ATHENS — Georgia basketball has gotten a good taste of what would await them in the NCAA tournament if they could ever get qualified for it again, and LSU will deliver another blast at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Georgia has gone 1-3 against SEC teams projected to be bound for the NCAA tourney, losing at Alabama, Tennessee and Florida, while beating Missouri at home last week.
The Bulldogs (13-9, 6-9 SEC) continue their so-called “February Frenzy” against the Tigers (14-6, 9-4) looking to avenge the 94-92 overtime defeat they suffered on Jan. 6 in Baton Rouge.
It was a game that saw 20 lead changes and nine ties, as LSU rallied from 6 down with 1:57 left to pull it out, in part thanks to an out-of-bounds call that left many shaking their heads.
— Barstool UGA (@ugabarstool) January 7, 2021
Coach Tom Crean and his players have long since moved on from the controversial call that appeared to be incorrect and played a role in them losing the game, but it no doubt, a subplot to the rematch.
“We’re such a different team, and I’m sure they are too,” Crean said. “It’s much more about where they are at right now, what we’re coming off of our games last week, Then, really, the adjustments we want to make based on what we know from our first game and how they’ve changed since that time.”
Georgia has added freshman K.D. Johnson to the team since the last time it faced LSU, and 6-foot-4 walk-on Jaxson Etter has emerged as a valuable asset coming off the bench.
The Tigers, meanwhile, are red-hot and tied for second in the SEC with Arkansas.
LSU enters the game at Stegeman Coliseum (TV: SEC Network) having won three straight games including a 104-80 blowout win over Auburn. It was the Tigers first time scoring more than 100 points in an SEC game since 1994.
LSU has shot better than 50 percent in each of its past three games, and like almost every other UGA opponent this season, they will be the bigger team with 6-foot-9, 240-pound Trendon Watford anchoring the frontcourt.
Georgia counters with 6-8 Toumani Camara, and Crean said 6-5 graduate transfer Andrew Garcia should be able to contribute more after having rods removed from the fractured nose he suffered against Tennessee two weeks ago.
The Tigers, however, pose quite a challenge.
“When you’re playing that team, you’ve got to do a really, really good job with your transition, understand the strengths of those main guys, do everything you can to keep them off the foul line, and make them work defensively because they can load up with their length,” Crean said.
Georgia brings an 11-3 home mark into the game, but LSU opened as a 7-point road favorite and the line is down to 4 1/2 at the time this story was published.
GeorgiaDogs.com Did You Know
Sahvir Wheeler’s 152 assists is the 4th-best season total ever by a Bulldog. He’s just two assists from No. 2 and 17 shy of Pertha Robinson’s school record.