ATHENS — Georgia basketball made a splash on national television on Saturday with a 65-62 road win at No. 9 Memphis.
But the Bulldogs have a long way to go in the respect department.
Georgia (10-3) didn’t garner so much as one vote in the AP Top 25 released on Monday. Voters chose instead to punish the Tigers (12-2) by dropping them 12 spots.
The good news for the Bulldogs is they will have plenty of opportunities to make an impression thanks to a front-loaded SEC schedule compliments of the league office.
Georgia plays its first six league games against teams that played in last year’s NCAA tournament, starting with a 9 p.m. game against No. 14 Kentucky (10-3) on Tuesday.
Bulldogs coach Tom Crean, whose team features nine freshmen, said he’s not yet concerned with any sort of lack of respect.
“It’s not about proving anything to America, it’s about getting ready to play a great team,” Crean said on Monday. “It’s the next game on our schedule and it’s a big one, but so is Saturday’s, so is next Wednesday’s against Tennessee and so will the following Saturday against Mississippi State.
“When you’re in a league like this every night is a big night.”
Junior Rayshaun Hammonds, who recorded a double-double against Memphis and hit the 3-point shot that essentially doomed Memphis, said the Bulldogs have moved on from the historic win.
“Yeah, I’ve been over it—what is today Monday? I was over it Sunday,” Hammonds said. “It was a great win. We needed that win. It boosted our confidence.”
Freshman point guard Sahvir Wheeler, who had 10 points and seven rebounds in the win at Memphis, was in lockstep with Hammonds.
“When we are playing a tough schedule like this, you kind of celebrate the night of and the next day, you get ready for practice to get ready for the next game,” Wheeler said.
“It is a big win and a big program win. I don’t think we have had a win like that in a couple of years.”
It was Georgia’s first road win over a Top 10 team in more than 15 years, and only the second non-conference road win over a top 10 team in school history.
The Bulldogs’ other non-conference win on the road over a Top 10 team was more than 42 years ago, when UGA beat a No. 7 Louisville 73-70 in overtime on Dec. 29, 1977.
Georgia coach Tom Crean
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