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Georgia men's basketball rising sophomores Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump and rising junior forward Derek Ogbeide (L-R).

Georgia basketball’s 2018-19 schedule taking shape; Denzel Comenentia pulls off NCAA double

Cy Brown

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Georgia hoops’ SEC opponents revealed

With Tom Crean at the helm of the Georgia men’s basketball team, there is an air of excitement and optimism surrounding the program for the first time in a long time. We’ll have to wait until fall to find out if Crean can create instant results, but with the release of the team’s SEC opponents for the 2018-19 season on Wednesday, we at least see what the task will look like for his inaugural run.

The headliners of Georgia’s home SEC schedule are four teams that earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament last season: Auburn, Florida, Missouri and, of course, Kentucky. (Auburn and Florida are permanent home-and-home opponents with Georgia.) The highlight of that bunch is obviously Kentucky. Anytime John Calipari and the Wildcats come to town is a big occasion. This meeting will have an extra edge since it figures to be the most high-profile game of the season and thus the greatest opportunity for Crean to secure a signature win.

The away portion of the SEC schedule is most notable for what’s not there — no trip to Kentucky. Georgia won’t have to travel to Lexington, where it lost 66-61 last season. Aside from that, the highlights of the away slate are a trip to Knoxville to face Rick Barnes and the Vols and the long flight west to College Station to play Texas A&M, another tournament team last season.

Aside from the Kentucky game, the most intriguing game on Georgia’s home schedule is Texas. The Longhorns will travel to Athens for a Jan. 26 contest as part of the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Arizona State and head coach Bobby Hurley will also come to Athens for a game on Dec. 15. The Bulldogs will open the season against Savannah State at Stegeman Coliseum on Nov. 9.

As far as other away games go, Temple and UMass are planned. Georgia will also compete in the Cayman Islands Classic holiday tournament from Nov. 20-22. Clemson, Creighton, St. Bonaventure, Illinois State, Boise State and Akron are among the teams also set to take part in the tournament.

But the most interesting aspect of the upcoming schedule to me is the still unknown status of the Georgia-Georgia Tech game. The issue at hand is an attempt to schedule the game outside its traditional winter break date in an effort to get more students involved in the rivalry. Last week Crean told reporters at the SEC meetings that he was in contact with Tech coach Josh Pastner about finding a date that works for both programs.

“We need to make sure that game is happening,” Crean said, according to The Telegraph’s Jason Butt. “And I mean happening in a sense that each school’s students, I hope, can be at it … We just started talking about it and I know that’s a topic of discussion at Georgia. I’ll have more answers on that down the road. I think we want to make sure that’s a game television really likes, it fits at a really good time and the home crowd’s students have a chance to be at.”

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UGA’s Denzel Comenentia joins elite company with NCAA track and field double

Junior Denzel Comenentia got Georgia track and field started with a bang on the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Wednesday in Eugene, Ore. Comenentia won two individual national titles on the first day of competition, becoming only the third athlete in collegiate history and first since 2008 to sweep the shot put and hammer throw titles.

The NCAA Outdoor Championships will continue through Saturday and the Bulldogs figure to feature prominently throughout. Check here for more information on when Georgia athletes are slated to compete Thursday and how you can watch.

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