In every game preview up to this point, I have generally had an idea what was going to happen that evening. I most certainly have been wrong a few times (LSU, Alabama, and MSU, to name a few) but I always had an opinion.
Y'all, I have no idea what's going to happen tonight.
Reed is going to be packed, and the basketball is going to be spirited... but aside from that, you could talk me into anything. 20 point blowout win? Sure. Four overtimes? Why not. Frustrating double-digit loss? It's not impossible.
It's all in play tonight, and you should do everything you can to get to Reed or a television set (SEC Network; 6PM) to take it in.
Beware: Balanced Bulldog Buckets
Instead of three points, I'm going to dive a bit deeper in the category that matters most: depth. Much like our Aggies, Georgia has enough scoring depth to handle a bad night by a starter. Their five starters average between 10.8 and 13.2 points per game, and they all average between 29.5 and 30.8 minutes of game time. It's a very defined starting five that can score in multiple ways:
- Marcus Thornton (13.2 PPG): Even the most balanced teams have a go-to guy, and Thornton is that player for the Bulldogs. When Thornton missed two recent games with a concussion, Georgia went 0-2.
- Kenny Gaines (11.1 PPG): Only 19 points in his last three games on 7-34 from the floor. Here's hoping he doesn't heat up tonight.
- Charles Mann (11.0 PPG): Gets to the line more than almost anyone in the SEC. What he lacks in accuracy (63%) he makes up for in volume (7 FTA per game). Very aggressive.
- Nemanja Djurisic (11.0 PPG): Think someone from Montenegro would be intimidated by Rupp Arena? Ha. Had 17 points and 7 boards at Kentucky. 6-9 from behind the arc in his last four.
- J.J. Frazier (10.8 PPG): Dropped 37 against MSU, going 7-7 from behind the arc. Yes, this is their 5th leading scorer.
In short, the Dawgs can play. We have to be absolutely locked in on defense.
It's not all bad news... the Bulldogs are pretty sloppy with the basketball. They have the 3rd most turnovers in the SEC, and their assist-to-turnover ratio slots at a slightly-more-respectable (but still bottom-half) 9th.
The Aggies, meanwhile, continue to be pretty efficient on the offensive end. They are 5th in the conference in assists, 3rd in assist-to-turnover ratio, and have the 3rd fewest turnovers. And of course, they have Alex Caruso, who leads the conference in assists and is second in steals.
The Aggies have played well in large part because of their efficiency, and Georgia has played well in spite of it. We're going to have to grind away and maximize every possession if we want to come away with a W.
And I still have no idea what's going to happen.