogs with 8 rebounds, as they controlled the glass against North Georgia by a commanding 48-27 margin.
While Crean’s teams are known best for their uptempo style, the former Marquette and Indiana head coach was most exited about Georgia’s defense.
“We’ve got to be a collective unit defensively, and there were times tonight we showed that,” Crean said. “We’re not gonna lead the league in blocked shots, so we have to draw charges, rally to the ball, rotate, slide over and slide back, and we have to get deflections and get back on defense.”