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Georgia vs Kentucky Preview

March 3, 2010

Its less than 24 hours away from tip-off of the final home game of the 2010 campaign for Fox and his embattled Bulldog squad. This season has no doubt been trying on the young team as they have seen leads disappear down the stretch and suffered many a disappointing defeats this season. One of those very losses was to the Kentucky team we will face tomorrow night at 8 PM. At intermission, Georgia held a one point advantage. After giving up the lead to start the second half, the Dawgs played back and forth with Kentucky in front of 24,342 screaming fans, never getting down more than 4 until the final 2 minutes and 44 seconds.

This was the first game of the SEC slate for the Bulldogs and they have only improved since then. Georgia turned the ball over 26 times to Kentucky’s 14. Off those 26 TOs, Kentucky scored ten more points – the difference in the game. Comparatively, in Georgia’s most recent road loss to Vandy in overtime Georgia coughed up 11 turnovers to 9 for Vandy. Granted Kentucky is different from Florida and Vandy, it shows the progression of this Georgia team. They are becoming much more careful with the ball and in front of a home crowd at Stegman, noise should not be a problem.

One of the most important factors is going to be Trey Tompkins. He has carried the load of this Georgia team for the majority of the season. In Rupp, he only scored 17. I say only because the five points that he can score more could be the difference between a win and a loss for Georgia. Jeremy Price’s improved play could be a big factor in this upcoming matchup. We have won four of the eight games that Price has scored in double figures and two of the last three. His 4.0 rebound per game average could provide a lift in the post. Chris Barnes has scored 18 points and has 13 rebounds in the last 3 games in which he has started. With Kentucky’s post presence of Cousins and Patterson, it will be essential for Barnes and Price to have a good game defensively.

Four of Kentucky’s five starters are averaging double figures. They love to get out and run and gun and score points. Georgia has to slow the game down into half court sets and take care of the basketball. Ware McPhee have to avoid getting trapped in the corners and making dumb decisions with the basketball. Leslie and Tompkins need to play their normal game and the Dawgs will be fine.

Im calling a Georgia upset right now. It will be close but the Dawgs will take a late lead and hold on to win a close one at the end. Here is to hoping that my basketball predictions are better than my football ones.

Until next time, “You stay classy, Classic City.”

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