Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean is ready to see his team challenged the week as the Bulldogs take to the road for a pair or road games.
Georgia (7-1, 0-1 SEC) tips off against LSU (6-2, 1-1) at 7 p.m.on Wednesday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La. (TV: SEC Network) before moving on to play at Arkansas on Saturday.
UGA opened league play last Wednesday with an 83-75 home loss to Mississippi State and were assigned a bye the first weekend of the season schedule by the SEC league office.
“For us to go on the road now we need to bring great spirit and great bench energy,” Crean said. “We need to come with confidence and focus on how we can make the game easier for each other with our talk, toughness and togetherness.”
The Bayou Bengals are yet another team with a size advantage on the Bulldogs, whose tallest starter (and leading scorer at 14.3 points per game) is 6-foot-8 forward Toumani Camara.
Crean said that means Georgia will need to finish stronger in the lane against that length and improve on its 3-point shooting percentage, which at 30.1 ranks 11th in the SEC.
The Bulldogs have a pair of individual categories leaders, with point guard Sahvir Wheeler setting the pace with 7.5 assists per game and Justin Kier topped for SEC honors with 2.3 steals in each contest.
But Georgia will need a collective effort to beat an LSU program that handed the Bulldogs a 94-64 defeat in both team’s regular-season finale last season.
“We are going to find out, this will be the first time (on the road) for us, obviously,” Crean said.
“The teams that really can generate some togetherness, camaraderie, cheer for one another inside of that, and stay focused on that, and stay really, really engaged with one another – I think those are the teams that are going to give themselves a chance.”
LSU is a 9-point favorite to beat the Bulldogs, per VegasInsider.com.