ATHENS — Georgia basketball doesn’t take the court for another game until next Saturday, but when the Bulldogs do, you can bet junior Tyree Crump will be a focal point.
Crump, a junior from Bainbridge, had a breakout game in Georgia’s 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night, and more figures to be ahead for the Bulldogs’ long-distance sharpshooter.
Georgia coach Tom Crean indicated Crump is precisely the sort of open floor player needed to make his uptempo game work.
It didn’t take long for Crean to notice him.
“I think early on when I got here you could tell there was a lot to his game that could improve,” Crean said. “There’s a lot of room for upside with him.”
Crump might not have been the best fit for previous Coach Mark Fox’s deliberate style.
But as much as Crean recognized Crump’s talents and abilities, Crump was immediately charged up by his new basketball coach.
“He came in and he said ‘We want to play fast and we want to shoot three,’ and my eyes got big and my ears got big and I thought this is the perfect offense for me,” Crump said. “So we tried to listen to everything he said, and it’s carrying over into the season.”
The Bulldogs will bring a 5-3 record into next Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against No. 20 Arizona State in Stegeman Coliseum.
The Sun Devils already have beaten one SEC team, winning at Mississippi State on Nov. 19 by a 72-67 count.
Arizona State will put its perfect 7-0 record on the line on Saturday when it plays No. 6-ranked Nevada at noon.
Crean indicated he’ll keep looking to get Crump free for more shots in the offense.
“We want to move him, get him off screens, get him lost in the defense,” Crean said. “There becomes a comfort level that you have in a game like tonight, and he did a good job of playing through fatigue.”
Crump is shooting 46.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc (18-of-39), significantly better than the next best player who has at least 10 attempts, Rayshaun Hmmonds (6-of-15).
For all that Crean is trying to instill in Georgia basketball, it ultimately comes down to the time players are spending in the gym on their own to perfect their shot.
It’s clear Crump is doing his work, and therefor he’ll be getting more opportunities moving forward.
Here’s a look at others 3-point shooting percentage who have attempted 10 or more 3-point shots and how many minutes they average:
Tyree Crump, 19.9 minutes, 18-of-39, 46.2 percent
Rayshaun Hammonds, 24.5 minutes, 6-of-15, 40.0 percent
Teshaun Hightower, 17.5 minutes, 7-of-25, 28.0 percent
Nicolas Claxton, 27.5 minutes, 4-of-15, 26.7 percent
William Jackson, 17.9 minutes, 4-of-17, 23.5 percent
Georgia basketball’s Tyree Crump & Derek Ogbeide