ATHENS — Stegeman Coliseum has probably never looked so good to a Georgia basketball team that has lost seven of its last eight games entering Saturday’s action.
The Bulldogs (10-12, 1-8 SEC) play host to Ole Miss (15-7, 5-4) at 1 p.m. on Saturday in desperate need of a victory and any sort of momentum.
“It is really important for us because it is our next game, it is the next opportunity that we have,” Georgia senior post Derek Ogbeide said. So that is always extremely important. I think it is even more important because of our response for what has been happening to us.”
What’s been happening is the Bulldogs have been getting outplayed, and often out hustled.
Bulldogs coach Tom Crean didn’t pull any punches after Georgia jumped to a 15-7 lead before Alabama answered with a 10-0 run en route to 89-74 victory on Wednesday night.
“The greatest weakness on offense is turnovers, the greatness weakness on defense is our (lack of) talk combined with guarding the dribble,” Crean said.
“Ole miss has experienced, physical, aggressive guards, which we just don’t have,” Crean said. “We don’t have those guys that are physically imposing or aggressive by nature.”
Georgia’s plan is to challenge senior William “Turtle” Jackson to play with more of an edge.
Crean said he believes in Jackson, and assistant coach Joe Scott said much of the same on Friday.
“ A guy like Turtle [Jackson], who has been through it, who has really done a lot in his career,” Scott said. “Now, can he sort of take the initiative here to lead that way? I know Turtle can.”
Crean said the Bulldogs plan to win before what’s expected to be another sellout crowd in Athens.
“Our fans can’t lose hope,” Crean said. “I guarantee you, no one is accepting this (losses), but no one is losing faith or hope.”
On the recruiting trail, the hope is that 5-star Georgia basketball target Anthony Edwards will elect to play for the Bulldogs.
Edwards has a press conference scheduled for Monday.