ATHENS — While the college basketball world was learning more about Georgia star Anthony Edwards in Maui last week, Edwards said the Bulldogs learned some things about themselves.
“I feel like we learned that we can’t come out playing around,” Edwards said during a Tuesday basketball availability session in Stegeman Coliseum.
And, Edwards said, “we saw that we can be a pretty good team.”
The Bulldogs (5-2) have their first opportunity to apply some of the lessons learned in Hawaii at 7 p.m. on Wednesday when they play host to N.C. Central (2-5).
Edwards spearheaded a memorable rally against Big Ten powerhouse Michigan State last week. The 6-foot-5 freshman from Atlanta scored 33 of his 37 points in the second half of the 93-85 loss to the Spartans after his team trailed by 28.
Coach Tom Crean said Georgia will continue to play fast and learned some things that could lead to better starts in games.
“We learned what we can be like when we run, and when we not only push the ball but throw the ball ahead,” Crean said. “We learned that the step up in competition means that we’ve got to keep getting better.”
Georgia was picked to finish 9th in the SEC in the preseason. But until last week, the Bulldogs were “off the board” as far as NCAA Tournament odds.
On Monday, however, BetOnline.Ag posted that Georgia odds were 80-to-1 to win the NCAA Tournament. That’s the same odds as traditional basketball power Indiana, where Crean was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016.
Crean wants to see Georgia take its next step against N.C. Central, even if the game is not being televised or drawing much interest outside of the region.
“It’s not about who you are playing, it’s about how you are playing,” Crean said. “That’s what we have to understand on a daily basis.”
“What we need most is consistency,” Edwards said. “We’re young, so we’re trying to build that in practice every day.”
Wednesday night’s game marks Georgia’s first action since Edwards hit a buzzer-beating shot last week to beat Chaminade.
Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean
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