ATHENS — In the age of one-and-dones, Juwan Parker joined the Georgia basketball program so long ago it seems unbelievable. He took a spot occupied by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who is already on his second NBA team by now.
Parker’s career at Georgia is finally ending after five years. So is that of Yante Maten, the senior forward and one of the most decorated players in program history. They’ve seen the program improve since they arrive — but not quite as much as hoped.
When Parker arrived, he joined a team that endured two straight losing seasons. Since then Georgia has had three 20-win seasons and another of 19 wins. They can clinch a fifth straight winning season by beating Texas A&M on Wednesday.
But after making the NCAA Tournament in Parker’s sophomore year, and Maten’s freshman year, the Bulldogs haven’t been able to break through. They are unlikely to make the NCAA Tournament this year unless they finish strong.
“To go to the next level is to be one of those teams that is talked about as, Oh you know they’re going to make the tournament,” Parker said. “That’s the next step for this program. Definitely what we want to go out on.”
There’s still a chance, but it almost certainly includes a win over Texas A&M on Wednesday. And that won’t be easy, as the Aggies have the kind of height that has given the Bulldogs trouble. When they got double-digit wins recently over LSU and Tennessee, a rebounding advantage was a big reason. That’ll be harder on Wednesday. Post players Robert Williams and Tyler Davis, who are each 6-foot-10 are the two leading rebounders in the SEC.
“Their size is tremendous,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said, pointing out that even small forward D.J. Hogg is 6-9. “They have been a group that’s had some spectacular plays on film. That matchup is obviously going to be critical. Those are the two best rebounders in the league, and we’ve got to find a way to keep those guys off the boards. Our front line is going to need to play well, for sure.”
Georgia-Texas A&M basketball: Game info, details
- Time: Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET
- Date: February 28, 2018
- Location: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens.
- Records: Georgia 16-12 overall, 7-9 SEC; Texas A&M 18-11 overall, 7-9 SEC.
How can I watch the game?
The game can be watched on SEC Network.
How can I live stream the game?
The game can be seen on the WatchESPN app. (Cable or satellite subscription required.)
Projected Bulldogs starting lineup
- Guard: Junior Turtle Jackson
- Guard: Senior Juwan Parker
- Forward: Freshman Nicolas Claxton
- Forward: Senior Yante Maten
- Forward: Junior Derek Ogbeide
What’s next for Georgia?
Georgia plays at Tennessee at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the regular-season finale.