Georgia Basketball: Dawgs Resume NIT Tip-Off Play Against Troy


The Georgia Basketball team continues play in the NIT Tip-Off Classic Friday night against the Sunbelt Conference’s Troy Trojans.

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Date: 11/21/2014

Tipoff Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: Stegeman Coliseum – Athens, GA

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG

Troy is 1-1 on the season, with a win over Brewton-Parker and a loss to Ole Miss 64-74.

Georgia is 1-1 with a loss to Tech and an 80-70 win over Stony Brook. The Dawgs hope to continue washing out the taste of the season opening loss to Tech, and the Dawgs should make progress against the Trojans.

Last season, Troy posted an 11-20 mark, and finished eighth in the conference. The season highlight was an 85-81 win over Georgia State, who was previously undefeated in the Sun Belt Conference.

The league’s coaches picked the Trojans eighth in the Sun Belt Preseason poll. The Sun Belt pool expanded this year, adding Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.

The Trojans are entering their second season under head coach Phil Cunningham.

The likely starters for Troy will be John Walton III, jr, F, 6’7” 220; Kevon Thomas, sr, F, 6’8” 215; Wesley Person, fr, G, 6’3”, 180; Kelton Ford, so, G, 6’0”, 195; Chris Bilbo jr, G, 6’2” 175.

Starters returning from last year’s Trojan team are Thomas – the teams leading rebounder last year, Ford, and sophomore guard Jordan Howard. (5’11” 180.) Troy adds nine newcomers to the squad and three returning red shirts.

The newcomers have been leading contributors so far this season. In the first two games, Person is averaging 18.5 points, including 25 against Ole Miss, and 36 minutes a game. South Florida Senior graduate transfer Musa Abdul-Aleem averaged 11 points in two games. Thomas has also stepped up for the Trojans, shooting 67% and scoring 12.5 points and playing 37 minutes a game.

Playing on the Trojans home court, Ole Miss was required to shoot 50% from the field and 82% on free throws to gain a 10-point win from Troy. Ole Miss out rebounded Troy 42 to 28.

The likely starters for Georgia will be junior guard Charles Mann, sophomore guard J. J. Frazier, sophomore guard Juwan Parker, senior forward Nemi Djurisic and senior forward Marcus Thornton. If Kenny Gaines is able to start, expect J. J. Frasier off the bench early. Yante Maten will be the first man off the bench in the post rotation.

On Tuesday night Georgia handily defeated a good Stony Brook team, an accomplished program with high expectations for 2014-2015. Troy should be a much weaker opponent and the key to this early season mismatch will be focus. The Dawgs are more talented and if they adhere to the cliché strategy of taking care of business, Georgia will reach deep into its bench early and be 2-1 Saturday morning.