ATHENS — Georgia point guard Sahvir Wheeler is off to a historically good start as the only player in SEC history in at least 20 years to have three straight points-assist double-doubles.
Of course, great starts are nothing new for Wheeler, who set the UGA school record for assists by a freshman last season.
The Bulldogs’ 5-foot-10 point guard looks to continue spinning his magical passes and getting to the rim for points in a 7 p.m. Tuesday game between Georgia (3-0) and Montana (0-3) at Stegeman Coliseum.
The SEC statisticians could only go back to 2000 on the double-double statistics, while Georgia historians have gone back through the boxscore to 1969-60 without finding another player that matched Wheeler’s accomplishment.
Bulldogs coach Tom Crean, who’s in his third season leading the program, talked about the importance of Wheeler’s sterling play at the point guard position.
“The bottom line is you have to be a very unselfish young man, not just somebody who can pass and see, but who can also score and make plays,” Crean said. “You must have good decision-making skills, then obviously to get the assist, people have to put the ball in the basket.”
Georgia has eight newcomers on its team this season, with two of them projected to start against the Grizzlies, 6-foot-6 wing Justin Kier, and 6-6 post player P.J. Horne.
The Bulldogs are averaging 89 points per game this season despite still struggling behind the 3-point line, shooting at a 30.5-percent clip with only six 3-point makes per game.
Despite Wheeler’s splendid play, Georgia is also averaging an eye-popping 18.7 turnovers per game, something Crean is intent on getting fixed before the competition level takes a substantial jump.
“I think it’s trying to make plays that aren’t quite there, and trying to be unselfish,” Crean said. “When you have a guy that passes the ball like Sahvir [Wheeler], everybody else wants to get in it too, which is not a bad thing, but you have to recognize what’s there.
“We’re going to run so there are going to be some turnovers, but we can’t have the careless ones.”
The SEC released the game times and television assignments for Georgia’s games this season, revealing several SEC Network games: