Georgia Bulldogs Take Their Basketball Show on the Road to Face South Carolina


The Georgia Bulldogs travel to Columbia on Saturday for another SEC road test against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

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Locked in a four way SEC gridlock with a 5-2 SEC record and a 24 RPI, there will be nothing but big games the rest of the way for the Georgia Cagers. The next big game is Saturday in Columbia against South Carolina 4:00 PM.

South Carolina is 1-6 in the SEC and 9-9 overall against good competition; the Gamecock strength of schedule  is 42. The Gamecocks beat Clemson and Oklahoma State but losses to Akron and Charlotte have contributed to the strained courtside demeanor of third year head coach Frank Martin.

Expect the Bulldogs to pay particular attention to Gamecock sophomore 6’5” guard Sindarius Thornwell. Thornwell scored 11 points and brought down nine rebounds in a close road loss at LSU. And while the Gamecocks have not on balance played well this season, they effectively challenged LSU without starter Demetrius Henry who sat out due to a concussion.

It’s been not only a different star every night, but a different star every 10 minutes for Georgia. In Georgia’s 70 – 62 home win over Vanderbilt Tuesday, senior post men Nemi Djurisic and Marcus Thornton paved the way, scoring 15 and 14 points respectively. In Starkvile, J. J. Frazier was the hero.

Jan 20, 2015; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Duane Notice (10) drives past Tennessee Volunteers guard Josh Richardson (1) in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

With an SEC record of 1-6 and four game losing streak, a 283 national rank in shooting percentage and 266 national ranking shooting percentage defense, South Carolina does not appear to be a particularly good basketball team. The Gamecocks do shoot free throws at a 74% success rate and only turn the ball over 12 times a game. South Carolina also rebounds well.

The last three losses suffered by the Gamecocks have been close – 72-68 against Florida, 71-68 against Auburn and 66-62 against Tennessee – and the Gamecocks will beat a team that does not execute.

Georgia must keep its turnover total from approaching that of a typical JV girls team – something the Dawgs have not accomplished at times – and shoot within a stones throw of the their free throw average.

If the Bulldogs can indeed refrain from handicapping their usual stellar defense with turnovers, Georgia will prove to be the superior team.

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