ATHENS — The Georgia Bulldogs will arrive in Auburn, Ala., for Saturday’s game without their head coach.
Tom Crean, a veteran coach in his first year with the Bulldogs, left Athens instead bound for Detroit. He went there to visit his mother, who has been ill for the greater part of Crean’s tenure at Georgia. He is expected to join the team before Saturday’s 4 p.m. tipoff (TV: ESPN2; radio: WSB 750-AM & 95.5 FM).
Assistant coach Joe Scott talked to reporters on a conference call previewing Saturday’s game against the No. 11-ranked Auburn Tigers (11-3, 0-1 SEC).
“You never know all the details and I can’t speak for someone else, but it’s family,” Scott said shortly before the Bulldogs departed Athens by bus on Friday. “He’s doing a good job of making sure this team is prepared and ready to go. … Tom’s all in the two most important area of life.”
It will be the Bulldogs (9-5, 1-1 SEC) second SEC road trip and second matchup against a Top 15 team. Georgia lost to Tennessee 96-50 in its first one last Saturday. But Georgia rebounded with an 82-63 home win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday night.
“I’d say that definitely restored our confidence,” said sophomore Nic Claxton, who had 5 blocks and 12 rebounds the last time out. “But we know Auburn is coming off a loss and they’ll be ready to play. We have to play smarter, I’d say, and not get in foul trouble. We just have to be smart and aggressive.”